Too Late To Say I Love You Drama Review: A Forced Happy Ending

Too late to say i love you

Too Late To Say I Love You is an old drama by a decade ago and I initially a bit hesitant to watch. But upon reading some reviews, I quite curious as well regarding how the story went off. Hence, I gave this a try and glued until the end as the result. Nevertheless, I feel quite dissatisfied on how the screenwriter force this story to be a happy ending.

This drama is adapted from a novel with the same title written by Fei Wo Si Cun. A Chinese novelist who has infamous nickname “step mother”, since most of her stories have a tragic ending including this one. But perhaps for the sake viewers satisfaction, the screenwriter changed the original sad ending into happy ending. Too bad, the happy ending they created was not wrapped in a beautiful way, hence the happy ending seems rather odd and questionable. Before I run into detail why I see the ending is problematic, let me tell you the synopsis of Too Late To Say I Love You first.

Too Late To Say I Love You Synopsis

This drama set in Warlord Era of China Republic, where the provinces were divided and ruled under a Military Governor, but those commanders are fighting each other to claim and expand their territory, creating relentless war. Yin Jing Wan (Li Xiao Ran) is a daughter of wealthy merchant. She is well-educated and open minded since she earned overseas education. On her way back to home, she unexpectedly embroiled with Murong Feng / Pei Lin (Wallace Chung), a commander in run, and later be entangled with him.

In order to save her fiance, Xu Jian Zhang (Kevin Tan) who is under arrest due to alleged involvement in smuggling military weapons that take place in Murong Feng’s territory, Jing Wan asks an audience to him and beseech for amnesty. Murong Feng was initially decline her plea, but subsequently agreed under one condition. She has to disguise as his girlfriend, as a camouflage to reveal his father’s real assassin and demolish a coup scheme against his regime. And shall we could predict, Murong Feng fell into his own game. He is then completely falling in love to Jing Wan in the process and even more assured after Jing Wan being injured due to shielding him from gun shot.

However their love is not that easily tied up. Though they were eventually able to get together and live happily for a moment, their love destined to be doomed at the end. Jing Wan’s reckless decision to run-off on her wedding day is only leading her to the future calamity. Disowned by her father and suffered by ex-fiance’s dirty plot, who is holding a deep grudge against them. After the downfall of Xu family and followed by his grandmother death as the impact of his turned off wedding, Xu Jian Zhang is determined to take revenge and wouldn’t let the couple live happily.

In the other side, there is a female confidante by Murong Feng’s side, Cheng Jin Zhi (Qi Fang) who is infatuated to him, obsessively eager to posses him whatever it takes. Her family is actually have a close relationship to Murong Feng’s as they grew up together since childhood. Therefore, Cheng Jin Zhi developed a high expectation that Murong Feng will gradually reciprocate her feeling. The Jing Wan’s appearance dispersed her wishful thinking to be on Feng’s side. Whereas in fact, Murong Feng is only regard her as a sister just like her elder brother, Cheng Xin Zhi (Sun Wei), who is his trusted best friend and also his sworn brother.

Grieving by his rejection, the stone-headed Jin Zhi is later joined hand with Xu Jian Zhang to fetch Murong Feng over to her side. She might succeed in claiming Murong Feng’s body but not his heart though they managed to survive their marriage for several years. Although she is treated coldly by her husband, she never thought to let Murong Feng go. To make it worse, rather than getting divorce with him, she’d rather choose to die together. If she couldn’t have him, then no other woman were able to do so. Such a freaking insane woman ever.

Too Late To Say I Love You Characters

TOO LATE TO SAY I LOVE YOU - Wallace Chung
Wallace Chung as Murong Feng in Too Late Too Say I Love You

Murong Feng / Pei Lin – Wallace Chung

He is the fourth son of Murong’s family who ruled for Cheng Zhou district. Being born in military family, he grew up in harsh and tight environment, shaping him into a stern and ambitious man. Hence this may explain on why he tends to be a masochist when facing his lover.

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After his father died, he succeed his father position as Military Governor and having Cheng’s family as his foremost support but later has to stand by his own feet, following the Commander Cheng’s retirement. If only he knew the troops that he rewarded as appreciation of Commander Cheng’s merits will only be a backfire to him in the future.

He is a typical man who will do whatever it takes to possess his lover. He was once instigated Jian Zhang to back off his arranged wedding with Jing Wan. Indicating that compare to him, Jian Zhang has many shortcomings to protect Jing Wan and provide her needs.

Due to the lost of his love, he also lost his half soul. Though his army seems strong after join forces with Cheng’s troops, he is still fragile inside as a commander. One day he met Jing Wan’s doppelganger and made her his concubine to enact as Jing Wan’s puppet, to satisfy his delusion.

