|Chor tai-gor only asked for Siu Ching's hairpin (and not the girl, ep 40)|
We CLH fans have no doubts of Song Siu Ching's feelings to Chor Lau Heung. Barbara Yung portrayed Siu Ching as always being certain of her love for the wanderer since ep 10 at the earliest. However, despite being a ladies' man, and despite his initial attraction to Siu Ching, Chor Lau Heung was subtle with regards to his own feelings. Very subtle. Michael Miu didn't portray him with Yang Kang's or (I suspect) Li Sai Man's intensity in love. In the series, Chor Lau Heung never said he loved Song Siu Ching. He was a pragmatic. He showed he loved her, but never uttered the word 'love'. Perhaps that was the way ancient 80s series were, or perhaps that was just how Chor Lau Heung (as portrayed by Michael) was. But it sometimes, admittedly, left me wondering if he did love her, just like Siu Ching wondered if Chor tai-gor loved her too or not. It took Sowfoong from the Network54/MB Paradise to tell me that he did love her, and very protective of her.
Then I saw ep 40 again last night. In addition to enjoying the fight between Yuen Tsui Wan and Chor Lau Heung, I was particularly interested in the garden scene after Chor tai-gor asked for Siu Ching's hairpin. Chor Lau Heung was a jovial man, and even while saying goodbye to Princess Wing Ching (aka Siu Ching), he still took time to smile. But then I saw something last night. Siu Ching was numbed when he left her. But apparently, he was not happy either. It took me a lot of freezes and screen shots to realise that he was indeed not glad to leave her in the Palace. It took me more freezes and screen shots to fast forward to the boat scene when he was alone examining the hairpin to see he was truly sad. He was broken-hearted, but as he said to Wah Jan Jan before: men are good at hiding their feelings. Chor Lau Heung was not an exception.
So here they are: the screen shots for the garden scene after Brother Chor asked for Siu Ching's hairpin. If (like I was, prior to this post) you have doubts that he was sad to leave her, see for yourself.
|He said "I do", but too fast for me to capture|
|She heard it clearly, and her heart would skip like mine...|
|The way he said "I do" was so intense...thus why...?|
|This was so intense too... and his face was actually very serious|
|Siu Ching dear, don't you understand him...?|
|See how he was disappointed with her suggestion...?|
|Ah, a typical couple quarrel...|
|He was disappointed again, for she twice promised to go with him...|
|Then he chuckled as he realised how easily people forget their promises|
|Hold on! Is this him trying to propose her, actually??|
|Princess, you twice promised to give up your rank for him...|
|His resigned face told me he was sad too...|
Siu Ching being sad for him leaving her is, of course, a given. She could not love another man. But I always thought that the sign of Chor Lau Heung being happy to see her again was when she appeared on board just before the boat sailed. I didn't see any indication that he was sad that she was not around prior to that. But the snap shots below when he was alone inside the boat (the three girls were outside) showed me that he was indeed sad (Click here for the last scene of the series where Chor tai-gor was finally reunited with the love of his life).
|That sadness in his eyes was totally lost to me in previous viewings|
|Apparently, the separation hurt him too...|
|Originally, I only registered this scene,|
|...him chuckling at the hairpin|
|But now I know before he put the hairpin away...|
|...he was melancholic...|
|And was still melancholic after tucking the hairpin away|
Edit 8 Nov 2015:
Back to the "Don't you like me?/I do" scene in the garden, I realised now that Michael, I mean Chor Lau Heung said something that sounded like "mai" or "no" in Cantonese. I think the translation was not literal then. I think what happened was that Siu Ching asked whether Chor did not like her, and his "mai" reply meant "That's not it" or "That's not the case" or "It's not like that".
As in, it's not about that he didn't like SC (actually, he loved her!), but it was about whether they could make it together. Hence the proper translation of his answer to Siu Ching's question ("Don't you like me?" or "Do you not like me?") was supposed to be "It's not like that" or its variant.
Of course this is based on my near zilch understanding of Cantonese, but I think I got the interpretation right this time. Feel free to drop a comment if I'm wrong, or to agree with me.
Update 9 Nov 2016:
Gosh, it took me a year to understand the essence of the "Don't you like me?/I do" scene. When Siu Ching asked whether Chor tai-gor did not like her, he said 'm-haih'.
'm' means no, or a negation in Cantonese.
'haih' (which sounds very much like the Japanese 'hai' for 'yes') essentially means 'to be', or 'yes'.
So when Chor tai-gor said 'm-haih' (which sounds like 'mai'), he indeed meant to say that "it was not the case". As in, "no, it's not that I don't like/love you".
Good to know that those Cantonese lessons online started to pay off...