From the Chinese cultural perspective, the theme of enlightenment refers to the empowerment and mastery into many realms, and in the context of this film, it involves detaching human attachments and achieving emptiness. This theme manifests through the two main characters of Li. The film contrasts the reality of human attachments and its significance in life with that of the emptiness which can lead to enlightenment. That is, the film views the human life as an illusion and detachment as the ultimate way to enlightenment. In the film, Li mentions his attachment to the world as an illusion thereby implying the need for emptiness for attaining the real enlightenment. According to this concept of emptiness, once a person is able to see or feel nothing of the world, then he/she can truly possess the things that are real, which would pave the way for enlightenment. This concept is similarly focused in the film, The Matrix, which represents enlightenment in a modern sci-fi dimension. The film relies on the doctrine of Sunyata, or emptiness, which means everything in the world undergo constant suffering and so breaking free from it facilitates the soul to become enlightened.
The director gracefully features the theme of love and even embraces a gentle romantic humanism as a result of failing emptiness. Although, as above-discussed emptiness can lead to enlightenment, when there are love feelings or attachments then emptiness is not possible thereby impeding enlightenment as well.
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