The Bund


Reviewed by: Minnie

January 26, 2008

Rating: four-point-five

Cast:
Chow Yun-Fat as Hui Man Keung
Ray Lui Leung-Wai as Ding Lik
Gigi Chiu Nga-Chi as Ching Ching

Plot:
The story takes place around the 1930's in China. Hui Man Keung arrived in Shanghai with little money and no place to stay. Coincidentally, he met Ding Lik, a street vender. Ding Lik was a simple and honest person. These two became fast friends. Later on a girl named Fung Ching Ching, daughter of an underworld boss, was kidnapped. Luckily, Hui and Ding saved her. From here on, Boss Fung, Ching Ching's father, hired both of them to work for him. With these two's wits and allegiance, Boss Fung made them valuable assets to his organization. Keung fell in love with Ching Ching. She fell madly in love with him as well. They planned to get married, but their love was not meant to be. Ching Ching's father was involved in a Japanese arms dealer. He sent Keung to manage it for him. However, Keung killed an important Japanese dealer. When Boss Fung found out about this, he set out assassins to kill Keung. This forced Keung to flee Shanghai and leave his beloved Ching Ching.

Boss Fung sent Ding Lik to seize Keung. When Lik confronted Keung, they had a talk. At the end, Lik allow Keung to go (Did I mention that Lik chopped off Keung's pinky?). After Keung left Shanghai, Ding Lik became well admired by Boss Fung. Ding Lik then had more money and power. Yet, with his new authority, Lik turned from a simple and honest man to a complex and sly man. From here, he wooed the heartbroken Ching Ching. Knowing that her true lover would never return, she married Lik, but her heart would never forget Keung. Meanwhile, Keung flew the countryside and met an old man with his grandchildren. Keung saw how peaceful that these people lived. He then decided to forget about his past and live in peace. He married the man's granddaughter and resided there. Unfortunately, Fung's men discovered where Keung lived and killed everyone, even the pregnant granddaughter! Keung saw his family dead and vowed revenge. He returned back to Shanghai to join other mobs and caused havoc in Fung's business.

Meanwhile, the marriage between Lik and Ching Ching became a disaster. Lik saw Keung's arrival and was afraid that Ching Ching would fall for him again. He became jealous and treated Ching Ching with no respect. He even shoved Ching Ching to the ground and accidentally caused her to have a miscarriage. He realized what he did was wrong and began to treat her more lovingly. Still, Ching Ching became unhappy about this marriage and wanted a divorce.

At the end, Keung tackled Fung in a room and shot him. Ching Ching came in and saw her father dead at her feet. She picked up a gun and aimed it at Keung's head. Keung told her that he doesn't blame her and stood still waiting for the bullet to hit his head....

Sorry, you got to watch the series to see the meaningful ending so I'll end here.

Analyzing:
I was anxious to see this series because of what many people said. They say that this series was very good and had a lot of action. When I popped in the first tape, I became addicted. However, there was nothing special about the mob storyline. It was just endless shooting and killing that seemed pretty unreasonable at times. This story made me feel that China was very corrupt during the 1930's. I was addicted to this series because of Keung and Ching Ching's love story. When Keung left Shanghai, the series dragged a little bit. I didn't feel as motivated as before, but it was still very good. Furthermore, the story became a bit sad to watch because I sympathized every character that had suffered bad fates. When I saw Keung leave Ching Ching, I felt bad. He really loved her but their love was not meant to be. When Keung married another woman, I nearly flipped. I kept telling myself that Keung should dump her and take Ching Ching away from China to live another life. Still, when I saw the wife being killed, I felt terrible at what I said in my mind. In addition, I felt that Ching Ching could be so selfish at times. If she couldn't forget about Keung, she shouldn't have married Lik. I mean, they ended up in a divorce. Like, what was that about. I also felt bad for Lik even though he chopped of Keung's finger. In the middle of the series, I really hated him. Yet, in the end, you come to realize that he is not a bad person. He was just a man who had to do his job. He did allow Keung to escape and helped Keung to seek revenge. After you see how this man treats his mother and loved Ching Ching, you would have sympathy for him.

Acting:
The cast was pretty good. Chow Yun Fat acted as Hui Man Keung. What can I say? This is the God of acting we are talking about. Movies with this role fit him perfectly because he is just dashing with a gun. I find that Chow Yun Fat acts well in modern series, more so than the ancient ones. In Smiling Proud Wanderer, he looked weird because he seemed so much taller than the others. It seemed kind of awkward to me.

Gigi Chiu Nga-Chi played as Ching Ching. Gigi has this glow on the face that makes her look very cute in the series. When she married Lik, her expression seemed depressing to look at. This was fine and well done. I think she displayed a better Ching Ching than Nadia Chan in the new version.

Ray Lui Leung-Wai as Ding Lik was a good choice. However, he looked bad in this series. Why did they add a gross beard to him? Ray looked so much better in the Flying Fox on Snowing Mountain as Ho Fei.

Final words, rent it. It is a good classic story that should be a part of a serious TVB '80s fan's list. This series has the four big elements of a good film: action, drama, suspense, and romance.

Original Images: Hong Kong Heartbreaker


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