A Fistful of Stances


Reviewed by: sukting

September 24, 2013

Rating: two

Foreword
Au-Yeung Wai-Lan is reunited with her long-lost son Ku Yue Cheung after years of agonizing separation. Yue-Cheung is shocked that his father is murdered long ago by Wing Tak. Pinning all the family hope on Yue-Cheung, he learns a special set of kung fu skills and register for the Seven States Martial Arts Championship Tournament. Yue-Cheung's rival in the final is his arch enemy, Man-kwan. Can he win the contest?

Story/Introduction on characters
1.Chung King-fai as Au-Yeung Biu
He is Wai-lan's father who owns the martial arts school but is killed by Wing-Tak.

2. Yeow Ying Ying as Hau Ho-fa
She is Wai-lan's stepmother and is also Biu's 2nd wife. She looks down on Wing-Tak and is killed by Wing-Tak on the same day before Biu is killed for discovering her death. Why? She keeps dwelling on his poor roots and he can’t take it.

3. Yeung Yee as young Au-Yeung Wai-Lan
She is the mother of the five children and never stops to seek the truth behind her family’s death. Even when deeply pregnant, she doesn’t give up. In the end, she risks her life to give birth to the twins by refusing anaesthetic in order to ensure that they are born.
She puts up a wonderful performance as the ill-fated woman. Nearly losing her life once, she doesn’t want to risk her life again even though she needs an appendix operation. Her children have to persuade her to go through it as they do not want to lose her.

4. Yuen Qiu as middle-aged Au-Yeung Wai-Lan
Wai-lan marries her senior and has thought that she will have a happy family after having 3 songs. She suffers lots of hardship to bring up her children and is now the owner of a martial arts training school. She protects her children fiercely from harm and doesn’t want them to get into trouble. She tells them not to be busy bodies but Yue Chang keeps getting into fights. She also puts up a powerful performance as the loving but strict mother.

5. Cheng Kar Wing as Ku Kin-shing
He is Wai-Lan's husband who is killed by Wing-Tak, This is witnessed by Biu's apprentice, Pai Jeung. The truth is later uncovered. Not much exposure on this character so it is hard to tell but he looks the same as how he acts in Yip Mun, the drama version.

6. Cheng Kar Wing as Ku Yue Cheung
He is the eldest long lost son and first child of Wai-lan. He looks exactly like his father. He is kidnapped when young and loses his memory due to high fever. Before identity is Law Siu Dong when he is adopted by Kiu. He is very filial to his foster mother and refuses to believe the truth even though the family photo is shown to tear it.
He is very strong but his will is weak. He gets into many conflicts with Yue-tong when he tries to persuade him to learn martial arts. He then wins the martial arts contest. He loses himself after his win but luckily his family helps him to be humble again.
There is a love triangle between him with Ngan-Ming and Bing-Bing. He chooses Ngan-Ming in the end after knowing that Bing-Bing is a flirt. Nothing much is developed from this impulsive and goody roles.

7. Ma Kok Ming as Ku Yue-tong
He is Wai Lan's second child who has asthma since 19 years old even though he learns martial arts. Hehas a sharp tongue but he is very kind. He looks after his young siblings well, taking over the role as the eldest child. He is the champion for Kwang Chau but has no hope to be the seven states champion due to his illness. Tsz-ching tries to nurse him back to health and he is grateful to him. However, the family feud is very deep and takes time to settle the dispute. Not much breakthrough as we have seen him in similar roles before.

8. Wong Ka-Lok as Ku Yue-yan
He is Wai Lan's third child who is quite weak in studies. There is a love triangle between his younger brother, Yue-leung, him and Tsz-Yau. He can’t bear to tell Yue-leung that Tsz-Yau likes him and this hurts him.

9. Yeung See Kei as Ku Man-kuen
She is Wai Lan's materialistic fourth child. She is the elder twin sister of Yue-leung. Unlike her siblings, she works in a store and thus dons western dressing, hoping to marry a rich man. She is also Ho-yin's ex-girlfriend. Seeing that her family gets poor, she even thinks of forsaking her family to join Tak. Luckily, her conscience pricks her to make her know her mistake.

10. Lam Chi Sin as Ku Yue-leung
He is Wai Lan's fifth child and is the twin younger brother of Man-kuen. He is often involved in gangs. He is bitter when Tsz-Yau doesn’t like him but later forgives them.

11. Tong See Wing as Ying Ngan-Ming
She is Wai Lan's adopted child after being abandoned by her parents. She is Yue-tong’s capable helper and helps Yue-cheung to get along with his family. Man-kuen keeps reminding her she is adopted out of jealousy. She likes Yue-Cheung but is raped by Chung. Her family tries to seek justice for her. She is quite convincing as the sweet and quiet woman – different from the wilful roles in the past.

12 Lee Shing-Cheung as Au-Yeung Cheung
He is Wai-Lan's good-for-nothing brother who comes back because of money . Thus, he is very scared when his nephews get into trouble so he will run out of money.

13. Chiang Chi Kwong as Leung Cham
He is the master/Mentor of Yue-Cheung and is also Fong Fong's husband. He is a righteous man but dies of a heart attack.

