Love Story: Sunflower

Reviewed by: sukting

July 18, 2005

Rating: three

How long
2 hours - a telemovie by SBS

This is a love story on between a car park ticket attendant and a chef. But a major obstacle comes between them and they can't be together. What can it be?


Yin Zhu senses someone walking behind her but can't find the person. She works as a car park ticket attendant. Mr Dark has observed her for a long time, waiting for her eagerly as his target. Suddenly she screams after opening the door...

Cheng Xi stops writing - she is an online writer who uses the penname 'Lura' in writing thrillers. She is working as a car park attendant in 63 Building. Her friend, Yong En meets a tough cookie who can't present his ticket to go out of the exit. Cheng Xi takes out the chewing gum from her mouth and sticks it to the man's car. Both observe the scenery during lunch time.

Yong En wonders why Cheng Xi is not thrilled to write love stories although there will be people reading her story every day to make her the second most popular online author. She sighs as she can't seem to continue her story lately. When she turns to her attention on her computer, she is shocked to see a new line 'she screams because she finds a big flower basket in the living room'. Her another colleague, Ming Shun denies doing it. Who does it then?

Cheng Xi stays alone and is on the way home. Suddenly she senses someone following her. She turns around and sees no one. She stands near the street light and smells candles burning. She is shocked when opening her door - the smell stays there and there is a flower basket in the living room too. Cheng Xi changes the door lock and Ming Shun informs her that the company's surveillance camera is broken. Does it have any link to her computer and the incident at home?

She suddenly smells the candle burning scent in the car park lot. She wants to get her companions but she is
stopped by a man - he is Tai Cheng. He introduces himself as working in the same building. He has the concession ticket for the month and is concerned that she looks pale. Tai Cheng works in a Japanese restaurant as a master chef. This place is famous for its famous but delicious food.

Although he has the concession ticket, he likes to stop his car aside to look at Cheng Xi. She is surprised that he knows that the device is out of order. Cheng Xi and Yong En see Tai Cheng at the corner. He is drinking fluid from his thermo flask and has a sunshine smile on his face. He happens to see that Cheng Xi still has the burger wrapper in her hand. Yong En learns that Tai Cheng brews his own plum tea at home because he dislikes coffee. He will treat them to it next time.

It is unhealthy to have burgers daily but Yong En protests that it is fast and cheap to consume. She asks if his wife makes it for him but he cites that he is single. Tai Cheng is back at work and is particular about cleanliness. He also has high demands on his subordinates. When the waitress carries the dish with her hands, she suddenly hears a cold voice asking her to return.

She freezes and returns to him, feeling scared. He is very strict and just the voice alone can kill anyone. He wants her to remove her hand so that he can remove her fingerprints with a towel. A chef suddenly passes a Japanese set lunch set to Cheng Xi when she is working and runs away. She comes to the restaurant to return it to Tai Cheng - untouched. He wonders if she dislikes it. He wants her to try it because he makes it specially for her to give her a more healthy meal. She refuses as she has no reason to accept it and runs away. Upon thinking how stubborn she is, he smiles.

Mr Dark uses his surveillance camera to observe all Cheng Xi's actions. He knows her well - accompanying her to undress and sleep together… is time to let her know about his existence. He wants to talk to her. So he goes online to ask her questions - why doesn't she include the line on the flower basket? Cheng Xi is shocked and asks who he is. He asks if he should give her sunflowers upon seeing her sunflower painting on the wall behind her.

She is taken aback when he mentions it is wise of her to return the food to Tai Cheng. He tells her why he likes her - all others are prostitutes and only know hoe to package themselves to please men. Cheng Xi is shocked that he can see her and she is being watched. Tai Cheng is wrong to treat her as a cheap woman. She nearly goes bad to remove the plug and looking around. Mr Dark enjoys it and smokes - it is useless of her to close the windows and doors. She is so stupid to think that she is safe now.

Yong En suspects the man to be a a lunatic and advises Cheng Xi to inform the police. What can she tell her - about putting a flower basket in the living room? Tai Cheng is preparing food in the kitchen. His assistant, Chang Zhi puts the fish on the dish. Tai Cheng smells it and frowns - there is a cigarette smell and he stares at Chang Zhi. He pulls him into the locker room and beats him up. He has warned him not to smoke and he hasn't listened to him. How can he make sushi with the fish then?

