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Re-imagined fantasy about love

By Raymond Zhou | China Daily | Updated: 2012-08-03 09:35

Re-imagined fantasy about love

Scenes from Painted Skin: The Resurrection

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Painted Skin: The Resurrection is the sequel to the 2008 hit, which was adapted from a classic tale of Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) literature. But the thread that binds the two is slim at best as the fox demon is the only character that is carried over. While the original is a family drama disguised as a thriller, the sequel is a fantasy on a much larger scale.

The movie is anchored by the same trio of stars who shine brightly in their prime. Zhou Xun reprises her role as the fox imp, having finished her 500 years of imprisonment in ice. Zhao Wei is now a princess whose face is partially scarred by a bear. Chen Kun is her childhood bodyguard who is now assigned to a frontier post as a general. Their affection for each other is hindered by her physical imperfection, so to speak.

Now, the fox fairy needs a regular diet of human hearts unless someone volunteers to give his or hers in exchange for a life as a non-human. Seeing her loved one's attraction to the beautiful fairy, the princess makes the offer, after a short-term trial that convinces her the man she longs for cannot overcome the surface of physical defect.

To complicate matters, their fates are intertwined with politics because a menacing neighbor insists on their offer of the princess as a bride in return for peace. In the end, all three make a huge personal sacrifice for the sake of love.