Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Attack of the Wei Wuji-Xinyue Pairing (formerly Huo-Yu) in Sound of the Desert

I am absolutely in love! Specifically in love with the Wei Wuji 卫无忌 and Xingyue 莘月 in Sound of the Desert (formerly Da Mo Yao), portrayed by Eddie Peng and Liu Shi Shi respectively. I have no new substantive material share except for my random thoughts on this latest drama excitement. 

Note: Based on the official pictorial booklet released by the production company, official English title for this drama series is actually Sound of the Desert. The original novel was named Da Mo Yao or Ballad of the Desert. Due to political reasons, it underwent a name change in Chinese to Xin Yue Zhuan Qi, which literally translates to Moon Star Legend or Legend of Star and Moon. For the sake of consistency and deference to the "official" name, I shall henceforth refer to this drama as Sound of the Desert. I don't think I ever encountered a drama series with so many name variations in English. X_X

Let's begin with a little recap on the casting melodrama of this drama. Tangren Entertainment had originally planned for Hu Ge to play the lead role of the militarily brilliant, Wei Wuji (aka General Huo Qubing in the novel) and Wallace Huo was rumored to be interested in portraying Jiu Ye before he was lured away by The Swordman. Despite the overwhelming online support for Hu Ge to play Wei Wuji/Huo Qubing, I had previously expressed doubts on Hu Ge being a good casting choice for this character. In my opinion, Hu Ge does not physically have the tanned chiseled look of a weathered soldier who rode across the Gobi Desert with his cavalry to defeat a nomadic empire. I also felt Hu Ge has lost much of his natural vivaciousness over the years since his Chinese Paladin days. If he tried to act childish and immature onscreen, I would probably cringe. In other words, I would not watch this drama if Hu Ge played Wei Wuji. His physical stature definitely fits his current role of the  melancholic Mo Xun/Jiu Ye.

Though I cannot rate Eddie Peng as the best actor for the role of Wei Wuji, Eddie Peng at least possesses enough youthful vibrance and natural charisma to tackle the role. He also has a good filmography of past works to demonstrate his ability to even have chemistry with a stone (the exact words of my fellow drama comrade, Xiaolong). Just take a peek at the snow scene below with Wei Wuji lowering his umbrella. The devilish smirk is exactly how I imagined Wei Wuji/Huo Qubing in the novel. Judging from last year's production photos, I already got the impression that Eddie Peng would look the best in Han period costumes out of the main leads. He is extremely handsome with his sleekly combed hair and simple polished wardrobe. The trailer just further confirmed my conviction. Eddie Peng is also blessed with expressive puppy eyes to convey the innocence of a young lad who is also hopelessly in love with a girl.
In terms of OTP chemistry, Wei Wuji's sexual tension with Xinyue is heating up my computer screen with full-fledged sizzling force. These cute.gifs just demonstrate my point. When the interactions of two fictional characters succeed in making your heart flutters with silly girly giggles, I can say the onscreen chemistry is definitely working!
Xinyue had intended to give Wei Wuji a good kick for his "inappropriate" behavior. Unfortunately for Xinyue, her foot gets caught in an even more awkward position and has to further endure his impropriety.
Since both Wei Wuji and Xinyue are wearing "PJ" white, this should be one of those classic talk-in-bed scenes. I suspect this scene shortly follows the dance banquet where they were both caught  in a "compromised' position on bed by an unsuspecting maid. 
I must say the director absolutely wonderful job in executing this rather difficult scene. I had always wonder how Wei Wuji manages to pull the naked Xinyue out of her wooden bath tub. And  kudos to the costume stylist for making Wei Wuji looks amazing savvy as a "kidnapper."




Somehow after several rounds of replaying the main theme song, I think I've grown fond of main theme song. A compilation of exclusively Wei Wuji-Xinyue scenes certainly help to decrease my dislike of the song.

Fanmade MV of Wei Wuji and Xinyue


Many who often visit the Da Mo Yao Baidu Forum or Spcnet Forum are probably keenly aware of and thoroughly excited about this hot spring scene. When I first saw these  photos, I was literally shocked at the level of  "skin exposure." TV dramas produced by Tangren (i.e. Chinese Paladin 1 & 3, Bu Bu Xin Jin, Yang Warriors,etc) are known for sexually restrained compared to Yu Zheng's uninhibited flamboyance. Past works were quite conservative in terms of depicting sexual tension and "scenes of passion." For comparison purposes, I feel Bu Bu Jin Xin is like baby food compared to the savory beef steak of Song of the Desert. I guess the director really wanted to maximize the use of Eddie Peng's nicely sculptured body capital to the highest degree. LOL.


Fully-clothed Wei Wuji and Xinyue photo scans from the official pictorial booklet

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