Continuing from last week, the film continues as Yang and co. fight against Eunuch Wei’s Eastern Agency. After leading the commander and his troops into a trap, Yang leaves Gu’s village to enter the monastery. Before he can find her, she leaves him their infant son. Later on, a new commander continues the pursuit, leading to a climax between him and Yang’s mentor Abbot Huiyuan.
The film’s ending was intending to be freely interpreted by audiences. Where the Abbot was pointing to is unclear, whether it was to return to the world or to find sanctuary. And while there are indications of Buddhist elements, King Hu did not actually intend to depict any religious messages. He merely wanted to, to quote, “capture the flavour of the experience”. Still, I can’t say I am satisfied with how the film abruptly ended without resolving the conflict with Eunuch Wei, or leaving Gu and his child’s ultimate fate unknown.