A Fistful of Stances (TVB 2010)
A Fistful of Stances <鐵馬尋橋>
Producer: Lee Tim Shing
Number of Episodes: 25
Kevin Cheng as Koo Kin Shing/Koo Yue Cheung
Yuen Qiu as Au Yeung Wai Lan
Kenneth Ma as Koo Yue Tong
Tavia Yeung as Au Yeung Wai Lan
Cheung King Fai as Au Yeung Biu
Dominic Lam as Wing Tak
Natalie Tong as Ying Ngan Ming
Selena Li as Wing Tsz Ching
Jacky Wong as Wing Man Kwan
Shirley Yeung as Koo Man Kuen
Kara Hui as Cheung Sheung Chu
Nancy Wu as Chow Bing Bing
Angela Tong as Chow Fong Fong
The first couple of episodes explains the past and the present. In the past, Wai Lan and Kin Shing has two sons. Wai Lan’s father (Cheung King Fai) was a kung fu master and also treated people with his secret formula. One day, Kin Shing and Lan were on a train where they met Wing Tak who was a scholar and very good at kung fu. They took him home and Lan’s father mentored Wing Tak. However, the second mistress dislikes Wing Tak and mistreats him. Wing Tak left but was arrested by the police for causing trouble. He was rescued by his mentor. Kin Shing recommends to Wing Tak that he should apply for a fighting competition. Before the competition, the second mistress continues to scold Wing Tak. He lost his temper and killed her. He was just about to dispose of her body but his mentor returned home. Wing Tak killed his mentor.
Lan and Kin Shing went to watch the competition, oblivious to the fact that their parents are killed. Wing Tak won the competition. They arrived home and discovered the dead bodies. The couple suspected Wing Tak and tried to trick him to reveal everything. However, on the night of the plan, Kin Shing disappeared leaving a pregnant Lan with her children. Lan went to see Wing Tak and demanded to know where her husband is. He scolded her. Then someone told Lan that her children were kidnapped. She went on a train and found the couple running away with her sons. She managed to grab Tong back but lost Cheung.
Twenty odd years later, all the children have grown up. Tong (Kenneth Ma) was a good fighter and had taken over the duty of curing and teaching kung Fu. However, he suffered from asthma and needed the help of Ching (Selena Li).
Wing Tak was a businessman and he has two daughters (Selena Li and Angel Chiang) and a son Wing Man Kwan (Jacky Heung) and a wife (Kara Hui). Man Kwan often picked on the Koo family causing trouble. One day he went to the Koo household and got beaten up by Lan. He decided that he wants to learn kung fu and was taught by a prisoner who had committed many crimes.
One day, Lan saw the woman (Helen Ma) who kidnapped Cheung. They eventually found Cheung but he had lost his memory and thought that the kidnapper was his mother. He did not believe the Koos and hated them. Tong was very persistent and tried forcing the kidnapper to reveal the truth. However, the lady eventually died from being ill and left a letter revealing everything. Cheung and the Koo family reunited.
Although Cheung now lives with the Koos, his relationship with his siblings is not great. The only person he gets along with is Ngan (Natalie Tong). He did not agree with Tong and how he spoils his siblings. However, Lan explains that Tong has sacrificed a lot over the years and played an important role in the family.
Cheung understood and promises to learn kung fu and take care of the family. The relationship between the siblings are better.
Wing Man Kwan’s master likes Ngan and often follows and harasses her. She only told Cheung and promises to stay at home to avoid the stalker. However, Cheung was injured by Man Kwan who had developed his kicking skills. Cheung had to stay in the hospital so he could not visit his deceased mother. Ngan decides to go on his behalf and the stalker followed her. He raped her.
Ngan was too scared to tell anyone about the rape and would cry silently. She decided to hang herself and late at night spoke to each person individually. She admitted that she really liked Cheung. She tried to commit suicide but was saved by Tong and Cheung. She was taken to hospital and told her family about the whole rape incident which was also heard by Tze Ching.
Tze Ching went home and told her father about the rape. Her father phoned the police immediately and ordered them to catch the rapist. However, Wing Tak and his wife made a false alibi for the rapist and he was released. This enraged the Koo family. Tong got the martial arts community to support Ngan and they all head to Wing’s house. Wing’s wife said that they were with the rapist on the day of the rape but he was missing for a couple of hours so he could have raped Ngan. The rapist got arrested and was sentenced to death. Before he died, he taught Man Kwan all the kung fu and made him promise to kill Cheung and Tong.
Cheung has been trying to find a mentor to teach him kung fu. The koo family discovered a medicine formula hidden by Lan’s father. They took the formula and produced a life saving medicine which became very successful. However, Wing Tak sends people to cause trouble and the Koo Family owed people a lot of money. They owed Fong Fong (Angela Tong) and her husband money. However, Fong Fong realised that the medicine would be a good investment so she became boss of the business. Her husband was a great fighter and became Cheung’s mentor.
After weeks of training, Cheung entered the fist competition. Before the competition, Wing Tak had blackmailed someone to poison Cheung. He made his way through each round like Man Kwan. They eventually fought each other. Cheung won the competition and spared Man Kwan’s life.
Wing Tak discovered that Cheung was not poisoned and was going to arrest the guy. However, Man Kwan had killed the guy and this was witnessed by the Chairman of the martial arts society. He told the Koo family. Wing Tak tries to protect his son and gets somebody else to admit everything. His daughters became really confused and they suspect their brother. They got into trouble by Wing Tak. Ching eventually discovered the truth and her dad’s scheme. She wrote everything in a letter to Tong and tried to commit suicide but was saved by Tong. He also told everyone the truth and Man Kwan was arrested and was shot.
