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Thread: The Bund 《上海灘》

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    Senior Member LiYuanZhi's Avatar
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    Default The Bund 《上海灘》

    Hey peoples. This is a REALLY old series, starring people like Zhao Ya Zhi and Zhou Ren Fa. I've seen it recently on VCD and it's SOOOOO GOOD. I cried like a gazillion times in it. Has anyone else seen it?
    Last edited by triumph2004; 01-10-09 at 03:08 PM.
    门前若无东南西北路,此生可免悲欢离合情

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    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    I didn't reaaly like the ending, but wow! It was a hit! It was so powerful and unpredicted that i almost jumped out of my seat when it happened.

    I extremely like Au yeung Pui San who acted as the Japanese spy, and Liu Kai Chi who acted as Ding Lik's friend.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    This was TVB's best work *ever*, and they've produced many series in 37 years.

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    Senior Member Thai guy's Avatar
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    Talking

    I have seen it long times ago since I was a very young child. I cannot remember a story now. I have just known that the leading actor is Chow Yun Fat. The leading actress is Zhao Ya Zhi. The villain is Ray Liu. Moreover, there are so many great actors and actresses in this series such as Lau Dan and Au Yeung Pui San. I knew that it was very famous back then.

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Thai guy
    The villain is Ray Liu.
    I wouldn't describe Ray Lui's character, "Ding Lik", as the "villain" of THE BUND. One of the great things about this series was its sense of moral ambiguity. Chow Yun Fat's Hui Mun Keung was the main character of the story, but even so, he wasn't always necessarily a great person (he had moments of greatness and generosity, and moments of selfishness and heartlessness). There were no clear cut "good guys" and "bad guys" in this series, and I think that was the point. People were compelled to play out their parts in the underworld criminal society, but all were nevertheless human (for better or worse). Ding Lik, ultimately, was not evil, but he was self-serving...just like almost all the other characters of THE BUND.

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    Senior Member LiYuanZhi's Avatar
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    Ken Cheng, I couldn't have put it better myself. You have a great way with words, did you know?

    I agre that this series is one of TVB's best. It moved really fast, unlike heaps that drag on and on. That gets really annoying and tedious. And all the actors/actresses played their part so well...

    Why can't they (TVB) produce something this good nowadays?
    门前若无东南西北路,此生可免悲欢离合情

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    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    I found the ultimate villians to be Lip Yun Wong (the guy who supports domestic business) and Fung Ging Yiu (who supports international business).

    Hui Man Keung was a half-villian when he was forced to do bad things for ambition amd revenge, but he is a kind-hearted patriot at heart.

    Ding Lik has an innocent view of the world and feels that everything can be simply explained and done. However at the end, he learsn the complications of the Shanghai underworld and adapts to be cruel and hard-hearted to survive.

    However, I find Ding Lik extremely annoying when he causes all these troubles and thinks he can fix it easily and when he goes nuts with jelaousy. He doesn't have his own style and tends to imitate the behaviour of Hui Man Keung (e.g. clothes (bowtie), wiping mouth with scarf, etc)

    i just thought he was stupid to let Hui Man Keung go but cut off his little finger. As if he believes Fung Ging Yiu would let Hui Man Keung with oen less finger. But i admire his loyalty to his friends and despise his lack of self-esteem that causes his marriage to die.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

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    Senior Member LiYuanZhi's Avatar
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    a lot of the story i think is about making 'right' and 'wrong' choices. Every character in the series was 'good' and 'bad'. even baddies like Cheng Cheng's father was 'good' in the sense that he loved his daughter so much. Do you see my point? It was more of a story about righteousness, choices... bla bla bla. Least, that's what I think.
    门前若无东南西北路,此生可免悲欢离合情

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Originally posted by charbydis
    [B]I found the ultimate villians to be Lip Yun Wong (the guy who supports domestic business) and Fung Ging Yiu (who supports international business).
    Lip Yan Wong was more of a plot device than a fully realized character, but he was indeed very evil. We never get to see his more human side.

