Light on Series: Who is the Murderer (2021) poster
7.7
Sua Avaliação: 0/10
Avaliações: 7.7/10 de 554 usuários
# de Fãs: 2,173
Resenhas: 11 usuários
Classificado #4578
Popularidade #5137
Fãs 554

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  • Português (Portugal)
  • Polski
  • Italiano
  • English
  • País: China
  • Tipo: Drama
  • Episódios: 16
  • Exibido: Dez 5, 2021 - Dez 20, 2021
  • Exibido em: Segunda, Terça, Domingo
  • Original Network: iQiyi
  • Duração: 45 min.
  • Pontuação: 7.7 (scored by 554 usuários)
  • Classificado: #4578
  • Popularidade: #5137
  • Classificação do Conteúdo: Not Yet Rated

Onde assistir Light on Series: Who is the Murderer

iQIYI
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Elenco e Créditos

Resenhas

Completados
PeachBlossomGoddess
21 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
Dez 21, 2021
16 of 16 episódios vistos
Completados 15
No geral 7.0
História 7.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Musical 6.5
Voltar a ver 5.0

Cop out.

Despite a strong start, Who is the Murderer? deflates into yet another over-hyped and ultimately mediocre production in the 2021 Mist Theatre (soon to be known as Miss Theatre) lineup. This kind of simple and straightforward plot around the hunt for a long hidden serial killer relies heavily on good execution to impress. I don't know if it is an indictment of the competence of the Chinese police force but practically every Chinese crime thriller revolves around a stone cold case and the lamentably long road to justice.

The lives of the three main characters collide when young Xiamu's foster mother is murdered by a serial killer. A fatal moment of weakness by then newbie cop Leng Xiaobing enables the murderer to escape with collateral damage. Teenage Shen Yu's father disappears without a trace after appearing near the scene of the crime. Seventeen years later, the revival of this cold case entangles Shen Yu, Xia Mu and Xiaobing, united by the scars from the past yet divided by different and at times conflicting agendas. Without a doubt all three leads deliver stellar performances as characters who all experience a shattering personal loss from this common event which shapes them in very different ways. Overall I found Xiao Yang's portrayal of the gruffly amiable but subtly guilt ridden Leng Xiaobing most natural and convincing. While both Zhao Liying and Dong Zijian delivered intense and very well acted portrayals of Shen Yu and Xia Mu, they erred on the melodramatic side with excessive posing.

One of the big issues with this drama is that the suspense does not arise from the plot itself but is heavily contrived, induced by background music that accompanies angsty and heavy dark posturing by both Xia Mu and Shen Yu that goes absolutely nowhere. While compellingly acted Xia Mu's PTSD is out of proportion to the trauma he experienced and after a lot of build up and suggestive behavior, this character just gets side-lined and he is bafflingly short changed in the final showdown even though he is on the scene. While Zhao Liying's impressive portrayal of the cold, creepily inscrutable and sociopathic Shen Yu exceeded my expectations, the plot again simply fails to rise to the occasion when it comes to her story either even though she hogs the final confrontation. At the end, I feel both characters led me on a merry chase, teasing with suggestive dialogues and actions that ultimately never fully plays out. It is very frustrating because this setup and the story could have gone down many more intriguing paths with thrilling and shocking outcomes but after setting it all up, the writer pulls a much bigger cop out on us than Xiaobing's pivotal gun shy moment.

Reminiscent of The Pavilion, the plot gets hijacked by character explorations that not only don't advance the plot, they distract from it with artificially induced suspense. This led to my greatest disappointment in the way the murderer is introduced and revealed. It completely violates the unspoken bargain of giving the viewer a sporting chance of identifying the murderer. The murderer falls far short of that lurking evil presence that creates an aura of danger around the main characters and their motive is a big yawn. This does not by any stretch of the imagination qualify as a whodunit, it is at best literally a spoiler homonym of a whodidit. Bottom line, this is little more than a very unremarkable investigative crime thriller so if you were looking forward to playing armchair detective, look elsewhere. The further extension of the mundane plot with non substantive filler episodes that introduce unnecessary characters further irritated me when I would have preferred to better understand what happened to Xia Mu's foster mother as well as Shen Yu's father. The fact that the only character I cared about was Xiaobing's (hot cop) friend at the beginning says it all about how big a fail this is.

I can only rate this a generous 7.0 out of 10. I waited to write this review because right after the ending, my very incensed mother was leaning on me not to rate this better than a 5.0.

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Esta resenha foi útil para você?
Completados
WandereR
17 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
Dez 20, 2021
16 of 16 episódios vistos
Completados 5
No geral 8.0
História 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Musical 8.5
Voltar a ver 7.5

Whodunit

Despite the rather unimaginative title, Who is the Murderer tells you exactly what this drama is about without the need to check the genres, tags or even read the synopsis. The thing with whodunits is the less you know heading into it, the better for your overall viewing enjoyment. In fact, I would suggest that you skip the synopsis entirely to avoid being spoilered.

