Heart of Greed


Reviewed by: tvbobsessions

August 04, 2007

Rating: four-point-five

Chinese Title: 溏心風暴
Number of Episodes: 40

Main Cast:
Ha Yu as Tong Yun Gai (Dai Bao)
Lee Si Kei as Ling Hau (Dai Kai)
Susanna Kwan as Wong Sau Kam (Sai Kai)
Moses Chan as Tong Chi On (Sai Bao)
Linda Chung as Seung Jai Sum
Raymond Lam as Alfred

Supporting Cast:
Michelle Yim as Ling Lei
Bosco Wong as Tong Chi Yut
Tavia Yeung as Jackie
Yoyo Mung as Sui Mak Mak
Chris Lai as Tong Chi Foon
Fala Chen as Tong Yun Yun

Theme Song by: Susanna Kwan
Subtheme by: Raymond Lam & Linda Chung

Favourite Relationship: Dai Kai and Sai Bao (Si Kei and Moses - mother-son)/Dai Bao and Sai Bao (Ha Yu and Moses - father-son)
Favourite Character: Dai Kai, Jackie and Sai Bao (Si Kei, Tavia and Moses)
Favourite Pairing: Chi Yut and Jackie (Bosco and Tavia)
Best Actress: Lee Si Kei
Best Actor: Ha Yu/Moses Chan
Best Supporting: Tavia Yeung
Most Improvement: Fala Chen and Yoyo Mung
Best Cryer: Lee Si Kei, Tavia Yeung, Fala Chen and Moses Chan
Who Looks Good: Fala Chen, Tavia Yeung, Bosco Wong, Linda Chung and Raymond Lam
Who Should Get More Screentime: Tavia Yeung

Summary: (I'll use the names of the actors/actresses instead of the names of the characters)

Ha Yu is the head of a successful abalone business. His legal wife is Si Kei and his second but legally unrecognized wife is Susanna. He has four children of which he loves dearly, Moses, Bosco, Chris and Fala.

The problem begins when Susanna feels that she doesn’t get enough respect from the family. Si Kei tries to stop the family problems and hopes that one day, their family would be happy. However, when she realizes that her cancer has come back, her last hope is to see her grandchild, Bosco and Tavia’s baby. That however, never happened as Tavia suffered a miscarriage when she fell.

More and more problems arise because of Susanna. Soon, she gets kicked out of the household and is no longer considered part of the Tong family. She hopes to gain Si Kei’s forgiveness in a bid to return back to the household and continue her evil plot.

When Si Kei dies, her last words which she said to Chris was to treat Susanna as a normal friend, which shows that she does not forgive Susanna. Chris however, in a bid to protect his mother, lied that Si Kei had forgiven Susanna.

Triumphant, Susanna continues to pretend to be good in hopes that Ha Yu would take her as his lawful wife. However, everybody disapproves of this marriage, enraging Susanna and Ha Yu. Finally Ha Yu decides to marry Susanna secretly without his children’s approval. He does not know that by marrying her, he is actually helping her to succeed in her plot to gain his wealth.

After two years, Susanna decides to divorce him so that she can get half of his wealth. Even Chris, her own biological son, disapproves of her doings.

Ha Yu finds out all the bad deeds that she has done and refuses to sign the papers as she did not want her to succeed. Later, he develops heart problems and begs Susanna to let him die after seeing his children and granddaughter (Tavia became pregnant again) one last time, in exchange for him to change his will. However, he dies before changing his will, and hence Susanna doesn’t get a cent. Enraged, Susanna, together with her boyfriend, who is Linda’s older brother, decide to take matters to the court.

Moses has a crush on his good friend Linda. Linda however, likes Raymond, who is a lawyer. They dated for a period of time with lots of quarrels. They broke up, and reconciled several times, until Linda found out that Raymond was two-timing her. To her horror, she realized that this third party was her best friend Yoyo. She initiates a breakup.

After becoming a lawyer, Linda decides to become normal friends with Raymond. He, however, still loves her dearly. Linda often calls him up for help with his cases, and Raymond is more than happy to help.

One fateful day, Raymond meets with a car accident. However, he does not seek medical treatment. Instead, he went to a public phone booth to phone Linda and tell her about his new findings for her case. He dies in the phone booth.

Unable to overcome her grief, Linda throws herself into despair, until Moses woke her up and she pulled herself together.

Linda becomes the lawyer for the Tong family and is assaulted by her brother.

