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The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity 晴雅集 [2020/2021]


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The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity 晴雅集

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Director/Scriptwriter: Guo Jing Ming

Genre: Action, Fantasy, Supernatural

Released: December 25th, 2020 in theaters, February 5th, 2021 on Netflix

English Subs: Netflix

 

Cast

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Mark Chao as Qing Ming

 

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Deng Lun as Bo Ya

 

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Olivia Wang as Princess Zhang Ping

 

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Wang Duo as He Shou Yue and Zhong Xing

 

Jessie Li as Long Ye

Xu Kai Cheng as Kuang Hua Shi (Spirit Guardian – Mad Painter)

Sun Chen Jun as Killing Stone (Spirit Guardian)

Jusper as Snow Hound (Spirit Guardian)

Lu Zhan Xiang as Jin Ling Zi (Spirit Guardian – Golden Spirit)

 

Synopsis -- Lots of Spoilers! (Credit)

Spoiler

 

Centuries ago, a malevolent serpent demon was born from the desires of man. Four masters gathered together to trap the snake within the Imperial City, sealed within the body of the Empress, protected by four stone guardians. Since then, whenever the serpent threatens to emerge, four masters have travelled to the Imperial City to awaken the four stone guardians. With the threat of the evil serpent rising once more, four masters come together in the Imperial City: Hong Ruo, Long Ye, Bo Ya, and Qing Ming.

 

Qing Ming and Bo Ya immediately get off on the wrong foot over their opposing view of demons but are soon forced to cooperate when Master Hong Ruo is killed in his sleep by a Hair Demon. The Empress orders Princess Zhang Ping to investigate Hong Ruo's death and instates the palace priest He Shou Yue as Master Hong Ruo’s replacement. Noticing that He Shou Yue bears an uncanny resemblance to his late master, Zhong Xing, Qing Ming confronts him and learns that Shou Yue is a Spirit Guardian of Zhong Xing, sent to protect the Empress. However, as a result of Zhong Xing's death, Shou Yue is also slowly dying.

 

After a failed assassination attempt on the Empress, discord grows. The masters suspect each other and investigate independently. Master Long Ye is eventually accused but falls victim to the Hair Demon before she can disclose what she had discovered. With her dying breath, Long Ye attempts to communicate her discovery to Qing Ming, who interprets the message as an accusation against the Princess. Unwilling to believe the Princess is the criminal, Bo Ya insists Shou Yue must be the culprit. Qing Ming and Bo Ya decide to confront the Princess and Shou Yue separately. Meanwhile, the Princess angrily confronts Shou Yue, with whom she is in league, for killing Master Hong Ruo and Long Ye. Shou Yue reasons that their deaths were justifiable and that in order to keep their plans a secret, Bo Ya and Qing Ming must also die.

 

When Qing Ming confronts the Princess, she is attacked by the Hair Demon. Qing Ming hunts the Hair Demon down and learns from the Demon that she had been waiting to avenge her own death on the Princess for sixty years. Realizing that the Princess has not aged a day in the past sixty years, Qing Ming surmises that the Princess must actually be the real Empress and thus the true vessel of the serpent.

 

Qing Ming and Bo Ya confront the Princess and Shou Yue together and learn of their true plan: in order to save Shou Yue from dying, he must become the new vessel of the serpent, rendering him immortal. In order to do this, the serpent must be allowed to rise. While the Princess gives birth to the serpent, she remembers her first meeting with Qing Ming’s late master, Zhong Xing. Years ago, the two had fallen in love and the Princess had revealed her true identity - the centuries-old immortal vessel of the serpent - to Zhong Xing as well as her original name, Fang Yue. knowing that desire would strengthen the serpent within her, Zhong Xing left the Imperial City to prevent the Princess’s feelings from growing. Before leaving, he created the Spirit Guardian He Shou Yue in order to protect her, who later took Zhong Xing’s form to please the Princess.

 

The Princess and He Shou Yue flee on the now giant serpent, with Bo Ya and Qing Ming in pursuit. After noticing the chaos created by the serpent, the Princess realizes the error of her ways and attempts to commit suicide with Shou Yue, but both are swallowed by the serpent. Bo Ya notices that only three of the four stone guardians have awakened, as Shou Yue did not awaken the guardian appointed to him to allow the serpent to leave the Imperial City.

 

Shou Yue, now the new vessel for the serpent, emerges and fights Bo Ya, Qing Ming and the Spirit Guardians that Qing Ming conjures: Snow Hound, Killing Stone and Mad Painter. Bo Ya leaves to wake the last of the four stone guardians, the Crimson Bird. During this process, Bo Ya collapses and becomes a Spirit Guardian himself in the form of the Crimson Bird. While the Crimson Bird and He Shou Yue battle each other, Qing Ming teleports himself inside the serpent where he shows the Princess the last memory he has with Zhong Xing. Zhong Xing confesses he has always loved the Princess and encourages her to do the right thing. Qing Ming and the Princess teleport outside, and the Princess, no longer immortal as she is no longer the vessel of the serpent, kills herself with the sword Zhong Xing named after her, Fang Yue. Distracted by this, He Shou Yue is impaled by the Crimson Bird. As the serpent collapses, the Crimson Bird sacrifices himself in order to save Qing Ming. He Shou Yue rises from the serpent’s ashes and hurls a sword at Bo Ya's unconscious body, but Qing Ming throws himself in front of the sword and reaches a moment of clarity where he realizes the true meaning of being a Yin-Yang Master. He successfully deflects the sword from Bo Ya and kills He Shou Yue.

