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jennydinhworld

Australia

jennydinhworld

Australia
The Untamed chinese drama review
Completed
The Untamed
1 people found this review helpful
by jennydinhworld
Aug 11, 2019
50 of 50 episodes seen
Completed
Overall 10
Story 10.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 10.0
I'm going to begin my review by arguing that this drama has seriously changed the game amongst asian dramas, which have been saturated by over done tropes and character clichés. This drama really stands apart due to its originality and aesthetics (though there are still some problems with The Untamed) - it is definitely deserving all the praise it has received.

Story:

What makes this drama outstanding is the complex and detailed story telling of the world that our characters are set in. It is a little difficult to get what is going on, since there are elements/traditions which are unfamiliar to us. Reading the novel really helped me understand the plot a lot more (exiled rebel scanlations has a translated version of the book online, and it’s great). But once you get into, man do you get into it.

The attention to character development is fantastic, as well as the character motivations. I love the moral dilemma that Wei Wuxian undergoes throughout the drama, and his understanding of the hypocrisy of human nature is explored through his own transition from seemingly good to seemingly evil. Lan Wangji’s understanding of what is black and white (good and evil) is also explored, and he asks questions of whether you can judge someone based on the rules and laws that the world forces upon you - this is heavy since he is someone who is righteous and sincerely believes that rules can hold a person upright. However, his view ultimately changes when he meets, and develops a connection to Wei Wuxian.

Acting/Cast:

Our two main leads are phenomenal. Xiao Zhan really carries his performance of Wei Wuxian exceptionally - from mischievous to menacing, his range as an actor stands out here. Wang Yibo plays Lan Wanji, and while you may have a negative impression of him at first, I really do believe his portrayal of Lan Wangji is true to the novel. It’s extremely difficult acting out a cold, indifferent, character with little to no lines in a way that is not arrogant or boring. We often associate characters with no emotion as lack in acting skills, but Wang Yibo conveys his emotions through his eyes, and each movement is deliberate as are his words.

Their relationship throughout the drama is not neglected, and this is a major reason as to why this drama stands out from the rest. Despite the possible backlash, they still emphasised the deep connection that these two men have (despite their genders), while also not detracting from the overall story. While it is not romantic in traditional means, I appreciate how Wangji and Wuxian’s relationship can be up to the viewer’s interpretation - and it is acknowledged that the two do love each other (whether it be romantic or not, up to you).

I want to delve into the rest of the cast, but then this would make this review too long, but I do want to point out that everyone casted (including our juniors cast) are amazing and really portray their respective characters well.

Camera/Directing:

Something that is difficult for the novel to portray is visual aesthetics - and this is what The Untamed shines at. Every shot is no joke, breathtaking. The depth of field, as well as the camera directions all contribute to the story, and that’s why every promo pic you see of The Untamed is freaking gorgeous.

The CG effects though, can often times degrade the beautifully shot scene. Sometimes it would be awkwardly placed, and you can easily tell as a viewer that it’s not meant to be there and it looks cringy. However, there are some moments in the drama, where the CG adds to the episode, and enhances it. I think this is uncontrollable though (because of budget etc) but that’s one thing to keep in mind when watching.

Music:

The music within the drama plays an important role in story telling since our two main leads play very popular instruments. The music within the show enhances the visual performance as well as aesthetics, and are well arranged. Though sometimes certain songs/melodies would be overplayed at times, but I think the different renditions of the songs really helped this. Not only is the soundtrack of the show great, the original songs part of the soundtrack is fantastic.

Conclusion:

I am so glad that they created a live action of this amazing story. The aesthetics is consistently gorgeous, all of the actors fit their role almost perfectly and the story is well written and adapted despite censorship in China.

That was my long winded review, if you managed to read to the end please comment or message me your thoughts!

If you’re still deciding if you want to watch it or not… WATCH IT ASAP!
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