Wuxia novel The Deer and the Cauldron 鹿鼎记 written by the late Jin Yong has been adapted many times to film and TV throughout the years. However, the newest remake starring Zhang Yishan, Tina Tang Yixin and Zhang Tianyang in the roles of Wei Xiaobao, Princess Jianning and Emperor Kangxi currently has a measly score of 2.6 on ratings site Douban.
It has been less than a week since The Deer and the Cauldron 2020 aired on November 15. Viewers certainly have a lot to say and it’s been mostly negative. Image wise, actor Zhang Yishan seemed like a good fit for the role not to mention that he’s been acting since he was a child. However, he ended up bearing the brunt of the blame as many found his acting too exaggerated, too comical and the interactions between the characters plain awkward.
A netizen wrote: “I am turning thirty years old this year and I have been reading Mr. Jin Yong’s martial arts novels since I was 15 yrs old in junior high school. Since then, I have become a fan of Jin Yong. For The Deer and the Cauldron, I have seen Stephen Chow, Jordan Chan and Dicky Cheung. They are all classics in my eyes. But this one? I feel that my IQ has been greatly insulted. This is the greatest humiliation to the late Mr. Jin Yong.”
There have been three Mainland Chinese adaptations in the past decade from Huang Xiaoming and Wallace Chung’s Royal Tramp in 2008 to The Deer and the Cauldron 2014 starring Han Dong. With so many actors playing the same role, it’s no wonder that comparisons will be made.
From the reviews, I am having second thoughts about watching it. What do you think about the new adaptation? Feel free to leave comments below!