I’ve finished watching this drama for quite some time, but didn’t write a review for it until now because I need time to recover from the traumatic ending…… Now that I’ve finally recovered, let me start reviewing!
*This review contains major spoilers. Thus if you don’t want any spoiler, run now! I will not be responsible for the change in your mood after you’ve finished reading the review.*
For those who can’t make it to Shanghai for his concert, you can watch him in King of Shanghai or read my review lol.
The drama was released in 2008 and was based on novel with the same name. It’s a story of a young girl called Xiao Yue Gui, played by Yuan Li who came to Shanghai in the chaotic time of the 1920s. She sold herself to a brothel to survive and feed her family. She was not aware that she was attracting the attention and affection of Chang Li Xiong (Chang Yeh), played by Wei Zi, who was the mobster King of Shanghai. Despite their huge age gap (Xiao Yue Gui is 15 years old at that time and Chang Yeh was about 45 years old), Chang Li Xiong truly loved her and treated her well. Thus he asked her to marry him.
However Chang Yeh’s foster child, Yu Qi Yang (Ah Qi), played by Wallace Chung has a crush on Xiao Yue Gui. Although he loved Xiao Yue Gui, he hid his feelings deep in his heart and didn’t want to go against his foster father. After all, her family members were killed by the mobster in her hometown and she was saved by Chang Yeh. Hence she decided to marry Chang Yeh even though her feeling for him was at most, only admiration.
On the day of their wedding, Chang Yeh was killed by a planned murder. But Xiao Yue Gui was already pregnant with Chang Yeh’s daughter. After Chang Yeh’s dead, she was chased away by Xin Dai Yu (Xin mama) played by Song Jia, who’s been jealous of Chang Yeh’s love for her. After her daughter was born, Xin mama took her away, and made Xiao Yue Gui promise to never look for her in the future. Heartbroken, she left Shanghai.
10 years passed by, although Ah Qi had been looking for her for years, he still had no information on her whereabouts. During that time, Xiao Yue Gui had becomes a popular opera singer. After she returned to Shanghai, she won the heart of the second generation of mobster king, Huang Pei Yu, played by Chen Rui. After Ah Qi accidentally encountered her, he confessed his feeling for her. But Xiao Yue Gui didn’t gave him an answer.
Upon discovering that the assassination was planned by the second mobster king, she swore to take revenge. After she successfully took revenge for Chang Yeh, Ah Qi became the third generation of the mobster king. The fact that Xin Li Li played by Shi Xiao Qun, who was brought up by Xin mama was her daughter was unknown to anyone.
After about another 10 years, the power of the mobster group decreased. In order to keep the organization going, Ah Qi decided to work with the government but the government was only using them to do all the dirty work. Ah Qi’s decision was opposed by many of the other members. However, the responsibilities and pressure to not let the organization end in his hands made him take a lot of extreme actions.
He even killed some of their members including his own good friend and accidentally hurt Li Li. The other high-ranking members of the organization and Xiao Yue Gui decided to drag him down to put a stop to his action. In the end, they decided to play a real game of Russian roulette (eh, not a good idea sir), between Xiao Yue Gui and Ah Qi (even worse). Ah Qi purposely loaded the bullet during her turn (not sure how he did that without being noticed by anyone) and took the shot.
Oh, this reminds me of my trauma…. Before he took his last breath, he asked her “Do you love me?” Xiao Yue Gui burst into tears and said “I love you!” Woman, what took you almost 20 years to say that? When Ah Qi was dying, she kept shouting “Nooooo!” Hey, why didn’t you think of that when you agreed to play the game?
Well, that was a long summary….
Yuan Li as Xiao Yue Gui
Wallace Chung as Yu Qi Yang
Wei Zi as Chang Li Xiong
Liu Yu Xin as Qin Yun. She grew up with Ah Qi and has a crush on him. Thus she hated Xiao Yue Gui.
Shi Xiao Qun as Xin Li Li. She has a crush on Qi Shu Shu (Uncle Qi) without knowing that he has a long time crush on her biological mother lol.
The thing I like about this drama is it’s different, has many artistic shoots (sometimes it took too long to capture a single frame) and has a lot of monologue or just words written on the screen. The story is suspenseful and will keep you watching. Although I’ve just given you spoilers for the whole drama 😛 But I kept some of them, so there will still be some surprises if you decide to watch it.
At first, I thought this story was about a woman climbing her way up in society and how she finally became the leader of the Shanghai mobsters. It turned out differently from what I thought. The drama did focus more on the female lead, so Wallace’s screen time was not as much as hers. Anyway even though he’s not the focus of the story, his has enough screen time, at least not until the second half.
Most of Ah Qi and Xiao Yue Gui’s sweet interactions only happened in their flashbacks. I really like Ah Qi at the beginning of the drama because he’s loyal to Chang Yeh, funny and naughty when he’s playing with Xiao Yue Gui and always smiling happily. As the story progresses, his character became more hardened and bitter due to Xiao Yue Gui’s disappearance. He was not as strong and capable as the other mobster kings.
In the last 5 episodes, his character was a torture to watch. I was torn between whether to continue liking him or to hate him. He basically destroyed the Ah Qi that I liked at the beginning of the drama. Overall, I think I still like Ah Qi. If not, I won’t be so sad when he died. I think Wallace’s acting skill, brought out the character very well as I can feel his inner struggles whether to cross his line or not. Hence he chose the former.
Ah Qi grew up in the organization and it is like his family. Therefore, he definitely would not let it end in his hands. He would rather die than do so. 😦
Yuan Li looked really old, standing beside Wallace, although she’s only 1 year older than him. Moreover, Xiao Yue Gui kept calling him Ah Qi Ge, this does not help at all. Anyhow I think she’s a decent actress.
Wallace looks really hot in the drama. As I’ve said before, not even Lu Li Cheng or He Yi Chen can beat that kind of hotness. He’s a combination of maturity, youthfulness and coolness. Those still didn’t do him justice. Trust me, he’s way hotter in motion. You can ask Comnhomvn to confirm this if you don’t trust me 😀
In this drama, he seemed very popular with women, but he still didn’t get any girl… Here are some shooting scenes in the drama
This is the drama where Wallace smoked the most. As a non-smoker, Wallace’s acting is so convincing that it felt like he has been smoking for years. Every time he smoked, I felt bad for him. But he looked extremely dashing doing it. Not that I encourage it…
Murong Feng, what are you doing to my Ah Qi Ge?? Let go! I know both of you are heartbroken but don’t do this to the fangirls >. <
This fan made MV summarized Ah Qi’s feelings towards Xiao Yue Gui very well (Spoiler alert, well… this review had already told you more than enough…)
I like the OST “Live in Love.”
Another well made MV of Ah Qi. You can feel his charisma as a mobster here. He acted really well.
Credit: Drama wiki