    Fung Ging Yiu, whom most people would consider the main villain of THE BUND, was a very complex character. He was the wealthiest man in Shanghai, but it wasn't money that drove him . . . it was power and pride. He simply could not stand the idea that someone could be better or more powerful than he was in Shanghai. The entire city, from foreign diplomats and business leaders to the local police to the militia to the underworld bosses, bent to his will. That's why early on, Fung Ging Yiu did all he could to maneuver Hui Mun Keung into his service. He recognized that Hui Mun Keung was an extremely capable young man who could one day pose a threat to him, so he brought Hui into his sphere of influence so that he could control Hui . . . make him a tool rather than allow him to grow into a threat. Hui Mun Keung was even more dangerous than Fung Ging Yiu initially anticipated (as Hui rose in Fung's organization, Fung realized that Hui had an even better grasp of his organization and Fung's desires than even Fung himself did), however, so Fung set Hui up to test his loyalty . . . then summarily got rid of Hui when he realized that Hui would not remain loyal to him.

    Nevertheless, Fung Ging Yiu was a fully fleshed out human character. For all his viciousness towards Hui Mun Keung and his other enemies, he genuinely loved his daughter Ching Ching. Fung Ging Yiu realized too late that that was more important than all the power and money in the world.

    Hui Man Keung was a half-villian when he was forced to do bad things for ambition amd revenge, but he is a kind-hearted patriot at heart.
    He was indeed a basically decent man with a conscience (which made him different from Fung Ging Yiu), but he was capable of deplorable selfishness as well. Ching Ching begged Hui Mun Keung to give up his quest of revenge against her father so that they could live together in seclusion and peace. Hui refused her, but after he got his revenge, he begged her to give him a second chance. She told him he didn't deserve a second chance. She was right.

    Ding Lik has an innocent view of the world and feels that everything can be simply explained and done. However at the end, he learsn the complications of the Shanghai underworld and adapts to be cruel and hard-hearted to survive.
    His name, "Ah Lik" ("strength"), says it all. Ding Lik is all about brutality and strength. Unlike his friend and partner Hui Mun Keung, Ding Lik knows nothing about subtlety. In Ding Lik's world, there is no problem that cannot be solved through macho toughness and brutality alone. He is not a thinker like Hui Mun Keung was (Hui Mun Keung's name is also meaningful . . . "Mun Keung" . . . strong in the literary arts, strong in the mind rather than in muscle).

    THE BUND has layers and layers of significance and symbolism if you analyze it carefully. This series is extremely deep in its themes and subtexts, and an unflinching look at the dark side of human nature. TVB really went out of their way to make not just a very memorable and entertaining series, but an incredibly smart and meaningful one as well. Television is rarely this great.

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Originally posted by LiYuanZhi
    Why can't they (TVB) produce something this good nowadays?
    The creative staff back in those days aimed to create a product that would not only be commercially successful, but also artistically satisfying as well. The scriptwriters and directors for THE BUND showed great awareness of dramatic presentation and an appreciation of complex themes. TVB never rose to such aspirations again.

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    Senior Member dan J's Avatar
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    I'd say that TVB is in an entirely different business now. their main focus these days seem to be in the recycling old lackluster script, uninteresting plot, actors who can't act, jokes that aren't funny business. so much of their effort produce things seem to me only kids in pre-puberty could appreciate.
    It means you got eyes like apostrophes, you dress white, talk black, and drive Jew. So how am I supposed to know what kind of zipperhead dog-munching dink you are if you don't?

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    Originally posted by charbydis
    However, I find Ding Lik extremely annoying ... he doesn't have his own style and tends to imitate the behaviour of Hui Man Keung (e.g. clothes (bowtie), wiping mouth with scarf, etc)
    That was a very deliberate decision on the part of THE BUND's writers and directors, and I think it was a good one. It showed us an essential aspect of Ding Lik's character: he wanted to *be* Hui Mun Keung . . . to replace his former partner and best friend as Fung Ging Yiu's right-hand man (and by extension, probably the second most powerful man in Shanghai) and in Fung Ching Ching's heart as a lover. Ding Lik adopts the appearance and mannerisms of Hui Mun Keung to become a kind of "Hui Mun Keung Lite", but no matter how hard he tries, Ding Lik remains a lesser imitation of the real thing. He lacks the refinement to be a Hui Mun Keung; Hui Mun Keung was a planner, schemer, and thinker while Ding Lik was a thug.

