Hero Without Tears


Reviewed by: sukting

December 19, 2008

Rating: three

How long
5 episodes (as short as the god saber)

Foreword

It is a direct translation from Gu Long’s novel ‘The Hero Without Tears’ -英雄无泪. It talks about the rivalry between Cheung On escort agency and Lok Yeung agency. It covers the stories of a few heroes. The chilling cold sword and the water that touches it – the hero has no tears to become the blood on the sword.

Story/Introduction on characters

1. See Ma Chiu Kuan – Chan Wing Chun
He is See Ma’s adopted son who is sent away by Dai See for adoption when young. He marries Yuen Yee and both are a loving couple. He is in charge of the escort agency but is always under Dong Loi’s control. He yearns to have his freedom. He is hesitant to test Jin Fei’s skills when he challenges him. He wins Jin Fei but gets curious over the sword.

Chiu Kuan is out, wanting to spar with Mang. He learns of Mang’s good deeds on the way. He feels shameful of himself and rushes back to Cheung On upon learning that Mang is out to seek revenge. The two men iron out their differences to hold their duel at a later date.

He is upset to learn about Yuen Yee’s death and knows that Dong Loi drives her to suicide. He is more upset when getting defeated by Dong Loi. The old servant has to encourage him to be back on his feet again. Even though he knows that Yuen is still alive, he still insists of having the duel with Mang. Yuen Yee kills him with her hands. Too bad he doesn’t get to know his real parentage before his death.

Wing Chun is dressed in white and this must be his first time acting as a lead role. Unlike his talkative role as Tiet Far in ‘The new adventures of Chor Lau Heung’, he becomes an indecisive man here. He does it well and his pairing with Pan Pan is perfect too. I suddenly feel that he is also suitable to act as Luk Siu Fung with his moustache. Why doesn’t TVB consider that?

2. Chu Mang – Kwok Fung
He heads the lion clan which occupies the other side of the province from See Ma agency. Dong Loi tricks him to think that Chiu Kuan kills his men so he intends to seek revenge with him. Although boorish, he has a kind heart and is well-liked by his subordinates. Although Diet Mou goes missing, he never dreams that she will betray him.

After Diet Mou’s death, he has no wish to continue living. After learning that Jin Fei is sent by Dong Loi to kill him, he intends to kill himself but Jin Fei stops him. He wants him to concentrate on rebuilding the lion clan. He is also vocal in this role.

3. Ng Yuen Yee – Yeung Pan Pan
She is Chiu Kuan’s wife who is displeased that he is under Dong Loi’s control. Chiu Kuan has children but he is often not at home. Thus she lies that Chiu Kuan is sick so that he can have leave home to have a duel with Mang. Dong Loi gets angry with her for ruining his plans and drugs her so that she sleeps with his subordinate. Dong Loi then disgraces her in front of the others and she decides to kill herself.

She doesn’t want Chiu Kuan to get killed by Mang so she kills him with her own sword and later kills herself with it. They hug and die together in peace.

It is kind of strange to see Pan Pan as a submissive role but I really like her to pair with Wing Chun. Both show that they do not lose out to other pairs in chemistry and looks. The tragic scene of both dying is touching indeed.

4. Cheuk Dong Loi – Lau Siu Ming
He is ambitious and isn’t satisfied to be Chiu Kuan’s side fiddle. Thus he plans to kill him and take over his position. He lies to Chiu Kuan that Yuen is dead to lure him back. He kills Ching, wishing Chiu Kuan to continue his post and avoiding clashing with Mang as Ching is a threat to Chiu Kuan but he refuses. He then spars with Chiu Kuan to win him.

But knowing that others will not be pleased with him, he gets Jin Fei to take over the post. Jin Fei soon discovers that he is unsuitable for the post and wants to step down. So Dong Loi is pleased to be the rightful owner to the post. He visits the old servant to steal the tear sword. He uses it to spar with Jin Fei. He thrusts the tear sword to Jin Fei and he seizes the weapon produced from Lei Huet’s box.

