Currently in Manhattan, NY:

Fashion King Episode 20 Review

HanCinema's Drama Review 'The King's Face' Episode 21
Hancinema's Drama Review 'the King's Face' Episode 21

HanCinema's Drama Review 'The King's Face' Episode 21

News via hancinema.net

Gah-hee, at the other hand, has come into her own whilst Do-chi jumped off the deep end. She stands robust in the face of the new, very arrogant queen and works neatly with Gwanghae"s quiet, yet strong-willed wife. I actually like that the ladies have a greater role to play now as they sorely lacked any veritable activity. Even though Ga-hee used to be a warrior, she was still two dimensional and that warrior"s spirit didn"t appear to hold over into her lifestyles as the king"s companion. Now it in spite of everything shines via and makes me wish for personality consistency.The introduction of Queen Inmok, like the introduction of Heo Gyeon a couple of episodes ago, serves the similar reason - bringing in a brand new face and together with it new interest. Unfortunately Heo Gyeon"s novelty temporarily wore off secure for the infrequent spats he has with Eunuch Im. Queen Inmok may hang some intrigue, but the writers eliminate her lack of confidence and most effective display the confidence that mask it, growing yet some other stale character.

Also, the direction from time to time tries to be inventive in the shape of fast camera cuts which are more nauseating than effective. It"s a flailing try to seize for more cast written floor that fails.Written by: Raine from "Raine"s Dichotomy"

[HanCinema"s Drama Review] "The King"s Face" Episode 23 (final)

News via hancinema.net

King Seonjo was another character I wanted to see more out of. Yes, he was weak, selfish, and a lackluster king, but his jealousy of Gwanghae and the innate competitiveness he felt towards his more competent son was not was used to its fullest. The reverse is true. Gwanghae was not unaware of his father"s emotions and still blindly worshiped him. It is part of what made Gwanghae a two dimensional character as well. He had all the makings of a hero, but his inner workings were not shown nearly enough nor did we see the emotional turmoil he felt when his father made bad decisions or when he felt jealousy or selfish anger. In fact, I don"t recall much selfish anger in this show. It was mostly righteous anger on behalf of his country, which is great, but it doesn"t help to flesh out Gwanghae. In fact, Gwanghae had very little fallibility, which made him boring.

Seo In-guk did the best he could with what he had. Based on his other work, Seo is a capable actor as are the other main leads who have impressive bodies of work behind them. I must conclude that the writing turned a cast of talented people into an army of stiff players who had little depth. As time went on, the performances became even more stilted as the characters became caricatures of heroic, evil, and subservient. The humanizing factor was lacking. On a few occasions there were some powerful moments, but they didn"t not carry nor were they replicated.

Do-chi, the ultimate villain, was the bad guy, but he wasn"t truly pitiable, which would"ve made him a fantastic villain. He drove himself insane trying to achieve his goal, twisting himself and the people around him to win. It"s such a fantastic, tragic character path that, in the end, was badly planned and timed so that his death meant little. It carried little emotional ambivalence or feelings of pity.

[HanCinema"s Drama Review] "The King"s Face" Episode 22

News via hancinema.net

Speaking of Gwanghae, he is much more confident now and the passage of time has been well-shown in his character. The time skips still make little sense in how they are placed and utilized, especially in the ensuing scenes that should explain what has passed during the skipped time. Regardless, Gwanghae has gained many followers and many enemies. One of the biggest followers is Heo Gyeon who made his entrance as comic relief and who is now showing is true worth: an ideological radical who is believed to have penned the legendary story of Hong Gil Dong, the Korean Robin Hood. Before the last two episodes he didn"t live up to his historical name, but he certainly does now. His extreme views sink Gwanghae into trouble as well as those who support Gwanghae as a future king. This is the kind of plot stuffs that should"ve been brought in sooner. The episode was the most exciting yet with all of the intrigue flying about.

Part of the intrigue is due to the dogged perseverance of the escaped Do-chi. He is loyal to no one but himself, and uses power-hungry royals to further his cause. The young queen Inmok and the disregarded oldest prince Imhae are the two that he has in the palm of his hand. Although his plans and ability to network are remarkable and provide wonderful plot material, Do-chi"s character still lacks. The inner motivations that drive him are still not made clear and they would allow the viewer to connect better with him.

