- Overall 10
- Story 9.0
- Acting/Cast 10
- Music 10
- Rewatch Value 10
As a person who initially watched this drama because there was nothing else to watch on the korean side post-goblin, I went into it only knowing who Yangmi was (in the cast).
I have to say, poster/stills wise, the cast didn't look impressive (besides Yangmi that is) so I pretty much had no expectations. Boy was I pleasantly surprised by the end of it.
To be fair, the first few episodes was read more pretty bland. Definitely needed though, to set up the characters. I recall thinking, this God Moyuan is really easy on the eyes, with his facial hair and all. And that was pretty much it.
Things really picked up when Yehua came into the picture - from the snake/dragon troupe, to him for the first time in his life receiving unconditional affection from another, to him trying to woo the girl as repayment, to him falling in love etc. it was all so innocent and pure... which was all a set up for the incoming storm of angst, pain and tragedy that was coming for our two main leads. I'm not a person who backs away from angst ... I feel that the story is much more complex, worthwhile and a better investment when done right, and I feel this drama was the exact definition of that. Sure, it was painful, but at the same time, I was able to appreciate the acting scope of the actors, and in particular, Mark Chao (I could write a whole essay about how thoroughly impressed I was by him). One of the key moments in this drama, where he is forced to do something so terribly wrong to Susu, was probably the same moment when I realised that this guy isn't the stereotypical chinese male lead (sorry, but not many chinese actors cut it for me - they just do the pretty well ...). He is a true actor with huge emotional range. This was truly confirmed by the iconic bts of the same scene - where it showed him being so affected by the scene that he kept crying after "cut" was called out. From there on, it was the "Yehua show" for me. The guy has a knack for showing various emotions and I still don't know how he does it. Not to mention that as the drama goes on, he became even more and more good to look at. I seriously question myself every moment because I initially was like.. meh ... There was fire whenever he stared into Baiqian's eyes!
Mark also plays Moyuan (if you hadn't noticed haha) and he wonderfully made him so distinct that I never thought that they were the same person. Ever. Seeing some of the little moments from the bts clips makes me appreciate it even more as it seems Mark worked especially hard to maintain this - his thorough discussions with the director about the characterisation of his characters during key moments really impressed me.
Kudos to the rest of the cast as well. Yangmi did a wonderful job in my opinion. I loved her as the haughty Baiqian too. And little riceball A-li. His scenes with Yehua were the epitome of fluffiness.
The romance in this series was of another level. Watched a lot of c-dramas and was never this impressed. Ever. The chemistry was sizzling and the actors really became the characters they played. I cannot even fathom how much pressure is on the movie version of things because the actors here were spot on. A mountain would have to move 10 million miles for anyone to replace Mark as Yehua in my eyes. It's just impossible.
All in all, reincarnations, love across three lives, stellar performances; everything that I love in one drama. A definite re-watch (not that I haven't been watching) and still experiencing major withdrawals even after two weeks. Highly recommended!