The Flame’s Daughter (烈火如歌) is essentially a wuxia drama, except there is one character who is so incongruous with the rest, he made the drama fun to watch, if not a little addictive.
This drama is filled with so many wuxia tropes that they stack up like a perfect Lego castle. Obviously, I’m not watching it for the plot.
I’m watching it for the pretty faces. I’m watching it for the characters development. This drama bumps up the watchable factor by casting actors who can manage subtle expressions of emotional upheaval.
Lie Ruge has the making of a good leader: Honest, attentive, thoughtful, assertive. What she lacks is cold calculation and cunning maneuvers. But no worry. She got plenty of people who would help her out in that department. Cuz she is the title character and everyone is in love with her. *wink wink*
Hence, we got ourselves first wuxia trope: Everybody is passionate about the hero/heroine. They either love her to death or hate her enough to want her dead.
Eternal Love (三生三世十里桃花) aka Three Lives Three Words Ten Miles of Peach Blossom aka San Sheng San Shi Shi Li Tao Hua does cliché like nobody’s business. Amnesia, missing body parts, deaths, resurrections? That’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The lovey dovey pillow talks? That’s dessert with extra whip cream on top. I love every moment of it.
To say nothing about the show’s just-the-right-level melodrama, it impressed me with how well they use the special effects, costumes and makeups to create their epic universe. Those elements successfully enhanced the show instead of crippling it as they did with many of its fantasy drama peers (I am looking at you, xxx Aspiration and xxx Flower). It’s a pity they can’t maintain movie quality level for all 58 episodes. I can clearly see where they spent the big bucks and where they skimped out. The difference is a bit jarring.
Good thing the show is so good I can overlook their inability to seamlessly merge high tech with low tech effects. This drama’s world makes sense. There is internal logic to explain the outrageous things they do (finally in a Chinese fantasy drama!) And most importantly, I am 100% invested in the main couple and their many reincarnations.
Ye Hua’s behavior toward Bai Qian reminds me of a poem by Margaret Atwood: I would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only. I would like to be that unnoticed and that necessary.
I love Ye Hua to pieces but I blame him for most of the crapazoid things that befall on them. He is a great man. A man of few words. A man who really needs to stop sheltering his wife and keeping vital information from her. If only he had talked to her about the things that was going on around them, she wouldn’t have broken his heart the way she did.
Huo Zun’s “Xi Chun Ci” (霍尊 – 惜春词) is stuck in my head. I hum it all the time while doing anything that doesn’t require Mark-Watney-creating-water-level concentration. The song is taking over my life!
I hope some talented person out there would make an awesomely tear-jerking Chronicle of Life
MV with this song ‘cuz the lyrics reflects perfectly the inner turmoil of the major characters, not to mention the melody is insanely addictive.
Sigh… I’m still picking up the pieces of my heart off the floor.
Chronicle of Life (寂寞空庭春欲晚) is a tragic love story between a palace attendant who has forgotten her past, an emperor who is determined to help her remember, and a cousin who prays she never does. Their relationship is complicated from the start. It becomes impossible when her memory returns. Every choice they make turns their lives more wretched than before, leaving them wondering if they would ever have a happy ending.
Cousin Nalan Rongruo has no one to blame but himself for his misery. If only he had let Liang’er die with her family, he wouldn’t have loved her with his life. If only he had eloped with her and ignored his duty to protect the emperor, she would’ve lived a blissfully ignorant life. If only he hadn’t accepted the blame her family’s death, they would’ve been married and perhaps even happy. If only he could be a bit more selfish, a bit more heartless, a bit more devious, his life would’ve been so much easier. Oh, I love him so!