Chang Zhi is very frightened and begs for mercy. Tai Cheng doesn't wish to be reminded by the fellow who smokes. He washes his hands before slicing the fish but he accidentally cuts his hand. Yong En and Cheng Xi notice that he is hurt and is relieved that he is hurt by his own kitchen knife. But has someone meddle with it to injure him? Cheng Xi drives him to hospital and tells him about it. She warns him to be careful and he smiles - the person likes her although the method is inappropriate.

Too many people walk in and out of the kitchen and he will not know how it will happen. But he will not discard it because he uses it right after he becomes a chef. He doesn't mind the danger and wishes someone to be jealous of it. She pretends not to hear it. He is puzzled - why doesn't she look into the men's eyes? She rushes to work before leaving him. Men only sweet talk and soon, they reveal their true colours. Tai Cheng is surprised - has she fallen out of love before?

Cheng Xi is on night shift and is relieved when she sees a policeman. Yong En doesn't understand Cheng Xi for not moving to her place despite what has happened. She refuses to give in since she has changed the door lock. Tai Cheng sends her home and gives her food again. He throws away the food she returns the last time since she doesn't eat it. His heart aches because he spends a lot of effort making it. There are many lighted candles on the floor and Mr Dark's face changes upon seeing her with the food.

Cheng Xi still accepts the present. Cheng Xi eats the food and Mr Dark sweeps all the things off his table. So she is still a cheap woman after all. Tai Cheng meets Cheng Xi at the car park and she returns the thermos flask to him in a paper bag. He is disappointed - has she missed the food again? Upon reaching his workplace, he smacks the bag on the ground. Upon hearing the noise, Chang Zhi is terrified and walks out quickly from mhis cubicle. Chang Zhi picks up the flask - the inner portion is broken.

Tai Cheng commands him to throw it away. Chang Zhi finds an envelope with some money and a note. Tai Cheng snatches them - she accepts the food but insists of paying him? He looks at the 2 notes. During lunch time, he invites Yong En to a sundae. Tai Cheng wants to know more about Cheng Xi from her. She tells him that Cheng Xi has no past relationships. Cheng Xi's father is a violent man so she has a hard time. Although Yong En tells her that not all men are like that, she doesn't believe her.

She believes that men change right after marriage. Now Cheng Xi understands her and Yong En wants him to change her. Tai Cheng gives Cheng Xi another lift and she looks at his car rear. He teases her - does she wants another lunch set? She keeps mum and he brings her to the fish market. He gets her to pay for a fish and teaches her to cook at home. She tells him not to waste time on her because she will not love him. Tai Cheng knows that she starts to like him because he cares for her. If not, she will not wait for him.
'Yin Zhu can't sense the stalker's movement? What is his reason? Is this only her imagination? 'Cheng Xi saves her file and is prepared to cook. Later, she smells candles burning and is terrified. She gets a call from a man - she is waiting for his call and why is she the same as other women? Cheng Xi demands to know who he is and why is he only hiding in the dark to scare her and not approach her directly? Mr Dark wants to wait for her to finish her story. How can she accept the fish from the man?

The man can see her and know what she is doing. She tries to open the door frantically but she is locked. Tai Cheng begs Mr Dark to let her off. Mr Dark still thinks of her as a whore. The candles almost stop burning. Tai Cheng wants Mr Dark to find another target and he kneels down to beg him. Mr Dar discovers that Tai Cheng betrays him and forbids him to cheat him. He is smiling to Tai Cheng wickedly from the mirror - so you can gather who Mr Dark is now.

Cheng Xi runs out of her apartment quickly and hides in a pub for the night but after cooling down, her stubborn nature returns. She insists to staying there to deal with Mr Dark. She is not going to hide from a lunatic. Cheng Xi thinks they only dare to hide in the dark but she is not the mouse to get caught by a cat. Yong En is clueless when she is so obstinate - why not let others to be the mouse? Cheng Xi stares at Yong En - what happens if Yong En is the mouse? Can she feel relieved? Cheng Xi still writes the story and she still buys the same food from the supermarket at night.

'Yin Zhu is still upset but she is like the sunflower to wish for sunlight. So she isn't surprised to find a pot of sunflower in her room because the stalker knows what she likes. Yin Zhu wants to see the man. 'Cheng Xi knows that she is watched but she still insists of doing the same tasks. Cheng Xi buys a gas gun to protect herself and asks Tai Cheng out for the night. He is overjoyed when facing her but when she turns her head, he is cold again.

