"Fans of Ada Choi rejoice! I find this series may perhaps be her best performance in recent memory"
SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS!
Also Known As
Hak Sik Choi Hung which literally means black rainbow. Of course the title means rainbow in the darkness which kinda means hope even in the bleakest, darkest and most hopeless hours of your life.
Rumoured To Be
Adapted from a Korean drama series as claimed in Ada Cache. Now come to think of it does have all the makings of an ultra tragic Korean drama series. I bet in the Korean version, everybody dies or maybe everybody goes blind or something.
Ada Choi - Seung Hei
Gigi Lai - Amy Lam
Lawrence Ng - Lok Tin Sang
Eddie Kwan - Ken Hong Cheng
Margaret Chung - Kiki
Jenny Shing - Lui Lui
Lily Hong - Joey Chai
Ko Hung - Chai Weng Chi
Peter Lai Pei Tak - Lok Kin
Lui San - Ming Sum Kit
Ko Fung - Pui Him
Hong Tzi Nei - Chai Man Si
Lam Ying Fai - Chai Man Wai
Tai Yiu Ming - Lok Yat Teng
Siu Chuen Yung - Mark Pui Chi Fai
Lee Sze Pui - Ah Wing
(taken from Ada Cache)
A woman (Amy Lam) seeking fortune and power sets her eyes on a gentle and kind hearted ordinary Joe, Lok Tin Sang when she found out he was the illegitimate son of a very rich man, Chai Weng Tzi who happens to be her boss. Although as calibre and as intelligent as everybody else, she will stop at nothing to get her man, even to the point of using Ken Hong who is Tin Sang's childhood friend and her colleague. She seduces him and deceivingly persuaded him to pursue Weng Chi's young naive daughter, Joey who is in love with Ken. Reluctantly he did so whilst hoping Amy may change her mind. But Amy's mind was set and she almost succeeded until the appearance of a very ordinary plain girl with little education by the name of Seung Hei who herself has a young cute daughter to take care of by the name of Lui Lui. Tin Sang and Seung Hei after much misunderstanding fell for one another but Amy creates many obstacles to prevent their love to no avail. But one time Amy stood by whilst Lui Lui who has asthma fainted as she was unable to breath when she was under Tin Sang's care. Lui Lui fell into a deep coma and Seung Hei blames Tin Sang and broke off the relationship. But Tin Sang still pursued Seung Hei and Amy knew she lost to Seung Hei. Meanwhile Kiki, a friend of Tin Sang who actually hoped Tin Sang would choose Amy the smart one over Seung Hei the plain housewife type found out Ken and Amy was having an illicit affair. She blackmailed them but one night Ken who tried to get back the revealing photos from Kiki accidentally knocked Kiki out. He himself was knocked out and unknown to him, Amy secretly bludgeoned Kiki to death. Persuading Ken to blame it all on Tin Sang, Tin Sang was arrested. Seung Hei the only person to see him that night knew he was innocent but also realised because of her relationship with him knew that her testimony may in fact harm him. So she decided to lie and got herself in jail for 2 years for perjury whilst Tin Sang was pronounced not guilty. But Amy couldn't let it all go and decided to use the murder weapon (a torchlight) to further frame Tin Sang but Ken who knew he had to stop Amy did the unthinkable.
Will Lui Lui ever wake up? Will Tin Sang be in jail? What did Ken do? The answer is at the bottom of this review.
The plot is relatively easy to summarize and the characters few but prominent. Each character has a chance to portray his or her side of the story but of course I expected more for a veteran like Eddie Kwan who was more of a side kick than a supporting actor.
It is interesting to note this series reunites 3 actors who many years ago acted in a series I think called The Link. At that time Ada Choi was a newcomer and very young, so she played the evil one. She was very good. Gigi Lai played the bad girl turned good who married Eddie Kwan, the rebel of the family. That series was interesting and the performances were relatively top notch.
Zoom back I think to almost a decade later (frankly I am not sure how long) I realise Gigi Lai hardly aged at all. In fact she looks very good. Eddie Kwan may have aged a little but he still looks the same and in fact more handsome. Ada Choi aged quite a lot and her face more pointed, but it is the exhausted and hungry look that she has fits her Seung Hei perfectly as Seung Hei spent most of her time caring for Lui Lui and neglected herself.
