"This series boasts powerful performances generally and especially by the two acting powerhouse."
SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS!
I really like the English title and I think the Chinese title represents the overall context of this series. Simple and yet to the point.
No. Of Episodes
I think it was 45 episodes
Gallen Lo - Ivan Ting Sin Pun
Jessica Hester Hsuen - Rachel Ching Tin Nam
Raymond Lam - Oscar Ting Sin Hang
Myolie Wu - Ting Sin Yan
Deric Wan - Chung Sau Hong
Gigi Wong Sook Yee - Mrs Ting
Chun Pui - Ting Wing Pong
Anne Heung - Sabrina Kwai Lau Fu
Michelle Yip - Rain Ching Siu Yu
Sek Sau - Hung Pak Tou
Tavia Yeung - Kiko
Chan Kwok Pong - Kai Kai
Lok Ying Kwan - Ting Wing Tong (2nd Uncle)
Unknown - Jack Chiu
Lau Dan - father of Kiko
Cheng Chi Seng - fiance of Rachel, the obligatory homosexual character now so trendy in all TVB series
Ai Wai - Jack Chiu
I was sceptical of how Golden Faith will turn out to be because
1. there's Jessica Hester Hsuen who I thought will probably dominate the entire series;
2. there's the absurd plot about Deric Wan as little brother of Gallen Lo;
3. Myolie Wu as a 19 year old with a 7 year old mind which in the tradition of all TVB series, usually is not an accurate portrayal;
4. Anne Heung as an abused woman which is quite impossible because she can't even act as a normal woman;
5. Sek Sau as basically a maniac and an abusive bastard;
6. Gallen Lo as the ultimate Mr Nice Guy;
7. two well known opera actors by the name of Raymond Lam and Michelle Yip;
8. the expressionless Tavia Yeung;
9. oh so many people; and
10. oh so familiar plot done to death.
The first episode basically solidified my fears because there's Jessica, there's Gallen, there's them running everywhere and the entire first episode was what I could call a travelogue about Australia.
But I had to continue watching because it was prime time and my entire family, all fans of Deric Wan (me too) were watching for the ultimate come back series of Deric Wan. I was a pessimist and I must admit, I am a failure these days in detecting just watching the 1st episode whether it will be any good or will it be pure torture.
This series is a gem in the performances. Point 10 above is not without merits. How many times have we been shoved with plots like big brother and older brother fighting over a woman, power struggle, rich family, action sequences, assasinations, devilish plot, unrequited love, etc etc etc. Just watching At The Threshold of an Era which comes with 100 episodes would have quenched your thirst for such a plot. The first episode of this series was really bad, but once the entire cast settled in and there is no longer any focus on Jessica and Jessica alone, the plot that ensued is like a mix between the Godfather, 12 Angry Men and of course ATE.
The Godfather part is very prominent in the beginning because the Ting family, the focus point of this series is something like the Carleone family. The do dirty business, laundering money for the underworld as the boss, Mr Ting was a member of the underworld. He had a dream though, to legalise his business. His business is actually dealing with gold and he had one person to help realise his dream, and that is his eldest son, Ivan Ting Sin Pun.
