Tuesday, 23 April 2013

The Bitter Sweet Fairy Tale... Michael Wong's 'Tong Hua' (Rewind Review)

All feels and opinions are my own. Let the opinions flow, Chimians...

I am an avid J-pop lover, no lie, but sometimes I do enjoy dabbling in another language's music from time to time. This is a rarity, as rare as it is for me to listen to English or Korean music, but when it happens, I generally end up loving that song. There is something about J-op that is undeniably infectious, but there is something about certain Chinese songs that make me absolutely adore them.

Michael Wong's Tong Hua is one of those songs.

I found this song sometime last year when I was looking for sad music video's; Sometimes I feel the need to go for sadder story lines, and this one just so happened to pop up, though I mostly looked at it because of the song name: Fairy Tale.

Tong Hua, which translates to Fairy Tale, is from Michael Wong's third album of the same name that was released on January 21st, 2005 - over 7 years ago. This is, apparently, Michael Wong's best selling album, going straight to Number 1 and gaining him a lot more recognition thanks to the title track's popularity. In fact, I would gamble a guess that this is his most recognisable song, considering it was still in the top Karaoke charts of 2012 and he sang it again in 2008 instead of another song he was meant to sing, which just so happened to be It's A Small World for Disney Land Hong Kong. I don't blame anyone for wanting Tong Hua though... It's A Small World is a horrible song.

But other than being a beautiful song, Tong Hua has an undeniably beautiful music video to accompany it, one which has made me cry multiple times, and has really made me fall in love with this song. So, do you want to take a look at this Fairy Tale with me?

I love Piano's, you know? I can't play one, but they are so romantic, so sentimental, so personal...

... I really wish that I had learned to play the piano.

Wong: "OMG m8 i is soooo nrvs. ))))))));"

No phone's in the theatre!

Thank you, now... START PLAYING!!!

... Oh shit o-O

And here is the opening, and let's just say this; that place is pretty damn small but HEY, who really gives a damn at this point? There's a piano there, that's why we won't give a damn!

Oh no, it's...

The sexy-pouty-pissy-fit-I-want-help FACE!!!

Wong: "Life is awesome... not."

Geez, Wong, cheer up a bit o-O I know the song is sad and all, but seriously man...

Wong: "Hello, boobs..."

I see him staring, though who could blame him?

Girl: "......."

She does not look pleased, and seriously now, is that bottle meant to represent a certain something?

Wong: "Boooooobs..."
Girl: "MICHAEL!"

... And now I know why he is called Wong.

Wong's expressions are about as diverse as Kristen Stewart's are...

I'm being serious here.

Oh okay, good... the good stuff... -gets cam-corder-

Not gonna lie, this scene was really passionate. Then again, The Wong was going for her boobs to begin with, so of course he's gonna get it on with her.

He is no longer Kristen Stewart's match

Wong: "Holy fu---"
Girl: "What? But it isn't meant to come out of my nose!!!"

Looks like someone's been playing with face paints.

Girl: "Hahaha..."

I don't like blood... it makes me feel weird...

Doctor: "... You're not pregnant."
Michael: "... Are you really a doctor?"

Oh look! A NO SMOKING advertisement! Quit now!!! :D Fuck it, do what ya want

Oh, we're back in the concert hall? Nice.

Wait... Wong, don't leave her... Wong, I feel bad about this...

SHIT, NO! Wong, don't just sit there, do... well, do something!!!

If J-drama well, one has taught me anything, it is to never trust hats.

SEE!? WHAT DID I SAY? Damnit, Koizora!!! -cries-

... And shit just got real. The feels guys, the feels... -clutches heart, wherever it may be-

And now I know why his emotion is non-existent in this ;______; I feel ya bro, I feel ya... </3

Holy fu--- no no no...

Wong: "Don't go..."

Please hang in there, woman I don't know... he is there for you...

What? What is it, Doc?

... No. Not that face.

That face just says it all... and yes, my heart breaks, even if he does look emotionless. The eyes, though... the eyes say it all.

Girl: "Michael..."

What is she saying? I am so sad now... no... ;____; He loves you...

Wait, what? The phone... Oh my gosh, the phone!!!

Sing, Michael... sing your heart out! She's listening!!! She is listening to you, to your song you wrote together!

That face of pure delight and happiness... ah, so beautiful...

