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Genre: Romance/Drama
Starring: Wu Chun, Charlene Choi, Wu Ge, Ti Lung, Shao Bing, Harlem Yu
Director: Jingle Ma
Rating: PG
Year Made: 2008



- Trailer
- Making Of
- Cast Interviews
- Photo Gallery



Languages: Mandarin
Subtitles: English/Chinese
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Letterbox
Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0
Running Time: 1 hr 43 mins
Region Code: PAL 3
Distributor: InnoF
orm Media




Life is fleeting as the butterfly, beautiful yet transient. As legends has it, a pair of butterfly lovers reappears once more after having gone through three lifetimes of heartbrokenness. Liang is highly skilled in martial arts and resides in the mountains. Zhu disguises as a man to learn martial arts, is the daughter of a wealthy man. Their encounter leads to love blossoming. Unfortunately, Zhu is betrothed to General Ma. Their undying love for each other could not help them escape the hands of fate.


In short, "Butterfly Lovers" is made for the MTV generation. To be specific, it’s nothing close to a weepie romance drama nor a martial arts movie but a 103 minutes music video with pretty boy Wu Chun (from boyband Fahrenheit) and Charlene Choi (the other unscathed half from pop group Twins) as the leads.

Every frame of this movie is nicely projected onscreen, you can clearly see the faultless left and right profile of the handsome Wu Jun whenever he’s in front of the camera. The lush picturesque sceneries where this movie is shot are simply breath-taking. Coming out from the hands of director/writer Jingle Ma who also doubles as cinematographer here, this is not a surprise. But like a music video, while the visual is commendable, the story is pathetically empty and the lacklustre performance of the young stars doesn’t aid much as well.

Jingle Ma wrote and fusion his story with elements from two famous tragic love stories of all time, William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet and the Chinese folklore, "Liang Zu" aka "Butterfly Lovers". At the same time he incorporated the theme of martial arts into the story hoping to differ from the original version whereby the protagonist is normally a weak scholar. Wu plays Liang Chushan, a highly-skilled disciple who helms from a renowned martial-arts clan while Charlene is Zhu Yanzhi, a rich girl who met and besotted with Liang while disguising herself as a man. I’m not going to delve into the outcome of this pair of lovers as I’m sure you already knew. But the process in engaging the audience with their undying love for each other is apparently missing here.

Veteran stars liked Ti Lung, Xiong Xinxin and Taiwanese singer/host Harlem Yu ended up as walking props and fillers for the movie while Charlene Choi tries hard to play against her stiff uncomfortable partner, Wu Chun. Even the ever reliable action choreographer Tony Ching (The Swordsman, Hero) who receives top billing on the DVD cover seems to have dozes off on the set. The action sets are surprisingly horribly and hastily choreograph. Notably, Ma and Ching resort to pull a 'John Woo' with those slow-mo camera moves between Wu Jun and Hu Ge in the finale fight that you can’t help but feel that the producers might have forgotten to insure Wu’s face beforehand.

As mentioned earlier, Jingle Ma’s version of "Butterfly Lovers" is strictly made for MTV fans or fans of Wu Chun and Charlene Choi. It’s sad to see the art of filmmaking degenerates in the hands of Ma. If you prefer a more heartfelt version of "Butterfly Lovers", check out the much superior 1994 Tsui Hark’s "Leung Chuk" which starred Nicky Wu and Charlie Young.


There's a 7 minutes Making Of feature that sadly has little to show except the two bubbly leads and crew clowning around on the set.

The Cast Interviews is surprisingly longer and runs at 26 minutes. We have the director Jingle Ma, Wu Chun, Charlene Choi and Hu Ge asking one another rhetorical questions. Purely a segment to please their fans.

The special features is round up with the Trailer and a Photo Gallery consisting of stills from the movie and Butterfly Lovers Singapore Promo Tour.


Presented in 4:3 letterbox format, the visual transfer is clean and images are presented nicely. Little to complain here. Boasting only a Dolby Digital 2.0 and Mandarin track, there's nothing that requires a powerful system but a dual soundtrack should be present for a better comparison.



Review by Linus Tee


. Butterfly Lovers (Movie Review)

. Interview with Wu Chun

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This review is made possible with the kind support from InnoForm Media


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