Shades of Darkness


Reviewed by: sukting

September 28, 2008

Rating: three-point-five

How long : 20 episodes

Foreword
This is a story about revenge after reincarnation. Hor Ying and Siu Fun became good friends to work together in the series ‘At the threshold of the era’ again after this. It is also a rare TVB drama that Sek Ming starred in. Kok Jing seldom acts in dramas too. Watch this if you wish to see him as a cop here.

Story/Introduction on characters
1. Chan Kar Bok – Lau Sek Ming
Kar Bok is the youngest son and returns to work as a doctor after his graduation overseas. The murder happens during the hungry ghost festival so he is the reincarnation of Cheung’s son. Unlike other rich snobs, he is kind and caring to others. After knowing his previous life, Cheung starts to haunt him in his dreams. His body is taken up by his previous mother to cause his whole family to die. He kills himself to prevent more harm from taking place.

Wai goes to the cemetery to visit him. She sees the ghosts of Kar Bok and Siu Mei, happily taking a walk. Although sad, she is happy for them. Sek Ming does his part well as the dedicated doctor and lover. So convincing as the nice guy that all believe why the three women fall for him as he looks dashing in his suits.

2. Chan Kar Wing– Leung Kin Ping
He is the eldest son who loves pretty women but he has been tricked to lose his wallet when he tries to get fresh with Mei Kei. He faints in the bathroom as Cheung knocks him out. This alarms the police to attract reporters. He is killed by a pole that sinks into his lung.

3. Chan Kar On – Doi Siu Mun
He doesn’t get along with his Kar Wing as both often fight over the same women. But he dotes on Kar Bok. He is supportive of Kar Hei’s programmes and always turn up at the charity balls. One day, both of them are stuck in the car by Cheung but luckily Kar Bok saves them out. He is killed by a ceiling fan in the restaurant after meeting Kar Bok for a meal.

4. Gu Yau Yau – Ng Kok Jing
He is Wai’s subordinate who likes Wai. When Wai falls ill when Kar Bok transfers his attention to Siu Mei, Yau Yau gets anxious and takes good care of her. He finally likes Sau Yee when she nearly wants to leave Hong Kong. He makes Kar Bok stay at his home after his family dies.

5. Lo Cheung - Lam Sheung Mou
After being killed, he never stops his revenge. His soul is suppressed by Nau with a dagger passed to him by a monk. When the dagger loses the grip, he escapes to seek his revenge. Upon knowing that Kar Bok is the reincarnation of his son, he tries hard to get him to kill Nau. He is eliminated by a monk that Nau engages in the end.

6. Chan Nau – Lau Siu Ming
He murders Cheung’s whole family after seizing the money winning lottery ticket from them to claim the prize. He becomes rich after that. Strange things begin to happen after Kar Bok’s return. He becomes a homeless person. His fate seals as he gets killed when two men rob him of his winning lottery ticket.

7. Yiu Mei Kei – Kwok Hor Ying
Mei Kei is hospitalized because she tries to kill herself over a breakup. She sees Gau’s grandmother is pushed to her death from a hospital top. The murderer is Cheung’s ghost. Mei Kei is suspected of murder as she goes there secretly to smoke to witness it. She is a loafer who loves motorcycle racing. She is arrested for hurting her ex-boyfriend and Kar Bok bails her out. She starts falling for him.

She changes all her bad ways because she loves Kar Bok. She lies about her birthday to get Kar Bok to celebrate wit her. Kar Bok leaves angrily upon discovering her lie. She intends to apologise to him when she sees him with Wai attending his alumni gathering. She gets so disillusioned to get drunk and falls to her death.

I find Hor Ying relying on her make-up more to play this wild and rebellious role. She is simply not outspoken enough. She is more suitable to play gentle roles.

8. Yip Wai – Leung Pui Ling
She is a police inspector and dislikes Nau because of his evil deeds. She is in charge of Nau’s mother’s murder case and gets to know Kar Bok who comes late in vain to save his grandmother. She is always against Kar Bok because of Nau.

They settle to be friends with Yau Yau’s help. Kar Bok tries to kill is her because his previous mom finds out that she is the daughter of one of Gau's friends who participated in the murders. Because he can no longer control his body or his mind and he doesn't want to harm her, he commits suicide to sadden her.

