...there's nothing really ethnic about it. First off, it is not faithful to the book; hence, you won't see any of the "Chinese heroic tradition" influence in this movie. Granted, one needn't be faithful to a book to have a good film, but if EAT A BOWL OF TEA wanted to be an ethnic film, it failed. The author of the novel knew the heroic tradition well, I just don't see why the movie should have done the same thing by following his example and expressing the heroic tradition. Instead, you have a film that is Westernized. Although the film is funny, entertaining, and enjoyable, the book is better and catches the essence of Chineseness.