A Short Chat In ‘A Chinese Tall Story’

In the movie ‘A Chinese Tall Story’ (情颠大圣), which is yet another spin-off retelling of the already fictitious novel ‘Journey To The West’, it’s clearly non-factual version of ‘Tripitaka’ (Dharma Master Xuanzang) explains to a girl who was very attached to him, that his love is for universally delivering all sentient beings (to liberation). (我的爱是用来普渡众生的。) She then asks if this includes her. (这么说也包括我?) In exasperation, ‘Tripitaka’ quickly retorts, ‘Except you!’ (除了你!) Though for comedic effect, this dialogue does offer some food for thought.

His love mentioned was ‘big love’ (大爱), which is great loving-kindness and compassion (大慈大悲) that includes all beings. However, the girl hoped it could include ‘small love’ (小爱) for her. This is indeed possible, since big love is made up of immeasurable ‘small loves’. However, her love was based on selfish and greedy attachment (贪爱), portrayed to include worldly lust instead of spiritual loving-kindness and compassion (慈悲). Unable to respond wisely, ‘Tripitaka’ seemed to contradict what he said earlier, also missing the opportunity to teach the differences. Well, hence this review!

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