Review: Bottled Passon (by Yina)

By on January 21, 2012 in NEWS, REVIEWS

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Bottled Passion <我的如意狼君>
TVB 2011
Producer: Lee Tim Shing
Genre: Pre-Modern Drama
Number of episodes: 21

Rating: 

Cast of Characters

Raymond Wong as “Tung Bun Sin”
Niki Chow as “Tsui Sum”
Samuel Kwok as “Ko Siu Tong”
Rebecca Chan as “Tung Kwok Hing”
Elaine Yiu as “Ko Yee Kiu”
Joel Chan as “Ko Yee Tai”
Eric Lee as “Lo Yat”
Claire Yiu as “Wun You”
Raymond Cho as “Tsui Ping”

For additional cast information and synopsis, please visit:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bottled_Passion

Note: Since this is a review, I’ve assumed you have watched it.

Likes

Tung Bun Sin’s (played by Raymond Wong) death makes sense. He died because he committed the greatest crime of all: betraying a woman’s feelings.  The person who suffered the most through his revenge scheme is Ko Yee Kiu, the second child of the Ko family. He stole her heart and she lost her mind.   Have we not been through heartbreak?  Karma and revenge all came to a full cycle when his life ended in the hands of his own victim. Same for everyone else.  They all end up in in their miserable predicament. Tung Kwok  Hing (played by Rebecca Chan) died of a crushed heart (symbolically for the lack of love). Her son, Ko Yee Tai (Joel Chan), was killed by the man who kept begging him for help. The youngest daughter, Ko Yee Nga, will never experience a world of stability and love. And Tung Bun Sin died at the hands of a heartbroken woman.  His death is not a gimmick for ratings (typical of TVB dramas), but a righteous conclusion to a revenge story.  He’s gotta pay for what he did too.  All suffering ends with him.

The Evil Mother

Rebecca Chan’s acting as Tung Kwok Hing was the most convincing of them all.  Her character’s life depends on her face expressions.  She needs to be tough among all the men. She needs to be vulnerable for forgiveness. She needs to be soft to fend off threats. She needs to be motherly to exude full control- all of this helped her not only survive but control the direction of the story.  The main characters don’t stand a chance.  The story never gravitated towards them because it was written for them already. In comparison, her character came off very enigmatic and attractive.

Towards the end of the drama, it focused tightly on Tung Kwok Hing’s emotions,  including the lack there of.  She never broke down.  She was never apologetic for the things she did.  This is very interesting because I rarely see this trait in a female role.  They always seem to learn their lesson in the end.  She committed murder but was clear of conscience.  They did play back all of all her wrong doings but it seems like the director is making this as teaching a lesson to the audience rather than Tung Kwok Hing actually coming to an epiphany.  She might see these flashing images before her death, but I am not convinced that she thinks there was a lesson to be learned.  She died knowing everything she did was right.  She just can’t lose.

Tung Kwok Hing’s facial expressions when she asked for forgiveness from Tung Bun Sin captivated me.  They very moment her tender eyes turned sharp as he walks away.  Her lips closed slightly.  Suddenly my whole energy changed.  I felt a chill pass when her face exude such a natural evil ambiance in a unnoticeable split second.  This is definitely her best acting role to-date and a character that I imagine most actors in their careers would pine for.

The Children

I was fascinated by the Matriarch’s relationship to her children the most.  Not only was Tung Kwok Hing’s eldest son providing her with the greatest sense of security, (since the eldest assumes all of his father’s control of property and business); she has also crippled his ability to become a man so she can continue her power over him.  A threat to her son, is a threat to her.  Her insecurities to ensure power over the family and business stems from a lack of human emotions: love.

Tung Kwok Hing’s eldest daughter, Yee Kiu, resembles her the most.  Without love, she needs control, she needs stability, and the only outlet is through work.  I think this issue can also relate to the typical modern women of the 21st century.   There seems to be a conflict with what defines women as individuals and the balance of giving up that individuality for a man.  Although Yee Kiu was constantly but passively resisting her mother’s orders, she abides them, not because of filial piety but because freedom never existed for her.  You can’t yearn for something that you don’t know even exists.  It was the appearance of Tung Bun Sin that changed everything she thought she knew.  He showed her what freedom is.  Because of him, she was willing to let go.  She was willing to give up control.  Love is a scary thing.