Ting Sin Pun is a peculiar person actually. He's the adopted son of Mr Ting, who fished him out of the sea one day and gave him the name of his dead son, nobody knew about this, not even the 2nd wife of Mr Ting. He is a very filial son, a very loving and attentive brother (one younger brother named Oscar Ting Sin Hang and one baby sister named Yan Yan who because of high fever when she was little, suffered brain damage and has the mind of a 7 year old) and a good boss who can comman respect because he treats people with courtesy and gentleness. Which explains why Sabrina, fellow colleague and chief designer in his company was madly in love with Ivan and will do just about anything to help him. One trip to Australia to check out the purchase of big bulk of gold (in the hope of legalising the business), he met the future love of his life, Rachel, a prosecutor who at that point of time found out that her fiancee was gay and in love with another man. In just a day she changed her mind and was instantly attracted to Ivan. But both went seperate ways until Ivan was arrested by an undercover cop, Chung Sau Hong and he was prosecuted with handling and buying stolen goods. Rachel was the prosecutor and time and time again she doubted his goodness until she decided that Ivan was good enough for her and so they started dating. Around the same time Ivan found out by pure chance Hong was his long lost little brother (they were both thrown into sea, Ivan sacrificed himself so that Hong could be saved, Ivan always assumed Hong died whilst Hong, uncle, auntie and a cousin named Kiko always assumed Ivan drowned with his parents as well. Afraid to expose his true identity as Hong hated criminals and in his eyes Ivan was one, nevertheless Ivan always took all opportunities to get to know Hong better and in many ways pleaded for Hong to know him as well. His uncle and auntie eventually found out and together they tried to change Hong's presection of Ivan but to no avail. At the meantime Hong fell in love with Rachel but did not have an opportunity to woo her until one day, Rachel suffered the ultimate betrayal at the hands of Ivan and Rachel was heart broken. Hong took this opportunity and with the support of Rachel's baby sister (who was also Hong's subordinate and madly in love with Hong), finally he got the girl, but ahhhh not her heart! Rachel though hurting was still in love with Ivan but Ivan was now stuck with Sabrina and even wanted to marry her after Ivan did many things, (to the point of destroying the reputation of Rachel as a prosecutor) to ensure both he and Sabrina will not be prosecuted successfully for Hung Pak Tou's murder (by Sabrina). Ivan had to be jailed for perjury and once out, his problems grew bigger.
Ivan's adopted uncle found out that Ivan was not the real son of his own brother and so decided to get rid of him. The question was how and he found this person in Oscar who was growing more and more restless as many of his ideas were not accepted by Ivan (Oscar joined the company to help ease the burden of Ivan). The uncle made sure Oscar would think that Ivan wanted to usurp power and Oscar eventually found out Ivan was not his real brother but didn't do anything, until one day Oscar was kidnapped by his uncle, Ivan did all he could to gather the money and save him but uncle took the money and Oscar barely escaped. Uncle told Oscar Ivan was the culprit and in the moment of total blindness to his heart and mind, Oscar believed his uncle and from thereon the relationship was beyond strained, it was based entirely on hatred. Even Oscar's mother who didn't really believe Ivan could do such things couldn't however accept him as a Ting because he was not. Oscar's reasonings was if he loved him, then Ivan will handover the company to Oscar which he intended too once the goldmine business in Australia was completed. But as Rachel and everybody tried to advise him, in the end Ivan realised he had to let go and good thing was Hong who by then knew that Ivan was his real brother asked Ivan to return home. As Ivan lost one family, he gained another.
But somehow the responsible him could not just stand there and let Oscar go bad. So he decided to do what he could to return to the company, in the process Oscar hated him even more whilst Hong lost faith in the goodness of his own brother. It didn't help when Rachel broke off her relationship with Hong when she realised she loved Ivan more. Hong became angry and disillusioned until Rain gave him a piece of her mind. At the meantime Oscar pretended to be good and get into the good books of Ivan. His uncle masterminded the hijack of the gold bars from Australia that will definitely kill the Ting company and Oscar at the meantime kidnapped Ivan. His uncle wanted to use Oscar to kill Ivan but when Oscar was about to do so, he saw one of his kidnappers and he overheard the truth, that his uncle was the mastermind in the plot fo kidnap him. Oscar immediately regretted what he did and tried to help Ivan but his uncle found out. Gun battle ensured and in the end, the uncle was lying injured on the floor, Ivan was kneeling as he was shot and Oscar was numbed as he held a gun. Hong came in time and saw what he thought was Oscar wanting to kill Ivan. And just as suddenly, Hong fainted, woke up with memory loss and Ivan was critically injured. Oscar admitted to shooting Ivan and Hong was sure Oscar did it. But Yan Yan didn't believe Oscar's confession and there was the question; who shot Ivan.
The ending was every bit as dramatic as the entire series.
The Ending Revealed
Oscar didn't shoot Ivan. Hong wanted to shoot Oscar and Ivan stood in front of Oscar and took the bullet. Overidden by guilt, Hong fainted and woke up without any memory of that incident as he was in self denial. Oscar who felt responsible for everything took Hong's gun and confessed he shot Ivan. In the end Ivan woke up and told his side of the story and Hong basically confessed he was the one. He was not held responsible for what happened whilst Oscar who felt remorse was given a light jailtime of 5 years. His uncle 10 years. Kiko who was pregnant with Oscar's child promised to wait for him whilst Hong accepted Oscar as his little brother. Ivan and Rachel were free to be in love but Sabrina came back. Sabrina explained why she left and thereafter, happy happy ending as once again, Rachel and Ivan were in Australia, happily ever after. Nothing about Hong thereafter or about Yan Yan but Rain at the end let go of her love for Hong and found a new boyfriend in her fellow colleague.
