A Tough Side of a Lady

Reviewed by: dumb_dookie89

March 27, 2009

Rating: four-point-five

Marianne Chan - Fa Muk Lan/Fa Muk Lam
Wong Hei - Horh Go Sing
Gigi Fu - Long Siu Siu
Law Kar Ying - Fa Wu
Shirley Cheung - Fa Muk Wai
Mimi Chu – Hohr Go Sing’s mom
-Fa Muk Dai
-Ng Chau Sui
-Chui Sam Gong

Plot Overview:

The series revolved around the character of Mulan as well as her family and those close to her. Mulan's father, Fa Wu (played by Law Kar Ying) is a veteran who, after many years serving in the army, has finally returned. Mulan's father had betrothed her to a friend's son (Chui Sam Gong), whom also happens to be a man that Mulan herself secretly admired. However, because Chui Sam Gong did not like the idea of arranged marriages and also with his newfound affection for Long Siu Siu (played by Gigi Fu), he refuses the marriage and ends up enlisting for the army in order to run away from the marriage.

Hohr Go Sing, along with his forgetful mother (Mimi Chu), has recently just arrived to "Ging Sing" from "Lok Yeung." He ended up renting the other half of Mulan's house. They get off on a bad start, as Mulan finds him to be extremely stingy with money and is a definite conman who not only took advantage of others, but of her family members as well.

Fa Wu, as a returning veteran, was supposed to given compensation for his dedication to the country. However, the government Official Long (Gigi Fu's father) and his son wanted to keep all the compensations for themselves and thus, refused to pay Fa Wu. Fa Wu, being the innocent and honest man that he is, believes in all the excuses the corrupt official tells him. On one occasion, however, Fa Wu stumbles across Long Yun (Gigi Fu's brother, corrupt official's son) secretly exporting all the money at the dock. Even though Fa Wu was at the site, he did not witness what was going on and had no idea about their corruption. But because Long Yun saw Fa Wu, he instantly assumed that Fa Wu knows what the father and son were up to. Hence, they decided to draft Fa Wu into going to war, even though Fa Wu's only son (who is also the youngest of the three siblings) had enlisted in place of his father. Mulan, seeing that her father was old, decided to dress up as a man and take her father's place, claiming to be Fa Wu's son with a mistress. Hohr Go Sing always ends up going to war. Thus, Hohr Go Sing, Mulan, and Chui Sam Gong end up in the army together.

Cast Review:

Marianne Chan - Fa Muk Lan (Fa Mulan)

As always, Marianne gave a spectacular performance in her role as Mulan. From the beginning towards the end, you could see her change from a loud-mouth tomboy who acted rashly, to a more calm, sophisticated and mature woman. Marianne's portrayal of this progressive change was flawless. Her chemistry with Wong Hei was great! From their constant bickering to the forming of their friendship, and finally to the growing passion for one another.. I couldn't help but wish they had more cute, intimate scenes together!

Wong Hei - Hohr Go Sing

Wong Hei, just like Marianne, brought his character to life. It was odd for me to see Wong Hei in ancient clothing and the odd hair-do, but all that aside, his performance was excellent! Wong Hei showed his boyish side and did not fail to impress me with his twisted slang and clever comebacks. I don't think anyone could have played the role better than Wong Hei did. And as mentioned earlier, he had great chemistry with Marianne!

Gigi Fu - Long Siu Siu

As I remembered from Gigi's previous roles, she has always acted as the spoiled, squeemish brat (ie: Condor Heroes). Again, Gigi plays the much spoiled daughter of the corrupt government official. However, Gigi was as beautiful as ever and although spoiled, her character was not as annoying as her previous spoiled-brat roles. On a different note, aside from the bias of the roles that she's taken, she played out her role well. Gigi's Long Siu Siu was cheerful, loud-mouthed, but yet, had an air of sophistication.

Law Kar Ying - Fa Wu

I have never really seen Law Kar Ying in that many series and thus, I can review his performance from a non-bias perspective. Law was HILARIOUS as Fa Wu! I especially liked watching him toward the middle-end when he became "retarded." His opera-like duets with Mimi Chu outside and in the restaurant with amusing, yet, catchy and entertaining.

Unknown - Chui Sam Gong

Although I do not know the name of this actor, he has been around for quite some time and is often cast in small, supporting evil roles. I was surprised to see him act as a second lead for this series. However, though he's only been playing minor characters in other series, he carried out his second male lead role well, although not great. He lacked a variety of different facial expressions. His character in this series was not evil, but not "good" either. Although his character was meant to be three dimensional, the actor only gave an acceptable two dimensional performance. His liking for Gigi was supposed to have been something deeper than just a crush, but the actor failed to bring out the deep passion he felt for Long Siu Siu. Hence, when the two did not end up together in the end, I was neither disappointed nor glad.

Mimi Chu - Wong Hei's mom

I thought I should mention Mimi's role as Hohr Go Sing's mom because I found her role to be very cute and lovable! Wong Hei always described her as "yuen bup bup," a description I found adorable and amusing all at once. Whenever Mimi showed up on screen, you'd instantly expect a honest, yet, silly comment coming from a forgetful person.

Shirley Cheung - Fa Muk Wai

As usual, Shirley gave a barely acceptable performance as Fa Muk Wai, Mulan's younger sister. Although her dimpled smile and baby face was irresistibly cute, her performance was only so-so.

Unknown - Ng Chau Sui

This actor has been around for a while and has ALWAYS given excellent performances (some of his most memorable roles were in the TVB series "Once Upon a Time in Shanghai" and "Plain Love II"). He formed a dynamic duo with Wong Hei as the two friends strove to achieve wealth.

I found the ending rather rushed. It did not bother explaining how Wong Hei suddenly achieved such high-status martial arts skills. Moreover, it took Mulan 8 years to find Go Sing.. I was hoping for more screen time between the two after their reunion!

Other Comments:

Marianne and Wong Hei had WONDERFUL chemistry in the series! The bittersweet ending and the small amount of "love" scenes between the two were very cute. Although it is only towards the end when their love begins to ignite, I savored every "love" scene there were of the two. The series was immensely enjoyable and to me, is one of the best old classic series that TVB has made.

Add your own review and become a featured critic on spcnet.tv!

Or, add your comments below:

Advertise on SPCNET.TV

Buy DVDs
A Tough Side of a Lady

Shop Asian Fashion at YesStyle