Jin Yong's martial arts novel "Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils" is a voluminous and difficult for film adaptation. "Sakra (乔峰传)" takes the most central character in the original novel, Qiao Feng, and develops the entire story around his fate and life. With his understanding and creative approach, Donnie Yen has created a new image of Qiao Feng.
During the Northern Song Dynasty, Qiao Feng, the heroic and chivalrous leader of the Beggar's Gang, was supported by the martial arts world, but was suddenly identified as a Khitan and defected from the family. In Qiao Feng to trace his life, looking for enemies on the way, he and Murong family maidservant girl Azhu acquaintance and mutual affection. They go through several adventures, until Ah Zhu is mistakenly killed by Qiao Feng because of Mrs. Ma's design, and Qiao Feng finally finds out that everything is Murong's plot to restore Yan. Qiao Feng killed Murong Fu, and then took Zhu's last wish and went to the outside of the country.
The Difficulty of Adapting Jin Yong's Wuxia Work
The creators of "Sakra", Donnie Yen and Wong Jing, had just previously collaborated on the "The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber" film series, with Donnie Yen playing the role of Zhang Sanfeng. The creators saw the strong appeal of the Jin Yong martial arts genre, and "Sakra" was born.
Donnie Yen confessed at the movie premiere that Jin Yong is definitely the first choice for a martial arts film. The process of adapting of Jin Yong's novels is difficult, but he does not want to give up his initial love of film, every time he shoots a new work, he is breaking through, and "Sakra" is no exception. In the early stages of the film's shooting did encounter adaptation difficulties, the rich content of the novel and the limited length of the film contradict each other.
Donnie Yen believes that he is not only filming a Jin Yong novel, but also a Chinese martial arts film. He wants to borrow the classic character of Qiao Feng to create a new perspective of "Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils", so that even if the audience has not read Jin Yong's original novel, they can still feel the unique charm of a martial arts film through this movie.
From "Ip Man" to "Sakra", the most important thing in action films is to grasp the emotions of the audience. Let the audience and the character's emotions synchronized, so as to ensure that the action scenes in the film can make the audience watch the blood boiling.
The producer Wong Jing said that Donnie Yen is very strict about the action scenes, sometimes he thinks the scene is well done, but Donnie Yen is not satisfied and still not willing to call it a day, he always wants to do better.
The Basic Content of the Film "Sakra"
The film takes the characters as the core of the entire story, as if it were a "martial arts biopic", depicting the ups and downs of Qiao Feng's first half of his life in a precise and concise manner. Soon after the opening scene of the film, Qiao Feng was exposed as a Khitan by others, and thus fell into a series of conspiracies, almost in a desperate situation.
This narrative approach is relatively friendly to both passersby and fans alike. The film has no threshold for passerby viewers, who can easily get into the story even if they are new to Jin Yong's martial arts. Fan viewers see a unique entry point, with a fresh take on Qiao Feng's chivalrous life.
The characterization of Qiao Feng in the film is not superficial, Qiao Feng never stops thinking about his identity, he is always in the emotional tangle of Song and Khitan identity. Donnie Yen accurately grasps the pain and suffering of the character, showing the depth of the performance.
In the martial arts scenes, Qiao Feng has three important battles in the film that make up the escalating action scenes.
The first scene, Qiao Feng forcefully battle Jiu Mozhi. The two met at an inn, and Qiao Feng came to the rescue because of Jiu Mozhi's imprisonment of Duan Yu. Throughout the scene, Qiao Feng and Hatoma Ji from weapons to fight, constantly changing the form of action, showing the two masters of martial arts attainment.
The two fight in an extremely wide inn, and in a short time have fought back and forth throughout the inn several times. Such a rich space transformation, highlighting the action scenes intense degree.
In the second scene, Qiao Feng is besieged at the Ju Xian Zhuang. This is the well-known famous scene of "Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils", and a perilous battle. This scene presents Qiao Feng's encounter with a rotating duel of martial arts masters, and he has to face adversaries from all directions. Qiao Feng used all his strength, he wielded a long sword, the move to kill; he was surrounded by masters in a dead end, and the eighteen subduing dragon palms allowed him to turn the danger into a bargain.
The whole action scene highlights the concept of complex and subtle design. The martial arts of the various schools in the film are different, with different weapons. Qiao Feng fights with all the people to avoid the shortcomings of the strengths, non-stop fighting, presenting the Northern Song Jianghu style.
The third is the duel between Qiao Feng and Murong Fu. Donnie Yen and the actor Wu Yue who played Murong Fu Wu as action movie stars, both with a deep martial arts skills.
The two began with a sword fight, long swords dance up and down, each move is like a fatal blow. The professional martial arts actors' movements are standard and full of force, pushing the film's confrontation to a high level of emotion.
The fight between the masters in Jin Yong's martial arts is a contest of internal strength, and the martial arts skills of the two masters are rendered by computer special effects, presenting a stunning visual impact.