The Disguiser: Which Mr. Ming?


Complex yet never out of character, Yue Yao’s Liang Zhongchun is one of the best characters of the year.

This is a series of posts of me over-analyzing The Disguiser. This one’s really short since I had originally planned to talk about it with the next post, but that scene deserved its own post so I kicked this one out. I’ve looked at a painting, a conversation, next time it’ll be what I consider the best acted scene of the entire series.  Can you guess which one it is? 

Aristotle once said the key to good dialogue is to “Speak as common people do, but think as wise men do.” See how in this example here, Ming Cheng took exactly one line to hint to Liang Zhongchun of his ambitions upon their first meeting.

Liang Zhongchun, somewhat synchophantly: “I’ve long heard the fame of Mr.Ming.”
Ming Cheng, with a slight raised tone and eyebrow: “Which Mr.Ming?”

Posing as a simple question, the subtext is Ming Cheng’s hint to Liang Zhongchun of his own (faked) ambitions and wish to be distinct from Ming Lou, luring Liang to eventually join Ming Cheng’s camp.   And if you read too much into it, it defines Ming Cheng’s ambiguous status and relationship in the Ming family that became essential to his multiple disguises.

This line would’ve been perfect if it was somehow tied in with the recorder at the ending when the question of which Mr. Ming is on the tape becomes one of life-and-death.

4 thoughts on “The Disguiser: Which Mr. Ming?

  1. I love your Disguiser posts, even though I didn’t love the story, the way it’s portrayed and most of its messages, but somehow you made me appreciate it in a different way ( like for e.g I didn’t realise how much effort went into the dialogue you dissected here). That said, eventhough Wang Kai is my kind of eye candy, Jin Dong really did something extra-ordinair with his character. I don’t think I would have liked his character if not for him. Ming Tai (and Hu Ge) on the other hand…well for one, it ruined my enjoyment of the story (MOAR Jin Dong, MOAR Liu Min Tao please) and also I don’t really like that the drama presented him as THE HERO. Because I just can’t see it. He’s bratty, he’s spoiled, he’s rude, entitled, condescending (the way he treated Man Li is just….ARGGG, so enraging) and self-centered. And he freaking STAYS that way, throughout the whole frigging story. No self-reflection, no questioning of his own actions and its consequences, no humbling down, nothing. Yet, somehow every ‘good’ person loves/adores/admires him and every ‘bad’ guy fears him and wants him DEAD. And he”s SUPER TALENTED. Like, no. Ok, I’m gonna stop my rant here hehe –‘ Anyway, looking forward to your next Disguiser posts! ^^

    • I feel the same way about Ming Tai. The fact that he’s so incompetent also makes everyone else look bad because you start questioning their judgment. Like how smart can Wang Tianfeng and Lou-Cheng really be if they thing Ming Tai is the best agent ever? How good are Lou-Cheng really if they sponsored Ming Tai to join the CCP even though he clearly has sexist and classist tendencies?

      This would’ve been all okay if he grew up a lot following either almost killing his brothers or almost dying, but nooo, he goes and does pull-ups outside as soon as he’s out of jail, jeopardizing his entire family and his biological dad.

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