    If I had one complaint, though, it was that the change was too abrupt. As soon as Hui Mun Keung fled Shanghai, Ding Lik somehow instantly transformed from a thug into an ersatz Hui Mun Keung. People can change, and Ding Lik could have evolved into such a character, but not so abruptly.

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    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    I thought Fung Ching Ching got the worst life of the whole lot. She was stuck between her lover and her father, and her father used her to get to Hui Man Keung to kill him. She married Ding Lik who she thought she could learn to love but he just doesn't trust her, mistreats her, screams at her and tries to control her.

    Then her father gets killed by her lover and her husband is an accessory, and she has to leave for France only to hear that her lover is dead and she becomes a nun (from The Bund II).

    I find her character very interesting. The whole story evolves around life in Shanghai - it's brutality, it's irony, it's reality, and it's power/money-driven battles, but Fung Ching Ching doesn't really fit in in Shanghai.

    She lives in a protected world and is sheltered from reality (until the end) by her father's love power and wealth. She is deeply romantic (romance novels, "Romeo and Juliet" play) but she doesn't realise that real life is not always as romantic and that love does not conquer all as it did in "Romeo and Juliet"

    She wanted Hui Man Keung to leave with her and forget all the hatred of his family being killed, but when he asked her back after her father (family) was killed, she couldn't do it either. She tried to picture herself as Juliet and Hui Man Keung as Romeo with the hatred between their families, and thought that her love would be all that Hui Man Keung needed.

    But as Romeo gave into hatred after the death of Mercucio and kills Tybalt, Hui Man Keung also descended into revenge after the death of his wife and her family, and kills Fung Ging Yiu.

    But Fung Ching Ching stayed with her father and gave into reality after the tragic ordeal and left to find her own life, unlike the (over) romantic Juliet who abandoned her family to die with her lover.

    I like her character very much and admire her stubborness in love, yet being able to let go when needed to.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
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    Senior Member LiYuanZhi's Avatar
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    Originally posted by charbydis


    Then her father gets killed by her lover and her husband is an accessory, and she has to leave for France only to hear that her lover is dead and she becomes a nun (from The Bund II).

    what??? THERE"S A SEQUAL!!!!!
    门前若无东南西北路,此生可免悲欢离合情

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Originally posted by LiYuanZhi
    what??? THERE"S A SEQUAL!!!!!
    Two, in fact. Both dealt with Ding Lik's further adventures in the years after the end of the first series (Hui Mun Keung was dead, and Fung Ching Ching had entered a convent in France).

    THE BUND II and THE BUND III were both made within a year of the end of the original THE BUND, and Ray Lui reprised the Ding Lik character (there was even a brief, flashback cameo appearance by Chow Yun Fat as Hui Mun Keung in THE BUND II). These two sequels, although not unentertaining, were not nearly as successful or memorable as the original. TVB knew it had a runaway smash hit with the original series, and wanted to exploit its success for all it was worth. Without the presence of Hui Mun Keung (Chow Yun Fat) and Fung Ching Ching (Angie Chiu), however, interest in the two sequels was not as high; viewers were not as interested in Ding Lik as a solo character without Hui Mun Keung and Fung Ching Ching.

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    Senior Member LiYuanZhi's Avatar
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    could u get me a site or something about it, just some info? thanx.

    the low ratings is unsurprising. sequals r never as good as the first ones. it's like a LAW in the TV industry.
    门前若无东南西北路,此生可免悲欢离合情

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    Anyone remembers the character played by Kent Tong. He was Ching-Ching's admirerer, son of a wealthy businessman, university student, Whampao academy reject, then a corrupt but patriotic detective. I feel more sympathy for him since Ching-Ching thinks nothing of him, in fact I don't think she paid any attention to him, even when he died. He sure meant well though. He wanted to be a soldier and fight for his country against foreign enemies but was rejected by the academy. Then he seriously wanted to be a good, clean cop but Hui Man-keung gave him a talk about surviving by being as corrupt as you can be. But he lattered worked on a newspaper that pissed off the Japanese or Fung. Then he got killed abruptly. Poor bastard.