He wants to see which weapon is more powerful. Well, he will regret this decision forever. He ends up getting killed by the sword. Before his death, he finds the tear disappearing from the sword. He then realizes that he is the real son of Dai See. We will never doubt his acting as he gives a powerful performance.

5. Ko Jin Fei – Miu Kiu Wai
He is Dai See’s little disciple. Before Dai See’s death, he is asked to protect Chiu Kuan and becomes Dong Loi’s enemy. He meets Diet Mou on the way and is attracted by her. He learns to know Lei Huet and is defeated by her. He is usually confident of his skill but not so sure now. But he still prefers the way he is as he enjoys a carefree life and refuses to hide in the cellar like her.

During the duel with Chiu Kuan, Jin Fei feels something wrong, he is drugged by her the earlier night when they sleep together. Although Chiu Kuan sees that he is unwell and suggests postponing it, he insists of continuing. Lei Huei watches and sees that Jin Fei’s sword is broken. So she throws the tear sword to him. Refusing to use it to harm Chiu Kuan, he chooses to escape. He improves in his skills and both are at par after that. Lei Huet borrows the sword from him and leaves.

Jin Fei is disappointed to get cheated by Diet Mou and to find out her identity of Mang’s woman. Still, he becomes a good friend of Mang. He is upset when Diet Mou kills herself in front of him. He knows of Lei Huet’s likeness towards him but he is unable to repay her love.

Jin Fei rushes to the duel venue and is stunned to find the couple dead. He fails to assassinate Dong Loi so he chooses to leave the escort agency after he finds the post unsuitable for him. But Dong Loi never lets him off and he is forced to kill him. He later takes over See Ma escort agency to prevent bloodshed as too many people vie for the post.

Kiu Wai often gets serious roles. There is no exception for this one. But all must be prepared to see him very simply dressed as he plays a wanderer in this drama.

6. Siu Lei Huei – Chong Ching Yee
She is the person who happens to have the box that Dai See warns Jin Fei. She steals the tear sword 10 years later from Dai See. Knowing that Dong Loi is going to harm Jin Fei, she rescues him to her hideout. He is alarmed to find the tear sword there. He doesn’t believe that he will lose and is dismayed that she is fast in fixing parts found in the box. She also breaks his ordinary sword. The different parts can form different weapons to deal with different opponents. But he is reluctant to learn the skills from her.

Normally she will kill her opponents but she is the first person to spare as she loves him. She is actually the disciple of Tin See, Dai See’s elder brother. Tin See is sore over Dai See who produces such a good sword. Thus he vows to destroy it so he comes up with the box. He also passes all his skills to Lei Huei. She has 3 contracts to fulfill with the old servant – the first is to kill Chiu Kuan. The second is to destroy Mang. The third is to kill Jin Fei. She is torn to kill him as she loves him.

Luckily, she is stopped by the old servant as she doesn’t need to do it. She leaves as she knows that Jin Fei will never love her. She can never win the woman he loves – what’s more she is already dead. Who doesn’t feel upset as she walks alone in the rain, carrying the box with the umbrella.

Ching Yee is an excellent actress! I simply love her. Unlike Chan Sau Chu, she looks attractive even in simple black clothes. I simply love the scene when Lei Huet appears in a yellowish outfit in the cellar to spar with Jin Fei. Both are at top form and she is so swift with the weapons!

7. Cheuk Ching – Yim Chau Wah
He is Dong Loi’s adopted son. Equally scheming and cunning, he hatches many evil plots with him – the drugging of Yuen Yee is his idea. Although they are not related, both share the same hunger in power. He never expects to die in Dong Loi’s hands as he wants to kill him to gain Chiu Kuan’s trust. He is simply too dangerous for Chiu Kuan to handle in a few years’ time as he has strengthen his power base.

