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PeachBlossomGoddess

Hong Kong

PeachBlossomGoddess

Hong Kong
Fighting for Love chinese drama review
Completados
Fighting for Love
33 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
by PeachBlossomGoddess Flower Award1
Fev 29, 2024
36 of 36 episódios vistos
Completados 13
No geral 7.0
História 7.0
Atuação/Elenco 8.5
Musical 7.0
Voltar a ver 4.5

For clown and country.

Fighting For Love is a drama adaptation of a novel with the same Chinese title Ā Mài Cóngjūn/阿麦从军 or A Mai Joins the Army. The novel enjoys an impressive 8.6 score on Douban. It is a female centric story about A Mai, an orphaned noblewoman who seeks justice for her family's betrayal. She joins the army and works her way up to become a fierce and undefeated general. She discovers a greater purpose along the way, which is to defend her country. This takes place during the Northern and Southern dynasties, a period of war, chaos and political turmoil. It is not a romance and there is no real male protagonist; it is about one brave and patriotic woman's awesome journey. I abandoned the book because of its intense and graphic focus on war.

Clearly the original story does not fit with the typical male-centric costume drama formula with plenty of romance tropes. What a breath of fresh air, right? Wrong. In the adaptation, Shang Yizhi is elevated to male protagonist and his story arc is as central as A Mai's. Which in and of itself, is not a terrible thing. Like A Mai, Yizhi has a hidden identity and was a victim of foul play. His cause becomes hers as she rescues him and helps him outsmart his enemies. She discovers her military prowess, forms life and death bonds with her troops and finds meaning in defending the citizens of Nanxia. They have a shared purpose and are catalysts for each other's growth. It is natural for attraction or feelings to develop between them though it does not need to be romantic.

The critical fail in the adaptation is they wrote Yizhi as a kind hearted and playful anti-hero character. While some of his comedic scenes are witty and funny, this diminishes him into a parody role. This should be a complex character who does consequential things; a once carefree young nobleman whose world changes overnight. Instead, the writers stuck him with a love brain and Peter Pan syndrome until the final arc. As he is pushed first to survive and then to reclaim his birthright, all of his motivations continue to simply revolve around A'Mai. A character that chooses each time to save the girl and let the world rot does not deserve to end up where he does! This devalues A'Mai and the Zhenbei army's achievements and sacrifices into a fight for clown and country. Even though he becomes morally ambiguous and utilitarian at the end, this evolution is too abrupt. His character progression should have begun well before he returned to the capital. Zhang Haowei did his best with this role but the character is just too poorly designed.

A Mai is quite consistently written throughout even though it is difficult to connect with her feelings for Yizhi. Even though she is too lovely to ever be mistaken for a man, Zhang Tianai does a wonderful job with the role. Her mannerisms are very masculine and she literally shakes with rage and hatred in her scenes with Chen Qi. Best of all, she is no Mary Sue in need of constant rescuing even though all the men fall for her. She just has terrible luck with men; she gets involved with a backstabber, a clown and an enemy with a choking fetish. The one good man she meets is brother-zoned, father-zoned and what happens to him is definitely over-kill. Chen Qi is the most interesting and conflicted antagonist and his and A Mai's story is really sad. Wang Ruichang is very charismatic and the fan favorite but his Chang Yuqing has no development and no real story arc. He just pops up whenever something needs to go wrong for the leads.

The first few arcs of this story are quite good and the cinematography and action scenes are pretty awesome. The story falls apart mid-way and snowballs downhill into the palace arc. It is yet another perfectly good drama that is ruined by ignorant and silly romance writers who can't write palace intrigue (i.e., Destined, Legend of Zhuohua, Wonderland of Love etc etc). This arc is ridden with predictable villains, plot holes, clichés and a flabby dancing emperor who looks like a sloppy fashion mistake. To my surprise, the story comes together again in the final episodes to end fittingly and on a strong note.

It is not easy to rate this because there are many good parts. The first 12-15 episodes and the ending is good and worth ~8 but the middle and dreadful palace arc are only worth ~6+. I think ~7.5 overall is fair but I am only going to call it a 7.0 because the production deserves to be spanked for desecrating a fantastic novel.



Scroll down for SPOILER ending thoughts.







ENDING SPOILER

The final showdown between A Mai and Chen Qi is exciting and moving and it finally gives her closure. Poor Chen Qi is such an interesting, conflicted and ultimately tragic character it is a shame he was not better fleshed out. In the end he probably loved A Mai best.

I don't believe it is in character for A Mai to go off with Chang Yuqing at the end. His feelings for her are not better developed than Yizhi's and at least in the drama, they are one-sided. He is a rising star in Beimo and if A Mai were to marry him, she would have to defect to the enemy to be another caged bird as the wife of a Marquis. After just escaping the terrible fate of being the favorite concubine of an emperor?!? As advisor Xu points out, the countries are at perfect stalemate because their top generals A'Mai and Chang Yuqing don't really want to fight each other. There is peace with them glowering fiercely at each other across the border. A Mai is simply setting off for a well earned 3-year vacation while Beimo's internal palace politics play out. It is a perfect, strong independent woman ending in the spirit of the original novel; one that says A Mai does not have to be someone's arm candy to have a meaningful life.







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