Detective Investigation Files IV


Reviewed by: ABC_Perspective

December 03, 2004

Rating: four


Genre: Modern Love Story/ Cop Drama
Number of episodes: 50

Main Cast – There are lots of characters, but these are the main 5
Louis Koo - Fei; a cop, at the beginning he is cold, shuts people out, and is blunt. As the drama progresses, he opens up
Jessica Hsuan - Quin; a psychiatrist who is professional, caring, a hopeless romantic, strong, and independent
Sunny Chan - Chi San; Fei’s squad leader, loyal, caring, and is caught in a love triangle.
Charmaine Sheh - Man; Is Chi San’s gf in the beginning, is very needy
Lee San San - Tong Sum; Man’s best friend who is also in love with Chi San

I was hesitant to watch DIF 4 because it was an entirely different cast from the first 3 DIF series. Though the cast changed, it was a great idea to bring in Jessica Hsuan and Louis Koo to take on the lead roles. I enjoyed the romance aspect of the drama much more than the cases. The cases are not too suspenseful or clever, but they are a lot better than most TVB cop dramas. I won’t be mentioning the cases, just the love stories.

Story Analysis
“I once read a book that said in a person’s lifetime, if they’ve loved once, they’re already very fortunate. However, I have loved twice. In a love triangle, someone will definitely suffer, someone will be hurt. "To be chosen or not, it is equally hard."

What would you do if on the day you were going to get married, your fiancée disappeared without a trace? Three years have gone by and still no word of her. Do you continue waiting? Do you move on with your life? Why?! This is how the drama starts for Fei. Fei is constantly haunted by the memory of Chin Chin and is unable to move on with his life nor open up his life to others. When Quin meets Fei, she is instantly attracted to him, but Fei is very cold towards her. Through circumstances, the two work together and start to get to know each other better. After fighting his feelings, Fei starts letting Quin into his life. The two start to date and fall deeply in love. They endure a lot of hardship but are able to overcome them together. Fei and Quin finally get engaged. Just as everything starts to come together, Chin Chin returns.

San is a great boyfriend to Man. He is caring, sincere, and a gentleman. Man is the typical needy girl. The couple seem to be opposites. Eventually, this happy relationship starts to break when Man’s father comes between them. During that time, San discovers that Sum (Man’s best friend) secretly likes him. He starts to have feelings for her. But just as San starts to evaluate his feelings, Man’s father approves of him and wants San to marry Man. San is now trapped in love triangle between two best friends.

These are the two main love stories in DIF4. Through it all, you will smile, laugh, maybe cry, and feel for the characters. Each character goes through his or her own emotional roller-coaster of love, hurt, loss, choices, suffering, compromises, and dealing with the circumstances of life.

Performances
Louis and Jessica - Hands down, the best performances were from Louis and Jessica. This was the drama in which both of them won the TVB Anniversary Award for Leading Actor/Actress. It was well deserved for both of them because they did a great job as Fei and Quin. As individuals, they created personalities for their characters. As a couple, there was wonderful chemistry. The facial expressions were right on. The way they talked was believable. And their performances were unforgettable. They made this drama worthwhile.

Sunny - I have never been a fan of him, but his performance as San surprised me. I actually liked him in this drama. He did a great job portraying the tragic person who was strong enough to move on with life. He was always caught in dilemmas and was forced to respond fast. He had the hard task of having to alternate between being the leader, being the strong one, and being the vulnerable one. I grew respect for Sunny after watching this drama.

Charmaine - Maybe it was the way her character was written, but I thought the role of Man was pointless beyond the fact that she was in the love triangle with San and Sum. There were too many unnecessary scenes with her that added no value to the drama. It just made it drag.

San San - For the most part, her acting was mediocre. There were a few scenes that made her shine. As a viewer, you could feel how much her character loved San. Other than that, her acting was okay.

Best Scenes
1) The hospital scene with Quin and Fei
2) Fei and Quin’s scenes on the island: The bonfire talk, the hostage situation, their first hug
3) The wedding - Fei and Quin getting back together, Sunny seeing his sister, events at the wedding
4) Sum buys Sunny an Odie Pez Dispenser
5) Fei comforts a grieving San at the beach
6) Fei's heart to heart talk with Quin in Chin Chin’s apartment
7) San and Sum dance at the party
8) Pretty much any scene with Fei and Quin

Thoughts on the Ending * SPOILERS *
I know a lot of people were very disappointed with the ending and the fact that DIF V was never made. Though it did not end the way I would have liked it to, I thought there was a sense of bitter realism in the conclusion. If it were up to me, Fei would have chosen Quin. Fei loved Quin, that was very evident. Before Chin Chin came back, Fei was haunted by the memory and the unknown reason for her disappearance. After Chin Chin came back, he was then plagued with guilt and a sense of responsibility for what had happened the past 3 years. If you loved two people, how could you choose? Quin had mentioned that she could not compete with Chin Chin because of her past with Fei and her physical appearance. But what I felt she was competing with all along was Fei’s lack of closure and his sense of responsibility. Quin was right though. She could afford to lose him now, but if they were married, she wouldn’t be able to bear the loss. You just can’t help but feel sorry for Quin.

So, does Quin eventually get together with San? I hope so. Watching DIF 4 a second time, I noticed that there were quite a few scenes with just Quin and San. Were these hints of what would happen in the end? Towards the end, when Chin Chin returned, San was the one that comforts Quin. If you think about it, Quin and San would be compatible. Both of them were professional, serious and committed about love, they were strong through hard times, and they didn’t believe in dwelling in the past. This was Fei’s biggest flaw, not being able to get over the past. San had said somewhere in the drama that you can’t live in the past, you have to move forward. Man was the opposite of Quin and Fei was the opposite of San. No matter how hard things got for Quin and San, they were always able to find the strength to move forward. That is probably why the series ended the way it did.

Overall
The storyline and chemistry between Louis and Jessica would easily be a 5/5. I guarantee that anyone would enjoy watching this tag team. I was also impressed with Sunny’s performance. Unfortunately, DIF 4 contained too many characters and subplots. That made the drama drag a bit, so I just fast forwarded scenes that I felt were irrelevant. If you just want the police aspect of it, this is not for you. But if you like emotional dramas, this is for you.


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