Beyond the Realm of Conscience

 

This movie was marketed by TVB as a must-watch, drama-of-the-year kind of movie and with a line up of actors and actresses such as Charmaine Sheh , Tavia Yeung, Moses Chan, Kevin Cheng, Michelle Yim and Susanna Kwan, any canto drama addict would be sold.
33 episodes in total, I watched this right after I finished my exams and completed the whole series within a week of drama marathon. A synopsis of the movie:

In Tang Dynasty, Imperial Household Bureau is composed of four departments, namely Jewels, Attire, Food and Furnishings. Lau Sam-ho (Charmaine Sheh) and Yiu Kam-ling (Tavia Yeung) are introduced into the bureau in their tender age and brought up in the disciplines of the palace. The two girls are diligent. Yuen Tsui-wan (Susanna Kwan), Head of the Jewels, and Chung Suet-ha (Michelle Yim), Head of the Attire, are both very fond of Ho for she is a kind-hearted young girl. Soon, they start fighting for the fellowship of Ho. Ho always remembers her mother’s words left to her before she passed away, that she was told, “Doing good deeds, speaking good words, showing good will.” She lives her life of being gracious and kind-hearted in the palace. On the other hand, Ling believes her survival in palace is achieved through cruel and calculating tactics. She cheats and schemes her way to the top and finally becomes the concubine. Though she realizes that Ho has fallen in love with the chess master Ko Hin-yeung (Kevin Cheng), her jealousy still arouses by Ho’s attraction to the Emperor Lee Yi (Moses Chan). Fearing that she is losing power, she ruthlessly makes up a false allegation against Ho for murdering the Empress (Mary Hon) and condemns her to death…

Honestly, towards the middle of the series, I started to feel that its a bit draggy. I guess this is the same with most TVB dramas that boast a lot of episodes and yet the screenwriter ran out of plots. As soon as Lee Yi ascended the throne to become the emperor, all episodes were around the scheming between the people in the palace. On how an eunuch plans to overthrow the emperor while on another side, how Concubine Yui Kam Ling plans to become the queen.

Most ‘suspenses’ tend to happen and be over in a blink of an eye, like how the Emperor summons his trusted man Hin Yeung to carry out tasks outside the palace and how bad and good guys were executed pronto without a scene. It would’ve been better if the script has delved more into these characters and happenings.

Plus, the kindness of the heroine is getting on my nerves. It seems that she is never a real person – too good to be true and too over-rated. Too much good things are happening to her and luck is always on her side. Which makes things a bit ridiculous and lack suspense.

Alas, almost everyone died in the end and the villian was gone in one scene. Come on, if he was that easily killed, wouldn’t him die earlier on? Why the draggy scenes? Overall, it is something worthwhile to watch, although I wouldn’t say it is anything spectacular. The storyline was quite predictable like all good TVB dramas should and there wasn’t any good suspense at all.

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