The TV series ” Rush Year 1937 ” is a 39-episode series produced by China International Television Corporation, directed by famous director Guo Jingyu, and starring Sun Honglei, Kou Shixun, Ye Tong and Zhang Dinghan.
Zheng Shusen (Sun Honglei), a young hoodlum, meets gangster Pang De (Kou Shixun) who is hiding in prison to avoid consequences from the outside world. They form an alliance and become known as the Shanghai Beach gang.
During the period when the Japanese forces were pushing into Shanghai, Pang De and Zheng Shusen give up their pursuit of vengeance and devote themselves to national salvation. They also run into Yu Zhonghe (Qian Yongfu) who is inevitably intertwined with their grievances and hatred among the three gang forces, Zheng Shushen eventually turns into a shrewd gangster. The Japanese army begins to advance into Shanghai and pursues anti-Japanese organizations such as the New Fourth Army. Upholding their national justice, Pang De, Zheng Shusen, and his brothers devote themselves to the aim of national salvation.
Director Guo Jingyu said, “This is not a gangster drama, but a war film. At first, I only wanted to shoot the growth of a small historical character, but when I inserted the background of Shanghai Beach, I felt the story evolved into something more elaborate and beautiful. The lines depicting the raw emotions in fighting for the countries bring the actor’s portrayal to a whole new level. Instead of the old theme of just heroism, the drama portrays the goodness and beauty of ordinary people.
New interpretation of the narrative style
“Rush Year 1937” attracts the audience with more than two storylines and interweaves the turbulent and complex background of the early period of the anti-Japanese War. This forces the audience to be entangled in a tense plot, intriguing them to follow the characters’ fate closely and create a psychological need for them to keep watching.
Making of the characters
“Rush Year 1937” gathers experienced actors including Kou Shixun, Sun Honglei, Ye Tong, and Qian Yongfu as they battled it out in front of the cameras. The drama also broke the audience’s passive viewing habits through unconventional innovative narratives, allowing the audience to participate in the story and interact with the characters.
Excite the actors
Speaking of “Rush Year 1937”, Sun Honglei said that Zheng Shusen changes from a weak person to a conscious anti-Japanese righteous man. The transformation in this story is a process of growing up and becoming stronger. Shaping such a role is no doubt a test for him. Kou Shixun believes that the story is more like a modern version of “Le Comte de Monte-Cristo”. “When there is nationwide hatred, Pang De chose to contribute to the country. I would choose the same too. A good film is something that should make the audience relate and ponder”.
“Rush Year 1937” Reviews
The drama is not just a story about gangsterism, but also anti-Japanese notions and power struggles. The first half of the story is easily reminiscent of “Shanghai Beach” and “Le Comte de Monte-Cristo” with its layers of bureaucracy and complex narrative. However, characters like those in “Shanghai Beach” and “Le Comte de Monte-Cristo” would not suffice for this TV series. This series is filled with history that is full of indelible bullying and self-sacrificing. The theme of abandoning the ego and jointly resisting Japanese forces makes the whole drama sublime. (Xinhua Online Review)
Sun Honglei, Ye Tong, and Kou Shixun, the three powerful actors, showed the audience a vivid picture of the passing era. A major feature of the drama is the combination of the anti-Japanese War and the gangster struggles in Shanghai, which makes the conflict more intense. (Sina Review)
Dangerous plot settings and schematic editing are important factors in the appeal of “Rush Year 1937”. The four characters in this show have displayed their justifiable acting skills. (Sina Review)