After a long period of time, the case was still left with no verdict. Linda told of a touching story of how Ha Yu, despite being cowardly all the time, protected several expensive abalones just for Susanna although the robbers were hitting him with all their might.

Touched, Susanna apologizes and runs out of the court, meaning she didn’t want to fight this case anymore.

Annoyed, Linda’s brother chase after her. Finally seeing everything, Susanna tries to run him down for lying to her all the time (he has several other women and was with her only for the money). However, she stops in time as she didn’t want to go to jail, for going to jail meant that she could not see her son Chris anymore.

The Tong family forgives her and she learns her lesson.

Meanwhile, Moses proposes to Linda and she accepts.

Script:
Wonderful script with lots of unexpected twists and turns.

Character/Performance:
Tong Yun Gai
His character is lovable, but frustrating at certain points of time. His laughter is also infectious and his love for his children (and granddaughter) is touching. He was frustrating when he insisted on marrying Susanna despite knowing that Si Kei would not approve of it. It was not really his fault though, Susanna have not shown her true colors to him.

Ha Yu as Dai Bao
He portrayed his character wonderfully. I cried when his character died, it was just so touching – he doesn’t mind giving up half of his enormous fortune just to see his children and granddaughter.

Ling Hau
She was the head of the household, and was very wise. The family was still together when she was alive, but once she was gone the whole family collapsed. She was not jealous of Sai Kei, but merely wary of her. Before she died, she gave the responsibility of holding the family together to Moses. Her death was really touching. Recalling the scene alone is already enough to make me feel like crying. She loves her family so much, and I’m sure that she’d be happy when she knows that they’re finally together again.

Lee Si Kei as Dai Kai
Fantastic performance from her, she brought out the emotional scenes really well. She cries really naturally and leaves a very deep impression despite the fact that she died pretty early.

Wong Sau Kam
She was the main villain of this series. All the time I can’t help but keep curse her character. Why must she break such a happy family apart? Dai Bao loves her so much yet she doesn’t see that, all she sees is money, money, and even more money.

Susanna Kwan as Sai Kei
She portrayed her character really well – made me feel like throwing rotten eggs at her. The last time I saw her was in "Glittering Days", where she didn’t leave me with a deep impression. This however, was a total change from her character in "Glittering Days", more powerful and emotional.

Tong Chi On
The source of laughter for the whole family, he provides the whole family with laughter and has a hobby of making funny but adorable faces all the time. When Dai Kai died however, he was a different person all together – firm, and determined to carry out whatever Dai Kai said and hold the family together. His love for Jai Sum was also admirable, as he often helped her and never attempted to break Alfred and her up though he loved her a lot as well. He had a very close relationship with Dai Kai, which was very touching when she died.

Moses Chan as Sai Bao
He was one of my favorite characters in this series! He portrayed the whole thing so well, from funny to serious. I couldn’t help but be really really sorry for him when everybody was just rebelling against him when he was merely carrying out what Si Kei said and what he thought was right.

Seung Jai Sum
A lawyer who has complicated relationships. Chi On loves her but she treats him only as a good friend initially. She loves Alfred, and Alfred loves her too, yet he has another girlfriend Mak Mak. She often has to pay off the debts of her brother, of which Alfred does not approve of, hence straining their relationship.

Linda Chung as Jai Sum
I thought she was really good as this character! She impressed me a lot in this series. I thought her crying scenes were pretty natural as well, and that she looked nice in here. She and Raymond look sweet together, but they quarreled just too much!

Alfred
He loves Jai Sum yet he dates Mak Mak as well. I don’t get it, why must he be with Mak Mak as well when he doesn’t even love her? Loved his portrayal as a lawyer, so cool! I thought he looked handsome too. I thought his death was very touching as well – even till his last minute, he wanted to help Jai Sum to win the case.

Raymond Lam as Alfred
Raymond’s a guest star, yet he has so much more screen time than Tavia and Bosco, and yet he sings the subtheme with Linda! How ironic. Then again, I don’t mind the fact that he has more screen time than Bosco though.

Supporting Cast:
Ling Lei
Ling Lei is the sister of Ling Hau. She’s good at running the business and detests Sau Kam immensely as she too, sees her true colors. She has very little screen time though.

Michelle Yim as Ling Lei
I felt it was a pity that her character had so little screen time in here! Quite a nice change to see her changing from a scheming character in "Brink" to a nice character in here. It was definitely a pity that she has so little screen time. I felt very sorry for her when Susanna kept making personal attacks at her.

