Fate of the Last Empire


Reviewed by: sukting

October 08, 2008

Rating: two

Foreword
This is Siu Bing’s first evil role – is she successful? This is also Bo Sang’s second drama after ‘Swordsman Loi Bo Yee’ on fengshui and first time he works with Chung Ling before ‘To love with love’. TVB wanted to promote him after Ekin and Chun Kit – does he do well?

Story/Introduction on characters

1. Lien Po San – Lo Lok Lum
The Qing dynasty is going downhill. He is an official who has the responsibility to find out how fengshui is going to make the Qing empire continue its glory. He admires Chong’s talents and lets him come into the palace. Po San finds a good burial spot that can help the Qing dynasty. But soon, he realizes that Chong’s talent is beyond him. Thus he makes use of Sien Fung’s affections for Far Gik to stir up a love war between the two. Thus Chong is expelled to the dangerous wilderness.

2. Ho Chong – Ho Po Sang
He works in the temple as a fortune teller. He deciphers the messages on the fortune sticks for the illiterate. But this man doesn’t know much about fengshui. Angry that Far Gik sees through his ploy, he spars with her. He is gifted in this area and both turn out to be at par with his good foresight. Both begin to like each other after this. He doesn’t realize that his talent poses a threat to Po San.

After he is chased out of the palace, he finds the best burial spot by chance. So he finds his way back into the palace again. So he is all out to challenge with Po San openly again. After his win, he discovers that he has made a fatal mistake to help Chi Hei. He not only costs his friends’ lives but also causes the whole country to be in turmoil. He resigns in anguish to escape from worries.

3. Old Lam – Wong San
He is Chong’s partner in deceiving the old folks of their money by telling them their ‘ill fortunes’ to earn more money by warding off the ‘evil forces’.

4. Lien Far Gik – Chan Chung Ling
She is Po San’s only daughter who inherits his talent in fortune telling. She sees through Chong’s tactics to deceive the poor and exposes him. Both become rivals and keep setting up fengshui traps to defeat each other. During the power struggle between Chi Hei and the officials, Po San loses his life. She can’t forgive Chogn and jumps off the cliff during his funeral. She doesn’t die but becomes a nun. When she meets Chong again on the street, both have nothing to say to each other.

5. Chi Hei/Lan Yee – Leung Siu Bing
She is Concubine Lan but she is neglected by the Sien Fung because he is very wary of her background. Seeing how she suffers, Chong assists her to change her fate. With his help, she removes her enemies and gets Sien Fung’s favour to become Chi Hei. She betrays and kills everyone who has helped her to consolidate her position. She only lets Chong go as he is the only one to be useful to her.

6. Hong Jing – Wong Shu Kei
He is Chong’s friend who aims to overthrow the Qing empire. He has total trust in Chi Hei to get his chance. Too bad he believes the wrong person.

7. Emperor Sien Fung – Wong Wai Leung
As sickly as he may seem, he can never curb his lust for women. That unwittingly causes his downfall. First, he tries to break up Chong and Far Gik as he likes Far Gik. Despite of his officials’ disapproval, he can’t let go of Chi Hei to let her into the palace.

8. Chi On – Tam Pui San
She is Sien Fung’s first wife as the empress but she is very simple-minded. Although she has more authority, she listens to whatever Chi Hei tells her to carry out the orders.

9, Chu Oi Lin – Ho Yuen Ying
She is also Chong’s friend and has been in love with him for a long time. He doesn’t reciprocate her love so she turns to Jing. Both become comrades to want to overthrow the Qing empire. She has been kind to Chi Hei but Chi Hei kills her and Jing because she betrays them.

10. Concubine Chan – Kwok Siu Wan
She is also an unlucky sacrifice to be harmed by Chi Hei as she doesn’t like her.

Interesting facts

Bo Sang was very interested in fengshui after shooting two dramas. He felt that he wasn’t cut out for acting. No one expected him to go into monkhood in real life later. Chung Ling was also influenced by the drama to read books on it too.

Siu Bing was too nervous acting in this drama. She suffered from stomach cramps when being Chi Hei to lower her voice and used her diaphragm. Her highest record was 50 n.g.s a day for the court scenes. She felt bad making the veteran actors kneeling to her for so many times!

Website : http://hk.cnmdb.com/photogallery/list48093_1

Song
The sub theme songs ‘ Affinity’ and ‘Eagerness’ are from Chung Ling. Quite well sung.

Conclusion

It is as boring as Miu Kiu Wai’s ‘Fortune Teller 2’. Chong is too lucky to find the right burial spot that Bo San looks for years. Bo Sang doesn’t carry well as the lead with his raw acting. Chung Ling is still the long suffering maiden – she should switch roles with Siu Bing as she has a tall build. The only person who stands out is Siu Bing. She demonstrates marvellous acting abilities in playing this vicious role.

TVB’s weakest component is shooting Qing dramas. This drama proves it again with the bad arrangement of events in here. The competition between Po San and Chong isn't thrilling at all. Please go for ATV's ‘The young dowager’ instead as it is a better production.

Sukting’s ratings :

On acting : *** (Scale of 5)

On story : ** (Scale of 5)

On song : *** (Scale of 5)



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