War of Faith: Unveiling the Secret World of Espionage in New Spy Cdrama

When the ancient costume dramas were in full swing, a spy cdrama burst into the hot lineup of March. Since its premiere, "War of Faith" has been climbing in viewership ratings and online popularity. As the only spy-themed drama in March, "War of Faith" can be considered a "new wave" in the current market dominated by ancient idol dramas.

In Shanghai in 1930, Wei Ruolai (played by Wang Yibo), an ordinary employee of the Central Bank of the Kuomintang, gradually gained the appreciation of senior consultant Shen Tunan (played by Wang Yang) due to his outstanding work ability. In this process, Wei Ruolai witnessed the many corruptions and darkness in the Kuomintang's financial sector. In his confusion and distress, Communist Party member Shen Jinzhen (played by Li Qin) used Marxism as a guiding light to illuminate Wei Ruolai's inner self, leading to different choices that ultimately led him to part ways with Shen Tunan.

War of Faith: Unveiling the Secret World of Espionage in New Spy Cdrama

Arranged by the organization, Wei Ruolai and Shen Jinzhen moved from Shanghai to Jiangxi. Under the strong leadership of the Communist Party, Wei Ruolai participated in the non-smoking war to break the Kuomintang's economic blockade of the Central Soviet Area, gradually growing into a prominent red financier on the party's economic front.


Spy War and Business War

Compared to most previous Republican spy war dramas, the most distinctive feature of "War of Faith" lies in its financial perspective, setting the story in 1930s Shanghai and narrating the journey of an ordinary person growing into a generation of financiers. On one side is the tense stock market business war, on the other is the intense spy war, the dual storyline in fast-paced narration intensifies the suspense and excitement of this genre.

The series opens with a gripping stock market battle, setting the stage for a tense atmosphere. In 1930s Shanghai, with a crowded securities exchange, people scrambling for stocks, and investors losing everything in an instant, many viewers were reminded of the Republican version of "Blossoms Shanghai."

War of Faith: Unveiling the Secret World of Espionage in New Spy Cdrama

However, behind the unpredictable stock market in "War of Faith" lies just a part of the economic battlefield play in the chaotic times. As Shanghai was the financial center of China at that time, various forces such as banks and chambers of commerce, the Communist Party, and the Kuomintang were engaged in a game of power, with financial warfare aimed at raising more military expenses for the front line.

For example, Wang Yang's portrayal of Shen Tunan, a senior consultant at the Central Bank, is a key figure in the business war line, with bank merger plans and tariff reforms all coming from the hands of this financier. As financial reforms progress, the competition between capital becomes more intense, and this war without gunpowder seems to be on the brink of eruption. In comparison, the spy war line represented by Li Qin's portrayal of Communist Party member Shen Jinzhen, although with fewer scenes, plays a crucial role in driving the pace of the plot. She is both an underground worker and Shen Tunan's sister, and it is her special identity that allows her to get close to financial secrets and provide economic support to the front line.

War of Faith: Unveiling the Secret World of Espionage in New Spy Cdrama

The male lead of the series, Wang Yibo as Wei Ruolai, intertwines the two storylines of finance and spy war, evolving from a novice in the workplace to a professional financier, and after witnessing the many corruptions and darkness in the Kuomintang's financial sector, he turns from darkness to light. His portrayal of the struggle of an ordinary person in the workplace has resonated with many modern workers, allowing them to see themselves in his character. In addition, the relationships surrounding Wei Ruolai are portrayed vividly and three-dimensionally, such as the simple neighborhood relationships in Qibao Street, and the brotherly bond of the Wei brothers, adding a touch of era's vigor to the simmering financial confrontation.

Overall, the well-paced rhythm, intricate plot, and rich character development of "War of Faith" have attracted many viewers; however, the high-density information brought by the multi-line narrative requires a higher demand on the production team. If the balance between different storylines is not handled well, it may lead to some confusion and scrutiny of certain plot narratives. For example, some netizens expressed confusion over the scene of the exam hall fire in the drama, questioning the necessity of setting a large fire just to admit an employee.


Perfect Production Team

Yao Xiaofeng serves as the chief director, with Wang Yibo, Li Qin, and Wang Yang leading the cast, also featuring strong actors like Wang Xueqi, Gao Lu, and Yang Kun in supporting roles. The creative team and cast of this production can definitely be considered as a high-quality lineup in the espionage drama genre.

Director Yao Xiaofeng has previously directed well-known dramas such as "May-December Love", "Tiger Mom", "Mr. Right" among others, and has won several Best Director awards for television dramas. Moreover, having graduated from the Beijing Film Academy's Department of Photography, Director Yao's adept handling of visual language is evident throughout the series, with many viewers noting the cinematic quality present in every aspect of the show. For instance, the opening scene transitions from aerial to horizontal shots, effectively depicting the era and location, while fully capturing the vibrant atmosphere of Qibao Street.

War of Faith: Unveiling the Secret World of Espionage in New Spy Cdrama

Furthermore, the show's other key creative personnel mostly come from a film background, such as editing director Cao Weijie, known for works like "Hidden Man", and "Let the Bullets Fly", and art director Wu Jiakui and costume director Ma Defan, who have respectively contributed to films like "1921", "Hawthorn Tree Forever", and "White Deer Plain".

As for the cast, the combination of young influencers and seasoned actors has generated significant buzz for the show since its premiere. Among the three leads, Wang Yang has received the most praise, establishing himself as the standout performer in the series, earning the title of the show's word-of-mouth ambassador.

With nearly 20 years in the industry, Wang Yang has garnered a substantial fan base and critical acclaim through his strong performances in various dramas. In "War of Faith", he once again showcases his adept portrayal of different roles. His interpretation of Shen Tunan strikes a perfect balance between strategic composure and elite sophistication in his professional dealings, while displaying a gentle and attentive demeanor in his interactions with family, particularly adding a light-hearted and amusing touch to the dynamics with his sister. The mentor-disciple relationship he forms with Wang Yibo in the series has also captured the attention of many fans.

War of Faith: Unveiling the Secret World of Espionage in New Spy Cdrama

Moving on to Li Qin, who portrays Shen Tunan's sister, she embodies the most important female character in the series and has garnered recognition from audiences. Her portrayal exhibits a clear contrast between her usual arrogant and spoiled heiress persona and her composed and cunning femme fatale character when engaged in underground work, with a seamless transition between the two personas.

In conclusion, "War of Faith" has embarked on a path of breakthrough, by exploring the genre boundaries of Republican espionage dramas through a financial lens, the combination of influencers and seasoned actors has greatly enhanced the show's market appeal, while the film-level creative team ensures the series maintains a high-quality production standard.

War of Faith: Unveiling the Secret World of Espionage in New Spy Cdrama

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