- Title: 深情密碼 / Shen Qing Mi Ma
- English title: Silence
- Genre: Romance
- Episodes: 19
- Broadcast network: CTV
- Broadcast period: 2006 May 21 – 2006-Sep-24
- Opening theme song: Jing Jing De (靜靜的) Silently by Harlem Yu
- Ending theme song: Shou Xi De Wen Rou (熟悉的溫柔) Familiar gentleness by Vic Zhou
- Vic Zhou as Qi Wei Yi
- Park Eun Hye as Zhao Shen Shen
- Andy Hui as Zuo Jun
- Megan Lai as Mi Xiao Guang
- Kingone Wang as Huang Zhi Ye; nicknamed Yellow
Dramaworld rating: 4.5/5
Dramaworld Spoiler Review(upcoming)
Zhou Shen Shen has a bus accident one day while riding with her friend Zuo Jun, and loses her voice as a result. (who blames himself for making her mute) There she meets Qi Wei Yi , a boy who leg got broken by jealous peers. He finds a letter she had put in a bomb shelter wall. They leave each other letters and become good friends, but Wei Yi is unaware that Shen Shen is mute. When he has to leave before her, he gives her his phone number and tells her to call him. They promise to meet again in the Christmas of 2006. Years pass…Wei Yi has become a cold and distant company manager, while Shen Shen is a warm-hearted food seller. One day, they meet again – but each is unaware of who the other is…
Silence is unusual for Taiwan on several levels: it borrows from Korean dramas by beginning with the lead characters as children, it innovatively used actors from three different Asian countries: Vic Zhou (Taiwan), Park Eun-hye (South Korea), and Andy Hui (Hong Kong), and it was, unlike many Taiwanese dramas, in general much more clearly a drama as opposed to a comedy. One of the main differences between Taiwanese and Korean dramas tend to be that Korean are much more angsty and tragic, even with their comedies, while Taiwanese lean toward more light-hearted with a good dose of angst and tragedy. Silence attempted to find a balance somewhere between these(it is, as someone once said, not as heartbreaking as some Korean dramas but is deeper than many fluffy Taiwanese dramas) .
Silence is an uneven drama, at times superb and at times overdrawn and melodramatic. Its two biggest flaws I would say are that it’s too long(as most dramas are) and that it relies too much on flashbacks/uses too much of the childhood story to bolster up the adult story, at the cost of time that could be spent expanding the plot or adding nuance to the current romance. That’s not to say, however, that it falls into the trap many childhood-loves-meet-again stories do, that of the two characters immediately falling in love again based on their memories and not on who they are as adults(Slumdog Millionaire is a good example of this), which always results in an unsatisfying and unconvincing romance. No, the drama succesfully portrays them as two adults who, meeting again, genuiniely fall in love with each other on their own terms and get to know each other again. But there are still far too many flashbacks to the childhood story and many of the most important scenes are awkwardly situated so as to fit back in the realm of that story, instead of giving the romance freedom to develop outside that story. It is also too long, in that the pace is too slow, it’s slightly repetitive(again, as with all dramas) and it extends or add things which are completely unnecessary. As with virtually all dramas, were Silence cut by one-third, it would be an immeasurably better drama.
However, the difference with Silence is that, were it to be cut, and even without it being cut, that other two-thirds of the drama are amazing beyond reason. Silence is in some ways a quiet drama, but in some ways it is also a very loud drama. It’s hard to pin down any one brilliant moment or scene for a large portion of it(though there are some) but rather it builds and builds on itself, steadily, subtly building up emotional and romantic tension, until almost without realizing it the viewer is completely sucked in – until finally, by the end, it is a deeply felt, incredible, deeply beautiful drama. I rarely cry over films or dramas, but I did over this one. It’s a highly unusual, incredibly beautiful work, with great performances from all the main leads and somehow a delicate, magical touch about it that(aside from its emotional seriousness/depth) makes it stand out from almost all other Taiwanese dramas I’ve seen. I was not particularly drawn by Silence the first few episodes. But give it time and it will assert itself. Highly recommended.
Download at Silent Regrets(you may have to register for access)
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