Luo Yang (2021) poster
8.2
Sua Avaliação: 0/10
Avaliações: 8.2/10 de 2,530 usuários
# de Fãs: 9,412
Resenhas: 51 usuários
Classificado #1428
Popularidade #1743
Fãs 2,530

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  • Português (Portugal)
  • Русский
  • Türkçe
  • Română
  • País: China
  • Tipo: Drama
  • Episódios: 39
  • Exibido: Dez 1, 2021 - Dez 29, 2021
  • Exibido em: Quarta, Quinta, Sexta, Sábado
  • Original Network: iQiyi
  • Duração: 45 min.
  • Pontuação: 8.2 (scored by 2,530 usuários)
  • Classificado: #1428
  • Popularidade: #1743
  • Classificação do Conteúdo: 13+ - Teens 13 or older

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Resenhas

Completados
WandereR
65 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
Dez 29, 2021
39 of 39 episódios vistos
Completados 14
No geral 9.0
História 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Musical 8.5
Voltar a ver 8.0

The wind rises in Luoyang

2021 has not been a particularly prolific year for detective investigation and wuxia themed C-historicals. The only one that I had completed this year would be The Imperial Coroner, which was quite good for a low budget web series. There were probably a couple others that I recall encountering but nothing large-scale in terms of the budget and prominence… until Luoyang came along. This is a highly anticipated production for several reasons.

> It is headlined by Wang Yi Bo, Huang Xuan and Song Qian. WYB obviously has his immense popularity and fanbase, but I also think he is a talented actor who has much to showcase if given the right script. The critically acclaimed and award-winning HX needs no further introduction while SQ is no stranger either with a fanbase for her music productions and acting honours in recent years as well.

> One look at the source material for the adaptation tells you pretty much what to expect. The story is based on Ma Bo Yong’s eponymous novel. For those in the know, Ma Bo Yong is the author of The Twelfth Hour in Chang’an, from which The Longest Day in Chang’an is adapted, as well as The Wind Blows from Longxi which is currently being adapted to a drama.

> Ever since the teaser appeared earlier this year, expectations have been soaring, judging from social media responses and even here on MDL. I was super impressed from what little had been shown because it looked very much the top quality content that it promises to be.

Luoyang is directed by Xie Ze, who helmed Jun Jiu Ling this year as well as the high profile Yang Mi fantasy, Legend of Fu Yao. Qing Mei serves as scriptwriter, after her interesting work on The Eight last year. Principal photography took place entirely at Hengdian World Studios between November 2020 and March 2021. This iQiyi co-production is big budget which reportedly involved in excess of 5,000 sets of clothing and modeling accessories, as well as more than 15,000 sets of props. These efforts were meant to accentuate the prosperous scenes of Luoyang during the heyday of the Tang Dynasty.

The story is set during the interregnum period of the short-lived Wu Zhao Dynasty, itself a part of the great Tang Dynasty. At this time the imperial capital was relocated from Chang’an to Luoyang. The fates of three unrelated individuals are intertwined as they cross paths during investigations into a mysterious murder case which puts them on a collision course with an enigmatic secret organisation that has nefarious designs on the reign of China’s only Empress regnant, Wu Zetian.

What I Liked

The production quality. Specifically the art direction, set designs, action choreography and most obviously the money well spent on the sheer numbers of extras. From the first minute of the first episode, you could tell immediately this is top-tier content. Luoyang actually resembles a real city, rather than merely a production set. The huge crowd of inhabitants walking the streets exude a metropolis feel to the bustling city centre. Although this was filmed at Hengdian, you simply couldn’t tell because the production team managed to mask the obvious very well indeed. The action sequences of the choreographed martial arts moves, the coordination of mass fighting and the frenetic street chases are absolutely superb entertainment. Meanwhile, the inner palaces and the throne room settings are gloriously opulent and majestic, thanks in large part to the visual framing of the scenes. The general appearance of this drama is reminiscent of The Longest Day in Chang’an, with the exception of a more polished colour grading and less grain in the overall visuals.

The premise and the plot. The Tang Dynasty and Empress Wu Zetian historical settings are favourites of mine. The infusion of an intriguingly extensive overarching mystery with a profoundly conspiratorial connotation and no lack of convoluted twists makes Luoyang all the more enthralling. It is complex, fast paced, eventful and unpredictable - it’s truly been a while since we had such a smartly-written mystery. The reveals are timed to perfection without letting the cat out of the bag too early or being underwhelming to adversely detract from the gripping nature of the storytelling. The story continuously builds and engages right to the climactic ending.