This series exceeds my expectations in many many ways. Whilst the plot is all too familiar, somehow it seems fresh and full of potential purely because of one reason. It's not the Australian scenery, and it's not the ending which is pretty nice. This series boasts the powerhouse of acting. I am very happy to note that there are no bad actors in here, just boring actors, over the top actors, restrained actors, etc. It is very wonderful then to watch a series where everybody contributes to the plot with their amazing performances and what's so great about this series is that there are actors, often second liners who are given the limelight in here. I can see two, often the actors given miniscule roles but of course always shine in them. In here they are given ample time to bring out the characteristics of their characters, and I must say, what a ride this series has been.
This series started out bland and boring. I thought it was unoriginal and unrealistic. This was because of Rachel who could in one day be so in love with her fiancee, found out he was gay, became so sad and then became so attracted to Ivan before the sun went down. Of course there are the pre-requisites of a potentially major relationship; that they were trapped in the gold mine. How she can just enter the gold mine is a mystery to me and having to endure the whole travelogue that is episode 1 and some ridiculous moments, I almost shut off the TV. Luckilly I didn't because things began to pick up pace once Ican returned to Hong Kong and met who would be his real baby brother, Ah Hong. From that moment on and especially after the father's sudden death, everything that happened could be said to be of epic proportions; nothing seem trivial. We get murders, kidnaps, thefts, perjury, sacrificed relationships, etc etc etc. The success of this series is not really in the plot, but the actors who gave layers upon layers of emotions to their characters who may seem at first card board characters.
The Character : Ivan Ting
For example, the character of Ivan. The writers took great pain (and I emphasise the word great) in telling us the viewers how great a guy Ivan is. By the 3rd episode, I am sure we can all agree that Ivan is a great guy. He seems perfect, because he is good looking, he is rich, he is kind, he is thoughtful, loving, attentive, loyal, blah blah blah. Many may complain how can such a guy exist? How can he be so perfect and therefore so unrealistic?
The thing about Ivan is he seems perfect but he is not. He betrayed Rachel again and again and again, but not for personal gain. He often did what he had to do because of other people, once for his father, then Sabrina, then the Ting family. Because of his devotion for the Ting family and his adopted baby brother Oscar, he became in a way blinded by his own love. I believe everything he did for the Ting family is not really because he felt he owed them something or gratitude because old Mr Ting treated him like his own son. I think he did all he did, especially in Oscar's situation because he saw Oscar grew up, and in Oscar he saw Ah Hong, a brother he thought he lost and he poured all his love and attention to his adopted siblings. He actually cared about Oscar which was why when everybody told him Oscar has gone bad, he couldn't believe it. He clung to the belief that Oscar was innately good and that he could be saved. I don't think such a love is forced or fake, and so as I watched Ivan went through one crisis after another, I realised the great thing about Ivan is he is a very sincere person. He had to do what he had to do, but often he tried not to hurt people in the process. He hurt Rachel, wrecked by guilt but still he knew what he did was the necessary evil, because of the concept of the bigger picture. I think Ivan is my favourite male character in here for the way he handled stress, the gentleness he displayed when confronting an unreasonable git like Oscar. Therefore I do think Ivan is not really perfect but in a way he is because everything he did came right from his sincere and kind heart.
Most Memorable Scene
Many, most of them with his sister, Yan Yan. The best however was towards the end during the trial of Oscar shooting Ivan. I was thinking how on earth is Ivan going to save Oscar and not hurt Ah Hong? Well he did it marvellously. Almost cried as he begged to the judge to not blame them both. In fact he was almost blaming himself.
