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Xie An Zhen was happily married with one daughter until her husband cheated on her with her cousin. And the ensuing divorce became a battle of love and wits.
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I'm not into Taiwanese dramas but I loved this one. Some people who finished The Fierce Wife complained that it was infuriating and moved at a snail's pace. In my opinion, they never got the whole point. This is a story about GROWTH. It is about a woman who found her self-worth after the breakdown of her 10-year marriage. It was slow because the writer and director took much care in developing the conflict in the story and building up the anticipation in order for the viewers to gain a better understanding of the relationships and motivations.
The lead character An Zhen is everything that a man could ask for in a wife. She was loving, thoughtful, sweet and self-giving to a fault. It was obvious from the very start that she was that "type" who would give up everything for her man in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, her husband never appreciated her for who she was nor her efforts because he was so used to having her around, pandering to his every whim and his every need. He abused her love, destroyed her trust and even became so thoughtless as to force her to divorce him while she was recuperating from a car accident at a hospital. Thus, the journey of An Zhen is what makes the drama engaging and uplifting. Indeed, she had become "fierce" but not in the way that most people would think. No she did not become this femme fatale on a mission of revenge against her husband and his mentally-unstable mistress. She became fierce in a way that she was able to find her inner strength and proved that boring, homely wives like her can go beyond the stereotypes and reach boundaries beyond their expectations. I loved not only her physical transformation (Sonia Sui is gorgeous!) but also her emotional transformation.
My favorite side characters in the drama are easily the women: Rui Xuan, the funny sister-in-law, and He Ai Lin. I liked Rui Xuan because she provided comic relief alongside her husband. He Ai Lin...well she never gave a good first impression but she grew on me. She was the typical beautiful and successful career woman who never seemed to get a break until she married the man who was not her type but who treated her so well. They provided such a strong support for An Zhen and dealt with Wei En like no other woman could!
I just have one gripe: I wish that the character of Wei En was given more layers and that the reasons for the affair were more fleshed out. I didn't really like how she was merely designated as a "psychotic" self-centered mistress worth hating. It was necessary to make the viewers understand why the affair took place on a much deeper level. Was there another reason to the affair aside from the fact that Rui Fan was bored and experiencing some sort of mid-life crisis? When is enough truly enough? What truly went wrong? Not everything can be clearly defined as purely black or white after all. In life, we often deal with and make choices based on grey areas.
Would I recommend this drama though? Yes, definitely! But this calls for a more mature way of thinking since it is a journey in itself. Also, the ending (which i LOVED btw) is not really meant to resolve the main conflict in concrete terms. I'd recommend this simply because the drama proved to me that you can be strong without being bitter and that you can be kind without being a doormat. It's a human story that anybody can relate to. Also, the performances of Sonia Sui and James Wen were really great and their chemistry was good even though they played an estranged married couple.
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I must warn you beforehand this drama starts slowly.
It takes a lot of episodes for the summary in description to unravel. And somewhere in the middle you'll start seeing things you waited for since the beginning. But the slow start was necessary. It allowed us to see the characters in their usual surrounding and when the crisis starts we see the change in their character imposed by the situation they find themselves in and as the peek of the turmoil passes we see them grow and develop. And that's one of the great things about this drama.
Story is full of various questions about life, love and marriage. Some answers were left to the watchers others are hinted.
There are also funny moments. Side couple was crazy and hilarious at times and the couple that we all root for is so adorable together.
I've read few comments describing An Zhen as a saint. I didn't get that impression. She is good but she is far from perfect. The whole essence of this drama is her character development and growth and not only hers but others' also. It would send a very bad message is she was the kind who holds grudges and hate. One of the main point of this drama is that; if we could forgive or at least give up our hate and anger we can move on and be happy. I believe that is true.
Acting is good. Music was very nice. There are a few songs that I really like.
I don't know if I'll re-watch it or not. It's too soon to tell.
If you are unsatisfied with the ending watch the sequel, movie called The Fierce Wife Final Episode. :)
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