Lovely Blog Party || "Her name's Sun Fu."


Today I'm going to be talking about Tom Harte & Sun Fu from the Western Broken Trail.  And there will be much flailing and fangirling and sissy stuff, because when it comes to this movie:

Seriously.  It's one of my top ten most-favorite movies.  Possibly in the top three.  (I mean, I don't know.  But it might be.)


Like, I feel like you don't understand how much I love it.  And because I just recently re-watched it, I'm definitely Feeling The Need to rave about it here; and since one of the things that makes it one of my favorite-ever-in-the-whole-world movies is the relationship between Tom and Sun Fu, I thought this Lovely Blog Party would be a good time to do it.

Honestly, I could probably write a whole new review of this movie (I've done one already, but THERE'S SUCH DEPTH TO PLUMB), but for now I'm going to focus on these two.  And just so you know, this post will be long and it will be picture-heavy (in fact, it's sort of mainly pictures).

Here goes. :-P


First I want to simply share a few pictures and such to try to show you how precious and adorable and worthy this couple is, and then I want to do one of those post things where I narrate one specific scene in detail (what's it called?).  It will be the next to last scene, so, obviously, *SPOILERS!* will follow.

To begin, a quick summary in case you're unfamiliar with the plot of this show:  After the death of his mother, a cowboy joins forces with his semi-estranged uncle to take a herd of horses across several states to sell them.  Along the way, they encounter a man transporting five Asian women who have been purchased with the intent to traffic them.  "Through a series of circumstances," as one of the characters puts it, the nephew and his uncle fall into the guardianship of these women, navigating the difficulties of language barriers and wicked pursuers. 

*scratches head*  Hope that helped.  Not sure if it did, honestly, but here's hoping. :-P

*sigh*  I honestly don't even know what all to say.  These two are just perfect, that's all.  And pretty much everybody knows it from the moment Tom brings Ye Fung back and Sun Fu tentatively hands him that cup of coffee as a gesture of thanks and of the girls' determination to do their part on the trail.

Seriously, I'm sitting here struggling to come up with anything sensible to write, because every part I'm thinking of makes me want to just muffle my face with my hands and squeal.  Whiiiiich doesn't really help you.  Or help me to convince you to watch the movie. *another sigh*

There's the scene in the gif above, when the whole party is resting for couple of days and Tom and Sun Fu take a walk around the lake, Sun Fu giggling and Tom cracking one of his unusual grins.

There's the look back down after finding out how steep the Whale's Back will be to cross.

There's the time when they finally reach the ranch close to the end of the show, when everyone's sitting down to dinner.

1) may I point out these two cuties sitting next to each other?
2) may I also point out that Sun Fu is the one who raises her glass first even though she 
may not even understand what's going on and that Tom only raises his after she does?

There's the reunion after the Big Final Conflict.

And there are other quick, lovely little moments, but I'm not going to go over every one because there's such a thing as self-control. :-P

Now, this is the part where I analyze what I have dubbed the "stagecoach scene".  As I said, this is the second-to-last scene, so there are some bigger *SPOILERS* from here on out.

Everyone gone who wants to avoid spoilage?  Good.

Now that the horse drive is complete, Tom and Print and Lung Hay are getting ready to send Nola, Sun Fu, Ghee Moon, and Ging Wa off.  (An arrangement has been made for the ladies to find a safe place in San Francisco.)  There's plenty of stuff going on relationally between everyone involved--especially Nola and Print--but I'm going to zero in on what's happening with Tom and Sun Fu.

As everyone exits the station and boards, Tom walks Sun Fu to her side of the stagecoach and the two face each other.

The language barrier is still in place; neither understands the other's speech.  They have had no real conversation.  All they have is quiet, wordless moments and months on a trail trying to survive together, each privately picking up on the fact--mostly through thoughtful, stolen observation--that the other person is kinda special in some really big ways.

He takes off his hat, because he is nothing if not unknowingly a gentleman of the truest order; and she takes hers off as well, because she strives to be respectful in all things of this culture that she doesn't know.  Then Tom says this:

"I thought I had this all worked out.  I reckon I got something to say to you.  I know you can't understand my words, but you can hear me.  I want to know how to get in touch with you someday.  I want to know that things turned out--that you had a good life."

