Xiao Shiyi Lang (Tiêu thập nhất lang)

Cast: Nicky Wu (as Xiao), Athena Chu (as Shen Bijun), and Ma Ya Shu (as Feng Siniang)

Story: (Warning! Spoilers!)
Xiao Shi Yi Lang (Nicky Wu) is a notorious thief who robs from the rich and gives to the poor. One day, he accidentally meets Shen Bijun, the fairest woman of the martial world, after falling through a roof when she was in her room. He catches her and both their hands accidentally get cut from Bijun’s hairpin while he was preventing her from falling. It was love at first sight. But unfortunately, Bijun was arranged to be married to the handsome and young master, Lian Chengbi, of the Lian Manor, and not to mention, Xiao and Shen were from different worlds (Bijun was from a prominent family and Xiao was a wanderer)!

Feng Siniang (Ma Ya Shu), who always loved Xiao, was looked upon by him as a sister but was loved by Yang Kaitai (son of Yang Tianzan who was a prosperous horse breeder of the Lian Manor). The story continues when Xiao saves Bijun a couple of times when she was kidnapped by three villains who work for Siu Yeu Hao (who is the main villain in the series and also surprisingly Kaitai’s father.) It also involves a fight over the Deer Carver, a legendary saber.

Anyway, Lian Chengbi finds out about Xiao and Shen’s affair later on in the series after Xiao started a fight on their wedding day in jealousy. Fast forward into the story: Lian Chengbi was truly a nice man in the beginning and wanted Bijun to like him, but soon distrusted her when he begins to find out about her affair with Xiao. He turned into a hateful person when he found out about her affair with Xiao and made many attempts to break them up but none of them worked. Xiao did get injured in the series because of many false accusations (the people who injured him were convinced that Xiao was an evil and untrustworthy friend) but through the obstacles, he finally wins Bijun and kills the evil Lian Chengbi. Siu Yeu Hao also dies tragically in the series as well, leaving Kaitai emotionally upset. Feng did fall in love with Kaitai and they marry at the end. Xiao and Bijun lived happily ever at the end as well.

Xiao Shi Yi Lang:
I honestly think that Nicky Wu fits the role of this character. I never saw his lively personality when I watched another series, “Treasure Venture”, so this was new for me. Also known for his kung-fu skills and his good looks, he is very likable and was a “must-see” when you watch this movie. I also think that he was very compatible with Athena Chu on-screen because of their love-chemistry in the beginning of the movie.

Shen Bijun:
I really like Athena Chu’s portrayal of Shen Bijun. I like her with Nicky Wu in this series and how her cry on cue scenes were perfectly played. So I liked her more in this series than in TVB’s “Legend of the Condor Heroes 94” series.

Feng Siniang:
Ma Ya Shu played a funny character. Not to mention, her costumes were pretty and her acting was good.

Fighting:
This was a bit of a disappointment because in the beginning, the fighting scenes were good but at the end, there was too many effects going on making the series more like the Matrix movie.

Background music & scenery:
I had heard that the background music was too loud and it was hard for the viewers to hear what the characters were saying, so when I watched this movie, I had to agree as well. They should put the volume of the background music a little softer. However, the music was wonderfully choreographed and peaceful. The scenery was pretty as well, from shots outside in the forests, to the colorful indoors of a cave.

Love:
Nicky and Athena played a cute on-screen couple and most of their scenes were very romantic. What I really liked about their scenes were the expressions on their faces, whether or not Bijun loved Xiao or if Xiao was truly a good man.

Villains:
Lian Chengbi was like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He was mistakenly given a good reputation in the series but was actually an evil, evil man (Even after successfully separating both Xiao and Bijun, he still wanted to get rid of Xiao. Isn’t that so cruel?).

I also thought that Siu Yeu Hao wasn’t that evil. He was just greedy for the Legendary Saber, which was actually a magic one that could ONLY be opened by Xiao and his family ancestry (generation after generation). He was a loving father to Kaitai but at the same time, a masked villain filled with hatred, who everyone would consider as the main antagonist of the series. Both Lian Chengbi and Siu Yeu Hao were different from each other and were enemies even though they were related in the same family at the Lian Manor somehow.

Book:
Gu Long’s original version of this story was actually understandable but had a sad ending. Xiao and Bijun didn’t end up together at the end and Xiao became a wanderer forever. In the series, it’s much different. Xiao DID end up with Bijun at the end and everything was perfect that nothing can get between them ever again.

So overall, it was really a good series but out of 5 stars, I’d give it a 4. It’s 1 star less because of the volume of the background music, too many background/object effects (like the saber that glows when you open it and the background changes during a deadly battle between Xiao and Lian Chengbi at the end) that brought the story more of a “modern day” look, and as well as the lack of trust in one another in the movie. But the good points, the love that was filled within was wonderful and unique!

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