[Review] The Rebel Princess 上阳赋 – Chinese Drama 2021

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This is Zhang Ziyi’s first ever TV drama and I couldn’t be more excited! She’s such an amazing actress and to prepare, I’ve been binging her past Hollywood movies including Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Memoirs of a Geisha, etc.

The plot features an intense power play between the royals as they all fight for a better kingdom for everyone. It is a historical adaptation of Emperor’s Conquest, a novel written by Mei Yuzhe, so I’m thinking of reading it while watching it unfold at the same time.

The first three episodes were quite buoyant and intense in a way that you won’t find yourself pressing the skip button to move on a few scenes. Each scene is captivating as you can’t miss out on anything! (Or else you’ll lose the plot.)

Zhang Ziyi plays our protagonist Wang Xuan who is doted on by everyone. She is the daughter of the Princess Royal (Emperor’s sister) and is well-liked by everyone, including the Emperor. She has the attention of the Crown Prince (who is ugly) and the 3rd Prince (whom she liked since young). The power struggle in this court is real and it seems that whoever she marries will be the next Emperor (no wonder she’s popular).

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But, then we have this general who saved the whole of China. He is Xiao Qi (pictured left) and due to his battle success, made Duke. The Princess soon finds herself marrying him against her will and then we will see how their relationship unfolds as they try to make China great.

While Zhang Ziyi plays a very young character, her age is not defined in this series. Her skincare is amazing and I’m surprised to see no wrinkles (she’s 41 years old). Definitely aging gracefully 😍


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