TOO LATE TO SAY I LOVE YOU - Li Xiao Ran
Li Xiao Ran as Yin Jing Wan | Source: lujuba.cc

Yin Jing Wan – Li Xiao Ran

Never did she expect that her return to her hometown will change her entire life. The accidental encounter with Murong Feng and the following events made her completely falling in love with the chief commander. However, her reckless decision by running off her marriage is only showing her immaturity thus made an impact for her future, that she couldn’t live happily as she was expected and has to suffer a terrible fate.

She is kind hearted and resolute at the same time. She has her pride and dignity. That’s why she’d rather choose to flee than to degrade her status by becoming Murong Feng’s concubine. Her miscarriage was indeed put her in deepest sorrow but she chose to move on and let him go.

While she is trying so hard to rearrange her life and getting back on her feet after the miscarriage, she know that deep inside her heart, she still unable to cast away her love for Murong Feng. Though at those tough years she was accompanied by Cheng Xin Zhi, who is tacitly loving her, she couldn’t switch her heart.

TOO LATE TO SAY I LOVE YOU
Kevin Tan as Xu Jian Zhang | Source: adramafilledworld.blogspot.com

Xu Jian Zhang – Kevin Tan

He is the eldest grandson from Xu family and comes from a merchant family as well. Since his parent passed away, he shoulders the responsibility as Xu’s patriarch under his grandmother supervision. He also is a childhood friend of Jing Wan since they grew up together and later be arranged for marriage by their respective elders. The wedding arrangement is also intended to be Xu’s support since their business is facing hardships. But after being abandoned on his wedding day, the good guy Jian Zhang turns into a bastard.

His love for Jing Wan changed completely into hatred. His only obsession is to revive Xu’s family dignity and to see Jing Wan’s life including her entire Yin’s family devastated, as well as his foremost enemy, Murong Feng. During the absence of Jing Wan, he managed to gain father Yin trust to take care his business. But on the back, he manipulates father Yin’s assets into his ownership. Thus when Yin’s family rejected his re-proposal to marry Jing Wan, he uses his hidden weapon to claim over the Yin’s property, driving them to go bankrupt.

Unstoppable vengeful Jian Zhang slandered Jing Wan for smuggling foreign medicine and demanded father Yin’s life in exchange for Jing Wan’s exemption. He detest to see the Yin’s family still lead a happy life together while he lost his beloved grandma.

During the Japan invasion, he turns into nation’s traitor by colluding with Japan army to defeat Murong Feng and protect his own family.

Feeling familiar with the Wallace Chung and Kevin Tan in one screen? Yes, they both reunited in My Sunshine and also become a rival over there. How hilarious!

TOO LATE TO SAY I LOVE YOU
Qi Fang as Cheng Jin Zhi

Cheng Jin Zhi – Qi Fang

She is smart, courageous, and expert in strategy setup. Aside of those good quality of her, she is dumb when dealing with love. I would like to call her as a sick woman. Her perception of love means to possess and suffocating in certain ways. She never know the meaning of letting go even for her own happiness. Just like a child which tend to destroy their own toys instead of being snatched by the others, that’s the exact portrayal of Cheng Jin Zhi. Even her father and brother were unable to stop her anymore.

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Due to her misleading perception of love, she later commit a treason by leaking Murong Feng’s battle strategy to the enemy. Her only goal is to die together than being divorced by her husband.

However I find out that she has similarity with Murong Feng that they both are unable to let go the one they love completely and have a dream to live side by side with their loved ones. Lucky for latter that his love is requited while Jin Zhi is not.

TOO LATE TO SAY I LOVE YOU 4 Too Late To Say I Love You Drama Review: A Forced Happy Ending
Sun Wei as Cheng Xin Zhi

Cheng Xin Zhi – Sun Wei

He is Cheng Jin Zhi’s elder brother who took different path from their family line. Though he is raised in military family, he has a soft heart and thus he chose to be a doctor to save people’s life. He also harbors a particular feeling to Jing Wan after escorting her for several times, but unlike his sister, his perception of love is more tender and generous. To him, love means to keep supporting her and seeing the one he loves live happily though it means he must hurt his heart.

One day after the prolonged war is about to end, Jing Wan asked him for a marriage and he planned to propose her properly. But when they watch a documenter movie, Jing Wan spotted Murong Feng’s figure in the film and adamant to find him. Xin Zhi didn’t want to dissuade her and instead lending a hand for her preparation to find Murong Feng. After her departure, he throws his proposal ring to the lake. I feel a pity for him. Once again, he is triffled by fate.

Anyway, I just knew that he also participated in General and I as General Lu Ke of Yan State.

Too Late To Say I Love You Ending

As I mentioned earlier that the drama version has a (forced) happy ending while the original story tells the otherwise. I find this (forced) happy ending is rather ridiculous. Why do I find this ridiculous?

Jin Zhi miscarriage and still manage to go back to the battlefield afterwards

First, around episode 34-35 in the battle of Murong Feng’s troops vs Japanese army, Cheng Jin Zhi got injured and fainted while trying to escort her severely injured father. She then brought up to the military emergency hospital and be informed that she get miscarriage. The ridiculous thing is, she is able to go back to he battlefield, fighting along with Murong Feng just like nothing happened. Where is the logic?!