Dislikes

What I don’t understand was telling the whole story in twenty-ONE episodes.  After being stabbed, Tung Bun Sin refuses to wait for an ambulance, refuses the help of the doctor, walks for at least 12 hours (it was dinner time when he got stabbed and almost morning when he got to the bay side), to land himself on a boat that will take him away into the abyss.  He thinks moments before his death, “We’ll see each other in the next life.” REALLY?  It’s really pointless because there were NUMEROUS opportunities where he could have been saved.  If he wanted to die because he felt that is what he deserved, then I find it really absurd.  He’s not the type to just accept life the way it is.  His character is very much of something like a quote I just came up with, “Live for today. Don’t expect a tomorrow.”  So sacrificing the rest of his life with Tsui Sum, someone who he’s waited his whole life for just doesn’t make sense.  It looks as if the last episode was a last minute decision and the execs had to stretch out episode 20.

What I also didn’t understand was the doctor’s willingness to play into his ridiculous request by keeping his death a secret.   Play up the absurdity by making Tsui Sum think Tung Bun Sin is still alive by placing the engagement ring on her desk?!   This drama puts forward the idea that if it’s not fate, don’t force it, don’t dwell on it, and live life happily.  But in this specific situation, it’s just utter stupidity.  TVB dramas sometimes imply these morals that are just senseless. Anyone remember Steven Ma’s character in “Cupid Stupid” where he could have won the heart of his dream girl, Tavia Yeung, but instead acted on nonsensical generosity and gave her up to Michael Tse’s character?

Final Notes:

I wrote more about the troubled family rather than the main characters because simply they were more interesting.  The love story?  Not so much.  The Ko family couldn’t be more different from each other.  All strangers living under one roof.  Not feeling an ounce of humanity, they have to hurt each other to feel.

I must say, Claire Yiu who plays Wun You in this drama provided good comic relief.  I don’t ever remember her playing a comical role.  It was hilarious during the protest scenes and slipping her  mouth during serious moments.  She always played those boring model roles; it was nice to see her break out of that and doing a good job at it.

I never bought into Niki Chow’s role as a business leader or as someone vulnerable.  I thought her acting was a bit stiff.  Nonetheless I don’t remember a moment of her standing out to me as I’m writing this review.

There were also a lot of “popping out of no-wheres.”  A L-O-T.

 

Yina’s Notes: This is the first drama I’ve watched in its entirety in 4 months.  Thanks to a recommendation from bff.  Life got crazy as life does and I haven’t had time to sit down to write.  I know this review is a bit late and there’s already 2 great reviews up.  But I miss the whole interaction and I really enjoyed this drama!  Hope you did too!

This review was written by Yina Z., a Contributing Writer at JayneStars.com. Please visit Yina’s blog!

18 comments to Review: Bottled Passon (by Yina)

  1. Funn Lim says:

    Indeed, his death makes sense. But the way he died defied any sense, real or fictional.

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  2. Addy says:

    Yes, the villain family was indeed very interesting! In fact, when I was watching Bottled Passion, I skipped all the scenes with Tsui Sum and her family, and just watched the villain family. Rebecca Chan makes a very convincing villain. Tung Kwok-hing was also a VERY well-written character – in fact – she’s the best character in the whole show. I was a bit disappointed that they didn’t use Joel Chan or Katy Kung’s characters to their full potential. I really liked how their characters ended though.

    I also liked the way how Tung Bun-sin ended, but it’s the way HOW he ended that turned me off. I can’t believe I wasted 20 minutes of my time just watching him die.

    But seriously, Rebecca Chan really deserves a mention! She got me through watching this! (as well as the bromantic relationship between Raymond Wong and Eric Li XD)

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  3. Anonymous says:

    AHAHA yes I really liked Eric’s character as well! 😀

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  4. Kidd says:

    I think Yiu Kiu does have love for her father. I remember she told Boon Sin that she was worried about her father refusing to eat. She worried for his health.

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    • yina replied:

      You’re right. I can’t believe I forgot this. I wanted to write about the difference between the relationship of Yi Kiu and her father apart from her relationship with her mother. There were several controversial studies showing girls who grew up close with their father does better in academics and a healthy mindset even without a mother. On the other hand, children who grow up only close to their mothers suffer socially and academically.

      mother figures are the most interesting characters arent they? especially with daughters…sometimes we feel a passionate hate and love towards them

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    • Funn Lim replied:

      Superficial love perhaps? Because if she is asked to trade her life for her father’s, would she have done it? I don’t think so.

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      • Kidd replied:

        Love is not binary number, 1 or 0, love or not love. There are degrees. I’m sure her love for herself is above her love for her father. But, that does not mean her love for her father is superficial or fake. Her worries for her father is genuine. That, I see is love.

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        How true is your love is you are not willing to give up certain things for that love? Then it is conditional love and all conditional love may be real but in the end with conditions attached, it is no longer true love.

