[Review] Once Upon A Time

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Synopsis: Three hundred years ago, Bai Qian (Liu Yi Fei) stood on the Zhu Xian Terrace, turned around and jumped off without regret. Ye Hua (Yang Yang) stood by the bronze mirror to witness with his own eyes her death.

Three hundred years later, in the East Sea Dragon Palace, the two meet unexpectedly. Another lifetime another world, after suffering betrayal Bai Qian no longer feels anything, yet she can’t seem to comprehend Ye Hua’s actions. Three lives three worlds, her and him, are they fated to love again? 

I’ve been waiting for the movie to come out ever since I heard Yang Yang was going to be in it, and when I found out that there would be a US release I was beyond delighted! Anyways, Once Upon A Time is the movie version of Eternal Love aka Three Lifes Three Worlds Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms.


I expected the movie to be in cronological order showing each life time, but that wasn’t the case. The movie mainly focuses on the last life when Bai Qian lost her memories and meets Ye Hua for the first time (again). They showed the other two life times through story telling and flashbacks which I didn’t mind but was probably really confusing if you don’t know the story.

The special effects were done really well and most of the scenes were really pretty. The costums were really over the top and although the two main casts had really pretty ones, there were ones that were just too much.


Overall I would rate this movie a 4/5. Dispite all the bad ratings, I really enjoyed the movie and would of given it a 5 if it wasn’t for the open ending. Liu Yi Fei as Bai Qian stood out to me more than Yang Mi, and Yang Yang wasn’t bad either. Though I have to say I am biased when it comes to Yang Yang. However the movie did cut off a lot of the side stories which is understandable since they need to fit everything into two hours, but some parts did need a little more attention. (Like their first lifetime) Lastly, I wouldn’t reccomend this movie to anyone who don’t know the story because it will definitely confuse you.


21 thoughts on “[Review] Once Upon A Time

  1. I think the movie timeline follows the novel whereas the drama made it chronological so it could be more easily understood. I haven’t watched yet, but keep hearing about the noodle scene, was it really cringe or not that bad?


  2. I also really like the movie, the cinematography, the ost, the costume also really pretty but I agree their wedding costume is over the top. I like the ending eventhough it likes open ending and we dont know whether it’s yehua or moyuan who call baiqian at the ending. liu yifei and yangyang are really good portrayal as baiqian and yehua. I like their chemistry so much. sadly it’s only 109 minutes, I want it’s longer

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  3. From recent efforts against plagiarism via Weibo targeting 3L3W and its author Tang Qi, sounds like pretty much everything is ready to make a sequel. Whoever promoting this movie and its official game didn’t do the franchise any favors using print/sound/music material without prior authorizations. Hard to say whether the continuing bad press and weak box office receipts will kill the sequel.


  4. I was also happy it aired in my State on Friday. For me some of the subtitles went by too fast or were kind of hard to see cause it got blended into the background. I liked the movie and knew I couldn’t compare it with the drama that had more time to develop the story. The movie would be too confusing for anyone that didn’t follow the story/drama version. I’m also bias towards yang yang cause he’s so handsome. He’s not a top tier actor but he sure look yummy on screen.


  5. Movie is spectacular but story is cut pretty much and I’m a little disappointed of character reduction. The other thing is characters: I like Zhe Yan, Su Jin and Xua Nu but I didn’t feel lead couple. YY I think couldn’t serve YH’s character and aura, he is too playful for YH. LYF isn’t bad as BQ but she is sort awkward I don’t feel like she is Queen of qing qiu. 3/10


  6. I was hoping that the movie would have a good ending despite how the overall plot unfolded. It was not very clear but I understood that Yehua must have entered Moyuan’s body after he died, since when “Moyuan” woke up, he called Bai Qian “Qian Qian”, instead of Si Yin.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think the ratings are worse than the quality of the movie. I enjoyed the CGIs a lot and it followed the book pretty closely. I enjoyed Liu Yifei’s interpretation a bit more just because it aligned more with my image of the character. Pretty, apathetic, and just drinking away her boredom/problems.
    It could have benefited from 10 extra minutes so the ending wasn’t so rushed. Towards the end things started getting confusing and hard to understand since they had to cut so much.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I agree with your review! There were so many bad ratings on this movie solely because it cut off many of the side stories, but it was necessary to do so due to the fact that it’s a movie.