As far I know, miscarriage is could not be considered as trivial condition. It takes days to recuperate. This come to my knowledge since one of my besties experienced it once. Even this issue was already projected in Third Miss and Jing Wan’s miscarriage scene. How could they miss this little but important thing? Oh my! The staffs are indeed hastily rush the ending.

An unclear cause upon Jian Zhang pursuit

When Jing Wan in a trip to find Murong Feng, she once again meet Jian Zhang after getting off the train. She accidentally trapped in the ambush and got under hostage briefly, but soon rescued after the chaser recognizing her. When Jian Zhang tried to reapproach Jing Wan, he got several shots and died afterwards. The question is, why in his dying moment he shows a longing and regretful eyes to Jing Wan when for the past years he harbored a deep hatred to her?

Why Jian Zhang is under pursuit? Unclear, but let pressume it is because his treason thus he became a fugitive.

Who is the chaser that recognize Jing Wan and help to rescue her at the end? Unexplain, but let assume they are her ex-colleague of newspaper office who turns to be independence troops (?) Otherwise, who else would recognize her that soon?

Murong Feng suffers amnesia and thus he went missing for 7 years

This scene is successfully make my eyes rolled. A classic premis that shows the lack of creativity of the production team.

On the last scene of episode 35, it was clearly shown that Feng engaged in a chest to chest gun battle with Japanese army leader and logically he should barely survived due to the severe wounds. But in the episode 36 when Jing Wan was finally able to locate him, she discovered that Murong Feng suffers amnesia, thus he know nothing in regard of his past life including her. And to upsize the hilariousity, he eventually regain his memory just by finding his gold watch that accidentally dropped by Jing Wan upon her leaving.

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And here we go to the questions.

How did he manage to survive of that severe gun shot wounds? Who is his savior? When did he injure his head while in the last battle showed his wounds were on his chest?

Therefore I find the ending is rather forced to be happy in a hasty way. For me, it is better to end in episode 35 though it will be sad, rather than the forceful happy ending like this one. Do you share a same idea with me?

Final thought for Too Late To Say I Love You

Storyline

Despite of its rash ending, Too Late To Say I Love You drama could be said has a decent and solid storyline. None of the episode is draggy and pretty enjoyable since the drama only has 36 episode with 45 minutes duration of each.

Since the drama set in war era, it also has several battle scene where I think not as beautiful as in General and I. The war scene was presented adequately just because it must be exist to strenghten the story background. But this is tolerable since the drama emphasizes in romance more than the battle scene.

Categorized as adult romance drama, there are plenty steamy kiss scenes which will drive us hot. If you were a fan of historical romance drama with steady pace and a little bit emotional schemes, go find this drama and watch it. But if you prefer a slow burn romance drama with enticing plot, The Sword and The Brocade could be an option.

Couple’s chemistry

The chemistry of the main leads are irressistable. Both Wallace and Li are able to portrays the emotions of each characters, since they are respectively an experienced actors. That’s why this drama was pretty success in that time and receive due recognition for the actors.

Wang Hou Yu Sheng
Our couple will be paired again in the upcoming drama, Wang Hou Yu Sheng | Source: dramapanda.com

To repeat the success, the couple will be reunited in the upcoming drama titled The Rest of Life (Wang Hou Yu Sheng), adapted from a novel wrote by the same author with the same title as well.News said that they are already wrapped the filming and currently in post-production phase, scheduled to airs its 40 episodes within next year. Worry less, the latest one should have a real happy ending since the novel said so. Just let see how the team will pack it off. I’m looking forward for this.

This drama also have a typical villain second female lead who plays many dirty tricks out of jealousy, just like common drama has too. The difference lays on two second male leads which one of them is a good-then turned to-villain and the other one is stay good always.

Historical background

This drama allows me to gain more knowledge of China history. Since my school years, I have particular interest to history subject and by watching historical dramas, I usually go searching the real story beyond its background set. Upon watching Too Late To Say I Love You, I just knew that China had ever been ruled under warlord during Republican Era, before their ideology changed to communist like the present day.

By the way, you may notice a change of Murong Feng troops uniform and its flag as the story approach to the end. I didn’t know exactly why since the drama didn’t mention it too, but I suspect that this relate to the existence of 2 politic factions at that time. Murong Feng by the end belongs to Kuo Min Tang (KMT), a nationalist party, referring to his attributes. If you interested to learn the history beyond, please visit this link that will tell you more about Warlord Era.

My given rating for Too Late To Say I Love You

4/5

Image source: My Drama List

Melissa Tjia

Born in 1988 and currently living as a wife and mom of a couple of kids. Been blogging since 2012 and have collaborated with numerous brands from various industries. In 2018, decided to be a full-time blogger while nursing kids at home. For inquiries please contact hello@melsplayroom.com. Follow my Instagram and Twitter account @melsplayroom for more skincare updates. Let's be friends!

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