The Actor : Gallen Lo
Gallen looked burdened throughout the entire series, that it was like he had difficulty in relaxing a bit. That is basically Ivan in a nutshell, quite a stressed up person. Gallen has indeed perfected the portrayal of a character so burdened by his goodness, his conscience and his concern for everybody but himself. I think Gallen had made his career playing such characters and yet I find his Ivan interesting to watch. Gallen is really one prime example that when he first started as an actor, he was absolutely horrible but as years go by and as he garnered more experiences as a person and as an actor, he became better and better. I believe this is his last series with TVB (until he return a few years later of course) and what an ending it is. How can TVB let him go? His portrayal of Ivan is so layered and so emotionally controlled that I could feel his burden. After a while I was like Rachel "It's time to let go". He gave a very controlled but emotionally rich performance and his eyes speak volume. The way he looked at his brother, the guilt, the disbelief, the love, everything is there. As controlled as his Ivan was, Gallen managed to make him even more human. Also during these times there was a rumour that Gallen and Jess was having an affair during the making of this series. I do know that he was going trhough something like a mid life crisis but I doubt they were having an affair, physically. But it was obvious they were attracted to each other and I could see his eyes smiling whenever he looked at Jess and of course when Jess looked at Gallen. The intimacy between them without being physically intimate was successful in the portrayal of them as on screen lovers but I can't help but feel the affection was real, as in affair of the heart. All in all, Gallen gave the best performance in this series and possibly one of the best in his illustrous career. Now I hope he just makes loads of money in 2 years time and then come back to TVB. I feel lost without Gallen in a series.
Best Acting Scene
During the board meetings when Oscar and Ivan were on really icy grounds. Notice how hurt Ivan's eyes was, almost to the point of tears but controlled emotions as Oscar blamed Ivan for everything, making life difficult to Ivan. The hurt was from the fact that Oscar could say such things to a brother who loved him unconditionally. Also the scene where the entire Ting family found out he wasn't really a Ting. Gallen gave his best acting simply with his eyes.
The Character : Chung Sau Hong (Richard)
A very interesting character. Started out as an under cover cop and then becoming an Inspector, he is almost not serious at all. He is flirtatious, and he is the practical joker. And yet when it comes to loving and hating, he is kind of extreme. He is passionate, unlike Ivan who is the more controlled one. When he knew he fell for Rachel, he did all he could to win her heart. When he realised he never won her heart, he did all he could to hate her. When he first thought Ivan was the bad guy eventhough he knew he was his brother, he refused to acknowlege that fact because he felt Ivan was not a good man. When he saw how Ivan tried to save Oscar and much much later when Ivan was pushed out of the Ting family, he accepted Ivan and gained a brother. And then Ivan decided to return to the Ting family and because of Rachel, Hong could not look at Ivan without hating him. But in actual fact he loved his brother whom he never had. At times I thought he felt jealous of Oscar who had the benefit of a big brother that he never had, and he knew if anything happened between Oscar and him, Ivan would save Oscar. But he also knew Ivan will never abandon their brotherly love which was why Ivan rather let go of Rachel if he did not have Hong's blessings. The ending was nothing short of dramatic as Hong was wrecked with guilt with what he never thought he could do.
Most Memorable Scene
Many, since this is a memorable character. I especially enjoyed his interaction with Ivan and Rain. But I like the light hearted moments, like the one where he described the many usage for his hair. It was very unserious and funny and yet you get this feeling this man was serious about his hair!
The Actor : Deric Wan
I watched Deric Wan in Good Versus Evil and I thought he gave a competent performance. I read many reviews which said he did little in here. I disagree. So far this has got to be his best performance since returning to TVB. He gave a very charming performance of this very flirtatious man, who at first seemed rather not serious but who actually is. He is funny and he gave a very emotionally layered performance. I could feel his love for his brother and his hatred for Oscar. If anybody ever say he is beneath Sonija Kwok in popularity certainly has not seen what this man is capable of. Perhaps his personal life may not give him much credit but as actor, he is flawless. He and Gallen Lo formed a dream team in this series of acting powerhouse. Sonija Kwok could do the world a favour by learning from him. I must say, welcome back Deric. I missed you!
Best Acting Scene
Also probably the best scene in the entire series. Ah Hong always disapproved of Kiko dating Oscar. So one day he saw Oscar in I think a parking lot. He warned Oscar to stay away from Kiko. That was perhaps the most explosive scene as Oscar taunted Hong and said "I only need to call her and Kiko will run to me!" and Hong was so furious they had such a shouting match and a fight. No words can describe that scene so look out for it, towards the end, where Ivan was again charged I think with murder.
