March 18, 2004

Crouching Tiger, HIdden Dragon, Extra Cat

When I finally got around to seeing Crouching Tiger, HIdden Dragon, long after everybody else saw it, I was struck by one oddity. There's a scene where Governor Yu's daughter is secretly visited by her lover from out West. While the two are talking in her bedchamber, the attendant hears something, approaches the curtains, says that he thought he heard something and asks if everything is alright. What Governor Yu's daughter answers in Chinese is just: "It was nothing.", but the English subtitles translate what she says as: "It was just the cat." In the grand scheme of things it doesn't make much difference, but I keep wondering how the cat got in there. I know of nothing about the English language or culture that calls for the insertion of a cat in this context. The only plausible explanation I've heard so far is that the line was originally "It was just the cat", that the script was subsequently changed, and that the subtitles were based on the earlier version of the script. That seems plausible enough, but then I know nothing about the movie business. Is it likely that the subtitles would be based on a non-fiinal version of the script? If anybody knows the basis for this discrepancy, I'd lbe interested.

Posted by Bill Poser at March 18, 2004 05:56 PM