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Once Upon a Time- Movie Review

So, in other words, skip the movie, watch the series (available on Netflix). Now Iā€™m looking for the book šŸ™‚

I hate giving bad reviews but brace yourself because that’s exactly what I’m about to do. At least in part.

Let me start from the beginning. I came across this Chinese movie on Prime, titled Once Upon a Time. I watched the previews and it looked good. Besides, its major attraction was that it claimed to be the movie version of the fantastic c-drama series, Eternal Love (or Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms), featuring Mark Chao and Yang Mi in the star roles of Ye Hua and Bai Qian. I got excited because I absolutely loved the series and if I could own it (or something close to it) I’d be a happy woman.

Eternal Love
Mark Chao and Yang Mi

The movie seemed promising with the beautiful Yang Yang and Liu Yifei playing Ye Hua and Bai Qian, so I shelled out the money and bought it. Unfortunately my glee at being able to revisit the gorgeous production that was Eternal Love soon fizzled away as I watched Once Upon a Time.

The two actors did a great job especially considering what they had to work with–which in one word was a mess. If I had not been acquainted with the story I would have been totally confused. Eternal Love is like a chaotic collage of pieces of the plot in no particular order with lots of weird flashbacks that don’t fit into the story line. But that’s not where the disaster stops.

The settings were so garish they almost hurt your eyes. In fact, at times it was as if I was watching a cartoon. Where the series had sumptuous and beautiful settings in its simplicity of colors and lines, the movie thrived on throwing every color of the rainbow in their brightest, neon-type shades into the screen. Setting, costumes, make-up were just plain awful. Or maybe it was the comparison with the beautiful, elegant charm of the series that made it look so bad.

When Su Su marries Ye Hua in the series, their marriage is modest, set in the woods before a makeshift altar and their wedding garb, in the traditional red, is beautifully simple. When the same characters dress for their wedding rehearsal in the movie, I don’t even have words to describe it (thus the picture. You judge.)

Wedding
Eternal Love
Wedding Once Upon a Time
Once Upon a Time

The love story between Crown Prince Ye Hua and Bai Qian (who is also the mortal Su Su) in the series is beautiful, romantic, and heart wrenching at times with many twists and turns. In the movie, their story gets lost amid the assault of colors and chopped-up scenes.

The only saving grace in the movie was their love scenes because they were both stripped of the flashy clothing and make up and wore simple white garments, no make up or fancy hair-dos. It was the only time in the movie I felt any connection with the characters at all.

The other saving grace was Ye Hua’s son, played by the cutest kid ever. He totally ruled the scenes that he was a part of with his chubby cheeks and playful voice. Something in common with the series after all.

So, in other words, skip the movie, watch the series (available on Netflix). Now I’m looking for the book šŸ™‚

6 comments

  1. I could not agree with your review more! Compared to the series (which made me lose several nights of sleep and had me crying till my eyes were swollen!LOL) was lacking all the emotion and chemistry that I had anticipated. I came to the conclusion that we were truly blessed with the series and superb cast that came along with it!

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      1. Where do you watch it? I have limited access to C-dramas (Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube). I’m watching an excellent one right now, Under the Power (so so good with fabulous acting) and another one not so good (older show, Novaland: Castle in the Sky) very melodramatic and terrible acting (which was very disappointing since one the main characters is a favorite actor of mine). Have you watched them?

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      2. Hi! I have been watching on an app I recently discovered called asiaflix..They seem to update subs a wee bit faster than others! I also use viki and YouTube. I have both those titles in my watchlist but have yet to start them… Have you watched Legend of Fuyao as yet? I have been rewatching while waiting for the final subs of The Long Ballad to be added. I must say that Fu Yao hit me just as hard as TMOPB! Such a beautiful love story! I would love to hear about some of your favorites or recommendations as well! Stay safe! šŸŒž

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      3. I loved Fu Yao and I do rewatch it once in a while, lol. I am now watching Under the Power which I am totally loving. Historical drama. I’m so glad to “meet” someone else who loves these shows. My friends look at me weird when I tell them about it, lol. There is another historical/fantasy that I absolutely loved (and the fact that Bin Bin played the main male role only had a little to do with it, lol). It was called I Will Never Let You Go. The female heroine was very different from the typical for these shows. It was funny and romantic. I also loved Oh My Emperor. It’s so silly but so good. And it has Xiao Zhan in one of the roles, lol.

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