Not having watched the previous 1978 version of this drama, nor read the novel, after the first 5 episodes, I had really high hopes. The main male lead, Yi Feng (played by Ren Yanqi), is powerful, humorous and smart. Yet the character began to degrade with the increase in the importance of the female lead, Sun Min’s (played by Wi Youshi) story.
Considering the drama/novel is titled The Lost Swordship, and it is evident the male character is the main, one would think that there would be more emphasis on the development of his sword skills and journeys in the jianghu than the displayed emphasis on her life story and ultimate rise to power through nothing but sheer bloodline.
WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!
At 36 episodes, I thanked the heavens they didn’t drag the story out any longer. By episode 15 I was ready to throw in the towel. The only reason I kept going was to watch Ren Yanqi’s acting. The man may be 34, but he looks in his mid-20s at most, or at least to me he does.
As much as the writers tried to find a balance between love, mystery, martial arts and human development, overall, the drama failed in each and every category.
With mysteries that were less mysterious than the tip of your finger to the predictable backstabbing and insane wife to the one episode dedicated to actual martial arts learning makes me cringe at what they did to the novel.
I attempted to read the novel while waiting for broadcast and there were quite a few parts that they completely changed, and changed not for the better. The drama simplifies so many events (e.g. Lu Nanren’s child) that make them seem inconsequential to the story, yet were played out in a lengthy manner in the novel.
As much as I tried to like Yi Feng as a character, he became more a comedic foil to Sun Min than being a main character in his own right. Also, let’s not get started on the side characters…
I think the doctor’s story was more interesting than Yi Feng and Sun Min’s were and his development as a character was more pleasing to follow. At least his love line made sense and even the tragedies in his life accumulated to something worthwhile in the end.