Dubbed TVB’s “most gruesome” drama of all time, Master of Play’s <心戰> finale aired on June 29th in Hong Kong. The drama was flooded with suicides and murders of multiple major characters, with an open ending that sparked a whole gamut of inferences from its audience. Audience’s remarks ranged from emotional to philosophical and highly positive to utterly critical!
Open Ending (Contains Spoilers)
The characters in Master of Play frequently switched between reality and their imaginary world. A wide variety of unsettling murders were also seen – melting the body in blazing temperatures, feeding the dogs with body pieces, and even dismantling the human bones and hammering them into bits! In the end, even the chief male and female characters were not exempt from violent ends.
In the finale, Adam Cheng’s (郑少秋) character, Kan Siu Nam (靳兆楠) stabbed Moses Chan’s (陳豪) Cheung Sai Yin (章世言) to death. Unable to face the truth that his daughter has been murdered, Adam went out of his mind and wrongly believed that he was Cheung Sai Yin. In an attempt to prove to Cheng Sai Yin’s sister Natalie, played by Aimee Chan (陳茵媺), that he was Cheung Sai Yin in a magic show, Adam ended up being burnt to death.
Shortly, the screen shows the empty dressing room of Kan Siu Nam’s troupe. William Shakespeare’s The Tempest was airing nearby. Finally, the scene switched to a sand painting showing an angel walking towards the sun.
Audience Criticize Poor Ending
After the open ending of Master of Play was released, an avalanche of remarks exploded on the Internet. It was remarked, “Although Cheung Sai Yin has been killed, spiritually he still lives within Kan Siu Nam. I guess the message is whether alive or dead, people do not truly acquire freedom until they are [emotionally and mentally] freed.”
Another netizen complained bitterly, “The ending is so ridiculous! The entire last episode was devoted to describing nothing but a mental state. The scripwriter was fooling the audience by being so-called “deep.” It is bound to be this year’s worst TVB show!”
Another critical netizen remarked, “Why does the show not use simple methods if it were to explore human nature? A plot close to everyday life is more effective than such an outlandish and gruesome one involving multiple deaths!”
Despite the critical wave of comments, Master of Play’s scriptwriter, Chow Yuk Ming (周旭明), said he would not answer questions as the story itself has already unravelled them.
Philosophical and Logical Responses
Open endings lead to highly personalized endings; the audience can believe what they choose to. A group of audiences was quick to deduce the implicit parts of the ending. Philosophical and logical viewers looked deep within Master of Play for its message and characters’ conflict resolution.
The philosophical viewers explained that the entire story describes human nature, with the catalogue of killings as simply figurative. They commented that Kan Siu Nam eventually freed himself of his psychological shackles and obtained spiritual freedom, as the heroine, Ariel, had done so in Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
Netizens latched on to additional clues that were found in Master of Play. They concluded that Kan Siu Nam eventually freed his psychological shackles and led a life of bliss and hope. In one scene, there was a cup that gave off smoke on Kan Siu Nam’s desk in the dressing room. Despite the dressing room being empty, Kan Siu Nam’s voice can still be heard. Finally, there was the image of the angel walking towards the sun in the sand painting, which lent a message of hope that Kan Siu Nam had freed the devil within himself.
This article is written by Barnet for JayneStars.com.
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