Once Upon a Time (2017) poster
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 4,925 users
# of Watchers: 9,694
Reviews: 51 users
Ranked #7113
Popularity #1653
Watchers 4,925

Three hundred years ago, Bai Qian stood on the Zhu Xian Terrace, turned around, and jumped off without regret. Ye Hua stood by the bronze mirror to witness with his own eyes her death. Three hundred years later, in the East Sea Dragon Palace, the two meet unexpectedly. Another lifetime another world, after suffering betrayal Bai Qian no longer feels anything, yet she can't seem to comprehend Ye Hua's actions. Three lives three worlds, her and him, are they fated to love again? ~~ Adapted from the novel "Three Lives Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms" (三生三世十里桃花) by Tang Qi Gong Zi (唐七公子). Edit Translation

  • English
  • 中文(简体)
  • Русский
  • Deutsch
  • Country: China
  • Type: Movie
  • Release Date: Aug 4, 2017
  • Duration: 1 hr. 40 min.
  • Score: 7.4 (scored by 4,925 users)
  • Ranked: #7113
  • Popularity: #1653
  • Content Rating: 13+ - Teens 13 or older

Where to Watch Once Upon a Time

Free (sub)
Prime Video
Purchase (sub)

Cast & Credits

  • Crystal Liu in Once Upon a Time Chinese Movie (2017)
    Crystal Liu
    Bai Qian / Su Su / Si Yin
    Main Role
  • Yang Yang in Once Upon a Time Chinese Movie (2017)
    Yang Yang
    Ye Hua | Mo Yuan
    Main Role
  • Luo Jin in Once Upon a Time Chinese Movie (2017)
    Luo Jin
    Zhe Yan [Bai Qian's best friend]
    Support Role
  • Peng Zi Su in Once Upon a Time Chinese Movie (2017)
    Peng Zi Su
    A Li / "Duan Zi" [Ye Hua's son]
    Support Role
  • Li Chun in Once Upon a Time Chinese Movie (2017)
    Li Chun
    Su Jin [Ye Hua's concubine]
    Support Role
  • Zhang Ya Qin in Once Upon a Time Chinese Movie (2017)
    Zhang Ya Qin
    Nai Nai [Su Su's maid]
    Support Role


79 people found this review helpful
Aug 11, 2017
Completed 3
Overall 3.0
Story 3.0
Acting/Cast 5.0
Music 4.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
After having watched it, I can understand why this movie is receiving a lot of flak from its viewers.

STORY (No spoilers)
As a stand-alone movie, the way the story was told was choppy and incoherent - there was often little connection from one scene to the next, and from one character's actions to the next - so the viewer is often left confused and disoriented with what is happening and why the characters are behaving the way they do. Therefore, in terms of story-telling, this movie falls down pretty hard. For those who don't know the story behind the movie beforehand, the film would come across not making much sense, which, I can imagine, would be a pretty disturbing and disappointing watch.

Those who do know the story beforehand are generally able to fill in the blanks and insert all the backstory in between scenes but even speaking as someone who knew the backstory beforehand, I still found myself trying to figure out what was happening on screen and where the scene fitted in within the whole. It was terrible because your mind is having to adjust and place the characters and circumstances in the right place as each scene flashed by so you're always playing catch-up and whatever emotional connection you had with the characters ends up getting lost. You're no longer feeling the story or the characters any longer, you're playing catch up to what's going on.

It is worth noting that as the movie attempts to condense and reduce a very lengthy story into a 2-hour telling, the production team naturally had to make some changes to some characters and events which will inevitably differ from the original source material. While this is entirely understandable, it can also hamper the watch experience because in addition to the 'playing catch-up' process, the viewer is then also having to make sense of the changes within the movie-context in itself.
I personally found some changed plot-lines and new scenes baffling and bizarre, and to this day, still have no real idea why certain things happened, or what the director was trying to tell. A good example was the way the movie ended - haphazard, chaotic, baffling and bizarre.

In terms of pacing, the film was rather inconsistent. Some scenes were given plenty of space and air-time while other scenes flashed by so quickly that just before the viewer had time to absorb who was on screen and what was happening (especially for those having to read subtitles), it has ended and you're confronted with a completely different and new scene and your mind is having to adjust from the whiplash.
It made for a very scattered and disconnected viewing experience and I can't help but think that if the director or editor had spent less time dwelling on certain scenes (e,g, the long pan and introduction into Qing Qiu being one of them), there might have been more time to allow other scenes to breathe better.

I also found myself wondering why the director chose to use or dwell on certain scenes which do not really add value in advancing an already fast-moving plot e.g. there was an extended sequence of Ye Hua cooking for Bai Qian (let's not even go into how that scene was depicted). Precious minutes spent on a cooking class when there is still so much ground to cover.

The choppy incoherent story-telling and inconsistent patchy pacing issues probably did not help (maybe even compounded to) the perception of underwhelming acting from the cast. Characters were not given enough time to establish their roles and personalities what more for them to show us their evolution throughout the movie. As a result, it made it difficult for the viewer to understand their motives and their actions as the movie progressed. With the lost emotional connection, it is easy to pan the actors/ actresses for bad portrayals of their characters. Perhaps some of it can be put down to lacklustre acting ability, but I do also believe that another part of it was down to poor scripting of the characters, and to poor directing and editing of the movie.

Yang Yang and Crystal Liu were suitable for their roles - looks-wise.
I thought Crystal was serviceable as Bai Qian but some key scenes which required her to exercise her haughty authority as the Queen of Qing Qiu did not have as much impact as I would have hoped for.
Yang Yang portrayed a rather different Ye Hua from the original source material in terms of personality and attitude. Some viewers might enjoy this fresh take on Ye Hua's character, while others like myself might have found it off-putting and borderline disturbing.
The rest of the supporting cast had too little airtime to really provide them with proper personalities therefore a lot of them came across as one-dimensional, one-note characters with a very set purpose to fulfil in advancing the plot along. They were there to do this, or do that, or say this, or say that, and their job was essentially done.

As I was too focused on trying to follow the plot and the happenings on-screen, I had very little time to appreciate the music score, except during that long pan of Qing Qiu.

Unfortunately, all things considered, I have to say that it was an unpleasant watch for me. There was very little I enjoyed or liked about this movie, therefore a re-watch is not even a consideration.

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24 people found this review helpful
Jun 5, 2018
Completed 2
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 10
Rewatch Value 7.0
As a person who as not read the wuxia or watched the drama I came into watching this with no expectations for it to uphold. I overall Enjoyed the show even though you could tell that it was extremely rushed and confusing at some points, but through the dialogue and interactions I was able to get the gist of things. Some good points of the film is the animation and costumed designs for the main cast.

Overall if your like me and haven't experienced both the novel or drama, you should give it a shot because you might just end up liking it like I did.
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  • Movie: Once Upon a Time
  • Country: China
  • Release Date: Aug 4, 2017
  • Duration: 1 hr. 40 min.
  • Content Rating: 13+ - Teens 13 or older


  • Score: 7.4 (scored by 4,925 users)
  • Ranked: #7113
  • Popularity: #1653
  • Watchers: 9,694

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