Chang Zhi can't resist the temptation to smoke and smokes in the toilet. He suddenly hears a loud bang. It sounds like a man struggling to say no. Chang Zhi shivers upon knowing what he is doing now. Has he been discovered again? Suddenly, it is Tai Cheng's cold voice again, claiming to be the one who lures the woman. Chang Zhi feels cold sweat running down his head. When he finds Tai Cheng talking to himself, he nearly collapses. Tai Cheng only opens the door when no one is around. When he washes his face under the tap and looks up, he shivers. The mirror has one more person - Mr Dark is looking at him.

Yong En is puzzled why Cheng Xi doesn't make herself attractive on her first date. Yong En advises her to accept Tai Cheng - the master chef earns more than a normal head of department. She is shocked to know that she is still returning home. Cheng Xi keeps looking at the back when she is with Tai Cheng. He notices that and tells him the truth. Tai Cheng deduces that the person has split personality or is a psychopath.

So she has wanted Mr Dark to see them together deliberately. She is apologetic as Mr Dark seems to be upright about him. He asks her about her next move. She wants him to appear and makes him reveal his true self. He wants her to hide instead of using the gas gun. She refuses. Tai Cheng knows very well that she is no match for Mr Dark. She should move house and look for another job. Although this will upset him and might not see her forever, this is the only way. As expected, the stubborn woman doesn't listen to him.

Tai Cheng goes to Mr Dark's place. He stares at Cheng Xi on the screen. She has just taken her bath and covers herself with a towel. She puts the gun near her pillow and falls asleep. The bed sheet covers hide her body but not her figure. Mr Dark touches her on the screen and he is thrilled to see her. Cheng Xi switches off the light and the device is no longer useful. Suddenly the screen shows Tai Cheng's face. He looks at her face and wants to protect the woman he loves.

Cheng Xi walks out of her apartment to find Tai Cheng's car. He is protecting her for the night? Both go to work and Yong En jokes that she can give him to her if she doesn't want him. Cheng Xi shouts upon opening her locker - there are many sunflowers in it. The kitchen is in a mess because the wine that their customer has ordered is missing. The manager checks the workers' hostel and finds many wine bottles in Chang Zhi's bag. Chang Zhi can't explain his innocence and is fired.

Chang Zhi is terrified - upon seeing Tai Cheng's fire eyes, he knows that he shouldn't have discovered his secret. He is lucky to be alive. He leaves with his luggage and is about to tell Yong En about the frightening Tai Cheng when Taci Cheng arrives. He only manages to tell her to inform Cheng Xi to be wary for him before leaving. He doesn't even wait for the lift and runs down the stairs upon hearing footsteps. She is puzzled as it is only the waitress and not Tai Cheng as he thinks to be.

Yong En is worried about Cheng Xi and tells him about the incident. How can he put flowers in it? Mr Dark is expressionless to her speech - why does she tell him that? Yong En doesn't understand - isn't he treating her as his woman? Mr Dark relates that they should catch the culprit. The time to place the flowers is between 10 pm to 8am. So the person holding the sunflowers should gain a lot of attention.

The police guard tells Yong En that he finds nothing. Maybe hiding from him is easy. Yong En suddenly stops and her expression is hard. How does he know - she only mentions that there is a bouquet of flowers and hasn't said that they are sunflowers. Yong En gets frightened. This Tai Cheng looks different today - his eyes looks strange and Chang Zhi wants her to be careful. She contacts Cheng Xi - is she sure that Tai Cheng is outside her apartment the whole night although he parks his car there?

He might have left to place the flowers there. Yong En climbs down the stairs to warn Cheng Xi upon seeing that the lift is slow. Mr Dark is there waiting for her. He pushes her down the stairs and throws her down the stairs. Tai Cheng later cries in the chef changing room. Yong En is seriously injured and is in a coma. She might die because Mr Dark causes her bones to turn to pieces. What can he do?

Cheng Xi informs Yong En's family and accompanies her throughout the night. Cheng Xi is furious - she must wake up to tell her who harms her. She tells the police about that and he only tells her that she looks for him. Tai Cheng wants her to give her her house keys to stop Mr Dark from watching her. Cheng Xi finally knows that her place is unsafe and the lunatic is dangerous.

Tai Cheng asks her where she stays and goes in. Cheng Xi smells the candles again and gets her gun ready. Tai Cheng finds the surveillance device. Mr Dark is angry with him for betraying him. He smashes the sunflower drawing and her home is in a mess. She is puzzled to see him sweating but glad to find him. He lies that he has used her bathroom. He tells her to use the gun only when needed.

Cheng Xi suddenly feels tired. He forces her to pack and leave without telling anyone. If the man appears before her, he will not let her off and can't communicate with her. Why is Tai Cheng so nice to her? he wants her to stay out of his life although he loves her. Cheng Xi insists of visiting Yong En. She uses the hospital's telephone line to lure the culprit. (stupid woman, stupid woman…..)

