Review: When A Snail Falls In Love (如果蜗牛有爱情)


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Synopsis:
Criminal profiler Xu Xu (Wang Zi Wen) joins the CID as a rookie under the leadership of Captain Ji Bai (Wang Kai). The pair forms an unbeatable team as they crack down a complicated case while slowly falling in love.

Review:

Love the poster omg. I always feel like attractive c-drama posters that don’t look cheesy or tacky are really rare and I was so glad that at least When A Snail Falls In Love at least has a pretty one. That being said, hate the title. What’s with that seriously. It should be called Snail and Lion or something. So apart from the obvious lure of seeing two very talented actors OTP in a series, the synopsis had piqued my interest and after finishing Ode To Joy, I immediately turned to this series to fill the emptiness left behind by OTJ. The story seemed interesting and the addition of a genius girl and psychology won me over. That being said, while the series was overall pretty enjoyable I was left feeling a little disappointed.

Strengths

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  1. Wang Zi Wen + Wang Kai

With those two as the leads, you can be rest assured that acting wouldn’t be a problem for this series. I first fell for Wang Kai in Nirvana In Fire but it has faded slightly since watching Ode To Joy. Though through no fault of his own. And you’ve read my previous post on Ode To Joy, you’d know that my favourite character was Qu Xiao Xiao which was played by the talented Wang Zi Wen. It took me a long while to be adjust myself to Wang Zi Wen as Xu Xu since the two are so so so different. Since the first episode I kept waiting for Xu Xu to suddenly start screaming and laughing like Xiao Xiao lol. Wang Kai’s characters wasn’t as drastic and in fact, I didn’t feel much of a difference honestly. However, the onscreen chemistry here was so so so much better, thank goodness. The two of them are so cute together! Especially when they’re standing side by side and you can see the height difference, LOL. I actually expected Xu Xu to be more cold or to retort with something sharper but whenever Ji Bai (what’s with that name omg) shoots something at her she just takes it in. Not that it’s that big of a deal though since she’s just being wise to not talk back to her superior lol.
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2. Characters

Apart from Xu Xu’s genius analyses and Ji Bai’s awesome kungfu + geniusness, Zhao Han and Yao Meng are pretty cute too! I love their OTP it’s so cute. Especially that scene when Zhao Han told Yao Meng about his dad. Damn. And I really like Yao Meng, I’d say she’s my favourite character in this series. It’s too bad she didn’t have much screen time in the later part of the show. She’s strong, sweet and sharp. I like how though they made Xu Xu the “smart” one while Yao Meng is the “strong” one, they don’t stick to their labels and worked on their flaws. For Xu Xu it’s kind of a given since she’s the main lead and well, character development. In most crime shows the supporting character rarely gets any development (unless they turn out to be the villain) but with Yao Meng, there were a few times when she noticed things that people don’t and even managed to catch a few criminals all thanks to her sharp observation. She’s definitely going to be as good as Ji Bai one day. Zhao Han was the least developed character for me, apart from the thing with his Dad. So yeah…nothing much to say.

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hehe so cutee

I read in a post about how Asian dramas tend to show more interests in humans as compared to western dramas and I so agree. American crime dramas especially, focused mostly on the plot while forgoing the actual development of the characters, apart from the main ones. But WASFIL does a great job in developing most it’s characters, especially the villains. Even the smallest villains get some development. And rather than turning it into some sappy old scene, it’s seamlessly weaved into the plot while retaining it’s gritty tone and style. I especially love the character development of the Ye family. Every character was nicely developed so it’s hard to choose who to hate and who to love, since they’re all twisted and screwed up in their own way.
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3. The Plot

I have mentioned before that I’m not normally a fan of plot-driven stories which meant I normally pay attention to the characters rather than the plot. However, I found the plot here to be intricate and full of twists. It helped that the main suspects were centered around members of the Ye family with only a few other villains here and there. This gave the drama time to not only develop each character but to also use them as devices for the plot twist. Just when you thought it’s guy A, the evidence points to Guy B, then Guy C and eventually, the real culprit turns out to be someone else. Even Ji Bai and Xu Xu got it wrong at one point lol. Which was pretty interesting since in most crime dramas I’ve seen, the genius is NEVER wrong. The last few episodes were also laden with suspense and tension that had me glued to my computer screen waiting to see what happens next.

The romance was a little slow in development and not as much as I thought but I was okay with that since I didn’t come in to watch a romantic drama, I came for the psychology and the crime (but most for Wang Kai and Wang Zi Wen). The romance was done quite tastefully as it is subtly inserted in and there weren’t any unnecessary drama. I’m glad that Xu Xu wasn’t as obtuse as the synopsis I’ve read made her out to be but I was abit sad that Wang Kai wasn’t just a little more assertive. LOL. But then again who has time for courting when you’re busy catching murderers and drug dealers.

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omg it’s Yao Bin! (Ode To Joy)

4. Cinematography

The cinematography is beautifully-shot, filled with vast aerial shots of the landscape and tight macro shots that draws attention to the details. The fighting scenes are slick and smooth, though a little hard to follow, and the set is gorgeous.

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Loving the composition in this shot

Flaws (Or the things I didn’t like)

  1. Xu Xu

I didn’t hate her but I don’t love her either. It’s probably just personal preference but I missed Qu Xiao Xiao. I know it’s a different show and different genre but Xu Xu seemed a little too bland for me. Sure Wang Zi Wen is a great actress but her character here was a little too…expressionless? So that whenever she shows affection for Ji Bai it seemed abit out of character.

2. Psychology??

There weren’t alot of psychology elements in the drama which was really disappointing since Xu Xu is supposed to be a psychology expert. The only times there were any psychological elements was when she profiled suspects but that’s it. There weren’t any while analysing cases which was wasted potential since it could’ve put a very different spin into case analysis rather than the usual hard facts and logic. For example, using psychology to possibly guess the culprit’s state of mind etc. Psychology, after all is a soft science based on both facts and observation.

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Overall 

I liked the series overall though if I had to choose I’d preferred Ouroboros, just cause’ it’s a lot darker and had a much deeper character development. But I liked how the plot was intriguing, especially that whole drama with the Ye family and I enjoyed guessing who the main culprit was. Would definitely recommend it.

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