The Character : Oscar Ting Sin Hang
Also a very interesting character. He is not your classic villain as I do not see him as evil. I see him as naive and stupid. But as Ah Hong said to Ivan "How old is your brother? ... Right! He's old enough to be a father, so if he wants to throw away his fortune, let him." But Ivan couldn't let Oscar go down so he did all he could to save his brother. It started with Oscar driving and hitting an old lady and then drove away. Ivan told Oscar to go to the police but Oscar who wanted to evade responsibility went to his evil uncle. So from thereon the relationship between Oscar and Ivan was frosty to say the least. Everything Ivan said or did, Oscar interepreted it as an attempt to undermine him. Then Oscar was kidnapped and he escaped. Oscar believed his uncle and blamed it all on Ivan and when he found out Ivan was not a Ting, that's when things turned ugly and interesting. The thing about Oscar is eventhough he used Kiko to get to Ah Hong or that he tried to kill Ivan, he was at worst foolish and stupid. He's not evil. Like Ivan said, Oscar loved him too much and so when he thought Ivan wanted to kill him, he turned love into hate. And the more he loved Ivan the more he hated Ivan. It's strange but true. I like his ending though. 5 years in prison which I though should have been shorter since he was filled with remorse.
Most Memorable Scene
That parking lot shouting match as one of them. But to me the ending was perhaps the most memorable as he cried and kept saying to Ivan he was sorry and later on met with Hong who was visiting him and for once they had a real conversation in a civilised way. I find that scene very opitimistic and Oscar had indeed grown up. He was ready to take responsibility for what he had done. He in fact felt guilt for causing the rift between Ivan and Hong.
The Actor : Raymond Lam
I still think he has plenty of room to improve in his acting. He and Michelle Yip makes up the opera acting school, as in bulging eyes, over the top expressions, suffocating voices to the point of pain to listen to them. But in here all these were done to good effect. Since Oscar is very young and probably sheltered all his life and protected by his father and brother, I thought Raymond was able to bring out Oscar's likeability at first and of course his stubborness and stupidity in the middle then guilt and remorse towards the end. In just about 45 episodes, Raymond is forced to act from one extreme to the other and any less competent young actor would make this character very painful to watch. I hated Oscar and unlike Ivan who was ever ready to forgive him (since Ivan couldn't believe Oscar was capable of anything bad), I hated him throughout, the way he used Kiko, the way he blamed Ivan, the way he treated Hong and the way he almost threw away his father's hard work because of some stupid misunderstanding. Kudos to Raymond for being unafraid to bring out such weaknesses in Oscar and to make Oscar so easy to hate and yet when he was full of remorse, so easy to forgive.
Best Acting Scene
That parking lot scene. See his smirk face I felt like punching him. Raymond looked dark and ugly in there which give an illusion that he is a great actor. Not yet, but I can predict one more breakout role and probably like Gallen he will be consistently good. Still need to tone down on his bulging eyes, suffocating voice and opera-ish acting.
The Character : Rachel
The truth of the fact, Rachel is one pompous character who is self righteous to the extreme. She can't see beyond herself, her needs. Her frequent line to Ivan was "How can you do this? Have you thought about me?!??!?". No doubt she loves Ivan but she doesn't know how to love. It's not a matter about unconditional love but a matter of trust. Ok, Ivan betrayed her trust again and again but I find it offensive that without knowing the full facts that she demanded him to leave his Ting family and fly to Australia with her, that he betray Sabrina to save his own skin, that he leaves the company and be with her. The fact that she is really a very nice person is besides the point; she's nice but she is selfish. She is always about me and never about everybody else. But when you're in love, of course you expect your lover to do everything in your best interest. Which is why Rachel at first is rather naive when it comes to love. Again and again she questioned Ivan about his love for her and because she knew she is always no. 2 she decided she can't survive in such a love. Then came Sabrina who loves Ivan unconditionally. Charged with murdering her ex-lover, Ivan did all he could to save her to the point of incriminating himself. But in that trial as Rachel heard what Sabrina did for Ivan and how Ivan betrayed Rachel yet again and then proclaimed hi love tearfully for Sabrina, Rachel learned two things; that she loved Ivan even more and that her supposed love is nothing compared to Sabrina. I think by being apart Rachel learned to trust Ivan and in the end realised her love for him is far stronger than her distrust. But then Ah Hong came into the picture. Trying to start life anew, she accepted him but in the end decided she can't love him because she still loved Ivan. So she broke Ah Hong's heart, caused a rift between the brothers and yet again flew to Australia. She knew without Ah Hong's blessing she and Ivan had no hope. When at last Ivan was able to let go of the Ting business, he was shot and she returned to him, begging that he be alive. When he woke up, it was Sabrina who was by his side. But then as Ivan sees himself as her lucky star, of course in the end she gets her man, but of course some scenes of playfulness first which is really unnecessary. End it with a wedding I feel!
