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Shining for One Thing: The Movie
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23 days ago
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
This review may contain spoilers

If you watched the drama first, disappointment is a risk.

If you watched the drama first, disappointment is a risk. However, as a non-drama audience, it’s a 9/10 — Okay, let me elaborate:

First of all, I want to point out the obvious. The movie has this filter which gives off a “more expensive budget” but personally, I find it pretentious. The drama was in no means low-budget or lacking in editing skills. However, the drama’s cinematography gives off a unique and refreshing vibe. Basically, it’s lighthearted in a good way. On the other hand, the movie had this really heavy vibe going on. It’s not awful but it’s weird okay. It takes away the “it” factor of the drama.

Second, the movie is 2 hours long so the storyline had to be compressed. Some say that the movie is a rehash of some drama scenes. Personally, I don’t agree. The movie, as a standalone/ for non-drama audience, is actually good. It starts off slow (not in a bad way) but definitely does a great job in redeeming itself with the twist in the end. On the other hand, as drama audience, be ready to be disappointed if you expected to see (even just snippets) the other characters from the drama. At the very least I expected a cameo by Zhan Yu, Yang Chaoyang, or even Han TengTeng. Sadly, they’re not there. The only (drama) characters aside from the main leads are Gao Ge, Maizi, and Gao Guangming. To be honest, I truly don’t know how to feel about this. I’m trying to be understanding of the movie’s restricted running time but I really am sad to see them missing. Shining for One Thing (drama) was amazing, not just because of the ML and FL but because of the spectacular side characters and their fleshed out arcs. I mean, even Maizi’s friends who weren’t in the drama had more screen time than Gao Ge. Like???

Third, I also have compliments for the movie. I watched the movie right after the drama so I may be a bit bias but really, I did somewhat enjoyed the movie. That said, what the movie did better than the drama is the “I will love you in every universe” trope. In terms of that trope, the movie was brilliant. That’s why I said earlier that if you watch the movie as a non-drama audience, you’ll definitely enjoy it.

Fourth, let’s talk about Maizi. Now, I found him adorable in the drama. Even with limited screentime, the actor stood out to me. He still embodied Maizi from the drama. I also really liked how they kept Zhang Wansen and Maizi’s friendship, because that was definitely one of the strong points of the drama. Even in the movie universe, Maizi’s loyalty to his friend was just heartwarming & heartbreaking. I’m even willing to overlook the loophole of how Zhang Wansen and Maizi became friends, when the drama established multiple times that they became friends after Maizi beat up Zhang Wansen because of Gao Ge. This was canon regardless of when Lin Baixing time/space-traveled. The movie, on the other hand, tells the audience nothing at all. Nevertheless, since Maizi is still the loyal & kind Maizi everybody loves, I’ll overlook this heh

Fifth, let’s talk about the acting. For a non-drama audience, it’s moving. On the other hand, as drama audience, even love for the drama cannot make me gaslight myself enough to ignore some quirks. Zhang Wansen’s actor kept 90% of his character from the drama. His mannerisms were still there and all that. Acting wise, it’s good but emotionally, it doesn’t feel genuine. On the other hand, Lin Beixing’s actress was just disappointing. It was so so so unfamiliar to the point of being borderline uncomfortable. Imagine this, I’m seeing the same Lin Beixing face and hearing the voice from the drama but the familiarity is not there. The mannerisms of Lin Beixing is simply not there. Adding fire, Lin Beixing’s character in the movie is simply not fleshed out. Not even the movie’s runtime can excuse this problem. Lin Beixing in the movie is simply a girl who Zhang Wansen likes and a girl who likes Zhang Wansen, nothing more, nothing less. Now, as a non-drama audience who watched the movie for the romance part, you probably won’t mind. But as a drama audience, no other words can describe it other than disappointing. Drama Lin Beixing was her own person, someone who actually had their own personality. I really related to Drama Lin Beixing because she was honest of her fears for her future after graduation. Everyone around her seems to have their own dreams and plans while she felt lost. Now, that Lin Beixing was truly a character. Looking at Movie Lin Beixing, I am simply not moved.

Sixth, the music. The movie did not have any standout music, which is unfortunate since what made the drama 10x better is the ost.

In conclusion, I really couldn’t enjoy the movie as a drama fan. I’m trying to be reasonable and give my compliments to the movie. I mean, I do have sincere compliments to the movie which is how they truly did a spectacular job with the “I will love you in every universe” trope. However, from a non-drama perspective, the characters really are not fleshed out. You’ll only truly enjoy them if you are already acquainted with the drama. The irony is, as a drama audience, disappointment is really a risk.

P.S. Some will argue that the drama characters and the movie characters are not from the same universe so that’s why they’re not exactly the same. The problem here is not “not being exactly the same” but rather, it definitely feels like a caricature of the drama.

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