 

Bo Ya awakens, and the two friends say their goodbyes, while the entombed Master Long Ye is shown to still be alive.

 

 

Plot/Story (Rating: 8/10):

This movie was adapted from a Japanese novel, Onmyoji, by Baku Yumemakura. It is not the first time this novel was adapted into a movie, as there is another Chinese movie coming out based off the same novel. There is also a couple Japanese movies and some manga series too.

 

For Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity, the core of the movie is the relationship between Qing Ming and his master, Zhong Xing. Qing Ming is unable to perform the protection spell and as a Yin-Yang master this is one of the most basic but also a very powerful spell. Qing Ming has never felt the need to want to protect anyone which is why he lacks the understanding of the spell.

 

During a fight with the evil serpent, Zhong Xing is poisoned and his last teaching for Qing Ming was, “Grief and joy, partings and meetings, life and death, you’ll face them all in this brief flash of life.” Zhong Xing tells Qing Ming that he is destined for greatest and his name is something people will remember.

 

Qing Ming embarks on a journey to find the vessel of the serpent while keeping in mind what his master told him. He encounters everything his master said he would: grief and joy, partings and meetings, life and death. Qing Ming started this journey thinking that the only person he had in his life was his master and without him, he would be all alone in the world. However, throughout the movie, he learned the meaning of friendship, love, sacrifices, and what it means to have something you want to protect.

 

Something I thought was interesting was the size of the serpent, it feeds off people’s obsession and desire. It really made me think a bit about my life, what my desires are and what things am I obsess with. After pinpointing those things, I’m left wondering – do I really need all those things to be happy?

 

I think the most memorable quote in this movie was the combination of Zhong Xing’s last teaching to Qing Ming and what Zhong Xing tells him after Qing Ming ask if his master have ever had any desires.

 

“Grief and joy, partings and meetings, life and death, you’ll face them all in this brief flash of life. But in this life, I have loved, and I have been loved. That is enough.”

 

I took off two points off because while I thought the movie was relatively easy to follow, there were some scenes that I had to replay to understand.

 

By the way, there have been talks about Qing Ming’s and Bo Ya’s teetering on BL (boy love), and I can understand why some would think that way. There were some long gazes between them, and Qing Ming learned the true meaning of protection when he wanted to protect Bo Ya from harm – this was also when he learned how to use the protection spell. I think their relationship can be interpreted in many ways though. I saw it as Qing Ming finally found a family outside of his master, but I definitely understand why someone would see it as a blossoming love story too.

 

Cast/Acting (Rating: 10/10):

Spoiler

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I think the casting for this movie was really well done. I was drawn to each character, even the guardian spirits. Words cannot describe how amazing Wang Duo and Olivia Wang were in this movie. I completely bought into their tragic love story and their willingness to do anything to be together.

 

Mark Chao and Deng Lun were also equally as great as Qing Ming and Bo Ya, respectively too.

 

Production Value (Aesthetics/OST/Cinematography) (Rating: 9/10):

I don’t think anyone that watched this movie can say that it wasn’t visually pleasing. The production value was top notch, and the serpent was beautifully done, even down to the spiked tongue.

Spoiler

 

The soundtrack by Deng Lun has been on repeat the entire time I wrote this review. It is a great song and the meaning of it is even greater!

Spoiler

 

 

Re-Watch Value (Rating 8/10):

I really like Deng Lun and often re-watch the projects I’ve seen him in, so that alone will be enough for me to re-watch this movie. Regardless of that, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and if someone asked me if I wanted to watch this with them, I would probably say ‘yes’.

 

Something to note: This movie was pulled from Chinese theaters due to the director/scriptwriter’s plagiarism scandal after two weeks. The future of this movie on Netflix was unknown for a while, but on February 5th, it showed up on Netflix.

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Absolutely amazing Take @Tofu

 

The Film itself is metaphorical.... The fact that the serpent who lives off the desire of human beings and there were no tail of that serpent implies the fact that the desire of human beings are endless and limitless. but it can be conquered. When Qingming convinced the empress to come out of reverie and take cognizance of the simulation she was living in , she gradually understood that the man she is loving is not the man she has loved at all , then her desire to be immortal went away with it.

 

that's the reason both Bo Ya and QingMing can actually fight off the demon. Regarding BL Theme , Well I certainly did not see the love angle to it probably because even after long gazes , They just seemed to be two men protecting each other while growing as friends. Wang Duo's He Shou Ye is probably a villainous character as I see it but in the end we viewers could not really hate him because he was indeed following his Master's Words , literally. He was asked to protect the princess and do as Princess Pleases. That's the reason he changed himself to Zhong Xing. It is symbolic to the unwavering submission he had towards his master. 

 

Acting - it  was top notch. I really understood why Wang Duo's character did what he had to do. I also did understood why Bo Ya and QingMing did what they had to do. I could not really stop myself to love both Mark Chao and Deng Lun and at the same time I just could not stop myself to love both wang duo and olivia wang. They were convincing enough to make me cry and laugh with the movie. 

 

Ending of the movie seemed good too with a promise of protecting each other whereever they are. in a not-so-serious mood , please watch the movie to enjoy Both Deng Lun and Wang Duo's Abs while they fight with each other :D :facts: :P :P :P

 

 

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