This could be the ultimate test for my current fangirling over Dylan Kuo. In a recent interview, he commented the dramas / movies he filmed in the past year or so had already aired (or has a release date) so any upcoming works are still at the negotiating stage. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that a drama he filmed back in 2011 – The Legend of Mulan (Hua Mu Lan Chuan Qi / 花木兰传奇) will finally be released on CCTV on July 18!
“The Legend of Mulan” will be competing with another much anticipated drama about a historical figure – “The Patriot Yue Fei” (精忠岳飞). However, it appears the two are aiming for different audiences. “The Patriot Yue Fei” is a more serious drama, a grand epic production starring big names like Huang Xiaoming and Ruby Lin. In contrast, “The Legend of Mulan” is trying to differentiate itself from all the other Mulan adaptations by going for the ‘idol drama’ angle, casting an unknown actress in Hou Meng Yao and transporting Dylan’s usual “princely/rich guy” character back in time to portray Prince Duo Lun, who is of course the love interest.
Looking at the 17 minute preview, this adaptation places a heavy emphasis on Mulan’s life before she enlisted in the army, the time when she was a seamstress. The battle scenes are done relatively well, although I am very concerned that they used the soundtrack for “Pirates of the Caribbean”? (from the comments on YouTube it seems they used the OST for Lord of the Rings as well??) For a production that reportedly cost $60 million, using other movies’ OST does not exactly scream ‘quality’.
So how is this the ‘ultimate test’ for my fangirling? First – I don’t usually watch historical dramas. It’s just not really my genre. Second – the dubbing. Horrid! I’m seeing his lips move but the voice just sounds so weird! At least at 30 episodes it’s not as straining as other historical dramas. Maybe the fast forward button can be my friend. Not sure what to think about the long hair, but I do like their scenes as a couple in the preview.