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Eternal Love
5 people found this review helpful
Mar 1, 2017
Overall 8.5
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 7.5
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 7.0
To be honest, I wasn't expecting much from the drama version of Eternal Love (or Three Lives, Three Worlds as some may prefer to call it) because of the casting. Mark Chao's initial stills were super disappointing. Honestly, even now I still don't think that he is a good visual fit for the character Ye Hua. The cast for the movie [1] is a lot "prettier" in comparison. I won't say that I've changed my opinion totally, but it's not as bad as I thought. In fact, the reason why I decided to watch the drama is because Dilraba Dilmurat is in it! I think everyone should know by now that the drama is adapted from the novel of the same title written by Tang Qi Gong Zi. The novel is plagued with plagiarism accusations, and apparently there is ample proof of it as well. I don't think it's fair to give the story a low grade because of the plagiarism claims; the production itself is innocent after all. Anyway, I'm not a fan of fantasy-wuxia dramas. There hasn't been any fantasy drama which caught my eye since Chinese Paladin. The genre simply doesn't appeal to me. This is also the reason why despite being an avid reader I've never thought of reading the original novel. However, according to the book fans, it's a pretty loyal adaptation. I also like how there really isn't any overly cliched plots, though it certainly took time for the villains to get their comeuppance. I really really do wish that they gave a happier ending to Feng Jiu and Dong Hua but I get that they have their limitations [2]. I also wanted a "happily ever after" for Zi Lan and Yan Zhi, which unfortunately also didn't happen. There are some actors in the drama whom I thought were hopeless in their craft. In particular, Vengo Gao. He was absolutely terrible in Les Interpretes but he improved a lot in 3L3W. Yang Mi too, seemed to have recovered her form from her earlier years. Her double act as Bai Qian and Xuan Nv was impressive. I'm not as awed as everyone is by Mark Chao's acting - he just doesn't look the part, but I guess he must be good judging by the positive responses. I liked Dilraba the most though. It helps that she's stunningly gorgeous and her character is super likable as well. Overall, the casting is incredible because of the visuals. It's hard to find a drama like 3L3W where every single female character is so freaking good-looking. On the music, I don't skip the opening theme because I quite like it, but I can't say the same for the ending soundtrack. I don't think the music is anything to shout about, I'll say that it's just fine. There are still some minuses though. First is the special effects. I don't think Chinese dramas right now have the technical expertise to make a xianxia drama look believable yet. So this is not a huge knock, just a disadvantage of the genre itself. Next is the styling. Mark Chao looks like Severus Snape when he lets down his hair. Yang Mi's high forehead (when she's disguised as a man) is also slightly distracting. Also, I'm not exactly sure how the deities "grow". Su Jin looked 6 at age 500, but Feng Jiu is still a toddler after thousands of years. I guess perhaps (nine-tail) foxes don't age as quickly, but it's sure confusing. In all, it's a pretty solid production. I'm not sure if it's because I've just finished the god-awful G&I, but the comparison did help. It's amazing how a fantasy drama feels more natural than a pseudo-historical drama. The drama has a pretty good rating on Douban at 6.2 and that's despite a lot of people giving it only one star due to plagiarism. I don't love the drama, but I liked bits and pieces of it and I think it's at least entertaining. You'll probably skip some parts here and there but the length of the drama is actually tolerable. They do have a story to tell and the episodes are not merely fillers. -- Footnotes -- [1] The movie version stars Liu Yifei as Bai Qian and Yang Yang as Ye Hua. Just looking at visuals alone, this is an awesome cast. [2] Another production company has picked up the rights to the Feng Jiu and Dong Hua spinoff and thus they cannot replicate the story from that novel. Also why you most probably will not see Dilraba and Vengo Gao reprising their roles.
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