It's beautiful, isn't it? The song he wrote for you... the song that is yours and his. I would cry, too.

The emotions... Michael... The Wong... ;____;


Damnit, PV producers! Why make her die on the last note!? WHY, I SAY!?

I am going to gander a guess that that is actually her ghost?

Oh look, flashbacks, memories...

Very fond memories, indeed...

... ;______; the feels, guys.

Girl: "I love you..."

Rest in Peace, and listen to him sing you this song again...

When the whole world was ignoring me

Only you would stay by my side...

Okay, so... yeah, a night has passed since I began writing this post. I was really tired and knew that, if I were to stay awake to finish this post off, I would think it was garbage and hate it. Luckily I decided to sleep and now I can finish this post off, yay!

So that final bit from my pic spam is actually an English translation (as accurate as it may be, who knows?) from the PV itself; there's a little bit of dialogue in this video, not much though, but when you know what it means, you get quite saddened by the video more than you want to. Okay, so the video itself is really sad, but I think that adding that dialogue makes me want to cry more, and honestly... yeah, I cry more when I watch the video and know just what the girl is saying to him before she dies, or what she is thinking. It's heart breaking in a way, especially this bit that she says during the scene where he runs with her body in his arms after her collapse:

Will you remember me
For a long time?
When you think of me...
Be Happy!

How sad is that? It's extremely touching to hear those words (in Chinese, of course) from her and just makes the video that much more wonderful to watch. I fee so sad when she says it, but I guess that is what helps me to like the video more... it's heart-wrenching really, and sadly the video with the English translation isn't up any more (damn copyright and all that jazz...), but luckily I had saved the English translation for the Dialogue to use in a fanfiction, as weird as that is to say... haha.

Anyway, taking a look at the PV again after so long (not that long, though), I found a few things that I had never truly acknowledged when I first watched it, such as how bad Michael Wong is at portraying emotions (believe it or not, he actually acts too, which surprised me considering how terrible he is at it in this video) and how he was actually staring at her boobs in this video. I noticed it before, though at the time I think my innocence or extreme naivety (haha, me, innocent?) told me that he was worried for her heavy breathing. Well, nope... he was staring at her boobs. Nice.

The first half of the video is actually pretty normal in how it plays out; they're a couple who share a small apartment together, and move into a bigger one after the girlfriend yells at The Wong to help her move out. They then manage to finish moving a couch in, which proceeds with the scene of The Wong side-eyeing his girlfriends chest, before cutting to a scene where they watch a movie together. After some crying and such, she passionately kisses him and we see some emotion from The Wong! Or at least, we see extreme passion and a flurry of 'OMG kisses!' from him, which in a way was funny to see. But hey, he has emotion, who knew?

After that the video pretty much shows a downhill slide for them both in a way; She gets a nosebleed, and as my friend put it when I forced her to watch the video, 'From all the drama's I have watched, this tells me she has cancer' - and yes, she does. From the description of the video that I found on Ye Olde, Trustworthy Wikipedia, it states that Wong's girlfriend possibly has lung cancer, however they don't find this out until after she collapses. I want to throw in there that the scene where The Wong is frantically running out of the auditorium/theatre is probably the most frantic I have seen him in this entire video, and also the part where I really do think he put his all into it. He does look truly desperate, worried and scared, and it makes me feel scared watching him in that position, too.

Of course we know how the rest plays out; it's a bit like how Koizora was set out, in a way. She tells him to go and play the piano, and he gives her a phone to listen, and as she listens, she dies on the last note. I think that the worst part about the video is this, though; at the end he continues playing, her ghost or soul sitting beside him, and I really do not know if he knows that she has already died. Is he playing to try and keep her on the phone line? Is he playing because he knows? Or does he think that if he continues playing, she will still be there to listen? The thing is that we don't know, and that is truly saddening because you are unaware of what he is thinking at that point, and you don't know if he actually knows that she has died.

It's so so sad...

So any of my joking aside about this video, I do find it truly saddening. I think that, whilst Michael Wong didn't seem to portray emotions as effectively as he could have, he managed to portray those emotions in specific scenes where it was relevant and needed, such as the scene where he is holding onto his girlfriend after her collapse. I also think that his expression with piano playing, whilst restrained and pretty lacking, worked after you finished the video and realised that he was playing to his ill girlfriend who, at the time, was dying as she listened to him playing the piano; I don't think that I would be able to contain myself if I was doing that, I would have broken down and cried, so when  think about it, maybe he had no expression because he was trying to hold back and not cry, trying to be strong as he sang and played the piano; he could not convey his own feelings because of the situation he was in at the time, and so chose to not show anything at all, even if it meant that he looked like he would rather be somewhere else (which, I am sure, was actually the case).