    The special effects were gorgeous along with the costumes and soundtrack. Liu Yi Fei and Yang Yang didn’t do a bad job portraying these two characters either! And I actually really liked the open-ended conclusion 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. From the clips I think I like Yang Mi’s BQ just a little bit more because she showed a little morw emotion but I think. lYF did great by following BQ via the book, liked her hauty, nonchalant attitude. As much as I love Yang Yang (he’s up there with my ❤ of Ma Ke ) no one can beat Mark, but the kiss scene was nice lol. Was not into the customs, BQ’sdress was a no-no for me. I think its cool that they did the 1st and 2nd life through flashbacks, which is what I thought the drama would have done. All in all, the movie wasn’t bad(my observation from clips), but I don’t think it can beat the drama. One last thing, both riceballs ARE SOOOO ADORABLE!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I saw this on Saturday with a group – some had seen the previews & drama but some went in cold – and it was not bad. Choppy – as if they spent all their money on the special effects and not the editor – but everyone enjoyed it. I heard audible gasps on the “eyes out” scene but the taking the eyes back thing went by too quickly to understand. I need some input on the ending! I am still pondering it.


  11. I thought it was awful personally. I don’t mind them cutting off parts but do it coherently and with a good story in mind. LYF wasn’t doing it for me (as usual) and as much as I think Yang Yang is handsome, he is too aware of his beauty. 😂 But I agree with above comment – both rice balls are adorable!


  12. Saw the movie, the pacing and storytelling is weird. If you haven’t watch the drama or read the book, you will be completely lost in the film. (It stopped short at the ending as well, I mean WTF!!)

    After seeing this film, I agree with the drama’s decision to straighten the time line to chronological order, the movie’s more faithful timeline (but not the plot) is very confusing to watch, even for someone that knows the story already.


  13. YangMi’s aura as Bai Qian, High Goddess of Qing Qui truly fits the role… Their custome is simple but elegant not the like the Movie version’s extremely flamboyant and dizzyingly over decorated attire..MarkChao as YeHua and YangMi as Bai Qian are PERFECT together…No wonder it is the Most watched and Best Chinese Drama EVER made!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. YangMi is a much better Bai Qian. She is just more believable as the goddess of Qing Qui. She has the aura of a high goddess. LYF just doesn’t have that. Also, YangMi kicked ass when it comes to Sujin. She was never weak around Sujin. Sujin was the one that was scared of her.

    Overall, I enjoyed the movie. Love the special effects. Especially that water part at the beginning. The editing is very choppy though and there is not enough information. If I have not seen the drama or read the book, I would have been so confused and lost.

    I love Yang Yang as Ye Hua. Yang Yang is how I pictured YeHua to look like. I just don’t think Mark Chao fit the description of YeHua. Still, I think they both acted really well as YeHua. Mark Chao more so because we see him as YeHua and MoYuan.

    Many people were disappointed with the ending but I wasn’t because at the end, they did get together. Unlike the drama, MoYuan and YeHua are not twins. They are one and the same person. MoYuan died and YeHua was born. At the end when YeHua died, MoYuan woke up. His soul definitely went back into MoYuan. Phoenix mentioned to Bai Qian that maybe she didn’t make a mistake when she mistook a person for someone else (or something like that). Then at the end when Bai Qian was having flashbacks of MoYuan sacrificing himself, she realized what Phoenix said and then said that YeHua was the person she wanted all along.

    I love RiceBall in the movie more. He actually looks and dress like he is from royalty. In the drama, I felt like they forgot about him being royalty.

    Overall, I think this would have been a great movie if they pay attention to the plot line and gave the viewers a bit more of Qing Qui’s first life with MoYuan. I just think the movie should have been longer to explain some missing pieces. This needed to be a three hours movie and not what they gave us.

    Liked by 1 person

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