By B. Taka
Come Drink With Me, aka The Drunken Cat in Chinese, and The Golden Swallow in French, is another fascinating and thrilling film that King Hu assisting in directing. Although it may not have turned out to be a perfect King Hu film from beginning to end, it is an excellent portrayal of King Hu’s amazing work in comparison to the directing of another. Observing King Hu’s career and challenges that were occurring during the time he was working on this film is just so interesting because as you watch this film, you get a sense of realness of what it is like to be a filmmaker. Come Drink With Me really is a significant film when observing King Hu’s career because it is his first martial arts film.
My first thoughts going into this film was how great the music is; it just works well with the tone of the story and place. My next thought was that Golden Swallow does not look nor speak like a man at all, and how can they say that the men cannot tell that she is a woman. Although this was far from believable for me, I really like the idea that they were going for and I’m really glad they casted Cheng Pei-pei because she really is a stunning woman and played the part very well as she resembles a total badass in the film.
This film also showed the characters running up the wall and on the rooftops, with was fine because it goes with the Kung Fu genre, but also kind of funny and unexpected at first. The special effects in the scenes where they played the film backwards and reversed the actions worked really well for the genre and did not seem obvious. I also liked the anticipation that came with the fight scenes in this film because there are a lot of slow/fast/slow movements, which keep viewers engaged and wondering what will happen next.
I really didn’t care for the idea of showing the youth monk get killed, although this does assist in portraying how evil the bad guys in the story are supposed to be. Not to mention the costume and make up for Jade Tiger was also perfect in resembling the ruthlessness of this character. On another note, Drunken Cat was just the perfect character and is really what makes the story great. Although he seems to be just a side character at first and is portrayed as a poor drunk guy, we see that there is a humble and hidden badass in his character as well. They did great at casting this character as well.
By the time we find out that Drunken Cat is a badass is when I felt the most interested in the story. However, this is also around the same part of the film where it is quite obvious that the director has changed. At this point, King Hu was clearly done with being mistreated and loss passion for finishing this film with style. The ending was unclear and messy. All of a sudden there are ten Golden Swallow women but they all get killed and didn’t have much meaning to the story. I feel like this could have been interesting, but they were introduced way too late in the story and was just way too rushed to make sense of their appearance. I believe this could have been a really great movie if King Hu had not been mistreated to the point of losing passion for his work in this film.