Nooooooooo. Please nooooooo. Why am I panicking? It is too melo and involves the R element! There are two adaptations so far: a movie version (Eighteen Springs) with Leon Lai, Anita Mui and Jacklyn Wu, and a drama version in 2003 with Ruby Lin, Patrick Tang, and Jiang Qin Qin called Affair of Half a Lifetime. The novel written by Eileen Chang has been translated into many languages, including English for those who are interested. I have watched the drama version before but I do not remember the content. Once I read the synopsis again, flashes of unpleasant scenes flooded through my brain.
Anyone else who felt different? I do admit I watched this drama when I was too young and never went back so…
Themesong of the Drama:
Synopsis from the 2003 version: The story is set in Shanghai, China, during the 1930s and 1940s. It centers around two sisters from a struggling family, Gu Manzhen (Ruby Lin) and her older sister, Gu Manlu (Jiang Qin Qin). A college graduate, Manzhen finds true love with one of her colleagues, Shen Shijun (Patrick Tam). Meanwhile, Manlu, the oldest of four children, supports the entire family. At the age of seventeen, Manlu sacrificed her pride and reputation to become a nightclub hostess. The job helps support Manlu’s family, but others find her work disgraceful and look down on Manlu. Even her own grandmother does not her job. Originally, before she takes up her work as a nightclub hostess, Manlu was to marry a respected doctor named Zhang Yujing. However, they are forced to part and Manlu eventually marries a comparator (Zhu Hong Ca) instead.
Manlu realizes that she is barren, and fearful for her marriage arranges her sister to be raped by her husband after finding out that Zhu is attracted to her sister. Manlu also lies to Shijun, saying Manzhen has rejected his love because of the disparity between their statuses, thus forcing them to be apart. Manzhen eventually escapes from her abusive family after she gives birth to her son with Zhu, but afraid to contact Shijun in fear of the consequences if he finds out, marries his maternal cousin Shi Cuizhi. Having failed to maintain her chastity for Shijun, Manzhen hopes for the best of his marriage with Shi, and settles somewhere as a recluse and becomes a schoolteacher.
Eventually, both Manlu and Zhu feel remorse of their misdeeds toward Manzhen, and Manlu begs her sister to come back to raise her nephew/stepson with her husband after they locate her, asking for forgiveness before she dies. Despite still hating them for the rape, Manzhen stays with Zhu for the sake of their son.
By chance, Manzhen and Shijun reunite in Shanghai, and both talk of each other’s lives years after their separation. Knowing that they still love each other, but due to the restrictions of their respective obligations, both Manzhen and Shijun realize that they cannot be together. (Really now….)
Pictures from the 1997 Movie:
LOL. Look at Huang Lei below!
Beside Yang Zi and Tony Yang as the tragic main couple, Li Xiao Ran (Sparrow) is listed to play the despicable and selfish sister, and Edward Zhang Lu Yi (Love Me If You Dare) is gonna play her husband.
Directed by Chung Shu Kai (Prince of Lan Ling), filming is expected to begin in March.