This is a sad MV. It has it's funny moments, but it also has it's heartfelt moments, and I think that these combined kept the video quite realistic as you watch it. They start off with a normal relationship, but then things happen and Wong's girlfriend dies, and you truly feel like his world has fallen apart. It is a sad video, but I love it because it feels so personal and just looks so beautiful. I don't care about the acting abilities, I don't care that there is blood... I just like the video because it tells the story that needs to be told, and after watching it again I just can't help but think that I am a little in love with it.

I think that Michael Wong's Tong Hua PV is one of the reasons why I probably prefer Chinese music video's to Japanese Idol video's; the emotions are portrayed a lot better, and the emotion comes across well, and you really get a sense of realness when you watch them. I love Idol PV's, yes, but there are times where I just want to sit back and watch something with a storyline that is emotional uplifting or down right crushing, and to be honest I do not think that Idol PV's satisfy those needs or fill those holes... they're too cutesy at times, or don't fit the tone of the song (as proven by AKS).

This is a beautiful PV, and the song is just as beautiful, but when I think of Tong Hua, it is definitely the PV that sells it for me. I do not get as emotional when listening to the song like I do when watching the video, so for me the winner has to be the video, but honestly, Tong Hua on its own as a song is beautiful, breath-taking even... and Michael Wong has a gorgeous and pure voice that I could listen to over and over again.

All the feels for Tong Hua, a bitter sweet fairy tale to the end.

Let the feels flow, dear Chimians. Let them flow...


  1. so she is dead? so sad... she was so pretty and she had lung cancer? and died on the last not?!

    1. Yeah, it's really sad that she died ;A; The story is very heartbreaking, and she did die listening to him ): This song and video makes me cry a lot...

  2. Hello there... do you know the name of the movie? Please reply to me because if there's a movie about the song then I would like to watch it.

    1. Sorry for a late reply! Sadly not, this is simply the Music Video - it really does look like a movie, though!

  3. But what does she say in the beginning when she's whispering. I'm sorry I don't understand the language and there weren't any subtitles.

    1. Honestly, I don't know myself; there used to be a video with subtitles for all of the dialogue and lyrics once upon a time, however it's no longer online, as far as I know, which is a pity ):

    2. She simply says "jia you", which means "strive on" or "go on", a form of encouragement.

  4. Nice right up on the video. All the comments were true. Hahaha. Enjoy reading your review (Y)

    1. Thank you very much, your words mean a lot to me. Sorry for my late reply! Take care.

  5. It's lovely to find someone who appreciates the sentiments that are expressed in the video.

    I'd like to point out a couple of things I've found out since listening this nearly a decade ago.

    From a guy's perspective, I didn't really feel his acting was that bad. I think his expression is one of naivety and inexperience - he doesn't know how to really express his love. I think a lot of guys go through this kind of phase where they just learn, and it's not just guys.

    I originally thought that the boob staring was some humour too but I've seen some people put in a different perspective that made way more sense; the scene contrasted their breathing very well and he had a confused/worried expression as he stared out how heavily she was breathing. It's later confirmed through a chest x-ray that there is indeed something, hence the breathing.

    On a final note, I've only found out yesterday that the film the two watched together as she cried is called "Love Letter", a 1995 Japanese Film. It was referenced in the newly released song "What is Love" from a popular Korean girl group called "Twice" through the member Jihyo.

    1. Thank you very much for looking at this review.

      I'm glad that you're giving me this perspective, because from my view (a girl's, clearly), there are things i won't understand or that I will miss. So to have your input is really valuable, and will allow me to watch this video with new knowledge and understanding. So, again, thank you!

      Actually, the breathing part makes perfect sense. I suppose the girl herself played it off as more of a joke. Therefore, it becomes humour.

      Oh, that is awesome. Thanks for telling me that! It might be an interesting watch!

  6. 2019 and still listening to this song. This song won't be forgotten

    1. Yes, it's still so beautiful. A powerful song stands the test of time... ;;