Review: 三生三世十里桃花 Eternal Love

After binge-watching on the latest hit Chinese period drama 三生三世十里桃花Once Upon A Time, I’m finally done with it!!!

Omg, this is seriously such a surprisingly captivating and addictive drama, with good leads, good acting, acceptable special effects, good script and good cinematography!

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Beautiful stills of the drama.

This is essentially a drama about deities and their love lives whereby the story is adapted from a book, with the female and male lead fated to be together as their paths cross in different lifetimes, though of course with a lot of heart wrenching mishaps along the way.

First and foremost, I must totally gush about the male lead Mark Zhao who acted in two roles namely the Warrior God Mo Yuan and Prince Ye Hua. I’ve never seen him act before and never found him especially good-looking, but he totally blew me off with his superb yet subtle acting in his rendition of the two characters in this drama.

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Mark Zhao acting as Ye Hua. Look at that pair of eyes!

It has been a long while since I’ve been impressed by anyone’s acting, and he really really engaged me and captivated me with his acting. He emoted the feelings of the character so well, that you really feel pain for him when he feels pain, happiness when he feels happiness. Sometimes when actors cry you do feel sad for them, but when Ye Hua cries, you feel agony for him. He is able to just really pull at the audience’ heartstrings with every small twitch of his facial expression. Did I just say how impressed I was by him?

Apparently many netizens were initially disapproving of him being chosen for this role, and criticized how ugly he is with his long hair. But he totally won the audience over with his acting and there is now this newly-coined term “plastic-surgery acting” to describe his acting which is so miraculous that it can transform how you perceive his looks. To say the truth, I also thought he looks pretty weird with long flowy silky black hair with his rather gruff and manly face, but after a while I just got used to it.

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Oh no! Stop crying Ye Hua!

I really love reading netizens’ comments after I finished each video, and I realized that about 70% of the comments were all about how superb his acting was. So it is official. He really acted darn well in it, so well that I still can’t stop gushing about it after so many paragraphs.

Actually the female lead Yang Mi also acted pretty well, but it is just that Mark Zhao’s performance is more stirring. But at least Yang Mi managed to hold her own against him.

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Yang Mi acting as a high-ranking fox deity.

I have to give kudos to Yang Mi for her portrayal of the different personalities of her role: during her youth when she was impetuous and cheerful and crossdressed as a guy; when she lost her memory and became a meek mortal; when she became the formidable high- ranking deity.

This drama’s success is definitely in part due to the chemistry between the two leads. I mean, for any love drama, you definitely need to have the audience root for the two leads to get together, to overcome the challenges for a happily-ever-after. I’m always afraid of dramas being destroyed just because of weird choices of the couple pairings because it is hard to root for the protagonists when you don’t even like them!

Thankfully, this wasn’t the case for 三生三世. I do enjoy seeing the male and female lead together, and my favorite scenes always involve both of them together in the camera. Their love scenes when they first met were very cute cos it is the first time the audience got to see the sombre Prince Ye Hua loosening up in front of a girl that he likes for the first time in his life. Of course after that things got complicated and involved lots of misunderstandings and tragedy but it was still very engaging.

In fact I felt quite impatient when I see subplots on Bai Feng Jiu and the Dong Hua Di Jun cos they are just not very important to me, though judging from the comments I read, there were many people who really love their love storyline too.

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To me, the part about Bai Feng jiu trying to replay Dong Hua’s help in saving her life through serving him and trying all sorts of ways to get into his good books, in which her idea of 报恩 (repaying one’s debt) is to chase after him and fall in love with him is a bit ridiculous in my eyes.

But all in all, the drama is quite fast-paced; there is always something happening to push the plot forward, there are enough antagonists who cause trouble and make you want to root for the protagonist while cursing the antagonists, enough lovey-dovey sweet moments that make you want to giggle and smile to yourself, enough heart-wrenching moments to make you feel sorry for the obstacles the male and female leads have to go through.

After watching so many period dramas, I think this definitely ranks as the top 3! In fact, I think I like it even more than 琅琊榜 maybe because this is a lot more romantic, and maybe cos I’m won over more by Mark Zhao than Hu Ge. Haha.

Verdict: 9/10

This drama is a MUST-WATCH! And be prepared to go gaga over Mark Zhao after you see his portrayal of Ye Hua and Mo Yuan.

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About Chasing Carefree

I am a Singaporean Chinese who moved to Chicago in 2015. I hope to chronicle my daily life, rants, travels and observations of the American culture on this blog.
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