The opening scenes of Chronicle of Life evoke a sense of nostalgia befitting the pervasive theme of unspoken melancholy that was apparent from its promotional stills and music accompaniment.
Flashback to a teenage Kangxi who he sets in motion an elaborate plan to defeat Ao Bai, a veteran official greedy for power after serving three generations of Qing Dynasty emperors. Undeterred by several close calls, Kangxi succeeds and issues an edict to capture or kill any of Ao Bai’s followers that attempt to resist.
To help Rong Ruo’s father, Na Lan Yi tries to kill Liang Er if not for Rong Ruo who stops him in the nick of time. However, the damage is done and Liang Er has lost all recollection of her past. In a way, the circumstances helped her case as she can now thrive as a palace maid under the name Wei Lin Lang (Zheng Shuang).
The stage has been set in just two episodes and it’s not hard to guess where the story is heading especially since the drama never fails to remind us with its indiscriminate use of flashbacks and rose petals. I definitely see the makings of a melodrama and I’m not sure if I have the bandwidth to watch it unfold. Given that two episodes are posted everyday on LeTV, it should be done in no time.
For more synopsis, cast and ratings, see my 2016 Chinese historical drama listing.