    I don't know the minor characters usually made a heavier impact on me. Like Ding Lik's first flame, the courtesan.

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    Senior Member SkineePanda's Avatar
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    I think the only thing that annoys me is that one themesong. Yeah I know its a forever classic but they just played the theme over and over again. Can't they have a sub-theme?! It sucks when you yourself start to hum it in ur head.

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    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Originally posted by SkineePanda

    I don't know the minor characters usually made a heavier impact on me. Like Ding Lik's first flame, the courtesan.
    What happened to the courtesan anyway? I watched the severely cut VCD version and i only remember her screaming and Ding lik being beaten up.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Originally posted by LiYuanZhi
    could u get me a site or something about it, just some info? thanx.

    the low ratings is unsurprising. sequals r never as good as the first ones. it's like a LAW in the TV industry.
    There are precious few websites with any information of note on THE BUND II and THE BUND III (both sequels were greatly overshadowed by the classic original). They were actually not bad series, and were fairly entertaining in their own right, but seemed unextraordinary compared to their classic parent series. I'll provide what information I can.

    THE BUND II picks up immediately where THE BUND leaves off. At Hui Mun Keung's funeral, Ding Lik vows that he will avenge his slain friend and partner. Remember that at the end of THE BUND, Hui Mun Keung was murdered by a gang led by a young Frenchman. Ding Lik wastes no time in killing the Frenchman and his thugs, but he soon learns that the Frenchman was just the lackey of a much more formidable figure: Dik Wan Tze (played by Patrick Tse Yin, the father of Nicholas Tse). Dik Wan Tze is a wealthy newcomer to Shanghai. His ambition is to take over Shanghai's underworld for his own. He knew that to accomplish this goal, he had to eliminate Shanghai's current masters: Hui Mun Keung and Ding Lik. Unfortunately for Dik Wan Tze, his assassination attempt kills only Hui Mun Keung, leaving Ding Lik to struggle against him for the entire THE BUND II story. In addition to their struggle for power, Ding Lik and Dik Wan Tze also struggle for the love of a woman: Chu Yin Yin (Gigi Wong Suk Yee). During THE BUND II, Ding Lik is haunted by memories of Hui Mun Keung and Fung Ching Ching, and feels lonely despite his success. Ding Lik hates Dik Wan Tze with a passion (Dik Wan Tze killed Hui Mun Keung, threatens Ding Lik's position in Shanghai, and challenges him for Chu Yin Yin's love). Ding Lik finally manages to defeat and kill Dik Wan Tze, but the price is high.

    The Japanese invasion of China also begins during THE BUND II, so there are several scenes of Shanghai being bombed by Japanese warplanes.

    THE BUND III takes place a few years after THE BUND II. Ding Lik is now the undisputed master of Shanghai (although he will be challenged again soon enough). He is settling into a comfortable middle-age (he's probably around 40 at this time), but new challengers again arise. This time, there's another powerful newcomer named Ngai Jun (played by Yeung Kwun, best known as the Shanghai Gambling King Cheuk 1 Fu in TVB's THE SHELL GAME I), and a young man whose name I don't remember, but was alternately working for and against Ding Lik (this character was played by Wong Yeun Sun, best known as Sai Mun Chui Sheut from TVB's 1970s LUK SIU FUNG series). The love interest this time around was played by Au Yeung Pui San (no, she was not reprising her role from THE BUND; she played an entirely different role), who was also Ding Lik's chief business associate and assistant. Notably, although Hui Mun Keung and events from THE BUND were often mentioned in THE BUND II, Hui Mun Keung and the events of the first series were never mentioned in THE BUND III. It's almost like the original series never happened by the time of THE BUND III (we know it did, but for some reason, Ding Lik never talked about those days anymore; in THE BUND II, Ding Lik thought and talked about the old days all the time).

    The coolest scene in THE BUND II was a special, five-minute cameo appearance by Chow Yun Fat as Hui Mun Keung in a flashback sequence. This was not reused stock footage from THE BUND. TVB actually shot NEW footage of Hui Mun Keung for this flashback scene when Ding Lik remembers how generous and kind Hui Mun Keung was to him, and how much he learned from Hui over the years. Very touching.

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