Frankly I find this story almost the same as every other series I have seen. There is nothing new in the storyline, except for the shocking end for Amy Lam. At times I thought this series will be a tear jerker but there are light hearted moments courtesy of Lui Lui and Seung Hei, the cute mother and daughter team, romantic moments courtesy of Seung Hei and Tin Sang and of course lots of plotting courtesy of Amy Lam and Ken Hong. There are many sub stories also, such as the story of Tin Sang's irresponsible uncle and cousin, Tin Sang's absent father, kind hearted and gentle step mother, bitchy sister, understanding but naive younger sister, conniving relatives and much much more. The great thing is this series started off with the past and zoom to the present. So we know a whole lot more of the character than we are usually forced to presume we know. Even the villain, Amy Lam has a history that is repeated often. Some may sympathize with her, some may not. I find Amy Lam's character an obstacle in this series but without her this series would not have exist. Because everything that happens in the series' present time line is in a way caused by Amy Lam and her obsession with her pursuit of power, money and position.
You may say Amy Lam is not a villain per se. After finish watching this series, I had a serious discussion with my family as to why Amy did what she did when she had everything. This in itself proves how significant the character of Amy Lam is. It's quite simple; she was a nobody when she was a child. She saw her own family buried alive in a landslide and she survived. Having survived she went to live in an orphanage. When she grew up, she studied hard and married many men which took her to a foreign land and back. Once back she set her eyes on Tin Sang and yet seduces Ken. In the end her ending is her own undoing as she forces Ken to the no other options. The one question many may wonder as I wondered too myself, why would Amy throw away all her hard work for Tin Sang? She was smart, intelligent, successful, beautiful and strong willed. She may have been ambitious but with her talent she could have gotten far in her life simply by sheer hard work rather than cheat, seduce and kill. The answer lies in one revealing dialogue that Amy herself said; "I do not want to listen to the commands of others, I do not want to live by other's rules and looking at other's faces". Basically she hates being humbled because of her lack of status in her life and so she saw Tin Sang as a one way ticket to power. She herself married many men that served her purpose. But when Seung Hei came into the picture, she couldn't believe she was pushed over by Tin Sang for a nobody like Seung Hei. She perhaps became angry and jealous and so she went I believe a bit mad. At last as she lay in the hospital dying, a tearful Tin Sang sat by her side, she said, "I realised everything I have done was so that I could be with you ... I realised I love you ..." but to Tin Sang what she was seeking was her idea of a perfect man. Amy said, "But you're the perfect man ..." and Tin Sang ended it quite nicely, "Amy I am not the perfect man, the man you seek is not me, it's in your own mind..." and sadly Amy died asking herself, "Who is my perfect man? Who?". In a way her whole life she thought she was in search of something more, like money and power and in the end she realised she wanted love and comfort of her perfect man and yet she had no idea, even on her dying bed who was her perfect man. She saw flashbacks of Ken and Tin Sang and she died as confused as she lived.
In a way the ending for Amy was rather poignant and one can't help but feel if she didn't cause all that trouble and just live a decent life, she would have a far more fulfilling life. She was unfulfilled coupled with her insecurity, her fear that she may lose everything in a split second, like her family. In a way I find her character very real and I guess most of us sometimes has this feeling of insecurity, wanting to grab everything to claim as our own without realising sometimes life is much simpler than what we thought to be. Amy was clearly confused. But frankly when she died, everything was normal again, which means basically she's the trouble maker and without her life is indeed better.
Do I like this character? Hard to say, though I enjoy the possibilities that are explored in this series. I find her at times nauseating because I really hated her, but at times I pitied her. Circumstances changed her but as illustrated in the end, she realised she was wrong but it was all too late to change back to the old and happier times.
A very compelling character if you ask me.
