Art Deco, opium dealings, and cutting off tongues… China then is different from China now, but that short period of time before World War II still fascinates people with how different the country could have been. Tencent Picture took advantage of that fascination through their microdrama Provoke, mixing in a revenge plot that comes straight from the film noir popular at the time. Of course, there’s only so much plot points one can fit into less than 15-minute episodes, and because of this, the camera lingers a bit too long on the cast’s gorgeous faces in order to stretch out the story for 25 episodes. That being said, the whole production is so stunning to watch that fans of the genre might be willing to forgive that the story is spread too thin. Provoke might have been more cohesive as a movie, but it’s intriguing enough to binge as is after the end of a long work day.
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Actor: Daisy Li, Elaine Yi, Min Xing Han, Wang Ruolin, Zhao Yiqin
Director: Zeng Qingjie