'Yin Zhu sends email to her stalker and is Mr Dark the one who sends her flowers? Is he the one to hurt her friend? If he needs her, look for her then…' Mr Dark is at the door. He has wanted to kill Yong En but her plan is ruined by the doctors and nurses. He happens to see her emailing and wants to know what she is writing. Cheng Xi closes her laptop and tells Tai Cheng that she sends messages to the culprit.

Cheng Xi asks where he stays and wants him to invite her to his home. She wants to confirm a fact. Tai Cheng refuses - doesn't she feel uneasy that he will not let go of her. She doesn't notice it. Cheng Xi is at hi home - a high class apartment but it is so clean although the setting is warm. Tai Cheng cooks for her.
She suddenly asks if he has a computer. He tries to divert her attention by talking about food.

She talks about writing thrillers and doesn't know why she smells something. In the past, her father is drunk and she will smell his belt even before he reaches home. He will beat her and her mother. Now, it is the candle smell. She suspects him because he is too nice. But he has no computer. She is now waiting for the man to take her away. Why must she do this? He is uneasy - he has told her to avoid him.

Mr Dark is coming again so Tai Cheng runs to the opposite apartment. Dr Dark is talking to him again by going into the screen. He sees Cheng Xi's message. Tai Cheng begs for mercy but Mr Dark refuses to listen. Why must he want to make the women leave him? Does he want him to die alone? Mr Dark is in tears - he is more pitiful because he has no other partner except Tai Cheng. They must not be cheated by Cheng Xi because they need each other.

Why isn't he back? She smells the candles again and walks to the opposite apartment. She runs to the lift - no wonder the fellow knows everything since he stays opposite Tai Cheng. So he is also being watched. She is on the street and suddenly worries if Tai Cheng is in danger. She sees Tai Cheng and he has the candle smell. Mr Dark's face is mixed with sweat and Tai Cheng's tears. Is she looking for him?

Cheng Xi is terrified and can't believe the truth. She runs down the stairs but sees his shadow and runs up. The footsteps are getting closer. She can't open the emergency door and is trapped. Now she is sacred with tears in her eyes (see what happens if a foolish woman tries to act like a heroine.) She gets to the top of the building and gets a pole to hide behind a wall. Mr Dark grabs it - he has wanted to see her close.

She discovers that he is not Tai Cheng. He suddenly feels painful but he holds her by the waist. He raises her above his head and isn't moved by her tears. She uses the gun and sprays into his face. She wants to escape and now she is tightly hugged. Tai Cheng regains hi senses and tells her to run quickly. Cheng Xi can't accept this fact and he gives her a kiss so she sobs.

He can taste her tears of fear and releases her to place his head on her forehead. Even though it is untrue, it doesn't matter now. She pushes him and runs away. Tai Cheng doesn't follow her and climbs over the wall. She stares at him - he gives her a last look before jumping down to his death to protect her. He gives her a last smile and doesn't regret his choice. Cheng Xi opens her eyes widely and moves to look down.

He is lying on the road and cars stop around him. She lifts her head and sad tears flow down her cheeks. He has ended his painful life to become a star. She still remembers his smile and recalls his words - why doesn't she believe? This time a person really likes her and why doesn't she try for once? If she agrees to believe, he might not turn out to be like this...


I read the novel before watching this serial so the suspense is no longer there. However, I still pin high hopes on Byung Hun's acting as Tai Cheng. Sad to say, he isn't at his peak as a psychopath. But I like the part when he is talking to himself in the mirror - it is eerie indeed and the last part where Tai Cheng kills himself to save Cheng Xi is touching. I regret to say that Shen Yan as Cheng Xi is boring - she looks stony with no feelings at all!

But in reality, should all patients do the same as Tai Cheng? What is the result of keeping his illness under wraps? He could have recovered or at least get his illness under control with medical aid.

And this Cheng Xi... I feel like bashing her. She is too stubborn and daring. After so many times of nearly getting hurt or being spied on, she is still so eager to seek the person out alone! I am baffled (definitely not impressed) by her stupidity. Who does she think she is to handle a psychopath? When he isn't out, she is there fawning over her fortune. But when he is out, she can only scream and regret why she wants to face him alone. At least this is a good lesson taught - never face a dangerous person on your own.

Sukting's ratings :

On acting : *** (Scale of 5)

On story : **1/2 (Scale of 5)

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