Sunday, October 6, 2013

Shining Days (璀璨人生) (Cui Can Ren Sheng)

This drama had an amazing concept and a great story line. It was very complicated with the relationships and it showed changes in the human character as they become colder and crueler over time. For most dramas, it's very happy and cheerful while focusing on the main leads' happy but conflicted relationship. Not in this case. This drama basically combined every bad possible scenario into one and it didn't entirely focus on the main relationship as there were some conflicts as she tried to find the person she could trust. It also shows how fate brought a couple back together after fifteen years and also how much emotional and physical turmoil they have to go through. It was absolutely amazing, the story of this drama. It made me tear up in the beginning first few episodes and was very dramatic throughout the rest of the drama. They had an amazing cast who really knew how to act and play their role. I loved how they all did an amazing job in portraying pain, betrayal, and how they are only thinking for their own benefit often.

I liked the story concept of it all. But I feel like it had a bit too many components that show the negative side of things. I felt it was unreasonably dramatic for a lot of scenes and that this drama could've been resolved in fewer episodes. I disliked how towards the end, the episodes showed so many flashbacks that it didn't really focus on the main story. The cast was amazing and did a great job in portraying the scenes and their characters. But since they are so amazing at showing their characters, I felt that more could have been done with this drama like to have less betrayal and for them to have some humorous moments. 

         Though this drama starts off with a brief scene of a girl jumping off what looks like a bridge, our story actually starts many years ago. One woman called Yu Yue was madly in love with her fiance, Ye Ping Tao. She decides to let him meet up with her best friend. Her best friend is very wealthy and her name is Yang Man Ping. But it just so happened that Yang Man Ping liked the fiance and the fiance, wanting a better future and career for himself, marries Yang Man Ping. 
            Yu Yue is devastated as she cries and begs for her best friend to give her fiance back since she had nothing. But Yang Man Ping refused saying that she was pregnant and that she couldn't possibly let her child live without a father. They leave and Yu Yue tries to commit suicide. She gets saved by a couple of people and an old woman in the crowd, checked her pulse and told her that she was also pregnant. She was very solemn for many months, living with her brother. 
            Then this is what started all the drama in this series. It just so happened that Yu Yue and Yang Man Ping were in the same hospital giving birth to their child. Their children were born on the same month, day, year and in the same hospital. While Yu Yue was considering signing up her daughter for adoption, she overhears some nurses talking about the present they received from the Yang family. Hearing this, she goes to make sure that it truly is her ex-fiance and ex-best friend. It was. And in that moment, she did the craziest thing ever. She managed to swap the babies saying that she wanted her daughter to live a good life so that she won't end up like her, being discriminated because they were poor. And she swore that she will make sure that Yang Man  Ping's daughter doesn't get anything or be anything. 
          Our story immediately kicks into when the kids have grown to be children. Yu Fei is actually Yang Man Ping's daughter. Only Yu Yue knows the truth. Her brother, Yu Fei's uncle, doesn't even know. He treats her like a father would and takes care of her. He is a stunt actor hoping for a big break that never comes. Yu Fei is very filial towards her mother even though her mother casts her aside coldly time and time again. She constantly asks her uncle why her mother hates her so much and her uncle would say, "She doesn't hate you, it's just because you look like your dad and he abandoned your mother." 
             This was literally what her uncle thought was the case as he didn't understand how a mother could be so cold to her daughter. Yu Yue purposely started to work in the cafeteria at Ye Ling's school. Ye Ling is Yu Yue's biological daughter who goes to an elite school and practices ballet every day. She watched over Ye Ling and treated Ye Ling better than Yu Fei. Yu Fei went to the elite school every day after her regular school to help her mother out. She helped earn money by eating food that the other kids didn't like to eat so that she can help with their living conditions since Yu Yue has asthma. She just so happened to see Ye Ling get bullied by a girl named Xiao Hui for getting top place in ballet. She stood up for Ye Ling and from then on they became good friends. 
               Yu Fei was also friends with a boy that was very smart and was trying to be successful in the future called Yu Yang. They were very good friends. She also helped save a boy that was being kidnapped and they shared a strong connection with one another. The boy was called Zhang He Fan. They never met again after getting saved and they didn't even know what one another's name was. But Zhang He Fan fell in love with her and couldn't forget her and he would never forget her eyes. 
               Yu Yue also began to feel guilty overtime for treating Yu Fei the way she was. She decides to hide the truth when Ye Ling heads off to England with her family and promised to repay Yu Fei for how she treated her. 
               Now they are older and that is when everything gets out of control. I'll try to summarize this. So Yu Fei works hard but tries to not be successful. This is because Yu Yue had an asthma attack once (which led to her being thankful and sorry towards Yu Fei) and Yu Fei made a personal promise to herself saying that as long as her mother could wake up, she'll be willing to never be successful. Yu Fei is in a relationship with Yu Yang (the smart boy from her childhood). They are in love but they didn't have much money to provide for themselves. Ye Ling met Zhang He Fan overseas and since her eyes were similar to the girl who had saved him before, they dated for a while. But he still couldn't forget "the eyes" and broke up with her. But she was not able to let go. These four people meet again when Ye Ling and Zhang He Fan go back to China. 
            Yu  Yang ends up falling in love with Ye Ling and begins to abandon and mistreat Yu Fei time and time again. But for his own personal gain, he had to pretend to still be in a relationship with her and still care for her. He fooled her so that they got engaged and she even got pregnant, but he still was so cruel to her and tried to get her to get rid of the child. Ye Ling got hit by a car for Zhang He Fan and became temporarily blind. To repay her for losing her eyesight, they get engaged. However, on their wedding day, Yu Fei found out that Ye Ling had something going on with Yu Yang and Yu Yang told her that he didn't want her anymore. (Yu Yang was such the instigator of many problems). She asks about it afterwards and Ye Ling says it was because she was drunk and thought it was He Fan and begs Yu Fei to forgive her and not tell He Fan that her eyes did recover after the surgery. But He Fan heard it all and felt betrayed, so he left Ye Ling. Slowly, he finds himself going back to Yu Fei's side and promising to take care of her child also. Yu Yang and Ye Ling combine forces to torture Yu Fei. After many betrayals, lies, and people using one another, the truth is revealed about the identities of the girls. It brings more stress, betrayal, and lies. 
             Everything managed to get resolved after a long way around. It showed how some people will lie and use you and betray others to get something that they can benefit from. It's very hard to watch and it really breaks down on one's character. I basically just watched Yu Fei's character just get broken down bit by bit because of the betrayals around her. However it was nice to see that everyone found their own form of happiness in a way and what comes around goes around. I loved the acting but I feel the drama could have been improved in many ways.