What a ride, truly. This drama had it all. Epic sweep, a heart ‘n’ soul-rendering romance, gorgeous places and gorgeous faces, ancient mythology wrought with suspense and high-stakes and some more.
It started off slowly for me, I’ll be honest. I couldn’t see its charm initially (thanks to mookie’s recommendation I persevered) but then, it happened. Somewhere around the mid-teen or so episodes it became such an addictive, heart-thumping, delicious rush and I couldn’t stop myself from binge-watching.
Ah, Shanghai Bund. What possibly can I say to credit this masterpiece. This lavish feast of a story.
Upon finally getting to watch one of its adaptations I feel its popular title ”Godfather of the East” (yes, as in Asia’s answer to Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 classic) is actually kind of… wrong.
Now don’t get me wrong, both were brilliant in their own right but you wouldn’t hear anyone calling Godfather the ”Shanghai Bund of the West”. Maybe likening it as such was a good way of introducing it western audiences back then, who knows? But Godfather is what it is and likewise Shanghai Bund deserves to standalone and shine on its own merit. The two are completely different beasts.
Verdict: 00:12 seconds into the pilot and BAM! I’m in love. It just took that sight above, literally that’s it. Mitsushima Hikari stood out on a crowded city street casually sipping on a juice carton. I’m easy like that.
I’ve watched a sh*t-ton of movies over the past few weeks (ok, months, years, decades) thought I’d review a few, one at a time. One particular one I wanted to promptly write about was Love, Lies.
I watched this because I adore, adore, adore Cheon Woo-hee and was so proud of her seeing her at Cannes film festival last summer. She’s brilliant. I’m sure if you haven’t seen her in last year’s critically acclaimed The Wailing you’d atleast remember having had seen her in the 2011 hit Sunny (hint: glue-sniffer).
I actually had to quit watching The Wailing around its halfway mark due to some really gross scenes (I’m a complete wimp — legit). I’ll come back to it sometime because I’m still very curious. I just need to toughen up. The next choice for that night was Love, Lies. Now I was really hesitant about this one mainly because of its other castmembers; Han Hyo-joo (major intolerance!) and Yoo Yoon-seok (whose character and performance in Reply 1994 grated on me).
But it was either this or The Wailing for me, the ultimate Cheon Woo-hee stan. Alas, wimpy me trumped snobby me and Love, Lies it was.
This is a love triangle but not the typical, predictable kind I had previously imagined. (Because Miss Cheon is in it and she never lets me down.)
I’m back and practically dying to continue writing. I’m saying this with barely a clue as to the current drama blogging landscape and whether or not old good buddies are still around and willing to engage again (sob!).
I’m honestly happy to have taken this step and to be back to a little hobby I always felt was extremely gratifying; just watching something and then spazzing about it.
Oh, I’ve been watching alright! Watching but then wasn’t able to articulate how and what I felt towards what I’d just watched — like, what was the point of that, right?
Funnily enough, what spurred me to re-ignite the blog wasn’t anything from the recent roster of dramas (seriously, I watched ALL of Legend of the Blue Sea LOL — no comment) but Heartless City from back in good ole’ 2013!
Ah! The good old days. Remember them? Torrents and SRTs and things the youngsters today wouldn’t get.
Heartless City. Hmm… It happened after my umpteenth marathon of Infernal Affairs and its Japanese remake Double Face. I suddenly had this raging appetite for a rewatch and I felt back in 2013 I had done this drama a great, great disservice. I had (gasp!) fastforward and skimmed through it and then wondered why nothing was making sense. After completing the show I owed this delicious thing a review — a better one. Hence, here I am. Stay tuned.