庭院深深 Ting Yung Sheng Sheng (1987) Courtyard Deeply

庭院深深 1997 Courtyard Deeply The owner of a successful tea factory, Bo Pai-Wen (Chin-han), inherits the family tea business from his father. While business is good, Pai-Wen's mother wants her only son, a highly desirable bachelor, to settle down and to start a family. Pai-Wen, however, doesn't feel he is ready to settle with any woman. He longs for a soul mate. Although his mother and his friend often tease him about his fool's fancy, Pai-Wen insists he won't get married until the time and woman is right. Little did Pai-Wen know that his dream girl was about to come into his life. Zhan Han-Yang (Lau Suet Wah) was an orphan child raised by her adopted family. As was the custom of the time, she was bought and raised to marry her adopted brother. When she refused as an adolescent, she was asked to pay 2 million in return to her family for her 'upbringing costs'. With no other clear alternatives for that kind of money, Han-Yang signed a two-year contract with a night club, as a dancer. Working day and night, in the lowest parts of the society, Han-Yang hoped one day she would be able to pay back her debts. Unfortunately, before she could begin a new life, she feel into deep trouble. One night after work, she was raped by one of the patrons. When she woke up from being unconscious, it was all too late. At that point, she realized she had not only lost her virginity, but also her dignity. Her only option was to move on and begin a new life somewhere else. Outside the city, she found a job in Pai-Wen's Tea Factory.

While working hard on one particularly warm day, Han-Yang faints from fatigue under suffocating heat. Pai-Wen happens to be in the factory at the time. Upon hearing of a worker's collapse, he rushes out of his office and carries the collapsed woman into an air-conditioned room. Under those circumstances, Pai-Wen and Han-Yang meet for the first time. When the woman wakes, Pai-Wen is completely captivated by the her beauty and speech. Flattered but wary, Han-Yang is shy and uneasy of the attention from her boss. Nonetheless, it is clear that it is love at first sight. After Han-Yang finishes some schooling, Pai-Wen decides to hire the young woman as his secretary. The two begin to know each other better, and the more time Pai-Wen spends with Han-Yang, the more deeply he grows to love her. Yet despite how much time goes by, Han-Yang always seems to put up her guard whenever Pai-Wen expresses his feelings. This defensive behavior perplexes Pai-Wen and he feels like it is driving him insane. He cannot explain her behavior, and he wonders if she feels he is not good enough for her? One afternoon, he can barely contain his burning desire and, impulsively, kisses her. Overcome by emotion, Han-Yang suddenly collapses in his arms and confesses her love, too. Pai-Wen is ecstatic! Han-Yang loves him, as he loves her! Immediately, Pai-Wen asks for marriage, but just as quickly she refuses. Why? Pai-Wen is torn and confused. He wants to know why he was rejected. Yet, Han-Yang doesn't want him to know about her bad past. She hestitates, but she knows she has eventually must answer his question... Finally, she tells him the truth. Pai-Wen, in a state of shock, immediately leaves. He doesn't want to believe his perfect girl was once a low-class dancer and that she had lost her virginity to a patron. In a stunned state, Pai-Wen runs away angry and confused. Meanwhile, Han-Yang cries alone. She had poured her soul and love out for this man, and had hoped beyond hope for a miracle. Maybe Pai-Wen would understand? Maybe he could accept her, even with her grave mistakes? However, that did not happen. She knew now it was all over.

庭院深深 1997 Courtyard Deeply The next day, Han-Yang resigned from work. She packs her few belongings and returns to the night club. In one night, all her hopes have been shattered. She is back to hell again. Her disappointment caused her so much pain, she blocks all emotion out. She no longer believed in dreams; the only thing left was to pay back her debts. Meanwhile, Pai-Wen is emotionally drained. As he had gotten to know Han-Yang, Pai-Wen believed he had found an angel on earth, the perfect being, who was gentle, kind, and good. The girl's dark past cast a shadow over all his thoughts. He cannot easily come to terms with reality. After a few weeks of calming down, Pai-Wen finally realizes that he still loves Han-Yang and that he made a fatal mistake in driving her away. Pai-Wen realizes he loves Han-Yang far too much to care about what happened before. Now, he feels he has lost her for good. Pai-Wen goes to look for her, and bring her back. There was no sign of her in her old apartment and he doesn't have much information on her whereabouts. In desperation, he spent his nights vamping through night clubs, and his days thinking of her...

