Three Kingdoms is a Chinese television series based on the events in the late Eastern Han Dynasty and the Three Kingdoms period. The plot is based on Luo Guanzhong's classical novel Romance... See full summary »
Three Kingdoms is a Chinese television series based on the events in the late Eastern Han Dynasty and the Three Kingdoms period. The plot is based on Luo Guanzhong's classical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, the historical text Records of the Three Kingdoms, and other related stories. Written by
Doesn't Cao Cao have that famous saying?
He said, "I'd rather betray the world than let the world betray me."
I have a saying too.
"I'd rather the world betray me, but I won't betray the world."
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No statistics, my gut feeling, Three Kingdoms is definitive the most read novel in China, especially by the Chinese males, partly due to the fascinating heroism and intelligence described in the book, partly thanks to the Japanese game industry (companies like KOEI make games around this book for decades). It is fair to say, a lot of people in China have learned the stories by heart. Lots of Chinese males, including me, have read the book symbol by symbol at least three times.
There is also an abundance of film, TV and game adaptation of the story in China (Look at this the other way, how poor is the creativity in those Chinese script writers' heads, out of the 3000-year-long Chinese history they can only fix their eyes on this 100 years, which is largely based on this half-fiction half-truth novel). The popularity of the novel makes it difficult for any of those videos to satisfy the critical readers. Honestly, to make a film letter to letter based on the original text without any artistic recreation is a daunting task, a lot of dialogs, scenes and actions have to be filled in to make the story-telling to flow. Too many artistic recreation, the die hard readers are going to scream. See, there should be a balance here.
The old 1994 version, in my opinion, is quite an authentic account. True, the fighting and some other things in it were not that jaw-dropping, but they at least obeyed physic. This new 2010 version in contrast, fails at many aspects. The recreation is just a bit over the top and "Hollywood". The action is just a bit too like in circus. The demeanor of the actors were just too modern and "Taiwan" (Young actors pretended to be cool, old actors were way too stiff). And, the music sucks, the same pieces repeated again and again without any variation.
Here I just want to spill my guts about one thing, Cao Cao. This guy is the one of the two central figures in the whole story, the other is Zhu Ge Liang. Besides being an erudite writer, highly competent leader and great strategist, he is traditionally depicted as a cunning SOB, usually gets what he wants by hook or by crook, more or less like the young Bill Gates. The book author Luo Guang Zhong wrote a lot about his achievement, at the same time, he put a lot of negative color on the very same person. This conflictive treatment only makes this personal more fascinating and attractive. Such a controversial and multi-facet person is easy to admire, hard to acted as. Additionally, Cao Cao was somehow a handsome charming guy. Put these together, you get the picture. The Cao Cao in 1995 was very OK. This 2010 was not. The actor Chen Jian Bin failed to compete with his precedent by all account. Not cunning, not pretty, too smart-ass and is downright annoying when he laughed, or pretended to give us a fake laugh.
Try to grab the 1995 version instead.
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