Adapted from one of China’s most moving real-life love stories in recent years, The Last Steep Ascent <天梯> started airing in Hong Kong on Monday, September 17. In TVB’s version, a family inheritance battle, marital infidelity, and even a rape scene have been added to suit the local audience’s taste for dramatic plots.
Producer Lee Tim Shing’s (李添勝) The Last Steep Ascent has all the right ingredients to become a blockbuster drama. Revolving around the story of Lau Kok Gong, who hand-carved 6,000 steps in the mountains for his beloved wife over the course of fifty years, the first episode of the drama has already succeeded in making the audience burst into tears.
In the premiere episode, Maggie Cheung’s (張可頤) character is seen in her old age, lingering on the “steps of love” that her deceased husband, Moses Chan (陳豪) left behind. The lines, “If you truly care for someone, you are able to accomplish anything,” and “Each time, you clasp my hand when we are walking; this time I have to go alone,” moved the audience, hooking them to watch ensuing episodes.
The Last Steep Ascent may be a bitter ride in the midsection before turning sweet. Both female leads, Maggie Cheung and Aimee Chan’s (陳茵媺) characters suffer tragic experiences, making their face awash with tears until they fortunately find blissful love the second time around.
In San Francisco, Aimee Chan’s character falls in love with Cheung Kwok Keung (張國強). It was not until returning to China that Aimee realized that he was already married to Maggie Cheung. Upset with her husband’s infidelity, Maggie brought her mother-in-law (Helen Law 羅蘭) to scold Aimee for being stealing her husband. Maggie angrily slapped Aimee’s face.
Turning her sorrows to wine, Aimee was raped by a rogue, which caused her to become pregnant. Crying bitterly, Aimee attempted to drown herself. Although Aimee was saved by Kenny Wong (黃德斌), the suicide attempt caused her to suffer from a miscarriage.
“I was not embarrassed during the filming of the rape scene. My character is very tragic. Many unfortunate incidents happened to her. Fortunately, she met a man (Kenny Wong) that she can rely on later in life,” Aimee revealed.
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