14. Tong Ying Ying as Chow Fong-fong
She is Bing-bing's older sister who often comes up with evil ideas. She becomes better when Cham dies.

15. Wu Ding Yan as Chow Bing-bing
She loves Ku Yue-cheung in the past and is Hung's ex-wife. She is more evil than her elder sister to keep her past from Yue-cheung and exposes Ngan-Ming’s past of being raped so that she can’t be the poster lady. She is very narrow-minded and keeps toying with Yue-cheung’s feelings. I pity this actress – why is she always getting bitchy roles?

16. Lam Kar Wah as Wing Tak
He is the existing director of a pharmaceutical company and a bitter old foe of the Kus He kills three people in cold blood and never regrets his actions. After the Seven States Martial Arts Championship Tournament tournament, Yue-Cheung and his family finds evidence to prove to everyone that Tak is guilty. Tak begins to use cruel ways again to save himself. When they come in vain, he kills himself before the execution.

17. Hui Ying Hong as Cheung Sheung-chu
She is Tak's wife who shoots Kin-shing and injure him. If not, Tak will not get a chance to kill him. She becomes mad when she stays in the hospital.

18. Li See Wan as Wing Tsz-ching
She is a doctor and is Tak's first child. She is kind and cares for her patients. Yue-tong and Wai-lan are also her patients and she tries hard to make them accept western medicine to cure them.

19. Heung Zou as Wing Man-kwan
He is Tak's second child and only son who sells harmful pills. He hates Yue-tong for exposing him and only repents when he becomes paralysed due to his overdose of poisonous pills in order to win the contest. He is sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.

20. Chiang Kar Mun as Wing Tsz-yau
She is Tak's third child. Tak jumps when she becomes Yue Yan's girlfriend.

21. Wu Nok Yin as Ho Ho-yin
He is Man-kuen's ex-boyfriend. He parts with her due to money disputes.

21. Li Tin Cheung as Tam Chung
He is Man Kwan's mentor and is the rapist of Ngan-Ming. Ku family hates him and doesn’t let him off. I pity this actor too – he can play good roles well – why are his chances limited?

22. Ma Hoi Lun as Chan Kiu
She abducts Yue-cheung and also attempts to abduct Yue-tong. She saves Yue-cheung from being hit by a car and her left hand loses its use. Yue-cheung works hard to bring her to Kwong Chau to seek treatment. Dying of an illness, she repents and allows Yue-cheung to return to his family.

23. Li Lai Lai as Aunt 12
She helps Sheung-chu frame Chung so that Tak will be let off the hook.

24. Bak Piew as Commissioner Yau
He is considered the ruler of Kwong Chau. At first, he is in cahoots with Tak but later falls out with him. He is also part of the team to come up with the poisonous drugs. He is finally removed of his duty and has to amputate his left leg as he suffers from diabetics.

25. Doi Yiu Ming as Pai Cheung
He is a former policeman and is Biu’s disciple. He has gone with Kin-shing to test Tak but is injured by Sheung-chu’s gun shot. He is about to report to the police when he discovers Commissioner Yau with Tak. Thus, he stays in Macau. He tells the Ku family about it and Tak frames his son for stealing gold. He finally testifies against Tak in the end.

Interesting facts - Awards nominations from Wikipedia - TVB Anniversary Awards (2010)
Nominated: Best Drama
Nominated: Best Actor (Cheng Kar Wing)
Nominated: Best Actress (Tong See Wing)
Nominated: Best Supporting Actor (Lam Kar Wah ) Top 5
Nominated: Best Supporting Actress (Hui Ying Hung) Top 5
Nominated: Best Supporting Actress (Li See Wan)
Nominated: My Favourite Male Character (Ma Kok Ming) Top 5
Nominated: Most Improved Actor (Lam Chi Sin)
Nominated: Most Improved Actress (Li See Wan)
Won: Most Improved Actress (Tong See Wing)
Viewership was from 28 to 43 points.
It was one of 2009TVB anniversary dramas.

Most favourite character
Wai-lan, she is very self-sacrificing. She risks her life to let the twins come to the world and is strong-willed to make sure that justice is done.

Most hated character
He is a ruthless hypocrite and keeps boasting of his past of how many awards he wins.

Song
It is ‘Thinking Under the Snow" (雪下思) by Cheng Kar Wing. Passable although not fantastic.

Conclusion
I don’t really like watching dramas of this setting. Moreover, the long cast with confusing relationships blurs the focus on revenge. This drama is more like a soap opera full of crying and long-winded dialogues to run in the same pattern of ‘Moonlight Resonance’. The last part of Ngan-Ming’s disappearance is a repeat of ‘Cold Blood Warm Heart’ of Fong Hau Yung’s kidnap.
The cast chosen are not pugilist experts (except Yuen Qiu and Zou but their fighting scenes are minimal!) to make the fighting scenes quite unrealistic. It is refreshing for Kar Wing and See Wing as a pair but boring to see Kok Ming and See Wan as a couple again. Hopefully, TVB can come up with better dramas next time.

Sukting’s ratings :
On acting : *** (Scale of 5)
On story : **1/2 (Scale of 5)
On song : *** (Scale of 5)


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