What I did know beforehand though was that this drama is the third entry to iQiyi Mist Theatre’s Light On series for 2021. For the uninitiated, the Mist Theatre Light On series which was launched in 2020 focuses on high quality thrillers (typically crime) presented in short format (around 16 episodes or less). At least, that is the planning intent by the Chinese OTT provider. Unfortunately the first two offerings of the year, The Pavilion and Wisher, IMHO, didn’t live up to the high standards set as far as the quality of the screenplay is concerned and in comparison with some of last year’s higher-rated productions. The good news, however, is that Who is the Murderer finally broke that trend and turned out to be the best yet, of this year's batch. How the fourth drama in the series, Gold Panning, compares when it airs later this week remains to be seen.

Principal photography for the drama began in August 2020 with Wuxi serving as the primary filming location and the setting for Haizhou City, both of which are located in Jiangsu province. The director helming this production needs no introduction for he is none other than Sun Hao, who famously directed the much-loved Joy of Life. The plot is based on an original screenplay by Chen Wei Han and Kong You You.

A neo noir psychological crime thriller focusing on the mystery of unsolved serial murders that span a period of 17 years, from 2000 to 2017. The plot revolves around three main characters - Leng Xiao Ping, the hardboiled Violent Crimes detective who is haunted by the past; Xia Mu, the promising young police recruit with demons of his own; and finally Shen Yu, the enigmatic psychologist with her own hidden motivations. All three somehow discover an inextricable connection to the unsolved murders.

What I Liked

This drama is slow burn yet gripping where the suspense never truly lets up once it grabs a hold of you. The pilot episode starts off very strongly with frantic action and extreme urgency that establishes the background of the mystery. From the second episode on, it eases into an engaging tempo where the story transitions into the present day. The plot features a number of unexpected twists that are smartly written and delicately revealed. Utterly surprising yet makes total sense, with neither the fanfare nor suspension of disbelief. I especially enjoyed the subtle cat and mouse games that ensues between the three characters.

The roles are very well crafted, where each of the three main characters is given much depth and complexity. Merely stating that they are extremely grey with many dimensions doesn’t do justice to the elaborate characterization. The same can be said of the other characters, whether in a supporting capacity or simply guest appearance. Not a single character appears out of place in this drama.

The acting well and truly breathes life into the characters without compromising the ingenuity of the design. In Zhao Li Ying’s second appearance this year since Legend of Fei and after the birth of her son in 2019, her portrayal of Shen Yu is perhaps one of the finest in her career. Nuanced, sophisticated, calculated, and profoundly complicated. This drama wouldn’t be the same without her masterful performance.

Likewise Xiao Yang who plays the detective, Leng Xiao Bing. Aside from the brief instances of levity, the level of street smarts that he infuses into his character is convincingly smooth. His version of hardboiled isn’t overly gritty and actually comes across as quite affable. My first time seeing Dong Zi Jian and his depiction of Xia Mu is quite interesting, to say the least. He manages to convey the necessary emotions in face of challenges that his character gradually goes through, in the course of the story.

The production design is top notch, in terms of the cinematography technique and framing of the visuals, as well as the art direction. I love the application of softer colour grading, as opposed to the typical edgy darker schemes of noir productions. Additionally, the flow of the storytelling is not interrupted by the infusion of flashback sequences and references to the earlier timeline.

As far as the music is concerned, I enjoyed Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata during the stylish title sequence and the outro theme by Jin Minqi. Full listing as follows:

Moonlight Sonata
藏 Hide - 金玟岐 Jin Minqi
藏 Hide - 徐明浩 Xu Minghao
你看 Look - 金志文 Jin Zhiwen

What Could Have Been Better

In terms of the technical execution, the editing is somewhat inconsistent where certain scene transitions do not appear as seamless as it should to match the general quality of the camerawork.

The conceptual vibe of the storytelling is quite pronounced throughout the drama, which may compel viewers to strain their concentration in making the connection to certain plot points. This appears to be a stylistic choice rather than a deliberate attempt to dramatize the depiction of events. Sometimes it works and at other times, it becomes somewhat confusing.

As much as I have enjoyed Dong Zi Jian’s performance, I feel that his appearance does not suitably match his characterization at times. He looks more like a college kid than a promising police recruit or probationary detective. His mannerism as well as propensity to disregard authority and instructions are somewhat jarring compared to the other characters who appear more believable in their roles.

Finally, the ending. It did feel somewhat underwhelming. I honestly anticipated a more mind-blowing conclusion to the whole overarching mystery...

Overall

Notwithstanding the criticisms, Who is the Murderer represents a return to relative form of iQiyi’s Light On series and is one of the stronger C-drama thrillers to be released this year. It may not be flawless and while it doesn't end as strongly as it starts, I do appreciate the intricacies of the storytelling and the compelling performances of the leads, particularly that of Zhao Li Ying.

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Detalhes

  • Drama: Light on Series: Who is the Murderer
  • País: China
  • Episódios: 16
  • Exibido: Dez 5, 2021 - Dez 20, 2021
  • Exibido On: Segunda, Terça, Domingo
  • Original Network: iQiyi
  • Duração: 45 min.
  • Classificação do Conteúdo: Ainda Não Classificado

Estatísticas

  • Pontuação: 7.7 (avaliado por 554 usuários)
  • Classificado: #4578
  • Popularidade: #5137
  • Fãs: 2,173

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