Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Book vs. Movie

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (book)     Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (movie)

Finally I get to talk about this!  It has been more than a year since I first mentioned it.  I saw the DVD a few weeks ago and I believe the movie really took on the book in its own way, keeping the most important parts of the story in the film.  The biggest difference of course is the fact that on screen, there is a present day friendship that takes place in modern Shanghai.  Their friendship is what leads us to the tale of Snow Flower and Lily.  We see the process of foot binding in ancient China, the matching of two girls with the same signs and age (the lifelong bond of a sisterhood known as laotong), as well as the secret language (Nu Shu) that Chinese women would use to communicate to each other through letters.  In the novel, the communication between Snow Flower and Lily is shared on a secret fan that gets  sent back and forth.  We see this happen in the movie too, but the big screen version brings the theme of girlfriends to light in a society that is relevant for us today.  It is a wonderful way to show how friendships are precious no matter what day and age.  People have bonded together since the beginning of time and we can never take our true friends for granted.  The film presents nineteenth century China in rich and dark colors, as well as the hustle and bright lights of the modern city in the new millennium.  I really didn’t know what to expect when I found out that a contemporary plot would be tied in, but I wasn’t disappointed at all.  See’s book should definitely be read because of the many things that are not included in the movie, but the film does a great job in giving us a recap of the novel while adding its own touch to make it unique.  A must read and see!

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