- Judul: Love and Redemption
- Judul Asli: 琉璃 (Liu Li)
- Genre: Xianxia, Fantasy, Romance
- Country: China
- Number of Episodes: 59
Love and Redemption Review
The first thing that caught my attention for this drama, other than the persistent Netflix recommendation at the time, is this image which I think is very eye-catching. Haaa, so captivating; strength embracing beauty, creating a feeling of safety. Am I the only one who thought of this? Too melodramatic? Anyways, for one reason or another, there is just something about this image that drew me in. And made me decide to give this drama a go.
Upon first impression though, seeing that it has 59 episodes intimidated me a little bit, not gonna lie. I mean, who has time to finish 59 episodes?!! (turns out it wasn’t that hard to live on just 3 hours of sleep). I love the beautiful visuals and the CGI, really top-notch. Having said that though, the actors and actresses suffer from bad…… lighting (?) I suppose??
I mean I could see very clearly the actors’ stubble or the blackheads from everyone’s faces, which took away my focus. Reminded me of how hard the actors and actresses must have been working that they don’t even have time to shave or clean their faces properly. This is just not something I want to think about when I’m watching Chinese fantasy drama, very distracting.
The storyline itself was interesting, although it was a little predictable if I may be honest. But I love that the female lead, Xuanji was the strongest character that no one dared to mess with; so many times the male lead, Sifeng was rescued by Xuanji and I am loving it, I love a kick a** female lead, we don’t see enough of those!
Plot in a Nutshell
The basic idea of this story is actually very romantic: love that spans 1000 years, so persistent, deep, and true that could turn a glass heart into a real heart. Reminds me of tin man from Wizard of Oz, but this tin man never wishes to have a real heart in order to love but wishes to continue to perish in hate and despair, uuughhh epic. I love this dark doomed direction more than I should. I mean it’s like if I should be miserable so I can hate you, so be it….that attitude you know. Twisted but interesting as a mood. Fortunately, of course, love prevails and makes the impossible, possible.
That being said, I cannot say that the way the story is being told in this drama effectively conveys the power of devotion and persevering love and the ability of what this type of love can do. Sifeng did throw up a great deal amount of blood in the process though, but that is it (??). I guess if they were to explore a bit more on how the love even started in the first place, when Sifeng was still Xi Xuan, even if the reason for loving does not make sense (I mean, indeed love never makes much sense muahaha) it would make it more believable you know.
I think it would make all his sufferings and sacrifices have meaning that we can empathize with, our hearts can hurt together with him. In short, the love story ended up shown not to its beautiful full potential or as powerful as it could have been. Or at least as how I would like it to be to move the heart of the audience (which is me).
Love and Redemption Characters
Chu Xuanji (褚璇玑) played by Yuan Bing Yan (袁冰妍)
I love the way Yuan Bing Yan plays this character. Heartless but not cold, curious but not exaggerated, confused but not stupid, and best of all she is not someone who is easily manipulated. I mean she was in the end, but it was very haaarddd……Not really. Apparently, with her new heart, Xuanji learned how to love and but not yet how to trust or more accurately who to trust.
Yeah, sure she has a few misjudgments in the drama, but no one is perfect. You need to make mistakes to learn from them and make sure not to make the same mistakes the next time blah blah blah…… Whatever, heck the mistakes she makes need to happen to spice up the story! We get it.
Anyways, it is awesome to see her act as if she turned into a completely different person. Through her facial expression and body language when the God of War was awakened inside of her in moments of danger. Love her acting chops. How come I don’t see her in more dramas?
Yu Si Feng (禹司凤) played by Cheng Yi (成毅)
There was not an episode I believe, where Sifeng did not throw up blood. Yet, he managed to survive till the end of 59 episodes! It’s a miracle! Aside from that, I think Cheng Yi plays this character very very well. Personally, I think the second male lead is more sweet to the eyes, you know. Maybe it’s just me, but that’s what I thought as I was going through the first few episodes.
But the way Cheng Yi carried himself as Sifeng, with the tsundere exterior but actually possessed a warm, sweet and I’d die for love even if it’s the last thing I do interior, is so so swoon worthy. Oh my gosh, hold my juice box. Then he somehow transformed into the most beautiful looking, yet manly and refined being in the Love and Redemption universe. This is as how I believe Sifeng is intended to be in the story. If that is not a testament to his acting skills, I don’t know what is. He makes this character believable, though to begin with it is unrealistic in this oh so cruel wicked bitter world. Yikes, dejected much?
He acted so well that the song they gave him to sing for this drama even sounded so heartfelt, sincere, and sweet, shot through the hearts of many. 不愧是八月男友
Had I not watched the show, I wouldn’t have given this song a chance. Now it is stuck in my head and I can’t move on, holy baloney.
Hao Chen/Bailin Dijun (昊辰/柏麟帝君) played by Liu Xueyi (刘学义)
Ever since the first few episodes when Hao Chen started to give Xuanji subtle yet thoughtful attention, I knew this character is going to be the one responsible for giving Xuanji and Sifeng obstacles. He is the bump on their road, so to speak, their stumbling block, the fly in their ointment, the raisin in their cookies. Who would put raisins in cookies?