The main characters and portrayals. Huang Xuan plays the gritty investigator Gao Bing Zhu, the perfect ancient iteration of the hardboiled detectives in crime noirs. This is a deliciously layered and multifaceted role that suits the range and depth that he possesses. In fact, most of the powerfully emotional moments in this drama feature his scenes. Wang Yi Bo is the stoic but brilliant engineer and scion of a prominent house of imperial engineers, Baili Hong Yi (aka Er Lang). In many respects, this character is an exact replica of his Lan Wangji in The Untamed. I actually prefer his brooding interpretation here compared to the playful character in Legend of Fei where he just can’t stop smiling. Making up the dynamic trio is Victoria Song Qian’s female inner guard, Wu Si Yue. This is an interesting character who is the only one of the three leads that initially embodies the values of justice and professionalism in her conduct, whereas the other two have their own vested interests and personal motivations. It’s safe to say that Song Qian’s performance here indeed warrants the tag of strong and relentless FL.

Of the supporting characters and cast, I have to mention a number of performances that have left quite an impression on me. The veteran Yong Mei plays Wu Zetian in what has been a uniquely refreshing take on the iconic historical figure. Most depictions hitherto have been utterly colourful, fashionably stylish and, of course, hugely intimidating. Her version is understated, subtle and nuanced. Whilst the image appears less menacing and even motherly, given the twilight years of her reign, I still feel the ominous undercurrent that threatens to burst into life beneath that deadly calm exterior. Despite the limited screen presence, Zhang Li deserves credit for her portrayal of Yao Niang, particularly during one of the scenes of acting masterclass between her and Huang Xuan.

The drama features a total of six original songs in its soundtrack. My personal favourite is the contemplative ending theme by Huang Shifu, Longing of Heart. Full listing as follows:

长风送 Chang Feng Sang - 宋茜 Song Qian
心念 Longing of Heart - 黄诗扶 Huang Shifu
无关 Wu Guan - 汪苏泷 Wang Sulong
笑黄梁 Xiao Huang Liang - 李振宁 Li Zhenning
天机 Tianji - 李常超 Li Changchao
风起洛阳 Wind from Luoyang - Winky诗 Winky Poem

What I Didn’t Like

The somewhat trippy camerawork, particularly for the action sequences. The cinematography has been somewhat inconsistent in this respect, although it does progressively improve. I do understand that it is a stylistic choice in the way the fight scenes are presented, to immerse viewers into the atmospherics of the scenes. The quieter and emotional moments, on the other hand, are generally better framed.

I did not appreciate the melodramatic aspects of the plot pertaining to FL’s brother persistently attempting to marry her off or frequently constraining her investigative efforts. Likewise the story arc relating to a certain side character and his unhealthy obsession with a long-lost childhood love interest.

I need to rant about one character in particular, Liu Ran. Somehow a majority of C-historicals seem to favour this particular characterisation. The whiny, clueless, and besotted airhead who constantly annoys by ceaselessly crying out for the object of her affections. In this case, I think I’ve heard the name “Er Lang” being called out hundreds of times throughout the whole drama. Usually such characters would eventually experience tremendous growth but not so here. Her trajectory remains constant right to the end, unfortunately. However, I do not blame Song Yi for the portrayal. She could only make do with what she’s given and I know she has a lot more substance than that.

The last thing that irked me - the ending. Without spoiling it, let’s just say that while the story does achieve closure, the final outcome isn’t ideal. There is a huge room for improvement in this aspect but I fear this is as good as it will ever get for us viewers.

Final Thoughts

All things considered, Luoyang is most definitely one of the better C-drama productions and investigation themed historicals of the year that shouldn’t be missed by fans of the genre and for those interested in trying their hand at C-historicals. At only 39 episodes in length, the storytelling is brisk, intense and coherent which is very well-suited for the binge.

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Completados
PeachBlossomGoddess
31 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
Dez 30, 2021
39 of 39 episódios vistos
Completados 10
No geral 8.0
História 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Musical 7.5
Voltar a ver 8.0

Wild goose chase.

Ancient conspiracy thrillers are right up my alley so I looked forward to Luoyang with bated breath. This is set in Shendu (now Luoyang), capital of Wu Zetian's Wu Zhou Dynasty (690-705). As the only female emperor in over 5000 years of Chinese history, Wu Zetian remains a controversial figure - an ambitious, usurper whose exceptional intelligence and leadership is only matched by her ruthlessness against anyone in her way, including or especially her own children. She cultivated informers and multiple secret police and spy rings that gathered evidence against her detractors. and maintained a careful balance of power between the important political structures of her administration. This is reflected in the drama in the clear delineation of responsibilities between the Judiciary, Inner Guard and Secret Police (Lianfang). During this time, the Wu clan and Li clan were embroiled in a power struggle which persisted until Wu Zetian intervened and clarified her succession plans. Nonetheless it ended in messy plotting, betrayals and twists that are drama worthy in and of themselves. This is rich fodder for conspiracy plots such as this one.