LOOK AT THE TEARS IN HER EYES these kids are going to do me in

They stand there looking at each other as he gives his little speech, and then Sun Fu--this diamond-strong woman who has had to deal with so much and who has been silent this whole scene--throws her hand up to Tom's cheek as her face crumples, because she has no other way of communicating with him.

if you aren't feeling things right now I honestly don't even know what to say to you

About to board the coach, she turns suddenly and grabs Tom in a hug.  Then she climbs in.  Tom replaces his hat and moves away, and she sits there thinking.

Tom goes and stands a little ways off to watch the coach as it leaves.  He's really ready to let it go, because he doesn't see a viable alternative.  They come from totally different worlds; they can't talk to each other; and she belongs with her heart-sisters, with these girls with whom she's endured unthinkable things.  He recognizes that there really doesn't seem to be a way for them, cheesy as that sounds.

(This recognition doesn't stop him, however, from letting out a little self-steadying breath; because after all the prospect of never seeing this woman again is not exactly a happy one for him.)

Last checks and farewells and preparations are taken care of, and Sun Fu and Tom both continue struggling in their separate places.


Finally, everything's ready.  The driver flicks the reins and urges the horses . . .

. . . and the stagecoach rolls away to reveal a Sun Fu who is sobbing and gasping (because holy heck do you understand what she just did) and very much Not In The Stagecoach That's Driving Away.

Very much, in other words, there.

As I said, she's sobbing and gasping for a little while, and then she turns to face Tom.

And Tom--the man of somber face and few words and rare giggles; the man who shot the thumbs off a rapist in a righteous rage; the man who wanted to hear fiddle music; the man who sat up all night holding the hand of a dying girl with whom he couldn't verbally communicate; the man who was the first to the side of a suicide victim tragically claimed by relentless trauma; the man secretly haunted by the fear that his mother died without forgiving him for a choice that was not wrong; the man seemingly afraid to let anyone see what's really in his heart; the man who didn't ask for any of this is but is actually so glad he got it--my Tom smiles this small, weather-beaten, experience-hardened, hopeful, precious, glimmering half-smile that says far more about what's going on inside him than any toothy beam would have done.

And I feel things in my heart.  



    You made ME feels things in my heart.

    Yes, I read it, spoilers and all. I really really want to see this. ;)


    1. AAAAAHHHHHH I'm so happy you read it. :D *grins a big, silly grin*

      Eek, yay. Mission accomplished. ;)

      P.S. YES BECAUSE THEY ARE PRECIOUS AND BEAUTIFUL. <3 Thank you for introducing me. ;)

  2. Gaaah! *squeals*

    Tom and Sun Fu, I just CANNOT! They are so perfect, sweet, and just everything! And yaaas! When Tom smiles at the end, and Sun Fu leaves everything to stay with the man she heart does melt a bit. :)

    Wonderful post, Olivia!

    1. Squeeee! :D

      I'm so, so glad we watched it and that you loved it!! :D

      Thank you so much!! :D



    I haven't even watched this movie!!! But we've talked and fangirled about it so much and I feel like I Know These People; and I just want to hug them. Gah. Romance is not dead, after all. <333

    (full disclosure: even though I could potentially access this movie now, to watch, I'm not sure if I'll ever actually be able to: I've learned a lot more about myself, mental-health-wise and trigger-wise, than I knew when we first talked about this film. And one of the things I've learned about myself is that sexual assault in stories tends to be a big No, unless it's offscreen . . . and . . . it doesn't sound like it is here? I'm so sad to not be able to watch it, cause Tom and Sun Fu look so perfect!!!!! But yeah *disappointed face*)


      I was waiting for your comment. :D

      Aww, that's too bad! But I completely understand. I've learned a lot more about my triggers, too. Yeah, some of the sexual assault is offscreen, but some definitely isn't. :( It is sad we won't be able to watch this together (since, like you said, we've talked about it so much ;)), but it's important to pay attention to what is and isn't off-limits for our personal mental health. Maybe some day I'll show you some of the Tom and Sun Fu scenes only. ;)

    2. *hugs*

      That would be perfect, yes!!! I would love to watch their scenes with you <333

  4. MY EMOTIONS! I read the whole thing, even the spoilers. I couldn't help myself. But gosh dangit, I felt all the things. I NEED TO WATCH THIS!