You thought it was chocolate coz of the way it looks, but when you bite into it, it’s chewy and tart. Such cruel deceit. It is his job to give them grief for the sake of three realms, or so he says, and he seemed to have thoroughly enjoyed it. Though to me, he did all that while looking so good. Liu Xueyi is a good-looking man, gahh, I can’t hate him.
Unfortunately, until the very end, I am still not convinced about Hao Chen’s true intention. Did he fall in love with Xuanji? If so, since when? Since Luo Hou Ji Du? Was the reason for the existence of God of War is because of this feeling too? Like, what’s going on? I cannot figure it out. It would have helped more if Bailin Dijun’s days in the Heaven realm were further explored and we can see the dynamics between him and Luo Hou Ji Du.
It would be so cute and twisted if the one he actually had feelings for was actually Luo Hou Ji Du (I love you so let me cut out your heart and turn you into a heartless robot. I mean…..whattt??) but that actually led to their fall out. Fall out isn’t exactly the right word, more like catastrophic calamity at the colossal level.
On the other hand, is this too far of speculation?
Zhong Minyan (钟敏言) played by Li Jun Yi (李俊逸)
I like this character in that though Minyan is not related to Xuanji by blood, he supported her like a big brother. He was protective of Xuanji and also served as her confidant when she needed one. It is interesting that it was not the older sister who supported her this way though Xuanji and Linglong were very close. Minyan was practical and open-minded when dealing with strange events around Xuanji but unexpectedly close-minded and stubborn about everything else. This troublesome way of thinking is of course only shared with none other than Linglong which makes them a perfect but worrisome match.
Chu Linglong (褚玲珑) played by Zhang Yu Xi (张予曦)
This girl is one of the most beautiful Chinese actresses I have ever seen. She showed her skills through her flower demon character; we can understand her emotion and dilemma through subtle facial expressions. Unfortunately, I don’t quite understand the appeal of her character as Linglong and why Wutong was so attracted to her (other than the fact 他有毛病 he’s a demented character).
Linglong was willful, hardheaded, closed-minded, proud, and fierce to the point it is annoying. But she is a looker, so I guess this is her charm…..? I don’t know, the writer perhaps did not put in enough effort for Linglong.
As for the flower demon, from the way the story went, I really thought she could have changed Wutong and made him more palatable. Sadly for her, it was not the case.
Wu Tong (乌童) played by Huang You Ming (黄宥明)
Aaah him, sad, miserable, deranged Wutong. I know from how the story progresses, they are trying to show that Wutong behaved the way he did due to his unfortunate situations, pressure, and stress caused by everyone around him, most notably his master. You know, to make us empathize, feel sorry for him. It almost worked but I am not convinced. He’s too deranged for my taste.
Li Ze Gong Gong Chu (离泽宫宮主) played by Mickey He Cheng Ming (何晟铭)
I believe this is my favorite character in this drama haha. He is nuts! I just love it. He’s dramatic, crazy, over the top, extremely enjoyable to watch. I knew something was up when he seemed to always try to find ways to protect Sifeng. He seemed to be a virtuous leader who leads by example, but when it comes to Sifeng, can anyone be any more unfair and biased? It was hilarious.
There are many in this drama, which I play on repeat on Youtube, unable to move on as of yet. But these are what come to mind more often from time to time:
- When Xuanji broke the demon whip to save Sifeng. Xuanji may have told Sifeng that she didn’t have any other special feelings towards him. But she also told him in this moment that if there’s no more Sifeng, her life no longer matters. Whaaaaatttt…..shut the front door. Sneaky Xuanji, do you know what you’re doing to Sifeng’s health when you say things like this? He would have vomited more blood and died on the spot out of happiness!
- Right after this scene, Gong Zhu came to the rescue and basically took revenge out on everyone who was responsible for Sifeng’s suffering!!! (Go go go crazy Gong Zhu. I support you!!). Muahahahhahahaa so so happy with this scene, it gave me a sense of pleasure, the kind you can only get from watching draining melodrama when finally. F I N A L L Y after 100 or so episodes the antagonists finally got what’s coming for them. Fortunately, in this drama you don’t have to wait too long to see that happen.
- When Sifeng was speaking to Xuanji after she became Luo Hou Ji Du. Seeing Sifeng speaking sweetly to Xuanji who was in the form of Luo Hou Ji Du made me laughed so hard. No noise came out, I just sat there and clapped like a seal. It’s remarkable that Cheng Yi managed to deliver his lines in this scene, anyone else might have lost their stuffings.
Overall, this is a very entertaining drama, I would recommend it to anyone.
Can’t wait to watch Stand By Me 与君歌 played by Cheng Yi and Zhang Yu Xi, they are gorgeous gorgeous people! Not sure what the story is about. I have seen the trailer but it wasn’t telling me anything. I may be an idiot. Or should I read the novel first?