Most Memorable Scene
Which is also Jess' Best Acting Scene. Sabrina was testifying about how she was abused by Hung Pak Tou, how he used her as a prostitute amongst his clients, how Ivan saved her, how Ivan did this and that, how she willingly slept with Hung Pak Tou to get back the crown that Hung pak Tou stole from Ivan (which was why Ivan felt obliged to marry her and make her a decent woman), how this and how that. And dear Rachel before that was running to everyone who would listen to persuade Ivan not to confess, not to take the blame for murdering Hung Pak Tou. It was as if she was the only one who cared and I find those scenes deeply offensive. And then came that Sabrina testifying scene and remember to check out Jess' expression, the moment of realisation for Rachel. At that moment Rachel realised whatever she had done and whatever she will do will never compare to the sacrifice that Sabrina did for Ivan. Her expression was like "Shit! I couldn't do that!" and I do think Rachel will never do all that in the name of love. It doesn't mean she doesn't love Ivan as much as Sabrina but she is a practical person filled with principles that are redundant when it comes to love. She is such a principled character that she acts as if she is the high and mighty person incapable of wrong doing and everything that happened was a wrong doing towards her! But Sabrina thought her a thing or two about principles and love. The difference between Sabrina and Rachel is Rachel never truly trusted Ivan and when I say trust, I say in his goodness. Excellent scene and very well done by Jess who then for the rest of the series remained bland and boring.
The Actress : Jessica Hester Hsuen
I am sure many of you are sick to death of Jess playing such characters. But here she is a bit different. You could hate her for her principles and yet like her because she not a bad person. Any other actress would have done this character injustice. But you want to know who would have better in this role? Jess' rival, Maggie Chueng Hor Yee. She would have been perfect as Rachel.
The Character : Sabrina Kwai Lai Fu
Interesting name, Kwai Lai Fu. Once the mistress of Hung Pak Tou and suffered constant abuse and humiliation in his hands. I never knew how much she has been trhough until she testified in court. Hung Pak Tou deserved to die. Sabrina is a gentle person, and she is madly in love with Ivan. But unlike Rachel, she often see beyond her own needs, like Ivan she puts Ivan's need above hers. Even at last she came back she still loved him but she knew he loved Rachel. So what can a good woman like her do? She let him go in a very gracious way. I didn't buy it though that when she got Ivan, she left him because Ivan reminded her of the bad times. It's just an excuse to get Ivan run back to Rachel which is in my opinion a horrible ending. Anyway, Sabrina emerged a happier and stronger person. Anyway the difference between Rachel and Sabrina is Sabrina never doubted Ivan's goodness, she always believed Ivan will do the right thing the right way unlike Rachel who in my opinion is pretty domineering.
Most Memorable Scene
The Actress : Anne Heung
Ok, she's not a good actress though she amazingly brought to life Sabrina's gentleness and graciousness. I have seen Anne Heung being interviewed in real life and I believe I liked her more out of the telly than inside. She gives me an impression she is a very intelligent and articulate person, which not many actresses today could convey. Anne Heung is also soft spoken and devoid of pretentiousness. I saw all that in Sabrina and frankly I like Sabrina, even more than Rachel and she would have been a wonderful wife for Ivan.
Best Acting Scene
Hmmm...if I say none, this means she was really bad which she wasn't. If I say one scene, you all will disagree.Tricky. I would say the fact that I like her Sabrina and hoped that she ended up with Ivan (not because I dislike Rachel or Jess but because I like Sabrina), I feel looking at the combined scenes, Anne Heung gave a decent performance.
The Character : Rain
The usual perky sister in love with her boss who became her sister's boyfriend and she did all she could to help him win her heart. You know the usual nice girls never get the guy type of role.