She is the direct opposite of Amy Lam and you may say this is deliberate. Amy is ambitious but Seung Hei would rather live a quiet life with her beloved daughter and the man she loves. She loves Tin Sang for all the right reason and then left him for all the wrong ones. Basically Lui Lui dictates her life in the sense her universe revolves around Lui Lui. I find Seung Hei a very sad character sometimes. She had a happy life when her sister and brother in law were around. She was studying in a university and was a happy go lucky girl. Then one night her little niece stopped breathing because of her negligence and she rushed the girl to hospital. At the same time she called her sister and brother in law who was rushing to the hospital when they met a fatal accident. In one night she lost her youth, her loving family and now she is guilt ridden for making her niece an orphan. I guess that was why she adopted Lui Lui and never mentioned to her that she is aunt and not mommy. I think this is one of the weaknesses of this series. Why is she so afraid to let Lui Lui know she is auntie and not mommy? Isn't she depriving Lui Lui of knowing her parents who were wonderful people? Was it guilt that made her tried to erase the past and start afresh? Is it because she is afraid if Lui Lui knew the truth Lui Lui would hate her despite the love she showered on Lui Lui? Without Lui Lui Seung Hei would have gone far and may have become Amy Lam, the only difference is Sheung Hei knows when it is enough for her to be happy as opposed to Amy Lam whom I see as someone who doesn't know what happiness is because she is numbed by her heartless ambition and perhaps loneliness.
Seung Hei is definitely a very interesting character to watch and how she contrasts with Amy Lam.
Lok Tin Sang
The object of 2 women's affection, one for dubious reason and the other for pure love. It's easy to see why Seung Hei loved Tin Sang and why Amy Lam wanted him. He is not only a rich man's only son poised to take over the business (though at the beginning nobody knew about it), he is kind hearted and a gentleman. Even at the end when he knew two of his friends betrayed him, he forgave them and even gave them words of comfort. He is single minded in his love for Seung Hei and Lui Lui. Despite his uncle and nephew who are both horrible people, he still managed to forgive them time and time again, often risking his reputation as well as money to help them repay their debts. I can see that when he was young he must have already bear many responsibilities, so I doubt he had a childhood, like Amy Lam. Except that like Seung Hei, Tin Sang knew what is happiness and he never had great ambition anyway. I was pretty disappointed he refused to help his aging father in his business at the end of the series but a simple man like him wants only a simple life I guess. A pity though because nice guys should always be made for greater things, not like conniving people like Amy Lam who doesn't deserve the pity the viewers may give.
A very interesting character to watch as he develops through the series.
Probably the most underused supporting character but he has a reason for being in this series. At the beginning we see what a promising young man he is, and a great friend. Then he began his affair with Amy Lam. He was blinded by his love for her to the point of obsession and like he confessed later, "I was so in love with Amy I was willing to do anything... I knew I had to stop her ... I am to be blamed too because I could have stopped her earlier". He has a conscience which is why he torn between his love for Amy and his conscience when he was about to marry the naive Joey. Joey really loved him, which he knew. I suspect he loves Joey too, but to a much lesser degree. Amy Lam was like lust, someone he could never get and Joey is someone he knows is good for him but well, everybody likes junk food sometimes.
A very weak character at first but his best moment was in the final episode, especially the prison scene which I shall describe later.
I must mention her because I love to watch how she actually matured by the end of the series to make a decision that is entirely her own. She was at first spoilt, not very likeable though she was first to accept Tin Sang as her brother, as opposed to her bitchy older sister who gave new meaning to the word "B****h". Anyway, after a while, when she was pursued by Ken, she wholeheartedly believed in him and stood by him, until she found out the truth. She was too hurt, not because Ken was in jail but because Ken had an affair. This was reminded to her by Tin Sang who gently spoke to her to follow her feelings. The ending for her and Joey is indeed a surprised ending for me and a very good one. I felt like crying because after all the mess thanks to Amy Lam, Ken should have a bit of happiness.
1. I love all the scenes between Seung Hei and Lui Lui, their interaction like a mother and daughter and how Seung Hei was always fussing over Lui Lui. In that respect I also love the scenes between Seung Hei and Tin Sang and a few gems is as follows if I can remember correctly;
Tin Sang was teasing Seung Hei about watching movies and Tin Sang said "Have you watched Titanic?" and Seung Hei immediately replied with a smile, "Of course I have watched the documentary!". I guess that was the punch line.