The drama starts thrillingly with a bold daylight assassination of an informer and his daughter and the ensuing dizzying high speed chase through the streets of Shendu. All three main protagonists mortician Gao Bingzhu, foodie Baili Hongyi and inner guard Wu Shiyue are at the scene and invisible threads from their past pull them together to uncover a much deeper conspiracy that could rock the very foundations of Wu Zetian's empire. Clues emerge that connect seemingly unrelated cases and force the three protagonists to work together, at first reluctantly and with selfish agendas and then with growing mutual respect and trust that blossoms into deep friendships. I most enjoyed the tripartite friendship in the drama and would have liked to see it better explored rather than unnecessary romantic arcs. Huang Xuan nailed it with his cynical yet paradoxically idealistic Gao Bingzhu; whose shrewdness and insight into dark hearts of man does not extend to those he cares for. I also did not see much chemistry between him and Song Qian who impresses with her fight scenes but falters somewhat in her line delivery. Wang Yibo's performance is strong in some aspects but uneven overall with too many scenes where he is clearly unsure what facial expression to wear. This role does not elevate him for me from an actor that I don't mind watching but wouldn't seek out. That said the trio has enough combined chemistry that I am happy to watch them together again. As for Song Yi, she has gotten enough flack and her character was so poorly written that all I will say is this is a role such a wonderful actress should have just passed on.

I did not enjoy the first two episodes of the drama - too much was happening at the same time and the cameraman swung the camera so wildly I thought he was possessed. The action scenes are exciting and well choreographed enough they did not need to artificially augmented by cheap camera tricks. After the psycho camera settles down, the plot unfolds at an intense and exciting pace against a gorgeous backdrop of dazzling sets and with a deluge of colorfully garbed denizens - they must have hijacked and costumed practically every Hengdian tourist as extras on set I have never seen so many people crammed into each scene. My personal favorite set is the Unwelcome Well which looks almost too inviting to be a ghetto. While the costumes and certain props are anachronistic, everything comes together is such a vibrant and captivating panorama that it scarcely matters. This is complemented by well designed side characters that are based on well known historical figures. Hints of their personalities, scandalous affairs and alliances are quite faithful to history and add a nice ambiance to the setting. It set up for intriguing Dumas like plot twists that didn't materialize.

This drama builds to a top-notch, shocking and heartbreaking climax prematurely at episode 20 where both actors delivered standing ovation worthy performances. It achieves that perfect sequence of shock followed immediately by stunned comprehension and acceptance as all the clues rushed to the fore to blindside the viewer to the next unfolding twist. In the second half, the plot visibly loses momentum and digresses into romantic arcs that don't belong in this genre and filler maudlin flashbacks. The writing of the mini-threads in the second half is insipid with excessive gratuitous character implants, many of whom delivered cringe worthy performances.

In hindsight it would have been difficult to top the fantastic mid-drama climax but it is still extremely disappointing for the final reveal to be so bland. The hollow villain that everyone was on to as a bad guy early on but dismissed as too obvious turns out indeed to be the final villain, one that is not worthy of being called a mastermind. Both their motive and end game plot is not well articulated or convincing. Multiple clues and more interesting suspicious characters that don't play out leave me feeling like I went on a wild goose chase. I don't know if they ran out of money or wasted it on too many bodies but there is no sense of peril or excitement in the final showdown. Forget explosions or collapsing buildings, we don't even get one good last fight scene. The final insult is how unfathomably a feather brain like Liu Feng manages to find himself in the right place at the right time to deliver an unnecessary and uncalled for outcome. This is just a misguided attempt to deliver an audience shocker to make up for the nothing burger of a final reveal.

Even though this remains a very entertaining and highly recommended watch, the ending is a big let down that knocks 0.5 off my final rating for the show. I feel that an 8.0 is the best I can give to this show, which is still one of the better c-dramas of the second half of 2021.

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Detalhes

  • Drama: Luo Yang
  • País: China
  • Episódios: 39
  • Exibido: Dez 1, 2021 - Dez 29, 2021
  • Exibido On: Quarta, Quinta, Sexta, Sábado
  • Original Network: iQiyi
  • Duração: 45 min.
  • Classificação do Conteúdo: 13+ - 13 anos ou mais

Estatísticas

  • Pontuação: 8.2 (avaliado por 2,530 usuários)
  • Classificado: #1428
  • Popularidade: #1743
  • Fãs: 9,412

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