A Comparative Commentary on Love O2O 微微一笑很倾城: the Canon, Drama, and Movie

(This article was first posted on shoujoinvestigation’s Tumblr. Some minor edits to spelling mistakes and stylisation are made in this updated version. I’m crying because I can’t find some of the typos I noticed before now.)

I may not be your biggest fan of the franchise, but I’ve been wanting to finish off this overdue commentary which have been sitting in the drafts for months… This is a comparative commentary of the two live action adaptations, with knowledge of the novel as a basis. (I have read the book first, watched the drama, then the movie.)

Disclaimer: This commentary is fundamentally still coming from my own perspective and opinions. Differing opinions are welcomed but be nice!

TL;DR:

The drama and movie have different focuses, each with their own strengths and flaws.

The drama worked better as a live action/lighthearted romcom, while the movie better as an adaptation.

[spoilers and long post ahead]

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I Belonged to You 《从你的全世界路过》 Movie Review

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After listening to the OST very often even before the show released, I had been looking forward to this show JUST for the OST without much expectations for the plot or story.

Following the love stories of three men, I Belonged to You is a poetically written slice-of-life, but stands out even more for its absolutely beautiful cinematography and sound.

Given its slice-of-life nature, the plot wasn’t particularly exciting or notable, but   still good enough to find at least something to like, like the cute interactions of Mao Shi Ba (Yang Yang) and Li Zhi (Bai Bai He). In terms of acting and characterisation, characterisation was still commendable and reasonable given the short duration, and acting was solid, given the strong cast. (Especially after reading about the lengths Deng Chao went to prep for his role…) You probably wouldn’t bawl much over the story, but it can still touch you reasonably.

But seriously, that is not even the main point of this review. Because it is in the absolute beauty that is the cinematography and sound that alone justifies making this into a movie format as completely worthwhile.

As someone who usually doesn’t pay attention to cinematography, it must be said that nearly every scene in this movie was extremely beautifully shot – from cityscapes to character dialogue shots and nature landscapes. The aesthetics of this movie alone are to die for and 100% wallpaper worthy nearly everywhere. The production team really did amazing work to find such beautiful locations and capture those shots.  (Seriously the movie posters don’t do it justice.)

However, this show was not only a feast for the eyes, but also the ears! The OST that I listened to before watching also did not disappoint, with amazingly appropos timing with the story, to leave a good strong impression without being overused. Even the background music, the soothing voices of the DJs, and effects of setting on speech were immaculate. Never had I appreciated so much the SOUND aesthetics of a movie…

Overall, this would probably be a good light movie to watch to chill and relax to escape the problems of reality, with amazing aesthetics and sounds to recharge your senses, which would also make it enough to consider rewatching again at some point. 🙂

~ Admin JY (also posted here)