Ji Man is a young woman from Haifang. She is cheerful and has a keen head for business. She is traveling to Beijing to pursue her dreams when she is involved in a sudden accident. When she wakes up, she realizes that she has lost her memory. And, for some reason, she is now living in the palace of a powerful dynasty.
Worse, she discovers that everyone in this palace seems to think she is someone else – a woman with a reputation for treachery, scheming, and evil! Further, she comes to understand that she is supposedly set to marry Ning Yu Xuan, the cold-blooded, aloof, and impetuous master of the dynasty. Ji Man resolves to leave and still feels a strong desire to launch her own business. But regaining her “freedom” won’t be easy. Could her unique charms melt Ning Yu Xuan’s icy heart? And what will happen when everyone learns the secret of her true identity?
The storyline of Romance of a Twin Flower sounds tropey – fall off cliff, switch identity, amnesia, an egregious antagonist, an admirer turns deadly, and more – but the execution of it is excellent with intact scriptwriting, directing and acting. The setting is authentic, the costumes are nicely done and beautiful, the dialogs are as expected, and the logic is sound. Most of all, the chemistry of the main couple is good and believable.
The drama opens with Nie Sangyu (Peng Xiaoran) falling off a cliff. She is then rescued but has totally lost her memory. Nie Sangyu is a cruel and despicable person, but the rescued Nie Sangyu is a kind and very lovable person. Turns out the rescued Nie Sangyu is not the original Nie Sangyu, but no one suspects that she’s not the real one because they look exactly the same except different in temperament and character.
Nie Sangyu is married to Marquis Ning Yuxuan (Ding Yuxi) who is forced to marry her, but he dislikes her because the original Nie Sangyu is not likable. After going through all the life and death experiences together, both the fake Nie Sangyu and Ning Yuxuan fall in love with each other. When he finds out Nie Sangyu’s real identity as Ji Man, Ning Yuxuan wants to marry her, but this must be done privately because her real identity cannot be revealed to others just yet. Their wedding is disrupted unexpectedly as the events unfold.
Both Peng Xiaoran and Ding Yuxi have given a wonderful performance here. Their characters are believable and lovable. I have loved Peng Xiaoran since Goodbye My Princess. Here, she is beautiful and natural. Ding Yuxi may not be everyone’s pretty boy and he’s not tall in stature, but he’s a wonderful actor. I have enjoyed all his dramas.
The antagonists are made known from the beginning. Ma Ke plays Ling Jianxing as Ning Yuxuan’s nemesis. Throughout Ning Yuxuan’s career, Ling Jianxing has always been there to create stumbling blocks for him, many times deadly, but each time, Ning Yuxuan is a step ahead of Ling Jianxing.
Ning Yuxuan also has a concubine whom he marries for a reason. Wen Wan (Jia Nai) is the most hated character in the story. Hypocritical, jealous, murderous, Wen Wan wants Nie Sangyu dead, and sabotages her repeatedly. Again and again Nie Sangyu dodges death through her quick wit and help from Ning Yuxuan.
Luckily, we have an intelligent and benevolent emperor here that makes the story very pleasant. The two maids that follow Nie Sangyu/Ji Man around are sweet, and her friends are trusty and dependable. Ning Yuxuan’s loyal bodyguard, Gui Bai (He Changxi), is also an interesting and lovable character. There are some very lovely side couples with their respective sweet romance. Too bad a secret admirer whom I have come to like, becomes a deadly antagonist.
Despite all the tropes and cliché, and some plot holes here and there (eg. how Ji man loses her memory), this is a very enjoyable drama. For romance buffs, this is not smooth sailing for the couple; they are separated for one year (for an acceptable reason) before getting back together again. Great acting, lovely story, and good directing.
Enjoyable watch! Don’t miss it!