女兒情 – A Maiden’s Love

I've been sick these past few days.  On Friday when it was especially bad, I spent an entire day in bed watching Youtube clips on my phone.  This MV is one of the many I went through.  It tells of the almost-love-story between the Tang Monk and the Queen of the Xiliang Kingdom.

Journey to the West isn't known for romance.  This particular story wasn't written this way in the original novel either.  It is said that the actress for the role of the Queen approached the director and suggested adapting the episode with more human feelings, and seeing how well she got along with the actor for the role of the Monk, the director agreed.

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It is a very short story, being only one episode out of many, but it leaves a deep impression nonetheless.  The song is called "Nu Er Qing" which lends itself to the Queen's humbling of herself as a girl.  She who is a monarch, yet falls in love as any other ordinary girl would.  With plot development and time limits, the story is stripped down to its simplest and most basal construction: love and love not fulfilled.  It's very quiet, and it goes by almost like lines of poetry.  But although there wasn't exactly high dramatic tension, there was something heartbreaking about the possibilities within the impossibility of the situation.  For the few wavering moments, for one or two nervous glances, for the words which he spoke: "If there is a next life…"  And yet it's hopeless because there is precisely no next life.  Goodbye now would be goodbye forever.  I don't know if I really believe in the rumor surrounding these two actors, but if the performance was indeed Zhu Lin's (who plays the Queen) own goodbye to Xu Shaohua (who plays the monk) and their irrealizable future, it would make her welling eyes that much more grievous.

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