Empress Ki (Korean Drama 2013)

wp3821106.png

Drama Rating: 8/10

This drama is adapted from the life of Empress Ki, a woman who was neither from the Mongols or Han Chinese descent but instead came from a small kingdom in the Far East called Goryeo which is presently known as Korea. During the Yuan Dynasty, she held immense power and prestige that she’s known in East Asia and East Europe as a tyrant queen.

1wgQdfBefore she was an empress, she was known as Ki Seung Nyang. From childhood up to being a woman, she had lived a harsh life. However her previous experiences were nothing compared to the day she became a Gungnyeo – a woman from Goryeo who is offered as a palace woman or concubine for the Mongol Emperor. Despite being brought to another country as a slave against her will, she was able to survive through her wit and perseverance. Eventually, Ta Hwan also known as Toghon Temür the Mongol Emperor falls in love with her not knowing that she was engaged to a Goryeo Prince named Wang Yoo. Due to palace conflicts and her political ambitions, she had to chose between love and survival.

I have this habit of checking out drama’s because of the cast and this drama did not fail me. Ha Ji Won’s acting as per usual, was flawless. I did have high hopes about the script/story during the initial episodes up to the middle part, but the entire show left me with a bitter aftertaste kind of ending. Why did the writers have to put an open-endedQJXJWf ending for the viewers when they could have just wrapped it up simply with a simple choice? It could have ended nicely when she finally became an empress because it was, after all the ultimate goal. What disappointed me was that every 10 to 15 episode the plot line changes and the story shifts its focus on something else aside from the previous problem on hand. That was really annoying, because when they go back to the initial conflict, there were more loopholes into the story which could not be addressed but instead it will be piled up with more issues to cover up the initial problem. Basically it’s a merry-go-round of never ending dispute – which is the norm in politics, only this one was badly portrayed in a drama. If it was me, I would have stuck with the romantic plot line instead of the political side of the story.

Another thing I have to take note of… I could have loved both kings – Yuan and Goryeo alike but instead I fell in love with Taltal, Governor Bayan’s right hand and nephew. Sometimes I day dream that he and Seung Nyang would actually end up together instead of the power driven-infused kings. Their tandem by the end of the drama was more in place than her link with the kings. I did somehow root her to the Yuan King because they had so much onscreen chemistry but decided against it during the later episodes.

As for the OST, the music was timely and I couldn’t ask for a better sound track for it. The visuals in this drama was awesome by the way. I have already re-watched several scenes from random episodes just because I liked the cinematography and the kick-ass fight scenes and archery of our heroine. Over all I would recommend this to watchers who are into saguek and palace-warlord-politics conspiracy, but let me warn you! This drama may seem to have a romantic story line, yet it isn’t the main theme and it might even disappoint in the end.

PHOTOS ARE NOT MINE. CREDITS TO THE OWNER.
Advertisements

Fabricated City (Korean Movie 2017)

XZVWwf.jpg

Synopsis:

Kwoon Yoo is a great tactician in the virtual world and is called “Captain” by a bunch of other gamers who follows him around. They trust his decisions in every game, thus their team always win. However, though they get the final victory, his character always end up dead because he can’t resist sacrificing himself to save his teammate who is in dire need which makes him a revered man in the gaming world.

In reality, Kwoon Yoo is just an unemployed man who can only afford to eat cup ramen noodles and is having difficulty finding a proper job. He sometimes visits his mother who continuously believes in him and tries to support him in any way she can.

One day, he is framed for a murder he did not commit earning him a ticket in jail without bail. Everything in his life gets messed up until he is helped by the same people he always spend time with, the gamers who call him captain. He was helped by “Mr. Hairy” whom he always saves and end up sacrificing his life for in the virtual world. When he finally meets everyone in real life, he was in for a surprise because they were all willing to sacrifice their lives to help him and get his name cleared out.

Words from Me:

To be honest, I watched this movie in VIU via streaming for the sole reason of seeing Ji Chang Wook prior to his enlistment in the military. I had no idea what it was about, except that the title triggered my curiosity. When I started watching, the movie did not disappoint despite the slow build up in the first half of the story. I guess it was the introductory part that made it a bit draggy for me. Yet it was action packed and bloody as per my expectation. The title “Fabricated City” was very appropriate because the concocted false situations for the victims were orchestrated really well.

I like how they used the virtual world as a benchmark to make the fabrications seem like reality. Another part that I liked in this movie were the characters. The ones who supported the main actor were really a bunch of misfits who seemed like they can’t do anything right in the real world. The most surprising one for me was Mr. Hairy due to reasons I won’t reveal because I hate to be the bearer of major spoilers. On another note, the villain in the movie is another interesting character. Min Cheon Sang is the type of antagonist you’d love to hate because he is crazy and he knows that he’s good at what he does but still… he’s very demented.

Music wise, there’s nothing really memorable about it because there were a lot of kick ass moment on screen to pay attention to. Aside that, I’m recommending this for those who are in for an action packed ride who likes computers, hackers, mind blowing set ups and cons.

 

7 First Kisses (Korean Drama 2016)

BqZxqf.jpg

Synopsis:

Min Soo Jin is a receptionist employee at Lotte Duty Free mall who meets a fairy and grants her wish to meet a boyfriend. Due to this, she will be able to meet a guy seven times, however if the guy ends up kissing her the magic spell will end.

Words from Me:

I got trapped into watching a commercial video for Lotte Duty Free that lasted for around ten minutes each episode just because there were popular main lead actors in it. I guess I’m really a sucker for good looking guys. I mean come on! It is freaking Lee Joon Gi, Park Hae Jin, Ji Chang Wook, Kai, Taec Yeon, Lee Jong Suk and Lee Min Ho! Where else can I see these hot guys in one drama? It’s none other than this darned Lotte brand Commercial. Yes, it was a brand cm. Anyway… now that you know the reason I watched it I’d like to dive into the drama story which by the way was full of cliché. Every episode had an unbelievably common storyline that it easily ended up being funny. The narrative consisted of the following – the boy next door falls in love with his childhood girlfriend, rich guy falls in love with a commoner then insert with some hilarious makjang (heavy melodrama that consists of mothers paying off their son’s girlfriend just so she would leave him including water/wine throwing kind of drama), action melodrama about secret agents who work together and end up falling in love with each other, normal girl gets to meet an actor and fall in love, noona love (a younger guy falling in love with an older woman) and not to forget! Popular guy meets an ordinary girl trope.

If those aren’t cliché enough in drama world… then I don’t know what is anymore.

I’m having second thoughts on recommending this because of the misleading title but anyway, to be fair to those who are interested for the same reason I have for watching this, I give this drama a 6/10. 4 points solely for the good looking oppas, 1 point for the sound track which was really cute and memorable and 1 point for the comedy. It did make me smile all throughout the drama even though I sort of cringed at some scenes. Despite that, I really enjoyed the eye candy. I also liked the female lead Lee Cho Hee and hope to see her become a female lead in some future romcom drama because she’s really effective in those genre.