Do you wish to see how Lo Kar Leung acts with Golden Horse winner, Lee Lai Chan in this drama? This is her first attempt to act in a period drama.
Story/Introduction on characters
1. Emperor Ching Tuck – Lo Kar Leung
He leaves the palace to Kong Nam because he is forced by his mother to marry Mun Chu. He befriends Fung when he stays at the Long Fung inn. He worships a masked heroine and finds that Fung resembles her. Although he has no proof that she is the one, both have good impression of each other. Love blossoms between them but things don’t work out well.
He is arranged to marry Mun Chu and is moody as the wedding plans go on. Fung comes into the palace to get the manual but gets caught. The empress dowager then arranges Fung to be Ching Tuck’s concubine to force her to stay in the palace. But their love is short-lived when she dies.
2. Pak Muk Yee – Chung Suk Wai
The sects crowd at Long Fung inn to discuss on how to get the secret manual that is hidden in the palace. The Western Ming sect is also included and wants to overthrow the Ming dynasty. They send the sect master’s daughter, Muk Yee to steal it. During the process, she falls for Ching Tuck. But Ching Tuck finds her too despicable to deceive him and he doesn’t reciprocate her love.
3. Emperor Hau Chung – Lau Kong
His father, Chu Mun Cheung kills all his friends after being the emperor. Those people include the Ming sect members. He also keeps all secret martial arts manuals to combine into one. He also hides a pair of dragon and phoenix swords to hide them in the palace. From then on, all pugilistic sects are so badly hit that they can’t combine forces to go against the court. Hau Chung loves a woman. His messengers seize her into the palace so she is made the empress.
Before he dies of an illness, he discovers his empress’s evil plot and she is looking for the secret manual. He buries the secret manual so that she will not endanger his empire.
4. The empress dowager – Hon Mah Lee
She is separated from her lover and learns that he is killed. Although she attains the upper status, she only hates Emperor Hau Chung and vows to overthrow him. She practices the white claw skill (excuse me – how can they borrow this skill title from ‘Legend of the condor heroes’?!) secretly. But when her plot is uncovered, she forces Ching Tuck to make a decision.
5. Mrs Lee – Ng Mei Yee
She is Fung’s foster mother who brings up the siblings. Ching Tuck and Fung are progressing well but she stops them from being together. The empress dowager murders their whole family. Fung is forced to give Ching Tuck up and he returns to the palace unhappily.
6. Lee Fung – Lee Lai Chan
She is highly skilled but pretends not to know martial arts. She disguises herself as a heroine at night to rob the rich and help the poor. She is later trapped in the palace but genuinely enjoys her happiness with Ching Tuck. She discovers the empress’s dowager’s evil plan and tells Ching Tuck. But both are no match for her and she gets caught. Ching Tuck is forced to choose between her and the country. When he hesitates, she draws her neck to the sword that the empress dowager points at her. She dies in his arms.
7. Cheung Kei – Lai Yiu Cheung
He is Ching Tuck’s loyal subject who goes with him everywhere.
8. Cho Mun Chu – Ng Wing Hung
Her father is the eunuch but he enters the palace after she is born. The empress arranges her to marry Ching Tuck. Unlike her evil father, she is kind-hearted and is upset when he leaves the palace to avoid her. She is still warm to him when he returns. That makes him remorseful and has to accede to the marriage request. She is also open to accept Fung as she knows that Ching Tuck only respects her but loves Fung.
It is ‘Should Not Think of You’ by Lee Lai Chan. Very bland singing although passable. Sigh – I still don’t understand why so many actresses insist to cut albums although they know that they don’t sing well.
I am very sorry for this extremely short review. This is also a tall story by TVB. My patience is completely worn off after watching a few episodes. It is totally nonsensical. The young leads look so ill at ease in their period costume because they are simply not used to it. That in turn affects their acting. Lee Chan looks like a maid instead of a concubine because of her pixie face and build. Wing Hung is successful in comparison.
I only watch the last few episodes later. I can’t accept the arrangement that Fung becomes a swordswoman – just like how Zhuge Liang knows martial arts in the ATV version.
If you wish to go for a more faithful and serious drama, please watch Cheng Siu Chau and Lee See Kei’s 1977 ‘The Kingdom and the beauty’ instead. This drama is more truthful to the history with the fabulous theme song sung by Cheng himself.
Sukting’s ratings :
On acting : **1/2 (Scale of 5)
On story : ** (Scale of 5)
On song : **1/2 (Scale of 5)
Bu Bu Jing Xinstarring Cecilia Liu Shi Shi, Kevin Cheng, Nicky Wu, Yuan Hong
The New Adventure Of Chor Lau Heung (DVD, English subs)starring Miu Kiu Wai, Barbara Yung