Pui Ling plays the strong-willed but obstinate cop well. Unlike the demure roles she usually gets, she becomes strong here to handle many fighting scenes on her own.

9. Lo Siu Mei – Choi Siu Fun
She has loved Kar Bok since young. She follows Kar Bok around as a ghost. Seeing that he is kidnapped by Mei Kei’s ex-boyfriend, she is unable to help him. He nearly faints of dehydration on a remote island when he manages to escape from the kidnappers. Siu Mei manages to alert his family to save him back.

Seeing that Mei Kei is dead, her soul enters her body to continue their romance. She becomes demure and recovers fast. Kar Bok likes her now in addition to his guilt. He then has little time for Wai. She doesn’t recognize Mei Kei’s boyfriend to get kidnapped by him to extort a ransom from Kar Bok. However, Mei Kei’s boyfriend is too terrified to strangle her to death.

This time round, Siu Mei can’t stay in her body and she tells Kar Bok the truth of his parentage. Kar Bok has to send her away reluctantly. He manages to get her the traditional red wedding costume to go through a wedding with her to fulfill her final wish.

Siu Fun looks uneasy and awkward to me to play this quiet role. But it can be considered a change from her usual talkative roles.

10. Chow Lan Ying – Lau Kwai Ying
Kar Bok is her favourite and she dotes on him the most since young. She doesn’t understand the sudden change in Nau’s attitude towards Kar Bok and tries her best to make both reconcile. But she never lives to the day as Kar Bok cuts the lift wire to let her fall to her death.

11. Chan Kar Hei – Lei Yan Hiu
She is Kar Bok’s elder sister. She holds charity balls to get funds to help the poor. Afraid that Kar Bok will be cheated of his feelings. She tells Nau about it to prevent him and ‘Mei Kei’ together. But he still refuses to listen to her. She also falls to her death like her grandmother.

12. Cheung Sau Yee – Ho Yuen Ying
She likes Yau Yau after seeing how he cracks a murder case. Her chance comes when both attend a concert. He protects her from a thief to damage his watch. Sau Yee then gets him a watch and slowly love blossoms between them.

Interesting scenes
All the revenge scenes – spooky, creepy and scary.

The whole Chan family is upset that they get no news of Kar Bok after his kidnap. They hold a praying session for him out at sea to burn a lot of incense papers for him. The family is finally united for once as they really dote on him.

Wai accidentally injures a child at a bank robbery. Kar Bok takes the child to hospital. Seeing her tired and remorseful to sleep beside the child, he covers her with his suit jacket to take over. When the child is out of danger, both become friends. How sweet he is!

Seeing that Wai is down, Kar Bok asks her if she knows why a doctor’s robe is white. She doesn’t know the answer. He replies that it is for careless people like her to dirty it! She has accidentally spilled some coffee over him. She is annoyed but can’t help breaking a smile at his joke.

Wai accidentally damages Kar Bok’s antique watch. She tries hard to find a new one for him. That shows the sensitive side of her. Yau Yau has thought that the watch is for him but later sees it when Kak Bok pours tea for them during a meal. He then realizes how much Wai loves him.

Siu Mei often saves Kar Bok. First from the kidnapper and later from a car accident. Talking about being a heroine.

‘Mei Kei’ gets Kar Bok to pay respects to Cheung. He feels weird right after he holds the joss sticks. It seems to him that he is facing someone familiar.

Songs
The themesong is from Sek Ming. I must say that he acts as well as he sings. He came to Singapore to promote this drama and I heard him singing this song ‘live’. Sek Ming left me a good impression as he shook hands with all his fans before leaving.

Conclusion
It has a scary start with the ghosts looking so eerie and they can appear from nowhere anytime. But I practically yawn when it is slowed down by the romantic essence. I only get thrilled again to come to the later part of the story when Kar Bok starts killing one after another unknowingly.

One lesson we can learn from here is we reap what we get. Nau comes to a sorry end because of his vile nature. He has never repented from his mistake. That cost him his whole family. This drama comes up with lots of surprises and if your heart is strong enough to withstand shocks, this drama is suitable for you.

Sukting’s ratings :

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


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