One night, by chance, they meet again in a night bar. Han-Yang is dancing when Pai-Wen walks in. She gives no sign of recognition, dances mechanically, and has an air of invulnerability. Nothing Pai-Wen can say moves her. His words of love mean nothing to her. Finding the manager, he paids for Han-Yang's hours and takes her out of the club. When they are alone, Han-Yang still treats him just like any other patron. In her apartment, he confesses his mistake of letting her go, and, at last, she breaks down and forgives him. They loved each other too much, and decide to marry.

庭院深深 1997 Courtyard Deeply Fearing the disapproval of Pai-Wen's mother, the couple decides to marry discretely. Pai-Wen's good friend Kao Li-De is the only relative in attendance. Needless to say, Pai-Wen's mother is not happy with this marriage. She forces a superficial smile upon greeting Han-Yang. However, the lovers are too absorbed in their own heaven to notice anything unusual right away. Pai-Wen presents his beautiful wealthy home to Han-Yang. They have three days of peaceful honeymoon.

On the fourth day, Pai-Wen has to go back to work. He leaves his newly-wed wife with a tender love note. She wakes up and feels life is truly wonderful. But the wonderful feeling subsides; Pai-Wen's mother is waiting for Han-Yang downstairs. During the couple's honeymoon, Pai-Wen's mother dug through Han-Yang's past. The mother was waiting downstairs to question Han-Yang. No matter what Han-Yang said, Pai-Wen's mother (PWM) didn't believe a word. PWM had flash backs of her own husband fall in love with a pub girl, she won't lose her son to the same type of woman again. PWM hated Han-Yang, but she couldn't do anything to her while her son was totally crazy about her.

Eventually, Han-Yang realizes what a nightmare it would be to live under the same roof as her mother-in-law. PWM does not believe her. But Han-Yang wants to sacrifice her pride for the love with Pai-Wen is too strong, it will melt stone. As long as Pai-Wen loves her, she could stand any obstacles. Optimistic aside, it's no small job to satisfy PWM. When Pai-Wen's home at night, it's the happiest time for Han-Yang, but when he was gone in the day, Han-Yang lives in hell under the close supervision of PWM.

PWM suspects Han-Yang was flirting with Kao Li-De (Pai-Wen's friend). Though her suspicion is without ground, Pai-Wen believed every word his mother told him. He started second guessing Han-Yang. Han-Yang found out she was pregnant, While the news brings a great joy to the family, Pai-Wen and Han-Yang's marriage was rotten through a series of quarrels and fights.

After the birth of baby girl, Pai-Wen's jealousy was stirred up once again by his mother's timely remarks. He had grew a strong suspicion that the baby was not his, but rather Kao Li-De's. One raining night, he had another quarrel with Han-Yang. He had totally lost faith in her and pressed her on who fathered the child.

庭院深深 1997 Courtyard Deeply She couldn't believe the words coming from her loving husband. She too, had lost faith in the marriage. Pressure was gaining on her, she just wanted to end it all. By midnight, she left a suicidal note, put on her trench coat and left the house in thunder storm. She had no will for survival and it's time to end the suffering.

The morning after, Pai-Wen found the suicide note, and her trench coat on the bridge. He knew he had lost her, the love of his life. He killed her with his own hand. He never had faith in her and his jealousy killed her and the marriage at the same time, but it's all too late.

9 years later

庭院深深 1997 Courtyard Deeply A middle age man walking in shady ashes. What was he trying to find? He would sit in the ruin for hours, holding a piece of rock or something. He looks like a ghost, but he is not. Pai-Wen comes here everyday. Only here, he could bring back the memory of the past, the memory of guilt, love, sorrow and pleasure. He believes he should have died when the house caught on fire five year ago. Only that, he would be with Han-Yang forever. But he didn't not die, he survived.

Only thing though, he lost his sight in the fire. He became blinded.