Most Memorable Scene
Which is also Best Acting Scene, got two. One is where Rain said quietly to her sister, Rachel that "You're so selfish" after she dumped Ah Hong and refused to see her. The second was when she told Ah Hong, who was busy drinking himself silly that he should just let go of his love for her sister and Hong asked mockingly, "What? Have you ever been in love with a woman who is in love with my brother?" and Rain quietly said "I have been in love with a man who was in love with my sister". A very good scene and in the end, well she never got Ah Hong but she got a fellow colleague who loved her for who she is.
The Actress : Michelle Yip
Ahhh, Jess lookalike! The thing is she really looked like a cute baby sister next to the much mature Jess. I always believed if Michelle Yip just stop the opera acting and bulging eyes, she can like Anne Heung display a quiet dignity and elegance. I like her Rain and I love her perfomance which reminded me so much of the 10 minute cameo in Treasure Raiders which is her best acting. Her Rain is cute, responsible, nice and best of all, very elegant in some ways. I feel she should be given more of such roles where she neither need to shout nor act with builging eyes. The less she act, the better she is. I especially liked how she tearfully and disbelievingly and most important of all, quietly said to her sister, "You're so selfish, how can you do this?" when Ah Hong became heart broken. There are some complaints in various reviews that her role is rather unimportant, inadequate and very wooden. I disagree. Her role is essentially a supporting role and is essential because her giving and unselfish attitude highlights Rachel's selfish attitude towards love in the beginning. And her performance is subdued, and therefore emotional without acting emotional. I like this Michelle Yip. Very good performance.
Other Memorable Characters
Like Jack Chiu, played by the veteran actor, Ai Wai. Whilst not handsome at all, he certainly nailed the performance of a very self assured yuppie and arrogant lawyer right down to the very last details. Excellent performance. And the lady who played the mother, Mrs Ting was also very good and of course, Chan Kwok Pong as Ah Kai, the guy who is very responsible and very trustworthy but with a mind of a young boy, his performance was nothing less than perfect. Chun Pui was his usual self, that is excellent. Tavia Yeung gave a competent portrayal as Kiko and her best scene is with Deric Wan but really, this is one actress that I feel will always be wonderful as a supporting cast but will not shine as a lead actress because she lacks that extra something. I think she is a competent actress but very boring to watch. I also want to mention one excellent performance by a veteran actor, whose name I found in Bridget Au's review, Lok Ying Kwan who played the evil uncle.
But I want to leave the best for last.
The Character : Ting Sin Yan
Yan Yan has no defined role in this series, and she is what I call a supporting role. She is a 19 year old but with a 7 year old mind due to one unfortunate fever. She is protected fiercely by her entire family but Ivan was more willing to let her learn to be independant. She may have been pretty useless at first, but with the loving attention of everybody and the encouragement of Kai Kai, she learned to shoulder responsiblity and even count Kai Kai as her boyfriend! At least she will be well taken care of. And when Oscar used her, she forgave him like a child would even after being abused. When Ivan was accused of so many bad deeds by Oscar, she tood by Ivan, unwavering in her support. She didn't care that he wasn't a Ting, all she knew was this was the man who had showered her with love and attention. Then when Oscar admitted to shooting Ivan, she was the one who disbelieved Oscar and begged him not to lie. Yan Yan is indeed a very lovable and yet real person who had a very black and white view of the world. It's her innocence that I believe the audience will fall in love with.
Most Memorable Scene
Also Best Acting Scene, I will say the entire series. But look out for those small gestures, like when all adults were sitting and talking, she would be acting like she's not paying attention. Or like she quickly run to do things to please someone, or like when she tires of playing something, she shoved toy to her brother so that she can do something else. And also notice the way she walks, a big stooping and in very hectice and unpredictable steps, like a little girl would.
The Actress : Myolie Wu
She won Best Newcomer for this role but I feel she should have won Best Supporting Actress in a ceremony akin to Golden Globe Awards. Whilst I may have doubted her ability to play such a character at the beginning of the series, by episode 3 all my doubts disappeared.
I have followed Myolie's career since she first began acting. I saw her interviewed when she won Miss HK and I saw her dorm in her school. I saw her first acting series and I have almost all series since then. Doomed To Oblivion was the stepping stone in her acting career but this series will prove to the world one thing I thought I never had; I have taste.