Tong Chi Yut
Husband of Jackie, and has a daughter - Tong Sum. During the court case, he sides Sau Kam in exchange for money. However, it was actually a plot to show that Sau Kam is lying as he deliberately gave the wrong information to them so that they would mess up in front of the jury.

Bosco Wong as Chi Yut
Nothing impressive, just that he looks handsome in here, and that his chemistry with Tavia is really good.

Jackie
She was pregnant with Chi Yut’s child when she was still married to her abusive husband. Finally they get a divorce and she marries Chi Yut. However, she suffers a miscarriage while helping her ex-husband do a fashion show, hence straining her relationship with Chi Yut. They were at a point of divorcing until Ling Hau came out of the hospital just to talk sense into them, and they finally reconciled. Her family is irritating though, extremely materialistic.

Tavia Yeung as Jackie
She delivered a really good performance here! Too bad she has so little screen time though, I would definitely enjoy seeing more of her. She cries really naturally and her expressions and everything suit her character really well.

Sui Mak Mak
Third party of Seung Jai Sum and Alfred’s relationship, she yearns for someone to love her and she sees her ideal partner in Alfred. However, she realizes her mistake and lied about getting married in the hopes that Jai Sum would reconcile with Alfred.

Yoyo Mung as Sui Mak Mak
She was pretty good in here, as she made me dislike her character a lot.

Tong Chi Foon
Chi Foon is the son of Sai Kai. Initially he sides with his mum, but later on he disapproves of her doings. He comes back with a girlfriend towards the end of the series.

Chris Lai as Chi Foon
I thought he was okay as this character. Initially I hated him when he lied about what Dai Kai said at her deathbed. However, later I realized that he did it out of love for his mother, and hence I became more neutral towards him. I preferred him in "Green Grass Of Home" though, I thought his character was nicer there and that he had more screen time.

Tong Yun Yun
Youngest daughter of Ha Yu’s four children. Yun Yun is good friends with Mak Mak and Jai Sum. She has very little screen time, which I thought was a pity as her character was pretty adorable. She looks good too, I must say.

Fala Chen as Yun Yun
I thought she was good. It was a pity she had so little screen time though. I must say that her acting is good for a newcomer – at least she cries better than (cough) Kate.

Chemistry:
Bosco and Tavia
They look really compatible, and I was looking forward to them ever since "Dicey Business". They had very little screen time however, which is a real pity. I thought it was nice that they had a daughter towards the end, a very nice ending.

Linda and Raymond
They look compatible as well, way better than Yoyo-Raymond/ Linda-Moses, but they quarrel just way too much throughout the whole series. Initially I was a big fan of this pairing, but later on their quarrelling just got on my nerves and I wanted Linda to go with Moses instead. However I thought it was very touching that even at his last breath, Raymond wanted to help Linda win her court case.

Linda and Moses
Despite the age gap, I thought they were pretty funny too, especially the first part where Moses was trying to convince Linda that she could take her time to return him the money. I loved the way Moses would help her unconditionally all the time. As you can see, I’m a big fan of Moses’ character and hence I was glad that Linda managed to get over Raymond and chose Moses in the end.

Yoyo and Raymond
I think they don’t look compatible at all, full stop. I didn’t like the way Yoyo snatched her supposedly best friend’s boyfriend and how Ray cheated on Linda. However, towards the end both characters redeem themselves.

Plus Points
1. Great cast and performance.
2. Great storyline.
3. Nice subtheme.
4. Able to sway your emotions. (I do not know if that is a good thing or not)
5. New pairing - Raymond and Linda. Nice pairing if not for the fact that they are always quarreling.

Minus Points
1. So many deaths!
2. Yoyo Mung's character. I somehow just didn't like her spoiling Raymond and Linda's relationship.
3. Raymond and Linda always quarreling.
4. So many villains/baddies.
5. Ending was not satisfying enough.

Overall
What else can I say? Great plot, great cast, great performance, great chemistry! The many twists in this series are unexpected.

However I thought the ending spoilt the whole series a little – why didn’t Linda’s brother and Tavia’s family get punished? Why didn’t Louis Yuen get punished as well?

There are a lot of hate factors in this series, as well as love factors.

Conclusion
Highly recommended, only for those with no heart problem/high blood pressure. This series can sway your emotions really well, so emotional people can prepare their boxes of tissues. Even I, who have never cried over a show/movie before, cried for this series when Lee Si Kei died.

Fans of BoTa would be advised to rush to rental shops now. Raymond fans would also want to consider this series. Those who don’t like Linda may want to give this series a try, maybe you’d like her after this!


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