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      • yina replied:

        I agree with Kidd’s comment. But I see Funn’s p.o.v. about ‘what exactly is real, true, love?’, though I think it varies on what you think when you look back at your past relationships. People question this about love all the time. But never on hate. If you were to think back on the last time you truly hated someone years ago. Would you consider that real hate? I mean the answer will still vary. But if it was truly hate, you wouldn’t question it at all. So I think if you truly loved that person at a time in your life, I really think it’s possible to say ‘I’ve loved more than one person in my life, but I’m only in love with ____ now.’

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  5. Norika says:

    “Tung Kwok Hing’s facial expressions when she asked for forgiveness from Tung Bun Sin captivated me.”.. I am so agree to the amzing acting of Rebecca. She won’t over act anything and convincing to tell me that “I can’t lose!~~”

    Elaine is very convincing as a work woman but deep down in her heart want to own a life of her own.

    Like Katy’s scene when she is on the swing under the tree with Raymond. One after next they get closer and closer; when Ray was over her on the grass, her reacted like a naive little girl

    @Yina: Thanks, its enjoyable to read your review

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    • yina replied:

      thank you!

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  6. Ting says:

    Ok, first off I agree completely when you say that his death “makes sense,” however, like what you also said, the way he died doesn’t! Throughout the whole drama, he’s the smart guy who manipulated everyone to fall into his revenge scheme and escaped his first death when he was a child. Now all of the sudden, a stab from a small knife and numerous opportunities to be saved all of the sudden died in that 12 hours of bleeding and torture……….. just UNBELIEVABLE!!! Also, I don’t believe that he should die, yeah Tong Sum didn’t play an outstanding role in this drama, but he deserves to be with tong sum. They struggled through separation when young, FINALLY, fate has brought them back together, and why can’t fate continues their love story till the end? It’s UNJUSTICE for the fact that we have to watch 20 mins of his death which could’ve sum up to 2 mins of their happy ending instead.
    Anyways, enough about their love story, I never expected Ko Yee Kiu to play such a good role either. I love her character, despite the fact that she was plainly stupid failing in Tong Bun Sin’s trap, WHO WOULDN’T?!!?! Her role can definitely relate modern women’s life, a young woman who believes through working, she can finally find a sense of control for her destiny. I think I like her role better than the main character Tong Sum.
    Hands down, the battle between Tong Bun Sin and Tung Kwok Hing are the most exciting scenes, every time they meet, I always wonder what he’s gonna say to her, like “hey witch? Remember me? I’m the bastard you tried to kill 20 years ago.” Lol and after 19 episodes he FINALLY SAID IT! I don’t think any other actress can play as good as a role than Rebecca Chan, she’s VERY convincing, she FOOLED me when she acted apologetic to Tung Bun Sin, then that wicked smile after he left…….. left a chill in my bones. Like any mother, she wants the sense of control in her family, through her children and even the family fortune. She had her daughter marry man almost to his graves just for a charity director title…. She said she loved her husband but she took her husband out of hospital bed when he’s paralyzed and need medication. You’re right, she never came to epiphany for her wrong doing when she died, and she still can’t lose, even up until her heart attack.
    This was a GREAT DRAMA BTW, thanks for your review, I really enjoy reading this.

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    • yina replied:

      haha your comment is soo funny!

      As for what you said about Ko Yi Kiu, haven’t we all met that asshole guy who just tells you what you want to hear and then disappear? (or am i just speaking for myself?)

      and ditto on the chill on the bones!

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    • popcorn replied:

      actually i think at that time after he got stabbed he really wanted to see tong sum,but he then relised that he might not make it, so because he didnt wanted to have tong sum thinking that he was dead and not ever going to come back, he lied on a little boat sort of thing, and hoped that they wont find his body, and if they dont find his body, then tong sum would live a happyish life and belive that he would come back, since that other guy put the ring in to the cigertte case, to give her a hope so she won’t feel that sad.

      thats what i think.

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  7. may scully says:

    Love the serial but dislike the ending cos its just a stupid ending ,i thoud the doctor is a good men but he just let tung bum sin die ,what a silly ending….

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    • popcorn replied:

      well he actually needed to call for a car, and in those days you dont just start stiching them up there, you had to bring him to the hospital and since the knife was still in him, NOT a good idea to be carrying him around,

      btw does anyone know what then happened to Yee Kiu??!?! like did she get a job or something??~

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  8. fez says:

    I completely agree with ur review Yina! The death was sooo WTF

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  9. lychii04 says:

    I only just finished this drama recently. I braced myself for the absurd death.. but really.. w t f. mindboggling. I loved the drama up until then though, had good pace and wonderful characterisations.

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