Espionage thriller The Message 风声 drama has released a second and much better trailer, with stylized shots and interwoven scenes to build up suspense. Based on the acclaimed film of the same name, the drama tells the story of five suspected locked in a mansion trying to find out who among them is the murder of a Japanese official. The series stars Xu Lu (Be With You), Janice Man (Love Weaves Through A Millennium 2), Zhao Lixin (The Rise of Phoenixes), Zhang Zhijian (In the Name of the People) and Tony Yang (Divas Hit the Road 2) as the leads.
The trailer looks great stylistically, although the film will be tough shoes to fill. The film version is one of my favorite and most critically acclaimed Chinese commercial films. Zhou Xun and Li Bingbing’s characters had off-the-charts chemistry and both played extremely complex and nuanced characters. Unfortunately, neither Xu Lu nor Janice Man is exactly known for their nuanced acting. Another reason why the film was so good is because it maintained suspense throughout like a good Hong Kong flick, something a 38-episode drama will no doubt find harder to do.
An official under Wang Jingwei’s puppet-government is assassinated, and the rebel who shoots him is later caught and tortured. Japanese colonel (Zhao Lixin) is alerted to the fact that there is a rebel mole known by code name ‘Phantom’ in the government, and invites the five suspects to a mansion deep in the mountains.
The suspects include the talented code-breaker Li Ningyu (Janice Man), a cheeky administrative officer Gu Xiaomeng (Xu Lu), former soldier Wu Zhiguo (Tony Yang), section chief Jin Shenghuo (Zhang Zhijian) and flamboyant homosexual Bai Xiaonian (Niu Zifan).