The period between 1912-1949 in China is known as The Republic of China and in the 1930s leading up to the Japanese Occupation of China, there was much conflict between the Nationalists and Communists. The Communists were being persecuted by the Nationalists and if we watch Chinese dramas like “Red Rose”, it depicts the Communists as the good guys with the idealogy of building a China that benefits all its citizens, regardless of which level of society they are on.
“Red Rose” is about the rivalry between the Nationalists and Communists. At that time, the Nationalists had the upper hand while the Communists were being hunted and they had to resort to all kinds of methods to communicate with each other to avoid being arrested. The story begins in 1927 with the innocent and naïve Xia Yu Zhu as the heroine. Her brother, Xia Heng Xuan is dying to be a member of the Communist Party and actually ends up dying for their cause as he saves a Communist Party member, Ren Zhi Yuan.
After her brother’s death by shooting squad, Yu Zhu works at the Nationalists’ office on the recommendation of her brother’s fiancée who is a high ranking Nationalist. At the same time, she is drawn towards the Communists as she meets the man her brother saved and helps him time and again.
The women’s fashion in China in this period is really nice, Western dresses with hats and beautiful cheongsams. At least this drama’s wardrobe budget seems to be a lot more than “The Legendary Tycoon” which I gave up on after more than 35 episodes as I couldn’t stand the repetitiveness of the costumes in scene after scene, episode after episode. In that drama, even after supposedly many years had passed, the characters were still wearing the same dresses. The acting in “Red Rose” is also much better than in “The Legendary Tycoon” where one of the actresses has the same bland, sad and depressing expression from beginning to end (so one dimensional).