I started watching ‘Shang-Chi’ on a train ride and the movie captured my attention in such a manner that I almost missed my stop! The action and thrill in this movie makes it a perfect addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While it does not interconnect with the previous Marvel movies a lot, it is refreshing to see how a new character can be built by the director, Destin Daniel Cretton right from the root, while maintaining the authenticity of the franchise. 

Power makes people blind and that is true for Xu Wenwu (Tony Leung Chiu-wai), who took the ten rings and abused its power to destroy several places until he met Leiko Wu (Fala Chen) and they fell in love with each other. They gave birth to the main lead of the movie, Shang-Chi whose story is yet to begin.

Shaun aka Shang-Chi is played by the extremely handsome actor, Simu Liu who fits his role as the ‘Legend of the Ten Rings’ perfectly. We all remember Simu Liu as the Jung Kim from ‘Kim’s Convenience’ but with this movie, he has definitely set another identity for himself. Starting his journey as a valet parking, Shaun has been hiding his real identity of being an ancient war-lord’s son. This ‘bus boy’ has a lot more hidden inside of him than what he has shown in the initial few minutes of the movie but that fight in the bus is a gamechanger for the viewers. 

Katy (Awkwafina), ‘the American’, as they all call her, is a highly energetic and bubbly girl who has gained mastery at parking cars being a valet for many years. She has been by Shang-Chi’s side for almost 10 years and does not leave him until the end. From her, I learnt that if we aim at something before releasing the arrow, it does work. Her friendly bond with Shang-Chi and her capacity to deal with his magical universe is something worth mentioning. 

Xi Xialing (Meng’er Zhang) is Shang-Chi’s sister who has been on her own since she was 16 years old. She has grudges with her brother for leaving her all alone when she needed her the most. Although she has lived under the shadow of her brother for a long time as a kid, she becomes her own person when she lives alone and starts her own fighting ring in Macau. Through her character, this movie has tried to show the continuation of patriarchy even in their time.  

‘Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings’ has everything right from the marvel experience of movies to family, love and much more. The beautiful cinematic experience given to the viewers through the mesmerizing small Chinese village of Ta Lo was just too good. Like all MCU movies, this one also has people, characters and animals of its own but the animals here are too cute, one of them being Morris. Along with that, another noteworthy point is about how swift and rhythmic the fight sequences looked. Even when people were violent, the grace with which they fought making semi-circle arcs with their feet was just magical. 

One of the best dialogues of this movie was by Shang-Chi’s mom, “Lead with your breath, look into your heart – the light and the dark. To know yourself, you must know both”. This is what Shang-Chi has been hiding from all his life. Most of the movies have conditioned fights to begin with closed fists but this movie signifies how an open palm and complete acceptance of oneself can make fallen leaves whirl how one wishes to. 

We are a prodigy of our ancestors and thus, we are a combination of the good and bad of everyone in our past. The key this movie gives is to accept both – the good and the bad and only then can one tap on their inner strength just like Shang-Chi did. As the weekend is approaching in a few hours, make some pop-corn and watch this movie on Disney+Hotstar now!

Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings is now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar. 


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