The Original Bromance

There are many English translations for this Jin Yong title. The Chinese name is 鹿鼎記, which should translate to The Deer and the Cauldron, but the more popular translation turned out to be The Royal Tramp, starring Stephen Chow.

I’ve been on K-Drama forums and viewers have been ooh-ing and ahh-ing over TV bromances. You have not seen the original bromance, baby!

Duke of Mount Deer
The Duke of Mount Deer, 1984, starring Andy Lau and Tony Chiu-Wai Leung. Classic!

This is the original bromance according to yours truly. I am a diehard fan of Jin Yong, have read most if not all of his works. My favorite writing of his depends on my age. As I got older, I found myself liking Jin’s later works, The Deer and the Cauldron and The Smiling, Proud Wanderer more than others. Anyway I digress.

I claim that K-Drama bromances got nothing on this one. Kang Xi and Xiao Bao known each other as teenagers, when Xiao Bao was about 12-13 and Kang Xi should be 14-15 at the beginning of the story. They went onto many adventures, starting from slaining Ao Bai, to putting Wu Sangui in his place, to the dealbreaker where Kang Xi asked Xiao Bao to destroy Heaven and Earth Society. These two non-blood brothers have gone through thick and thin, but it was Xiao Bao’s dedication to friendship that torn them apart. In any adaptation of this novel, you will see growth of these two men, how they slowly grew apart and finally on different sides of the conflict. If you are a fan of bromances, this story is the one to watch.

On that note, I like every adaptation of The Deer and the Cauldron, including in hindsight, the 1998 version starring Jordan Chan. If you don’t know me by now, I am nostalgic and like to take the road less traveled: I’m going with the 1984 version starring now famous-across-Asia actors Andy Lau and Tony Chiu Wai Leung, not to be confused with Tony Ka Fai Leung.

YouTube user tomoyo262 made an excellent slide show for the theme sung by Leslie Cheung (RIP), so I’m going to embedded the YouTube video instead.