This story arrived from the popular Chinese Classic 'Liao Chai Zhi Yu' or in short 'Liao Chai'. This classic contained various stories about supernatural beings and human beings. The author was known to have used such to show the various sides to human characters and weakness and how some human are even scarier than ghosts or vixen.
For 1-1/2 hours I was engulfed in the emotions between human and demons - the love, loyalty, temptation, trust and friendship were all carefully planned. It moves the heart.
It has been a long time since I saw Donnie Zhen Zi Dan. He always reminded me of martial art expert that he acted in many shows. However in Painted Skin he is a sentimental general who loves Zhao Wei. He left the army because of her and he returned in time to protect her from demon(Vixen) Zhou Xun. Such unfailing love/ and platonic relationship do not need too many words to express.
Zhou Xun acted as the hearts eating demon vixen. She needs to eat this to keep herself young. She fell in love with Zhoa Wei's husband Chen Kun. I admire her for her unfailing determination to get the man she loves. Finally she sacrificed her 1000 years of Tao practices that enable her to turn into human form to save the man she loves. The first time I saw Zhou Xun was in 'Perhaps Love' with Takashi Kaneshiro.
Zhao Wei is the wife of the general and the man who fell for the demon. In Chinese virtues, she is a good wife. She knew from the instinct of a woman that the demon/vixen came for her husband. She tried to warn him but he did not believe her. She has to seek help from Donnie. Finally she is willing to sacrifice herself in exchange for her man’s safety. Zhao Wei is famous because of Huan Chu Ker Ker and her hyper character in that series stagnant her role as always being noisy and talkative. However in this movie, she is a 180 degree changed in character which is refreshing.
Qi YiWu, the boy from China who makes it to the television screen in Singapore. He has gone from 'square box' to the big screen. When I first saw him in Singapore made series, I told my friends that this actor will make it big. He did. He acted in 881 and 12 Lotus, both a Singapore box office production. Both movies were very successful as it depicted the life in Singapore in the early 1960s. However in Painted Skin he was the Lizard Demon who loves Zhou Xun dearly. He killed and collected hearts for his love. He finally died fighting to prove to his demon/vixen that human and demon can never be together. I love his makeup in this movie...he looked different with the silver hair and scaled face.
Chen Kun..someone I am not familiar with. I saw some shorts of him in series but he did not attract me. He has very tanned look and I find him funny acting in ancient Chinese drama. He looks a misfit. However in this show he is the General - Zhoa Wei's husband and Zhou Xun's (demon) heart love. Both women are willing to die for him. At time when I see movies like this or in real life stories... I really hate such man! WHY...must they be so privilege to be sandwiched between two women and let them fight over him? I also think that women are so SAD. WHY must they kill each other just for a man and they do not know whether this man really love them? Chen Kun in this show exhibits the weakness of men - he married Zhoa Wei out of love and remains loyal to her because she is his wife. On the other hand, he loves Zhou Xun the demon! I hate him when he did not believe his wife. With his stupidity, he caused a few of his loyal followers’ hearts being eaten by the demon.
On the other hand, Sun Li acted as the demon catcher. She is another China actress (all the three actresses in this movie are from China). Given time, this girl will make it big too.
Thus..summarizing the story - the demon vixen gave up her inner energy to save the life/lives of the man she loves and his people. With this energy gone, she turned back into a vixen. The man and his people lived happily ever after. That is the different…the greatness of a vixen demon and the selfishness of human's love.
I normally just enjoy the movie and leave the critics to do all the ratings.