The Substitute (2017) poster
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 268 users
# of Watchers: 898
Reviews: 2 users
Ranked #6529
Popularity #8933
Watchers 268

Judo expert Han Lu is still figuring out her personal identity. Her mother raised her as a boy, treating her as a substitute for her dead brother. As a result, Han Lu is unsure about who she is supposed to be. She finds herself drawn to Ni Ke, a bratty and vain internet celebrity. When the two meet at a judo competition, their physical contest quickly heats up into something more. Ni Ke is then cast in an action movie, and Han Lu becomes her stunt double. As they work together, the young women develop feelings for each other they never thought possible, and aren’t quite sure how to label their relationship. As they struggle with trying to figure out who they are, Han Lu and Ni Ke realize there is no substitute for love. (Source: DramaFever) Edit Translation

  • English
  • magyar / magyar nyelv
  • dansk
  • Norsk
  • Country: Taiwan
  • Type: Movie
  • Release Date: Jul 9, 2017
  • Duration: 1 hr. 35 min.
  • Score: 7.5 (scored by 268 users)
  • Ranked: #6529
  • Popularity: #8933
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Cast & Credits


The Substitute (2017) photo


7 people found this review helpful
Nov 6, 2020
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10

Beautiful and Addicting

The Substitute is a film that is able to move you - Every minute is worth it.

I felt in an ecstatic mountain of emotions when I watched the drama, and considering that I don't generally feel that way, you can say that this is very good. To me the film contains a well-developed plot, good performance and a lot of chemistry between the protagonists — I believe there is only one "imperfection", which would be very small SFX mistakes, but they don't disturb the drama experience. If you are looking for something with action, lots of romance and will cause you a roller coaster of emotions, The Substitute is the film for you.

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0 people found this review helpful
Aug 18, 2023
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 6.5
This review may contain spoilers

Love is a solution or a problem?

When I decided to watch the Substitute, the remark I noticed most people give in comments was "low budget" so I was a bit worried. I should not have been! This movie is a proof that one does not need huge budgets to make a good movie. More than good, an excellent movie.

Han Lu is a girl but her mother is convinced she is the reincarnation of her brother so she dresses her as a boy and makes her do everything her brother would have done. Han Lu follows the adventures of Ni Ke on line. She is an openly gay sporty girl. They meet at a sporting event and sparks fly between them. But when Ni Ke unwittingly takes away an opportunity to be an actress and is asked only to be her understudy, Han Lu is disappointed and abandons everything. Ni Ke suddenly disappears and the acting offer goes back to Han Lu . Three years later, Han Lu is a famous action actress and they meet again on a set where Ni Ke is a stunt woman for her.

The movie is split into two parts featuring one of my least favourite tropes: time jump. The first part is drama heavy. The relationship between Han Lu and her mother is poignant. Han Lu wants to be recognized by her mother for who she is but the woman is so lost in her grief that she does not want even to consider her daughter might not be her brother. Han Lu is fascinated by Ni Ke and admires her for the adventurous spirit and open mindedness and her "devil may care" attitude. When they meet the attraction is mutual but Ni Ke's character appeals to the producer more and he gives her the role intended for Han Lu who is disappointed when she realizes that she had lost the chance to flee from her mother.
This first half deals with grief (mother) and how the family copes with someone who refuses to accept the reality. The pressure of the customs and habits are to heavy for someone as insecure as Han Lu to break free so she just folds, every time.
Ni Ke is for her a symbol of freedom. When she disappeared(the reason is a bit unconvincing), Han Lu gained that freedom but at the expense of losing a person loved deeply.
This first half of the movie is amazing: the acting and the cinematography are excellent, the hand held camera filming was just what was needed to enter the inner worlds of two women and show their emotions. Perfect!
The second part takes place three years and is less interesting. They meet again, they clash since Han Lu is still hurt because she was abandoned three years earlier. Now Ni Ke is the substitute. Han Lu's costar is a macho who feels humiliated when Han Lu rejects his come on and when he realizes that the two women are in love, he keeps making homophobic remarks and tries to get Ni Ke hurt physically. The women eventually kiss and make up. This part of the movie seems to have a different camera operator: the colours are cold and everything is gray, empty and morose. The story itself is not sad, but the sets give that feeling.

How does it feel to be a substitute for someone else? This movie answers beautifully this question.

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  • Movie: The Substitute
  • Country: Taiwan
  • Release Date: Jul 9, 2017
  • Duration: 1 hr. 35 min.
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated


  • Score: 7.5 (scored by 268 users)
  • Ranked: #6529
  • Popularity: #8933
  • Watchers: 898

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