A new teacher was assigned to teach the 3rd grader. She took a great interest in one of her students, Ting-Ting, Pai-Wen's only daughter. Ting-Ting looks like a lovely child, with a mal-nutrition body. She is too little for her age. She doesn't get along with her step-mother. Her only play-mate is a half-insane mental case. Her father was blind, though he loves her dearly, he couldn't not protect her. The teacher saw all that, and she wanted to care for Ting-Ting.

庭院深深 1997 Courtyard Deeply A family visit confirmed the teacher's theory. This family needs help. Pai-Wen sensing the kindred heart of the teacher, and asked her to move in and take care of Ting-Ting. Pai-Wen's wife was not thrilled about it. She wasn't getting along with Pai-Wen and her drinking became worse after quarrel. She was jealous how quickly the new live-in teacher gets along with everyone. Ting-Ting absolutely adores her; the idiot Chui-San loves her; even her blind husband clinches to her every word. The teacher is becoming a martial threat to her.

Pai-Wen was pleased with the harmony the teacher had created ever since she moved in. He had a feeling Han-Yang had comeback for him. So this night, he went to the ruin again. The night started slow, he smelled the glowing Yellow Roses in the Garden. Someone is singing. "Flower, Flower, Cloud, Cloud, it comes in midnight, leaves before dawn. it comes like a dream in spring time, and leaves when water drops vaporize."

He followed the voice and tumbled his way through the ruin. Then the silence. He felt someone was close, but could not be reached. He touches out with his hand and feels it with his heart. There, a warm body, the smell of Yellow Rose, he touched Han-Yang's Long hair. No, it must be a dream, he told himself. He kissed her. Warm Lips. NO, this can't be a dream. It IS real. He could feel she is crying. Tears creeping down her cheeks. His heart went to piece with the sound of her sobbing. "I always hurt you, Han-Yang, forgive me. I have been looking for you for this long...... I love you." He said. She collapsed into his arm.

He hopes he never wakes up from this dream. She is here, warm in flesh. It's too good to be true. No, she's pulling away. Where's she gone? "Han-Yang, Han-Yang" he cried for her name. No answer. Rain started pouring down. Scent of Yellow Rose. WHERE IS SHE? He wanted her back. "Han-Yang, Hang-Yang" The desperate cry did not bring her back. Pai-Wen stood in the rain and trying to hold on. A piece of wood fell on his head, knocked him down. He did not even try to get up. He had a beautiful dream, but it's gone by now. Nothing he could do to bring it back. He was defeated.

The teacher was all wet when she got into a tea house. She looks like she had just seen a ghost.

Pai-Wen was carried back home by a house staff. He is suffering delusion and high fever when the teacher comes back. His head was injured, wrapped in a white bandage. Pai-Wen's wife is not home, the teacher volunteered herself to nurse him. Holding on her hand, Pai-Wen took the medicine and went into deep sleep.

The night after

His head is still wrapped in a white bandage, but he looks much better. His friend Kao Li-De is also with him. The teacher comes back from school and was startled by the presence of Kao Li-De. They greeted each other politely. After sending Ting-Ting upstairs, Kao Li-De walked toward the Teacher. He looked at her in disbelief, and cried out, " Han-Yang, it's you. It's really you! We all thought you are dead."

The story continues......


秦漢 Chin Han If you watched this movie already, you know what happened at the end. If you never watched it, then it's time to see it with your own eyes. I have written more than 1500 words of synopsis. I deserve a break. When I decided to do a synopsis, I thought one or two paragraphs at the max. But it surprises me how much details I remember from the movie. I could visualize the scenes in my head. Guess what, I haven't watched this movie for almost 3 years!!! Though I have to admit, I did watch it at least 5 times from beginning to end. It's amazing, some classics never fade in your mind.

Why is it so memorable? So enduring? So ever lasting? For one, The casting is perfect. Chin Han, Lau Suet Wah are the perfect Pai-Wen and Han-Yang. I especially enjoy watching the middle aged Pai-Wen. This is more close to Chin-Han's actual age at the time. The love Pai-Wen reserved for Han-Yang was nothing typical. Chinese has a saying about "shattering heaven and earth, ghost crying love." Such love story could only be imagined, but never experienced in real life. In Pai-Wen and Han-Ying, it's so vivid. It almost made me feel like I am a part of them. I will never forget about this feeling.

Hope you have enjoyed reading it.

Synopsis by cactus_st@yahoo.com