Monday, March 17, 2008

Good Old TVB memories

Recently I've been watching a DVD of TVB's Once Upon A Time In Shanghai, the 1996 remake on the original TVB series "Shanghai Bund". Actually kinda funny how I found the DVD, it was in one of the 'popular' DVD hawkers in Summit USJ as I was just browsing their bargain tray of old movies going at really low prices.

Really loved this show as a kid, as I used to remember watching it on TV every night the series was running on our local television NTV7 or was it MetroVision? :D

Anyways, the 2nd time watching this show was really good because I had a better understanding of the matters in life compared to when I was a kid watching the show just because I knew there were a lot of witty characters in there. Hui Man Keong, the main protagonist is my IDOL!!! The principles and ideals that he surrounds himself with is just so...............SOUND AND THOUGHT-PROVOKING! (maybe more in a future post :D as I would really love to share his memorable quotes in the movies)

For those who have no idea about the show (which I doubt if you are a Chinese), the story revolves mainly around a young man named 'Hui Man Keong' and his rise to fame, fall from grace, revenge, love life and death in Shanghai. He started out as a student campaigning for the rights of China until he was put into prison and upon his release he came to Shanghai to start a new life as a new person with newly found life principles of self-preservation before the nation's interests.

For those who would like to know more read on but beware minor spoilers!!!

He always tells his long-time friends who comments that he has changed from being a nationalist to a capitalist mob, that 'the world is constantly changing, as do people do too'. In his rise to fame, he relentlessly outsmarted a lot of people, switched sides to whomever gave him the most benefit (but with a conscience of what is right and wrong) and even came close to 'betraying' his own country by co-operating with the Japanese on war weapons import. Despite that, at the end he gave into his own conscience and stopped the trade by killing a top-ranking Japanese militant and ended up a fugitive in Hong Kong and being pursued by mobs in the process. When his wife, unborne child and her family was killed, he swore revenge and headed back to Shanghai!

His love life was even more complicated as the one he loved was Shanghai's top mob's (Foong Keng Yew) daughter Fung Ching Ching. He initially refused to start a relationship with her even when she was in love with him, as he predicted anyone with him wouldn't be happy and there would be misunderstandings with her father but in the end he gave in to his feelings. They arranged for a marriage eventually but when he sabotaged a trading deal with the Japanese, he had to escape to Hong Kong and leave Ching Ching because he was being hunted down by her father. Although he married another woman in Hong Kong and came back to Shanghai for revenge, you could see from the portrayal that his love for Ching Ching never died.

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