|Lee Jun Ki as Iljimae|
But what made me started writing about it again, was I had this epiphany again (that deep! haha!:-) After running out of feel good, romantic comedy Kdramas to watch (believe me, I’ve tried watching all and as much as I can!), I gave Iljimae a try, well because I saw Lee Jun Ki in My Girl, and he’s a remarkable actor, not to mention, my Candy Boy too! The whole 20 episodes, I watched like crazy. For a historical drama, the scenes are not actually dragging to watch…get ready for both heart warming and heart breaking moments! The whole time, my hurt flutters. The characters’ lives and roles are so intertwined, and if their unfolding are not interestingly presented, one can actually get lost in what is like the ultimate game of twisted fate that they are all playing.
Here’s a brief summary I picked up from My Soju…
|Lee Jun Ki|
Set during the Joseon Dynasty, Yong (Lee Jun Ki) acted as a hooligan in the marketplace by day but at night he was a thief who robbed corrupted government officials to give to the poor. After each robbery he left behind a painting depicting a plum tree branch to make his mark and was thus named Iljimae. His main purpose was not so much to rob but to search for the owner of a specially designed sword which he saw as a child was used to kill his father, a loyal subject of the emperor.
And of course, there is more to it than that…please read on Wikipedia’s Summary.
Lee Jun Ki is such a brilliant actor. I saw him in My Girl, and The Time between Dog and Wolf, his acting as Yong was so refreshing, and a welcome break from his serious roles in the said Kdramas. I didn’t think that he overacted (others thought he did!) on being the hooligan that he supposedly is. I think he’s just awesome! And the part where he needs to hide his pain and sadness, and tries to play the happy guy that he just is, was truly bittersweet…and of course, where his acting powers again shine! His tears and sobbing are just really too much for my fragile heart! So there goes me…crying, sobbing and then laughing my heart’s out with him one episode after another! 🙂
His journey from Yong to Iljimae/Gyeom…so he’s the usual gawky lad but with a lot of heart as Yong, and then he’s the ultimate hero, swordsman, fighter, martial arts experts, strategist etc. (think Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible, Jason Bourne meets Robin Hood type of hero) as Iljimae. It’s truly exciting to see his transformation and character development. The classic underdog victory was exciting to watch as always (Think Glee and Bring it on!). Amidst of all these are just the drama and tragedy that seems to be never ending. When I was talking about the plot and the characters to my mom, I can’t help but feel really sad and tearful. I’m just so moved! (Sniff!)
Another winning element is his relationship with his adoptive dad, Soe dol…truly heartwarming and in the end, bittersweet! It’s also great to see how his adoptive mom, Dani, opens up to Yong, and starts to love him unconditionally. His friends are also a mixture of characters, they’re burst of colors. Each, on their own, contributing rumor and inspiration to what is supposedly a sad & vindictive journey of Iljimae.
It’s also great to see Gyeom/Yong reunites with Bong Soon, to whom he promises to take care and to never let go. I love the moments they’re together, truly heartwarming!…and the mood changes from sadness to playful cheeriness that they both showcase beneath their sadness and tragic loss. I felt that together, they have strength and courage to face whatever else would come their way. The love that bonds them, I feel is stronger more than the romantic feelings that Iljimae and Eun Cha supposedly tender for each other. And Eun Cha was just too good to be true (My take!). Bong Soon’s selfless act of love is a runaway winner! So obviously…I vote for Yong/Gyeom ❤ Bong Soon Forever!
So, on with my Lee Jun Ki drama marathon…next stop, Hero! Too bad, what I can only do is to watch re-runs of his dramas until he finishes his military service.