Secret of the Heart


Reviewed by: Karfai

January 28, 2008

Rating: three

Cast:
Gallen Lo as Vincent
Sunny Chan as Ka Hung
Nick Cheung as Kevin
Felix Wong as Michael/ Xu Sheng
Ada Choi as Diana
Amy Kwok as Ka Ming
Kathy Chow as Ka Wei
Jessica Hester Hsuan as Kelly
Chun Pui
Shuet Lei
Wu Fong

Length: 62 episodes (31 tapes)

Setting:
Hong Kong and some scenes in Toronto like any typical TVB grand production (like "Cold Heart Warm Blood", "Greed of Man", etc), this 60 plus episodes blockbuster includes multi-characters, several love triangles, a gripping story line, plus love-hate relationships, jealousy, betrayal, and kinship thrown in.

Summary:
There are 6 main characters in the story-namely Vincent (Gallen Lo), Michael (Felix Wong), Kevin (Nick Cheung), Ka-Hung (Sunny Chan), Diana (Ada Choi) and Ka-Meng (Amy Kwok).

The story basically tells of how two brothers, of the same mother but different fathers, grew up in different environments and have different characters. Things change drastically when they realized their real identity after one incident. Kevin Kam (Nick Cheung) grew up in a rich and comfortable environment with his airline tycoon father (Paul Chun), who actually fathered Ka Hung (Sunny Chan) after raping a friend's wife 20 years ago. Therefore, Ka Hung is actually the real son of Paul but have been living with his mother and half-siblings unknowingly. On the other hand, the friend's real son, Kevin, ended up living with Paul. The two half brothers grew up with totally different personalities because of the differences in environment and lifestyle. Kevin is confident and competent; Ka Hung is kind-hearted, trustworthy but at times he has low self-esteem and acts like a wimp (personal opinion).

Ka Hung becomes friends with Vincent, a hardcore but kindhearted gambler; who later become Ka Ming's boyfriend. Ka Ming's boss, Michael has also courted her. Michael and Paul are brothers. A love triangle will soon develop between the three leading characters, Ka Ming, Vincent and Michael. A TVB blockbuster would never end with just one simple love triangle and thus we have Kathy Chow coming into the picture. She is also Ka Ming's younger sister, Ka Wei. Ka Wei soon finds herself romantically involved with Michael too. It was later revealed that the person Michael really loves is Ka Ming, not her sister. However, when she gets pregnant and carries his child, he becomes torn apart between the two sisters because he can not deny his responsibilities, as father of her child.

At the same time, the half brothers also find themselves falling for the same girl, Diana, who is a materialistic flight stewardess. Diana, of course, went for the richer and more confident, Kevin. They later break up after Kevin undergo a drastic personality change after finding out Paul is not really his real father. Following, Ka Hung and Diana each have a new partner but as fate (or the scriptwriter) would have it, their respective partners died and a spark starts to develop between them. Ka Hung, at this point of time, for some unknown reasons suddenly wanted to have Diana back. Initially, she was reluctant but eventually returns to him, only to spy on him for evidence to save Ka Kung.

My views:
The plot, as some viewers may realize, is slightly similar to ATV's production of "The Flaming Brothers", which also tells of two brothers--except Michael Tao and Patrick Tam are born from both parents. The younger of the two brothers lived in Mainland China and the older lives in Hong Kong. They both grew up in two different environments and eventually became enemies. "The Flaming Brothers" is actually a more compact and exciting version than "Secret of the Heart" because certain parts of this show was really boring and the sixty-two episodes was really a bit too long for the series. But, of course, TVB always gets capable actors which more than makes up for the lengthy, slow-paced story. Gallen Lo never fails to impress, with his excellent acting and his portrayal of a hardcore yet kind and sensitive at heart gambler was quite appealing. The concern that he showed to his dying girlfriend, Apple won the heart of Ka Ming and many viewers as well. Gallen even won "The Best Actor Award" from TVB that year.

The other casts were equally good too. Felix's role as a macho, hot-tempered tycoon suited him well, except his hair seemed a bit long for his age, especially when they were gelled up in some scenes. The female cast, which includes Ada Choi, Amy Kwok, Kathy Chow and Jessica Hester Hsuan, were mostly playing supporting roles in this show yet they performed adequately.

One special mention of Nick Cheung: "Secret of the Heart" was the show that propelled Nick's acting career to a greater height and it was not difficult to see why he impressed so many people with this role. His role as the rich man's son turned puppet was an excellent display of his acting skills.


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