You see, when I saw Colourful Life, I already liked her. I felt she will be a good actress and she will be even better given time and maturity. Certainly she is now all grown up, her voice not as sharp or girlish and she looked a bit older. Her acting has gotten better and better to a point that I feel if her performance fails, it is because of the material that failed her. In fact i admire her because she is probably one of the very few actresses that dared to do stage shows. She in every way reminded me of Mariann Chan.
And now we came to this moment of truth. Her Yan Yan is so likeable and very trusting. She successfully gave Yan Yan, a character without a purpose a real purpose in this series; for Ivan, when he saw her, his worries disappeared. For Oscar, she would be his conscience and for the viewers, she will be the reason why this series whilst very serious managed to retain its innocence and originality. I find her performance perfect, without much complain and it is in the smallest details that Myolie gave the best acting. I feel she gave the best female performance in this series, and certainly many young stars should learn from her. Shirley Yeung for one. For someone that is still considered new, she is very confident in her performance. It's quite obvious she loves acting because she loves it and for no other reason and certainly a lot of attention was put into her behaviour, the way she talked and walked. This is my definition of a good performance; for those who proclaimed certain actresses as GREAT actress certainly do not know what is meant by acting. I find it offensive that so many posts has been dedicated to so called great actresses of TVB (and I am sure you know who I am talking about) and so many roles given to the up and coming that a great talent like Myolie is often forgotten. In this series she certainly hold up to the acting powerhouse and I feel this series is even better than great because of her.
So I shall say, Myolie, I salute you!
Many. Jess and Gallen (as in Jess and Gallen and not Rachel and Ivan!). Deric and Michelle. But my vote goes to Myolie and Gallen. The way Gallen looked at her full of love and adoration and the way Myolie looked at Gallen, full of respect. Excellent chemistry and the best thing is everybody treats her like a real little girl!
This series is not without its flaws. The worst is the technical aspect, like the law. I feel TVB should do more research because mocking the law for the sake of sensationalism is really very amateur stuff. You're asking what mocking? Let me count the ways.
Ivan's 1st Case
Self explanatory. Already the guy said he gave the money to the old man was because he was his father's very good friend and he never intended to buy stolen goods and that the bag of stolen gold was flung into Ivan's car without Ivan's consent, the prosecution still want to argue whatever they were arguing. I was lost in their point of argument.
Notwithstanding the shouting and tears, the way the jury deliberated is an insult to the great film, 12 Angry Men which I believe this series was trying to emulate. Shallow jurors but at least, fair verdict.
Mr Ting's Will
You know in law when you make a will it is binding and legal. This series tried to make a mockery of all that by Oscar demanding that the brother showed how much he loved him by giving up on the portion Mr Ting left Ivan by admitting the will was a fake. Either that, or just give up or Oscar will bring an action to court saying the will was fake. Notwithstanding the fact that 2 reputable lawyers were witnesses, and that the signature was his father's. Where are all the handwriting experts? CSI?? And just because these 2 lawyers were intimate friends of Ivan doesn't mean they would forge a fake will since they too knew Mr Ting. So is it a law in HK that you can's ask a close lawyer friend who knew the beneficiaries to draw up your will? Very juvenile. And Oscar and uncle kept saying, father made an old will that left equal portions to everybody so why would he make a new will giving almost all of it to Ivan who is not even his son? Many people can testify despite knowing he is not his son, Mr Ting still loved him like his own. What? Adopted son cannot get the majority in the asset is it?
Hung Pak Tou
A comical character which was supposed to be scary. I didn't find him scary at all because Sek Sau gave such a bad performance. You have to watch to know what I am talking about. He exudes neither malice nor lust. I just find him amusing.
As illustrated above in my lengthy review, this is one of those series you must never ever miss. This series boasts powerful performances generally and especially by the two acting powerhouse. Fans of Deric and Gallen will be pleased as well as fans of everybody else (except Sek Sau). Fans of Myolie Wu must watch this series where she gave a career defining performance. And I love the themesong, whistling and all and Gallen sang the song straight from his heart. Despite the rumours surrounding the affair between Gallen and Jess, this series is certainly not affected by such negative rumours.
A really excellent