Cheung and Fong’s sister Bing (Nancy Wu) starts dating. However, Cheung’s mentor is worried that he will get distracted from his fighting. He had another competition before being the king of fist. Bing knows that Ngan likes Cheung and lied to her sister that Ngan tries to break her and Cheung up. Bing’s ex boyfriend appears and she makes lies saying she was forced to marry him. Cheung got fed up and revealed the whole truth to the Koo family.
Man Kwan was not dead and was secretly training somewhere arranged by his father, with a false identity. On the day of the competition, he appeared and everyone was shocked to see him. Man Kwan and Cheung make their way through to the competition. Tong managed to find a trainee who knew the truth about Shing’s death. Wing Tak appeared at the Koo’s household the night before the big match and told them where Shing is buried. They dug for the body and found the remains of the corpse.
The day of the competition and Wing Man Kwan won because Cheung was told to quit by his mentor. They were both really injured. Cheung’s mentor died from a heart attack and left Fong a note saying that he was touched by the Koo family and wanted to help them. Fong is determined to help the Koo family and tries to gather everyone from the martial arts society to try and help the Koo family. Wing Tak told Man Kwan to head to Shanghai. His wife wants the truth to be revealed. Wing Tak sends her to a mental hospital so she does not ruin his plans.
Tong and Fong were going to tell everybody what Wing Tak has done. However, Ngan was kidnapped and Tong’s family was threatened. Other people were also threatened by Wing Tak. However, Tong managed to get everyone to reveal the truth. Ching and Yau appeared to persuade their father to reveal where Ngan was hidden. The police arrived to arrest Wing Tak but he grabbed Fong. Cheung punched him and Wing Tak was arrested. However, he refused to reveal where Ngan was. Man Kwan went to visit his father and persuaded him to tell him where Ngan was. Then Man Kwan told Cheung and Tong. Man Kwan was disabled and did not want his father to continue his wrong doing.
Cheung saved Ngan. They became a couple. Wing Tak hung himself. Chu was released from the mental hospital but was mentally unstable. Man Kwan was just sentenced to imprisonment. The Koo’s business continued to expand and became very successful.
Character and comment
Kevin Cheng as Koo Kin Shing and Koo Yue Cheung
I thought that Kin Shing was a much more likeable character than Cheung. Kin Shing is the father of all the children and Cheung was the eldest child. I felt that Kevin did a great job in this series in that he had to portray a different role in one series. There is an apparent difference since Shing was much more calm and wise whereas Cheung responded far too quickly at times and was short tempered. However, I felt that there is an improvement in his acting skills.
Kenneth Ma as Koo Yue Tong
Kenneth is the second eldest son and because Cheung was kidnapped at a young age, his siblings pay him full respect. He has an important role in the family and solved many problems that arise in the family. He also has a sense of humour. Because of his asthma, Tong cannot fight. Kenneth did a great job and this is one of my favourite character aside from Kenneth. Kenneth portrayed so many funny characters in the past but this one is very memorable because the series is full of different emotions. One minute he would have to be very funny and the next he might have to cry. This series definitely gave Kenneth the opportunity to prove that his is a versatile actor.
Yuen Qiu as Au Yeung Wai Lan
This is the first time I have seen Yuen Qiu act in a series. I have watched a few of her films which are usually comedies. Watching her in a sad series like this was rather strange. She is actually one of the people who can fight but I felt that it was a pity that she had so few fighting scenes.
Dominic Lam as Wing Tak
Yes he was definitely EVIL. Very scheming and the role was just perfect for him. I felt that when he played his older and younger self, there was a difference. His performance made the series even better.
Selena Li as Tze Ching
I really liked Selena here. She was very cute and pretty and there was a lot of chemistry with Kenneth. I remembered them being a couple in Master of Tai Chi and they were very compatible there already. Her crying skills have improved a lot but I felt that sometimes she is trying not to laugh.
There are so many characters in this series and I will just have to briefly mention them. Tavia Yeung did an outstanding job despite playing such a small role. I find that she does smaller roles. She seems more focused. Natalie Tong was also really good in this series. The person who surprised me the most was Angela Tong. She was so great in this series. Angela was heavily promoted at some point but I find that she is stronger at portraying smaller roles than leading actress. Jacky Heung’s appearance was rather deceiving. He gave the impression that he is the villain and a good fighter. But his acting was very incompetent and I find that he doesn’t speak very clearly sometimes and blurs his words.
Best Performance: Kenneth Ma
Worst Performance: Jacky Heung
Most evil : Dominic Lam
Best crying Skills: Tavia Yeung
Best male character: Koo Yue Tong played by Kenneth Ma
Best female character: Wing Tze Ching played by Selena Li
Breakthrough performance: Natalie Tong
Best Scene: When Cheung reunited with the Family. I thought the scene was rather touching. The flash backs were also very good to watch.
Best exit: Helen Ma: the scene was rather touching when she died and revealed that Cheung was not her son.
Character that suffered the most: Tavia or Yuen Qui: felt so sorry for her. She lost everything overnight and suffered so much. Her husband died leaving her with all the children. She had to bring them all up on her own and all the problems with Wing Tak.
Kara Hui comes a close second since her son became disabled and her husband died. All these events were not her fault.
This year there are hardly any good series so this is one worth watching. I find that series tend to have good ratings when there is a villain in it; the more evil the better the series. This series is worth watching because it shows that family values are significant and we should never give up until the end. The Koo family spent so many years trying to prove that Wing Tak killed their grandparents. The series show that if you believe you will succeed. Also you should always do what is righteous.
Series Rating :
Not the best TVB series produced but the best one so far this year and definitely worth watching even if you do not like martial arts. My only criticism is they should have found people who did know martial arts like Master of Tai Chi.
Review written by Colly
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A Fistful of Stances (TVB 2010)