Earlier in the series Seung Hei disliked Tin Sang because she thought he is a cheat (and also she paid 1 year advance rental for a room in his house when beforehand they had some misunderstanding) and then when she walked by a van she happily said, "You know I once washed cars like this van for a living and there was this really nice person, unlike you who even paid me extras even when he stopped asking me to wash his van. I can't believe there is such nice person in this world but I wonder where he is now?" and the next scene was Tin Sang opening the door of the very same van. Seung Hei was of course too embarrassed to say anything because just 5 minutes before she accused him of being the worst person and then she had praised this man who was actually Tin Sang.
Also all romantic kissing scenes between these two. Lovely chemistry.
2. I didn't enjoy the kissing scenes between Ken and Amy but I did enjoyed watching Ken being so emotional and realised Amy was up to not good and then stabbed her. Very dramatic and unexpected though I saw it in the promo. I believe theme songs and promos give too much of the plot of all series these days.
3. The heated exchange between Tin Sang and the bitchy older sister who was back stabbing him and Seung Hei (since she was an unmarried mom, so naturally people assumed she was a very loose woman). Tin Sang immediately said "Shut up you busybody!".
Most Favourite Scene
I actually have two. The first is Joey seeing Ken in the prison and how Ken felt so grateful for Joey for still loving him. I love that ending.
But my most favourite scene also involves Ken in the prison and Tin Sang visiting him in the last episode. The dialogue was poignant and the acting superb, thanks to Eddie Kwan of course. You see Ken didn't know what to say or how to say sorry. He said he worries about Joey and all and Tin Sang assured him Joey will be fine and that Ken should be optimistic. Then Ken looked at Tin Sang, tearfully asking in a strained voice, guilt ridden that Lui Lui is in a hospital, Kiki died and Seung Hei is in prison because he failed to stop Amy earlier when he should have done the right thing, he asked "Tin Sang, I want to know, do you hate me?" and Ting Sang honestly replied, "Yes, I did hate you but that was in the past. Whatever happened has already happened. You're still my best friend" and Ken had this most grateful look in his face that he has not lose a good friend. I find this scene so powerful with emotions and so beautifully acted, I couldn't help but smile. Eddie Kwan was amazing in this scene and Lawrence Ng wasn't too bad either. A pity Eddie had little to do other than these few fabulous scenes.
I Don't Get It Scene
Tin Sang said that Amy was a very strong person. Excuse me, that deranged woman? I thought Seung Hei was perhaps the strongest, since she's in jail and she's still surviving unlike Amy Lam.
Seung Hei was jailed for perjury, which means lying under oath. You know you testify in court as a witness and then you lie and so you will be punished. Very serious charge you know, like Seung Hei got 2 years!. What I don't understand is where is the perjury? Let me explain myself ...
Seung Hei and Tin Sang were together when Kiki died. Tin Sang was charged with murder of Kiki when he said he had an alibi that is Seung Hei.
Seung Hei's Statement To The Police
She said he was with her that night.
Seung Hei's Statement In Court
She hated him, she was never with him, she was framing him.
Not guilty, presumably they couldn't decide if Seung Hei was lying or telling the truth when she was in court.
What I don't get is this.
If you say she is lying under oath in court, then surely Tin Sang is framed for murder and therefore is not guilty. This means her statement to the police is wrong, so perhaps that is perjury but frankly what perjury when the jury doubted both versions. If her statement to the police is right, and her outbursts in the court are wrong, then there is no perjury since in the end he is innocent so why should she be punished? Whatever she may have said, it all amounts to inconsistent statements which can be used to discredit her, that if she is not being truthful when talking to the police, then she may be dishonest when testifying. Whatever she says bears no weight as a witness and the jury can decide to believe her or not believe her. Unless they can prove Tin Sang is really guilty or really innocent, you can never be sure if she lied or she didn't lie. That is not perjury in my opinion. More research should have been done by the writer.
I think everybody has credible performances in here, none was bad, but a few were simply brilliant.
