Friday, November 06, 2015

Drama review: Master of destiny


Kwan Yeuk-nam (Liza Wang) is a legendary woman. After her husband committed suicide due to a business failure, she single-handedly raised her three sons to adulthood, also establishing her own business empire, Sun Hon Lik, in the process. Now ready to retire, she is prepared to pass down her empire to her three sons.

Eldest son Cho Chi-wang (Kenny Wong) is quietly pursuing Nam's adoptive daughter, Hau Yee (Tong Fei), but Yee is truly in love with Wang's younger brother, Cho Chi-yuen (Hawick Lau). When Yuen's girlfriend passes away, Yuen devotes his life and energy to his career, and Wang's position as heir to the empire is threatened. Song Chi-wah (Monica Mok), a new employee at Sun Hon Lik, seduces Wang and nearly tears his family apart. With her family and business at the brink of breaking down, Nam has no choice but to step up and formally pass down the business to Yuen.

Wah tells Wang that he is not the birth son of Nam. Disheartened at his family, the two team up to incarcerate Yuen. Just when Wang and Wah are about to overthrown Nam's reign, Yee returns just in time to save Yuen. - taken from Wikipedia 


The Scriptwriter for this drama is Hong Kong director Wong Jing. He is known for producing nonsensical movies all these years. Some viewer commented that he had lost touch in his screenwriting. This is the first time Wong Jing wrote a script for television which is in joint-production with mainland China. 

Unfortunately, it is widely regarded as a flop series which has failed to achieve high ratings. Given the name of the series, I expected a lot of drama and actions. There are certain parts in the series that is illogical and weird at the same time. For instance, the romance of the Cho Chi-Yuen were overplayed and the story development became draggy. It is also illogical that the villain can do anything under the sun which cannot be detected and the mistaken medical report of Tang Yi Yi? How did these events unfold that leads to other situations were not fully explained. The sudden turn of events every now and then, with choppy and inconsistent way of writing is also prominent throughout whole series too. 

The first few episodes were pleasant enough to start on a good note. We were introduced to the characters of the story at the beginning which is good. Towards the middle part, it is noted that the story lean towards the troubled romance and the over-the-top conflicts between the brothers. I definitely expect the siblings rivalries but most of the time the plot is predictable. 

The theme about family conflicts is good, although it is an "old" formula but I would expect a brilliant way of executing the story. I am disappointed to say that the story build up its suspense only to tumble towards the end. It is annoying that they tried to tie everything together with a bow and make it a happy ending. Is everything resolved so easily? The only excitement it offers is when Chi-Yuen was wrongly framed for rape and was sent to the prison. Unfortunately, that is towards the end of the series which viewers had already lost interest due to the boring plot which occupied more than half of this series. 

Why did I bother to watch this drama at the first place? Initially I do not have any interest in the show but it was shown on television and I do have some time to spare to watch this drama. My advise is to watch only if you have the time and do not expect too much. The only strength in this drama is the assemble of Hong Kong actresses and actors. That also strike a big contrast when we compare their acting skills. Ultimately, the Hong Kong actors and actresses carries the whole drama and did much better than the mainland actors and actresses with their brilliant acting. The dubbing for this series is terrible but it does not really bothers me more than the weak storyline. However, like the theme song of this series, sang by Edwin Siu.

Theme song: Shaking heaven and earth by Edwin Siu

Main character: The Cho family 

(Hong Kong)

Hawick Lau as Cho Chi-Yuen 

He is the typical good guy second son in this family drama. The most memorable scene was when he was send to the prison. Other than that, this character is rather forgettable. It is noteworthy that Hawick is so suave and charming as compared to his earlier days in TVB. His acting skills is moderately good too. However, there is something about his facial expressions which is rather stiff. 

Liza Wong as Kwan Yeuk Nam

She is the veteran actress that basically carries the whole show with her brilliant acting. Frankly speaking, I would not even watch it if the acting quality is that poor. 

Kenny Wong as Cho Chi-Wan

He is a good actor and I hope to see him in more drama. However, I do not see any character development in his role. He appears to be a sensible man that became blinded by love. His character has been so weak and blind throughout the series. How did he turn into such an idiot? towards the later part of the show, he became so pitiful when he had a stroke.

Edwin Siu as Cho Chi-Ko

He is very good in acting as a timid, lazy and cheeky fellow. It is time to give some him meatier role. Edwin shine in his own ways in this drama. Despite being overshadowed by his elder brothers, he did come across as a versatile and talented actor. He is the only actor that has great chemistry with his co-star.

Selena Li as the young Kwan Yeuk Nam

Selena Li and Wayne Li did excellent in their respective role. Although they only acted in the first part of the introduction. I hope Selena get more recognition from this series as she has indeed improved in her acting skills.

Angie Chiu as the banister 

Angie Chiu guest starred in this drama, Don't they aged gracefully? It is a pity that Angie Chiu has a minor role in this drama. I am truly in awe of her beauty and charm. At her age, how did she maintain her skin and figure so well?

Mainland China 

Tong Fei as Hau Yee

Her acting is horrible... For someone who has a crash on her elder brother and in the midway left the country in disappointment, she does not have much time to make a connection with Hawick in this drama. Can i also add in that she does not have any chemistry with Hawick either?

Natalie Meng as Yiu Lai Fa

She is one of the better actress from mainland. Perhaps the role suited her very well, that is why she did pretty well in her role. She has great chemistry with Edwin Siu who played her husband and is the only comic relief amidst the heavy drama. I like her straightforward personality, although she does not think before she do anything. Her character is the only one that surprised me with her loyalty towards her Husband and family. Sun Xing, her Father in the show acted very well too. 

Zhao Xiao Lu as Kwong Shuk-Han

Zhao Xiao Lu is the least offensive character in the show. There is nothing worth mentioning about her since she did nothing except looking stiff and dull.

Monica Mok as Song Chi-wah

Monica Mok is a convincing villain and her acting is adequate. At least her acting skills is watchable as compared to others. Her redemption towards the end maybe a little weird and outrageous but I like to see the villain repent and pay for their mistakes. 

Tiffany Tong as Tang Yi Yi

Tiffany Tong did not leave much of an impression as Tang Yi Yi. I don't really like her character and she seem to think highly of herself? Anyway she did not have enough time to develop her likable character before she was killed off in an accident. I simply do not feel for her when she is sick or killed by the car accident. 

Michelle Hu as Poon Siu-Kei

Michelle Hu make an unpleasant entrance to the show but she gradually became better in the latter part. She may need to attend more acting class in order to portray her role well. Despite the raw acting, i can see her effort in playing this role. 


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