8. Siu Dai See – Lau Dan
He is an excellent sword maker. He makes the sword but sheds a tear that fixes on it. He forsees that his only son will be killed by it. Thus he sends his son to his friend who owns See Ma escort agency and he lives in seclude. Before dying, he asks Jin Fei to protect his son and warns him to be careful of a person who has a box. That person will be able to destroy his sword. Well, his elder brother is unable to break his sword so his weapon is still the most powerful.

9. Diet Mou – Lau Kar Ling
She is the spy that Dong Loi sends to Lion agency. She is famous for her butterfly dance – just as her name suggests. But she falls for Mang and is in a dilemma. Even Dong Loi is attracted by her beauty and grounds her at his home after her mission. She sleeps with Jin Fei and loves him.

She is later detained by Dou Loi and is asked to entertain his 2 guests. She never expects them to be Mang and Jin Fei. Unable to face Mang and Jin Fei or to get away from Dong Loi, she injures her legs. Mang rescues her out but her injuries are too serious to die in Mang’s arms. Kar Ling does quite well as the pitiful role who is unsure of her fate. She dances gracefully, showing that she has worked hard in her role.

10. The old servant – Ng Meng Tat
This old man appears from nowhere one day but he changes all the peoples’ lives. He tells of Chiu Kuan’s parentage to be Dai See’s son. He also sets a contract with Lei Huet. He allows Dong Loi to visit him too. Is he a foe or a friend to all these people?! He is actually Dai See’s loyal servant.

In reality, Chiu Kuan is the servant’s son and the old servant decides to sacrifice him by the sword so that his younger master will not be harmed. He has no idea where and who his young master is. He has thought that the spell will be broken if Chiu Kuan is killed by the tear sword. He is devastated by his death but is contented that the tear sword is brought back by Lei Huei. (Actually he has no idea that Yuen is the one who does the killing with her own sword and not Lei Huet.)

He has wanted to destroy it but finds it too perfect. However, he finds it dangerous to keep it. Dong Loi agrees with it – he is totally captivated by it and steals the sword. The old man has thought that the spell is broken but later realises that she keeps it from him when this happens. It is to late when he is unable to protect his young master. There is no need to for her to fulfill the third condition as Dong Loi is already dead. This shows that the fate is sealed and no one can change it. How stupid he is to try to do that!

Other versions

There is another movie version by Yee Dong Shang and Jenny Tseng’s ex-husband, Fu Shing. Chiu Ngar Chi was in the movie too. It was a masterpiece and I will urge all to watch it. There is also a China television version, 泪痕剑which is by Choi Siu Fun and Jiao En Jun.

Song

The title is ‘The Sword Shadow In Tears’ by Mak Kit Mun. It is a nice song. We hardly have traditional songs like this that follow the plot now so it is worth keeping if you manage to find the CD. As for the movie version, it has a fascinating theme song by the same title and the subtheme is ‘Diet Mou’ by Jenny Tseng. The songs are all from Mr Koo Kar Fai so the standard is high.

Conclusion

This can be so amusing – it tells of how versatile the artistes are. Although Kiu Wai and Ching Yee work together in the ‘blood stained sword’, both do not share a single scene there. They act as a couple here. Although Yeung Pan Pan also works with Kiu Wai in this drama too, they do not act as a couple here as like ‘Legend of the condor heroes’. What a refreshing change when Kiu Wai is also paired with Kar Ling!

How is the result? Kiu Wai is quite all right as the vagrant swordsman although I am not used to it initially. I have seen him as the dashing and well-dressed swordsman in other dramas and I need time to adjust it. Undoubtedly, he has the most chemistry with Ching Yee. How I wish the director will allow them to be together to give a happy ending.

A lot of patience is needed for most Gu Long’s works. This drama proves no exception and there are many dialogues. And just like other works, it offers a sad ending which many might not like. The 5 episodes is just right as it is a short story. Acting wise, you will not get disappointed as the cast is at their prime when shooting it. Please give it a try if you get to see the vcds.

Sukting’s ratings :

On acting : *** (Scale of 5)

On story : *** (Scale of 5)

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


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