What more can I say? He's a mediocre actor who actually improved over the years to be a credible actor. Close your eyes and I bet you'll notice the gentleness in his voice but open your eyes, he's a tad too old you know. Funny thing about this series was at the beginning we hear that Tin Sang was born about 20 years ago, half way through it is 30 years ago and then later on 30 something years ago. In a space of a few episodes he has aged about 10 years or so. Even the writer can't decide how old Tin Sang is.
I would say the prison scene where he looked at Ken and said what he said. It was gentle and yet brilliant piece of speech. Also when he was talking to Amy Lam at the hospital. You know what, include also when he was visiting Seung Hei in prison, talking to a comatose Lui Lui AND talking to an angry and distraught Joey in a church. All in one episode. This man has no time to grief on his own.
A credible performance but wasn't that engaging. She certainly has the looks, she looks great for someone who has been around forever and her acting is slightly better than years before. But when she starts crying or her Amy Lam became rather deranged, her asthmathic cries and whimpers really annoyed me. She cried way too dramatically and though Amy Lam is a very restrained person in public and deranged in private, I am really not that keen on watching how deranged she is when she is crying. Worst was when she narrated her childhood sob stories TWICE. Repetition in such a short time is really boring.
Whenever she is crying. At first strong later on because a whimpering wimp. Her worst acting moment.
When her Amy Lam died wondering what was it that she has been looking for all her life. Rather sad to die not knowing what you want. But her death scene became ...
Get On With It Moment
It's like she is so dying that she can talk so much! Never ending scene. Am I supposed to cry when she is dying like that? I felt relieved when it all ended. Amy Lam was nothing but trouble and that scene was too long to garner any sympathy votes.
Two words. Lame and excellent. His role is lame but his performance at the end of the series was powerful and excellent. All the emotions that Ken felt boiling inside him exploded when he had that huge fight with Amy and later on in the prison as he begs for forgiveness from Tin Sang and Joey. Excellent.
Not a very good actress but her performance is competent. At first I was very irritated with her character because it is so typical; rich girl who has nothing to do antagonizes everybody by trying to be artistic. It was a torture. But as the series progresses and little attention is given to this character, we see how this character actually blossoms into a mature young woman. I especially like that scene where she was painting in an aggressive manner to a very rock-ish music when her half brother, Tin Sang came and talked to her. Then in the church the same talk and in the end with Ken at the prison. All in one episode or so there is this transformation as she made up her mind what she wanted. I find all these scenes seen together how the competence of this actress and for that I find her performance competent. A better actress would have given her character more angst or playfulness but since there is no better actress that looks young enough to play this character, I'll gladly watch this actress play this character again. Imagine Shirley Yeung in this character, and I can safely say we will have a girly asthmatic nervous looking actress playing a character that is beyond her depth.
Haven't seen her for a very long time and like Ellesmere Choi, she is now suddenly and probably the highest paid ke-le-fe in TVB. Her performance is quite alright since she is playing a spoilt girl without any elegance and grace. Her character is also stupid but didn't deserve her end. Not much more I could say except she looked the part.
The best actress in this series and any series she was in. A little more bigger, taller and none the less cuter than she was in Burning Flame 2, she may not have the centre attention here but her every little gesture, her every little expressions really is very endearing. Sometimes though her dialogue is a bit too grown up but coming from her mouth, I'll just accept it. She is in fact a better actress than many older and more experienced actresses out there, I dare say she is even better than all adult counterparts in here.
