And so, it is time to talk about Story of Yanxi Palace today, the recent hit palace drama starring Wu Jing Yan that way surpassed my expectation in terms of hype and viewership.
It is certainly a dark horse that came up unexpectedly and emerged strong in 2018 when all the focus had originally been on other huge titles like Yang Mi’s Legend of Fuyao, Zhou Xun’s Ru Yi Zhuan (Like when exactly is it gonna air?!) and Fan Bing Bing’s Ying Tian Xia (poor drama which I have no idea when it can air in the end).
In short, this is a palace drama with expected catfights and schemings among concubines and which totally fulfilled what it is supposed to deliver in a good way.
Wei Ying Luo is our gutsy heroine of the story who enters the palace as a palace maid to investigate how her sister who was also a palace maid ended up dead. Unafraid in speaking her mind and righting wrongs, Wei Ying Luo basically ‘defeats’ all her opponents through her wit and guts and often emerges victorious in all the schemes which is a joy to watch.
A gutsy heroine – Wei Ying Luo by Wu Jing Yan
Well, there has been quite a bit of hype about Wei Ying Luo and naturally the actress Wu Jing Yan who starred in this role. It is undeniable that Wu Jing Yan is quite popular right now and touted as the next up and coming star.
While I do agree that she acted decently, I still couldn’t help feeling that she is a bit overrated. After all, she was given a very good role to begin with; a role that any other lucky actress who got the same role can probably also deliver just as well, so I am not sure if it is fair that she got such high praise for this role.
Big intelligent eyes that suits Wei Ying Luo’s witty role
I like that Wu Jing Yan has a rather intelligent vibe which suits the role of the witty Wei Ying Luo who often has tricks up her sleeve. She also managed to deliver a rather steely and “I-mean-business” kind of vibe especially when she is outwitting her opponents and serving them their just desserts.
However I personally feel that she still has room for improvement as she can appear quite stiff and unnatural at times.
For example, I realised that there were often scenes of Wei Ying Luo sniggering to herself when she outsmart her friends or when she tease others. Whenever such scenes appear, I feel that it is kind of unnatural, cos she always sniggers in the same way in the same tempo and in the same style. First she will sorta scoff and burst out laughing and when doing so, lift her shoulders. There is this SOP that I have noticed. LOL. (I am anal and very detail-oriented I know)
Is Wei Ying Luo supposed to be cute?
Till date(I’m at ep 30 now), I am not sure if Wei Ying Luo is supposed to have a cute side cos there were times when I think she was trying to portray a cute side based on her expressions but I am not sure if I am mistaken cos I don’t actually find it cute.
This usually happens whenever Wei Ying Luo is together with Fu Cha Shi Wei, her beloved when there are more cutesy?(i guess) expressions. But to me the end result is often quite unnatural and not quite in line with the usual plucky and steely portrayal. It just doesnt look believable to me and I end up feeling confused if Wei Ying Luo is supposed to have a cute and impish side.
I know that netizens are all into the coupling of Fu Cha and Wei Ying Luo however I don’t quite feel the chemistry and don’t quite understand how they fell in love with each other.
Looks good in modern day outfit but no regal vibe as imperial concubine
I feel that this costume drama getup is not too flattering for Wu Jing Yan who actually looks quite pretty in modern getup, with her tiny face and huge eyes.
But in a costume drama with hair pulled back and acting as a royal (she will end up becoming Consort Ling), she just does not have the regal vibe at all.
Anyway I have come to my own conclusion that although tiny and v-shaped faces are coveted nowdays in modern times, somehow tiny faces does not hold that much of gravitas for roles like imperial concubines and empresses in those palace dramas.
In contrast, the Empress has a way bigger face than Wu Jing Yan, but somehow it works.
And bigger face just exudes more power that is befitting of a high ranking position I feel.
Story of Yanxi Palace is based on a novel. Check out the novel here.
What are your thoughts about Wu Jing Yan and her portrayal of Wei Ying Luo?