This is the story of Zheng Zhan (Ivy Ling Po, playing a man) who goes to the Prime Minister's residence to meet and marry his daughter Peony (the beautiful Li Ching, who won best actress for this role). The marriage was arranged before they were born and the father sends Master Zheng to live in his study to become a scholar, effectively being isolated from everyone else. The young master is lonely and sings about his loneliness to a carp in the water outside the study. The carp morphs into a human who looks exactly like Peony, also played by Li Ching. While Peony doesn't even care the young scholar is alive, the carp loves him, since he sang to her. The question is whether they can love, being that they come from different worlds. This is a lavish musical with very meticulous sets being made. Its a classic love story and it has a sweetness that is very appealing. You will not at all be put off by Ivy Ling-Po playing a man, she has done this in other films such as The Love Eterne. This was Li Ching's second role and she is just stunning and appealing, especially as the mermaid. Even in Mandarin, you will really like this if you like musicals. I recommend it, as the Shaw Brothers were very adept at this genre. If you think you like the premise of the story I think you'll greatly enjoy this film. I did.
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