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Archive for June, 2011


Cast (taken from Drama Wiki):
薛凱琪 Fiona Sit as Xiao Wei
陳怡蓉 Chen Yi Rong as Pei Rong
Li Zong Han as Pang Yong
Ling Xiao Su as Wang Sheng
鬼鬼 Gui Gui as Xia Bing
Qi Yu Wu as Long Yun
杨幂 Yang Mi as Xiao Hong

Genre:
Romance, Drama, Historical


Song is quite nice!

Plot:
Set in ancient China, the tale of the Painted Skin narrates the story of a demon, Xiao Wei, who tries to prove that love can be broken and that true love does not exist in the world.

The story begins with an innocent Xiao Wei, though at this time she is not yet called Xiao Wei, and she is snatched in the jaws of a mysterious demon trap. The noble and righteous man Wang Sheng happens to chance upon her in her animal form and decides to free her from the trap, not know that she is a demon. Because he took time to free her from the trap, he is encircled by his father’s guards and escorted back to his wedding. This was the first meeting between Xiao Wei and Wang Sheng and a moment that she will never forget. From this incident, she transforms into a human and begins to wander the world, Wang Sheng always on her mind.

Wang Sheng is commanded by his father to wed the daughter of a noble family, Pei Rong. She is filled with disgust at having to marry into the family but agrees in order to save her family. On that fateful night, mysterious forces raid Wang Sheng’s family as well as the city. A series of events eventually lead Wang Sheng and Pei Rong out of the city, and are joined by the warrior Pang Yong, who is in love with Pei Rong. Not far behind Xiao Wei are a pair of demon hunters, Xia Bing and her master, who befriend her and then part ways.

The tale of the Painted Skin tells us the story of these characters, embroiled by love, loyalty, and grief. Having her heart broken by another demon hunter, Xiao Wei travels the world trying to find the meaning of love and a man who will love her.

Pei Rong and Pang Yong have grown up together since childhood and were decidedly meant to be together, but what will happen when Pei Rong begins to waver and falls for the charismatic and honest Wang Sheng? Xiao Wei desperately seeks love, what will happen when she finds Wang Sheng again? How will she try to steal his love? Will Xia Bing ever be able to exact revenge on Xiao Wei?

Review:
I want to first point out that I was drawn to this drama because of Fiona playing the lead. I’ve never seen her for the seductive type, and so I couldn’t really see her fitting the role of Xiao Wei. Many of you have probably seen the movie Painted skin, filmed a few years earlier with Zhao Wei as Pei Rong and Zhou Xun as the demon. I cannot say I loved the movie but it was intriguing and a decent production, so when I saw the leading cast I was tempted to take a peak.

The drama takes the audience much further in depth into the story. Because I am not exactly sure the source of this story, I can’t say for sure if the added bits were written for the drama or if there were some written source which served as the inspiration for the drama. From the drama we discover the origin of Xiao Wei and also the origin of the love between Pei Rong, Pang Yong, and also Wang Sheng. Elements in the movie which seemed unclear were fully developed in the drama. Because of this, I felt immersed into the story and it seemed everything that happened in the drama had a reason to it.

The drama production was done fairly well. Mainland dramas tend to have very nice sets and costume designs and for Painted Skin there was no exception. The music and mood which was created in the drama was exceptional as well. There were some action scenes in the drama but the effects were somewhat unrefined, though the quality did not really detract from the drama as a whole but the movie definitely had better effects.

According to the drama, the character of Xiao Wei is a very difficult role to play. She needs to reach a wide range of emotions: innocence, bitterness, rage, sadness, seductiveness, love, and many more. I felt Fiona covered some of these well but could not quite reach the full range, however I believe part of the reason that she could not accomplish this was because of the script. A few of her best moments came during her first heart break and a couple other scenes where she has more extreme emotions, but for some reason her attempts at seduction somehow just did not work for me. It is likely that I usually associate her more with the kind girl and sacrificial type that her portrayal of a vixen just could not get through. The other characters were all great. Wang Sheng was acted out uniquely and I could feel his character. I don’t have much to say about Pei Rong as I was not too interested with her character, but her acting did capture the right feelings for her character and was quite believable. For the most part all of the characters, Xia Bing (I did enjoy Sun Li’s character better), Pang Yong, and the others meshed together quite nicely.

The story itself was fairly solid. I enjoyed the back stories and the incidents which led up to the movie version. The writing in the script felt a bit lacking. I found certain scenes very odd and unbelievable for example the love between Xiao Wei and one of the young demon hunters. I did end up skipping through many scenes in the latter episodes in my impatience to find how the drama decided to interpret the ending of the story as compared to the movie. I found it to be quite abrupt, though quite touching all the same.

All in all, I must say that there were a couple enjoyable parts in the drama but none which brought me to tears. If you are interested in a fuller understanding of the events in the movie I highly recommend that you take a peak into the drama for the first few episodes and even the last two or three episodes. If you are a fan of Fiona you may find this drama quite nice but for the avid drama watcher I think you are best off finding some alternative. I admit this drama was a bit stretched, the effects quite rudimentary, and Fiona’s hairstyle quite unbecoming. I really do love Fiona as an actress, but she just does not fit fully into the role of the demon Xiao Wei, whether it be her looks or even just her portrayal of Xiao Wei.

Rating:
4.0/5.0

Chinese Stream Link:
Watch Hua Pi Here

Song Link:
Fiona Sit – August Girl (includes Wei Ai)

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