Unfortunately, the director of this film did not trust his audience to understand or be interested in the original story that was portrayed in the book. I guess Mr. Wang felt he had to create a whole modern-day parallel story because he thought audiences wouldn't understand a story set in 19th century by itself. Too bad. That story alone is chock a block full of human interest, history and women's issues. Instead the director uses the time trying to tell the story by alternating with a modern story because I guess that's the only way us western dolts will get it. So instead of going into the really interesting story not enough time is spent on either story line to keep our interest. Too bad. Maybe I'll re-read the book.