Ip Man is a Hong Kong Martial art film based on the life events of Kung Fu grand-master Yip Man. It gives us a glimpse of the traditional Chinese society from mid 1930’s to the end of WWII era. Besides focusing on an individual’s life, it also portray a picture of Chinese people’s sufferings and pain caused by the War. It shows how one man’s action can elevate the sense of patriotism at a time of chaos and misery.
Plot: The story of this movie begins in Foshan, a city located within the Southern Province Guangdong in China. It was a time (mid 1930’s) when Martial Art was flourishing all over the country and new schools were being opened under a new master, nearly every corner of the the city block. But one man who happens to be a great fighter and a family man, was far away from all these. He is none other than the main character of this film, Ip Man aka Yip Man (Donnie Yen). A legend of his own right and a grand master of Wing Chun style.
By the late 1930’s Japan invades China. Widespread death and destruction becomes daily affairs in rural China. But one man who dares to re-unite the Chinese people, it’s Yip Man. Even though he never had any school of his own or disciple. He teaches Kung Fu to ordinary Chinese to defend themselves from the Japanese.
Ip and his martial art skill grabs the attention of a Japanese General, Miura (Hiroyuki Ikeuchi) who is also a Karate expert. Miura believed Japanese Karate is more powerful or superior over Chinese Kung Fu. To prove the fact, he arranged fights between Chinese masters and Karate experts. When Ip Man offers to fight with 10 karate expert in a match, Miura couldn’t be nothing but surprised. So much so that he offered Ip Man to teach his Kung Fu to the Japanese soldiers or to face death. Rather than accepting the proposal, Ip Man challenges Miura for a duel. Miura accepts the challenge and arranges a public duel to show the superiority of Japanese Martial art in front of the Chinese people.
In that fateful match Ip Man comes out victorious. Out of anger and shame, the deputy of the General shots Ip Man. Furious Chinese people breaks the fence and gets into serious hand battle with Japanese soldier. Out of the chaos, Ip Man’s friend manages to escape the crowd with Ip Man’s half dead body and his family.
Verdict: I am a big fan of Martial Art based films. Despite the fact that I don’t understand the Chinese language at all, I love watching them. Among all of my favorite Asian actors, Donnie Yen is one of them and I tend not to miss his films. Well before watching this film, I had the opportunity to read more about Yip Man from various sources and I must admit he was a man of honor and respect.
This film itself not only depicts the image of a great martial artist to the world but a man of honor who also loved his country. A family oriented person who lived a very simple life. You will fell a sense of great patriotism after watching this film. Most probably will see some of the best martial arts based action from Donnie Yen. It was not only a great film to watch but a way to pay much deserved tribute to the true legend.
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