In essence, the plot is driven by the characters inability to have what they desire. Yun-Fat Chow plays a warrior who attempts to give up violence to achieve enlightenment only to be drawn back into the world by his desire to avenge his master;s death, and a love for Michelle Yeoh that they are honor bound to deny. At the same time, Ziyi Zang plays the daughter of a governor who is restricted by her role in society from achieving the great adventurous life of a warrior that she not only desires but is highly capable of leading. She is also prevented from being with her great love, a noble thief, Chen Chang.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon changed the way I viewed martial arts films. It became less about simply awesome action, though obviously this remained a concern, but also about the cinematics of the film. If I had never seen Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon I probably would not have seen other great films like Hero or House of Flying Daggers both of which took the impressive cinematic visuals to new heights. In a lot of ways, this movie is like The Matrix there are those movies which came before, and those movies which came after and which will always be judged against it.