A Monkey’s Satire On Human ‘Love’?

‘A Chinese Odyssey, Part Two: Cinderella’《大话西游之大圣娶亲》is one of the (too) many (?) comedic retellings of ‘Journey To The West’《西游记》. Although often ridiculous, there seems to be some accidental (?) humour that offers food for thought. Good humour should always carry some element of truth, even if as satire. Well, wit without any wisdom at all would be… witless! Witless wit is surely pointless, not wit at all.

There is a scene where there was a spell cast, that relocated Qingxia’s consciousness to Pigsy’s body, and Pigsy’s consciousness to Zixia’s body. Qingxia’s love interest was Sun Wukong (aka the Monkey King), who was however not interested in her. With the swap, this only made things worse, with him excessively comic-vomiting in disgust when s/he with Pigsy’s form tried to be intimate. Adding to the confusion, Zixia, who was Sun’s actual love interest, had her consciousness only partly overrode by Pigsy within her form, with hers sometimes resurfacing.

Though not interested in Qingxia, Monkey did not find Qingxia abhorrent at first. But with Pigsy’s form, he immediately found her/him especially distasteful. Though interested in Zixia, Monkey seemed to suspend interest in her form when Pigsy’s personality took over. With the flick actually being a romantic story with faint spiritual overtones, does this part question the nature of worldly love? How much of it is based on attachment to form, with subconscious lust? Yet, if the form will do, why did he not find her body with displaced consciousness attractive?

How can it be that both body and mind form the ‘essence’ of the beloved, with both of them capable of change? But is pure love not exactly what remains constant despite change? If so, technically, with such unconditional love, we should love all beings, without lust attached at all. This is exactly the true love that the Buddhas have. No wonder the Buddha is at the top of the ‘Journey To The West’ universe. At one point, Monkey says that if there is a time limit, he hopes to love Zixia for 10,000 years. Sounds like quite a commitment? But truly true love does not just expire after a long time; it simply never does. Again, the Buddhas embody and express this.

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