Fans of Ada Choi rejoice! I find this series may perhaps be her best performance in recent memory. Here she is playing a very ordinary character who met with an extraordinary fate. Her chemistry with Lawrence Ng and especially cute Jenny Shing was I must say impeccable and perfect. Acting wise she offers nothing new from her previous performances. It's just that this role suited her rather nervous hysterical type of acting when she is acting hysterical. It's not that she is always hysterical, either hysterically nervous, hysterically funny or hysterically whatever. But this character is a nervous, always worrying either about money, Lui Lui or Tin Sang. So she has plenty of worries and it is nice to see her hysterical when next to the ultra calm Tin Sang. Whilst admittedly Gigi Lai had the best wardrobe and definitely the more sophisticated look, I find Ada Choi very pretty in here, because I like her Seung Hei who is really a very nice simple girl. I like to believe this is the real Ada Choi, who wishes for a simpler life with the man she loves and the child she adores. I find her performance sincere and real and so therefore effective. Her crying scenes are a bit overdone and big pointing hand movements very predictable but since Seung Hei has to go through so much bad luck, all these are rather suitable for her character. I especially like the quiet moments she shared with Lawrence Ng and how she would put her head gently on his shoulder. Seung Hei may seem weak at first, but at the end of the series I find her stronger than the character of Amy Lam because she doesn't want anything that she can't have. Amy Lam tried to force her way in and when she couldn't get what she wants, she gets jealous because a nobody like Seung Hei in the end received her just rewards. I also like the details that are portrayed in Seung Hei, from her rather baggy working clothes that are a bit out of fashion, to her messy hair and to her limited knowledge in movies. However it would have been better if her hair colour is toned down a bit when she came out of prison because I believe prisoners would not have access to hair colouring and tinting. Other than that I find her performance very satisfying.
A must see for all Ada and Eddie Kwan fans and definitely one of those series that does not promote glamorous lifestyles. There is nothing glamorous about the characters and it is this that I like most. I also like how all these characters make choices that may or may not be the best for them. In the end many viewers may thing Amy Lam is such a wasted talent and she could have survived and even succeed without having to do what she did. In fact she would have done better if she realised she had a friend in Tin Sang, Seung Hei and a man who loves her that is Ken. I think that is the success of this story because we see how nice Amy was at the beginning and how neurotic she became towards the end because I think of disbelief that Seung Hei got the man and she didn't. You may say it is thought provoking but there is a simpler explanation. In a way it reminded me of my reaction to one good character turned bad in Flaming Brothers where I am sure all viewers would have asked when that character died at the end regretting his actions; "What went wrong?". The success of this series is that it makes us wonder of the possibilities and rejoice at the real ending. Definitely a must watch.
I think Ada was nominated for this role in last year's TVB Anniversary Awards. I honestly can't remember if she won anything.
SPOILERS ... SPOILERS ... SPOILERS
Amy was stabbed by Ken and before she died in the hospital, she confessed her crime to the police whilst Ken was imprisoned for many years. But Joey forgives Ken and said she will wait for him whilst she will run her father's company. Tin Sang refuses to return to his father's company, preferring a less complicated life. No mention as to what occupation he will undertake. Seung Hei's appeal for a lesser sentence was approved and on the day of her release, she was greeted by Lui Lui who woke up from the deep coma. Tin Sang, Seung Hei and Lui Lui spent the last few minutes at the beach as Tin Sang and Seung Hei kissed, there was a rainbow in the clear blue sky.
In this series, Amy Lam was truly mean but not necessarily evil. I find her more desperate than evil but that doesn't mean whatever she did wasn't evil. Some of the evil things she did;
1. Killing Kiki
2. Blaming Tin Sang for Kiki's death
3. Being the wall between Seung Hei and Tin Sang though she knew Tin Sang loved Seung Hei
4. Trying to seduce old Mr Chai
5. Seducing Ken for no reason I guess other than for sex
6. Then found a way to get rid of Ken physically, still enjoying him physically and hoping to get what she wants through Ken by ensuring Ken marries Joey
7. Standing there and doing nothing when Lui Lui was having asthmatic attack and even shook Lui Lui a bit during that time aggravating her condition, thus Lui Lui fell into a deep coma
8. Simply by being ruthless in her pursuit of money, man and company.
She failed in most of them but can't fault her for not trying. And yet despite all these as she lays dying in the hospital, there was Tin Sang who was consoling her. He was very forgiving and he realised he couldn't hate her.
My question is could you be so forgiving? Don't forget, she killed your "sister" (Kiki), caused poor Lui Lui to go into a deep coma when she could have screamed for help much earlier and almost destroyed Ken's life. I could never be so forgiving.
The funny thing is in the end Ken will get the girl who will get the company and still retain his best friend. Now that is ultimate justice!