Unlike most people, I prefer this version over the 2003 version. They stuck very close to the novel, and it was similar to the old versions where they actually seem to do something instead of standing around and waiting for special effects to take over.
I really liked the way this series paced. It was very appropriate and often the same as the book. The 2003 versions had great actors and actresses (much better than this one, i have to agree) but was very different than how is should've been.
Deng Chao as Zhang Wu Ji
Ady An as Zhao Min
Liu Jing as Zhou Zhi Ruo
He Zhuo Yan as Xiao Zhao
Zhang Meng as Yin Li
Lu Chen as Yang Bu Hui
Deng Chao as Zhang Wu Ji (4/5)
My first impression: what was the director thinking? This guy is ugly! However, his acts make up for it. His acting is way better than Alec Su in the 2003 version. Zhang Wu Ji's atmosphere with Zhao Min is way better and realistic. In the old version, you can totally tell that is acting and I sort of got the feeling that Alec didn't really want to be with Alyssia. In this version, the atmosphere seemed very warm, and he seemed to jump right out of the book. The reason why I took 1 point off is because he doesn't look heroic enough but I guess that is not his fault.
Ady An as Zhao Min (5/5)
What can I say, I fell in love with her the first time I saw her. Although she doesn't look as smart as Alyssia Chia, she actually is a lot smarter. Alyssia got her smartness from her looks, but Ady gets her smartness from the way she talks and acts. This Zhao Min is amazing, and you could really tell she cares a lot about Zhang Wu Ji.
Liu Jing as Zhou Zhi Ruo (3/5)
One of the characters I liked better in the old version. This Zhou Zhi Ruo seemed like a little prop getting thrown all over the place, pretty much without feeling. She never seemed to like Zhang Wu Ji, just a hostile robot. Even in the end, when she was supposed to confess all her wrongs and change into a good person, she still seemed pretty cold. The director could have chosen a much better person to play Zhou Zhi Ruo.
He Zhuo Yan as Xiao Zhao (4/5)
She did an excellent job playing her. Xiao Zhao looked cute, and extremely innocent. When she had to leave Zhang Wu Ji, I could almost feel her pain as she cried. A great actress, although I wished she was just a bit more romantic during the middle of her relationship.
Zhang Meng as Yin Li (4/5)
This character annoyed me a bit. All she ever did was complain about how ugly she was and telling ZWJ to take her as his wife. However, I did think she was very good at acting the passionate and sad part of Yin Li.
Lu Chen as Yang Bu Hui (4.5/5)
I really liked Lu Chen a lot. She had all the characteristics of YBH and her love was clearly expressed throughout the story. I really liked the part where she said to ZWJ,"Remember when you stole me that candy man? It melted and I cried. You bought me a second one but I didn't want it. You said I was too young and not understanding enough. My love is like that. I will not like a second person, only the original."
I say this movie is a great watch. Even though the cast isn't as "pretty" as the 2003 one, the atmosphere is way better. However if you enjoy seeing charming young men and beautiful girls, this drama will be pretty boring to you.