This is my review of Chinese TV Show The Wind Blows From Longxi (风起陇西), which aired between 27 April to 7 May 2022 on CCTV/iQiyi.
The Shu defeated the Wei using their specific crossbow design. Wei sent numerous spies into the Shu kingdom to steal the plans. Chen Gong and Xun Xu are Shu spies who go their separate ways to stop the plan.
Actually, there is more to the story than this, it’s quite complex, but I would just watch the series.
Chen Kun (陳坤) plays Chen Gong
I didn’t realise until after the show had finished but he played Ning Yi in Netflix’s The Rise of Phoenixes.
He is an actor, singer and also a very successful writer. He has won numerous awards for his acting. He is also on China’s Writers Rich List. He has one child, he isn’t married and hasn’t revealed the name of the Mother.
Bai Yu (白宇) plays Xun Xu
A very popular actor who we’ve seen in a number of productions. He has won multiple awards, be voted the most handsome guy in China, and so on.
I recognized a couple of other cast members who had support roles in other dramas we’ve watched.
The series was 24 episodes long, if it was something like 70 it would have been too tough to watch it all.
The storyline was quite complex and parts of the show, the text that appeared on the screen, weren’t translated by the production company, so parts of it were completely lost on me at first. I started to understand what was going on after the 5th episode. The final few episodes were the best, not just because it was coming to an end, but I had started to appreciate the story.
I would say this drama had a more realistic “look and feel” than many Chinese dramas we’ve seen. The sets were basic, with no fancy decor, just basic wooden houses or shacks may be to reflect the hard time they were going through. Even the short scene of the Emperor showed how un-fancy they were. No fancy tea or dinner service. The homes were dark with very little lighting. The costumes were the same way, very basic cloth and not posh at all. It was kind of refreshing to see this.
The drama had a serious tone, there wasn’t a lot of humour at all. There was romance and this shaped what one of the characters had become about halfway through the show. This isn’t necessarily an action-orientated show, although it did have some. I took it as a focus on the politics and relationships of war.
The acting was good. Much of what was said was done in whispers, very quietly spoken roles. This was the first show I’ve seen where Bai Yu hasn’t joked around or hardly smiled come to that, although there were times when that cheeky smile came across.
In the first few episodes there was this humorous person at the end, about 30 seconds, the summarize what had just happened. This, sadly, didn’t continue throughout the series. Maybe the production company realized what a complex story it was and decided to throw that in to help people like me out.
There wasn’t a lot of incidental music but the opening theme, with the drums, was awesome. The closing theme didn’t fit in with the drama at all but it wasn’t too bad.
The downsides of this show were the lack of female characters and the screenwriting should have been adapted to pull me into the show more, at least a the beginning.
Where Can I Watch
The show is available on YouTube, with great subtitles, and Viki.