    1. Haha! I'm so glad you read it and that it piqued your interest, Lia! It's a really good movie (although it's important to be aware that there is a lot of mature content involving sexual trafficking).

  5. Ahhh I haven't even watched this and it makes my heart so happy. Definitely watching sometime in the near future.

    1. Shelby, I hope you like it if you watch it! :)

  6. Oh my word I had never heard of this movie before but this post made me feel ALLL the feels!!! I read the spoilers and I DO NOT regret it. :) I must watch this!

    1. It's so good! (As long as you're okay with the content.) Thanks for reading, Kendra! :)

    2. It depends... I've seen Hidalgo and it had some- *ahem*- innuendo and questionable scenes, so I'm not exactly sure. What would you rate it in terms of content?

    3. Oh, boy. *deep breath* (This will probably be a kind of long comment.)

      So, stating this upfront: Broken Trail has way more content than Hidalgo, and if I had to rate it, I might rate it R just for how thematic and mature it is. But let me explain, because it might make a difference in whether or not you're okay with watching it.

      The whole plot revolves around how people are trying to traffic these women, so there's a lot of content involving prostitution and sexual assault. The very first scene is a brothel where the naked girls are being "inspected" and "picked out," so there's "explicit" upper front female nudity in that scene (no lower nudity, though--unless I'm forgetting a couple butt shots, but I don't think I am). Aside from that, there's both some talk about rape that's happened in the past and an actual gang rape scene. That scene is filmed kind of in quick, jerky shots and doesn't last too long before some of the good guys intervene, but it is clear what's happening. (And, again, lots of thematic prostitution material.) A man also relates how he once lived with a woman he wasn't married to and had a child with her.

      Language-wise, there's a fair amount. Several instances of the s-word, and scattered more minor cursing (like "d" and "h"). I'm sure God's name is used in vain at times (like with most period dramas).

      There's also lots of violence. A few horse deaths (including a couple times that you're kind of unsure whether a horse actually got trampled or not), lots of shooting/people deaths (there is some blood in some of those instances), suicide, etc. There's also one part where a couple of the main characters have to take care of a guy who was attacked in a previous scene and now has a bad head wound. They stitch it up, and that part is quite graphic--they show the needle moving in and out of the bloody wound, so . . . yeah. Good to be prepared for that part. :-P

      I love the movie very much, and for the record I do think it's "worth it," but yeah, I'd probably rate it R, so if you're not comfortable with everything that I described, I'd recommend at least waiting on it. Hope that helps!

    4. Ooookaaayyy... thank you so much. I think I'll steer clear of this movie for now, until I'm older perhaps... since the story sounds good. Thank you again!

    5. Sure thing! It's important to make an "informed decision". ;-P

  7. I have never heard of this movie but it sounds /beautiful/. Not to mention it's a Western...and a romance developing despite language barrier sounds fascinating and refreshingly different. And I really want to watch it now.

    1. Sarah, it's such a unique and meaningful Western. I highly recommend it for anybody okay with the intense stuff. Thanks for your comment!

  8. This sounds like a really good movie! I am going to look it up.

    1. It IS a really good movie! Thanks for reading. :)

  9. Replies
    1. :D :D <3 <3 (So happy to get a comment from you, my friend! ;))

  10. I think it was your unabashed talk of the movie/mini series that got me to watch & I did enjoy watching it but I thought it was rather sad but I like the ending very much. I think you are spot-on on what's happening in that moment and I think it's a perfect ending.

    have a lovely day.

    1. Haha! I've certainly been vocal about my love for it. ;) Ach, yes, it's really sad in parts. But I'm glad you liked it! And thanks for reading.

      Thank you!

  11. This movie is so good, but heartbreaking too!

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