Cambrian Period Drama Review (with advice for subbers)

 

Synopsis

Set on an mythical island called Jampubvipa, with its beautiful views, its no tax regime it is an island that seemed to be the dream destination of businesses, shoppers, tourists and the rich. But behind the facade, is a dark corner- the Autumn’s Door (Qiumen) Group. This is a mafia gang who controls most of the island and the cash that pours in mainly through the casinos. Zhan Shi Li and his adopted son(s) run this criminal syndicate with the help of an enigmatic figure Lian Pu (Hou Ming Hao). The deputy commissioner, Li Yong Ji (Mike He) is trying to fight against this criminal group however the police is always outsmarted by Lian Pu.

Our female lead Tang Yin (Zhou You Tong) stumbles on this island with the hopes of setting up a new business after becoming disillusioned by the film industry. However, when her friend Shen Keke dies and the suspected killer is Lian Pu, Tang Yin becomes embroiled in this underground war between the criminal syndicates that are struggling to gain power.

Plot & Pace of story

Although some people may disagree, I really enjoyed the overall plot and pace of the drama. Throughout the drama, except the last few episodes there would be lots of action in one episode and then things die down a little and it would focus on the development of the characters in the next episode.

There are 3 main arcs in the story, the first being Shen Keke’s death and the involvement of Lian Pu/Jian Zi (his real identity)’s brother. It lays the foundation of what Zhan Shi Li is like and the horrors of being in the mafia. However it also shows a humane side to the criminals even though it’s a little twisted and confusing at times.

The 2nd arc is a continuation of the 1st arc, where the key to Shen Keke’s death is revealed and Zhan Shi Li uses this chance to destroy his opponents. Also the dark secrets of the police force begins to be revealed which climaxes in the final arc which wraps up most of the questions during the drama.  I think there is a strong message that is being sent throughout this drama about what is crime and why do people commit crime. I would give the plot 4.5/5 stars

Characters

Apart from the female lead, all the characters in this drama hide some sort of dark secret. And through the course of the drama, as their secrets are revealed they drive them to change and develop, which most of the time leads to their ruin.

The main lead Jian Zi seems like an innocent bar/ pub owner but in actual fact he works for Zhan Shi Li to try and find information about his enemies and to hide evidence of his crimes. You would not be able to tell that behind that innocent looking face that he is one of the most talented subordinates of a mafia leader. Hou Ming Hao did a really good job portraying the 2 sides of him.

Commissioner Li was more of a complex character who seemed kind and had a strong sense of justice but has some dark secrets that led him to feel like his is still carrying out justice even till the end. Apart from the little blip at the end I think Mike He did a pretty good job overall and despite his shortcomings, I quite liked the character.

Tang Yin, the female lead is definitely a breath of fresh air in this drama.. Although she got on my nerves a little because of her naive and borderline stupid ways, I grew to like her character and the drama would have been a lot more darker and heavy without her there to lighten the mood up and provide the funny scenes. Overall I would give this a 4.5/5 stars.

Production

I really liked the way this drama was filmed. The color scheme was this darkish colour which really fit well with the theme and the scenes were very realistic i.e. the police station actually looked like one. The songs also were really good too especially “You are Beautiful” the main theme song. I would give it a 5/5 stars.

Personal opinion + advice for subbers

I must admit that as a subbing project, this is definitely my favorite so far. There was a good balance of action scenes and speech, not too many complicated terms or slang terms so it was relatively easy to sub. I would really recommend you to watch this drama as it’s one of those dramas you would come away thinking about some of the messages that were in there and it is an enjoyable watch overall.

(Spoiler)

I like the ending because I feel that even if it had not ended this way, the ending would not be much happier with all the things that happened but at least ending it this way will give us hope.

Song

Trailers/ cuts from the drama

 

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4 Comments

  1. I love your review!!! I agree with everything and Ming Hao seriously did a good job here. Anayway, I’m curious will you subbing his next movie ” Inference Notes ” soon? because I read the review and most of them give positive review. Thanks for all the hardwork

    Like

  2. I love your review!
    I’m too lazy to write my own…

    It’s interesting the way you analyzed the construction of the plot.
    I will add only that I like how the domino effect was used for building the plot, I’ll cite from wiki:
    “the phenomenon of small events causing similar events leading to eventual catastrophe is called the domino effect.”
    wiki: wiki/Dominoes#Other_uses_of_dominoes
    “A domino effect or chain reaction is the cumulative effect produced when one event sets off a chain of similar events”
    wiki: wiki/Domino_effect

    (Spoiler)

    The motion trigger which I initially suspected to be intentional/premeditated (“a lot of small cases contains leads for the big cases”), in the end turned out to be accidental which I think makes the story even more sad (a drunken man behind the wheel). But sth that is only accidental actuates the chain of reactions/events and causes everything to collapse. I must say the writers were really clever in selecting words for scenes, even with the ambiguity they carry, these words stay true. Li Yong Ji was expecting the domino effect, he was aware that Shen Keke’s death would bring chaos in the mafia world (and next deaths): “you came at just the right time” (says looking at the widow’s photo). Obviously he saw it as to his advantage, but eventually he was swept by the wave, too.

    Liked by 1 person

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