Based on the mid-eighteenth century novel by Cao Xueqin, and taken from editors Cheng Weiyuan and Gao E's adaptation of the novel, this TV-series is a remake of the 1987 version by CCTV. It...
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Janine Chun-Ning Chang,
Based on the mid-eighteenth century novel by Cao Xueqin, and taken from editors Cheng Weiyuan and Gao E's adaptation of the novel, this TV-series is a remake of the 1987 version by CCTV. It is a story about the love between fun-loving and carefree Jia Baoyu and sensitive and ill health-prone Lin Daiyu. It is also about the feudal ruling class system through the prosperity and decline of the four notable families of Jia, Xue, Wang and Hsueh. To prepare for the visit of Baoyu's sister, Imperial Consort Jia Yuanchun, Grand View Garden was installed in the family compound. Baoyu and his siblings and cousins later attend school and spend quality time there; much of the series' course of events take place in the Garden. Written by
The TV series is re-produced version after the same titled version in 1987. Compared to the old version, this one has the following advantages and disadvantages:
1.One of the biggest advantages. Props such as cups, cabinets, jades and crown are very delicate in this series, it can be seen most of the costs spent on the props area.
2. More complete performance of the original content. The length of the TV series is more abundant than the old version, so it can put more detail onto the screen according to original novel.
1. The most fatal shortcoming. Original novel written by Xueqin Cao is the representative of ancient tragedy of all-time in China, but this screenplay did not demonstrate the original spirit in the second half (after 40 episodes), although that part was continue written by many people instead of Mr Cao himself.
2.The cast of main roles is not particularly appropriate. For example, Lin Daiyu (played by Mengjie Jiang) and Xue Baochai (played by Qin Li) should be swap, because Lin looks thin while Xue looks fat in the original novel. If Jia's Grandma played by Linlang Ye instead of Tsai Chin may be better because Ye looks a woman in rich state not from county. Tsai Chin worked very seriously, and fully demonstrates what a noble offspring should be. Unfortunately, maybe heavy decorations on her wigs affected her performance, result in I always feel that many of her head shows did not perform perfectly in place. Besides, she also spoke in very slow rate, it seems it is not easy to read lines in Mandarin for her .
3.Many supporting roles, such as Jia Zheng's concubine Aunt Zhao, Jia Baoyu's Attendant Ming Yan, maids, female cooks in Jia's family played much better than main roles. 4.All of female main roles' hair was made as actress' hair in Peking opera, their clothes are too luxurious which lead the whole making-up not enough realistic - perhaps that is the director's pursuit, but I could not able to accept in personal view. By contrast, the characters' appearance and clothing in 1987's version are more pragmatic, not impressionistic and abstract.
Summary: This series spent more energy on the external form, not content and original spirit. Two of Mishap, the failure of the casting and adaptation in latter part which weaken tragic consequence lead it could NOT go beyond the 1987's version.
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