C-Movie: Palace

  • Title: Palace
  • Chinese Title: 宮鎖沉香
  • Language: Chinese
  • Genre: Historical Drama
  • Released: August 13, 2013
  • Main Cast: Chen Xiao (as Yin Xiang), Zhou Dongyu (Chen Xiang), Zhao Liying (Liu Li), Lu Yi (as Yin Zheng)
  • Rough Summary: Started off as palace maids, Liu Li and Chen Xiang are on good terms with each other, until the princes cross their paths. Liu Li, ambitious for power and affluence, becomes a scheming woman and won’t stop at anything to climb to the top of the hierarchy. But as for Chen Xiang, power and affluence meant nothing to her. It was the love for her prince that she treasured most. Regardless of the suffering that she has to overcome, her heart will still remain by his side.
  • Comment: I am really excited to watch this movie. Judging by the posters and photos, the movie looks like it’s going be of very high quality. And, the costumes are just magnificent – I mean look how amazing Zhao LiYing’s hanfu is! But as most of you may or may not know, the movie is directed by Yu Zheng – the very same director of Gong and Gong II. And this movie is supposedly a spin-off of the Gong series. The Gong dramas have received mixed reactions from viewers and I have read a lot of negative comments about these two dramas. So, this movie could also suffer the same consequence. But personally, I enjoyed Gong and Gong II. Yeah, there were some really cheesy moments and the acting could be overly cutesy, but the story was entertaining to watch. Regardless, I’m still anticipating this movie because the graphics look promising and the cast comprises a strong assortment of actors, most notably Chen Xiao and Zhao LiYing.

C-Drama: Legend of Lu Zhen

  • Another name: The Female Prime Minister
  • Language: Chinese
  • Episodes: 59
  • Released: 2013
  • Main Cast: Chen Xiao (Gao Zhan / Prince Changguang), Zhao Li Ying (Lu Zhen), Qiao Ren Liang (Gao Yan), Yang Rong (Guan Yin)
  • Genre: Romance, Period
  • Synopsis: Originally from a well-off family, Lu Zhen is forced to leave her home due to a false accusation made by her stepmother of murdering her father. Habouring feelings of vengeance for her father, she enters the palace, in hopes of obtaining a position as a high ranking minister to re-investigate and bring justice to her father’s death. Once she steps through the gates of the palace, she becomes involved in a series of events of the royal harem and gets intertwined in a relationship that is disapproved and envied by many.

I’m actually enjoying this drama a lot – so much that I watched it without English subs when there was none available. Don’t worry, I understood a bit of it. I don’t know the historical side to the story so I’m not sure if the drama portrayed it accurately. But the plot is quite interesting, compared to other dramas. Yes, you still have the scheming women of the royal court, manipulating people and using them at their own disposal – a lot of evil plots and betrayal – all for the sake of love and power. However, Lu Zhen, staying true to her nature and holding tightly to the belief that women are just as capable as men, uses her own abilities to climb to the top and garners popularity and trust through her kindness. As you can see, you don’t get the average, weak girl that you normally see in dramas, which is a refreshing change. Despite all the chaotic misfortunes that they encounter, Lu Zhen and her partner’s love remains strong and true.

I love their chemistry!

In the end after all that they’ve come across, they stood together, hand-in-hand.

It took Guan Yin a while to notice Gao Yan’s unrequited love for her, and she figured it out eventually.