After all of this time, the king has become no less self-centered. He has, however, become even more paranoid and willing to strike out at anything that threatens his throne. King Seonjo"s deteriorating health has put him on guard against rumors and Do-chi uses that tension to his advantage. In fact, the king has become more irrational with age and he makes unilateral decisions that are influenced by the gossip he hears. While his retainers become more crafty with age, the king does just the opposite. It makes him a terrifying and unpredictable opponent.

KBS2 Drama "The King's Face" Episode 18 Review and Full Video

News via hancinema.net

Aside from the face, Ga-hee is settling into court life and the court is struggling to acclimate to her. Lady Kim, the head consort, is insanely jealous of her replacement. As the mother of four sons, she aspires for one of them to be king. Since Sinseong passed, her eyes are now set on Jungwon who is cunning and set to avenge his mother"s humiliation at being pushed aside for Ga-hee. He is more dangerous than Sinseong was and hopefully that"ll make him more interesting than Sinseong and Imhae, the two brothers who were in line to push Gwanghae from the throne. Imhae is still pathetic and dimwitted. He is like a royal placeholder for the bloodline and nothing more. Despite the fact that he is historically inane, such a character can still be used better than he has been. The introduction of Jungwon into the running has made Imhae less useless.

Then there is the streak of jealousy running through the "The King"s Face". The king is jealous of any time that Ga-hee spends with any other men, which only means its a matter of time before he discovers her relationship with Gwanghae. Lady Kim is jealous of Ga-hee as the favored concubine. Im-hae is jealous of Jung-won as the favored son. As political tensions rise, they fan the flames of jealousy. The tension is a breeding ground for jealousy.

The foreign relations are bolstering the intrigue of "The King"s Face". Again, this show"s dependence on the historical prestige of the story of Gwanghae is frightening. It has very little intrinsic motivation. Give me more.

KBS2 Drama "The King's Face" Episode 17 Review and Full Video

News via hancinema.net

King Seonjo has, as of late, been making more appearances, showing that he is a coward and letting other people take on his responsibilities for him. Pitting this weak king against Gwanghae"s magnetic personality is one of the inherent literary beauties of the story. What makes the king strong is those around him; what makes Gwanghae strong is his spirit. The juxtaposition of the two family members and enemies is something the show seems to be using. The king allows Do-chi to do his dirty work; the prince does his work himself. Involving Ga-hee as the king"s concubine may change the dynamic between father and son; it should, but the writing in this show hasn"t been strong enough or consistent enough for me to expect it.

Do-chi and Gwanghae"s rivalry is a good one. They have loaded conversations that grow into action. The scenes between them are purposeful and engaging. On the other hand, there are strange, disjointed scenes that depict what Gwanghae"s men are doing in Manchuria. These don"t have much impact at all. In fact, it would"ve been better to narrate them than to spend the time and money filming them.

With Ga-hee in the palace, "The King"s Face" enters its third stage. I"ve lost hope that the quality will improve. I can only hope that the import of the original story is able to carry it through.

[HanCinema"s Drama Review] "The King"s Face" Episode 16

News via hancinema.net

Do-chi has come into his own and is less of a pushover character. He has chosen his path and acts on it. His cunning is what makes him interesting. I want more of what"s happening internally. That"s a blanket comment. The characters" inner turmoil is hard to decipher unless it"s spoonfeed with a voiceover or belabored dialogue. At least Do-chi now has a discernible motivation as a villain. His emotions regarding Ga-hee are ambivalent, which shows a lack of follow through, especially since he was so in love with her at the start of the drama. All of Ga-hee"s relationships are lukewarm in presentation although in dialogue they are mentioned as intense. It"s a disservice to the actor, the character, and the people who have to watch her go through the motions. Perhaps when she transitions into her role as the king"s concubine her character will find her legs much like Do-chi and King Seonjo did.

"The King"s Face" is directed by Cha Yeong-hoon and Yoon Seong-sik, written by Lee Hyang-hee and Yoon Soo-jeong, and features Seo In-guk, Jo Yoon-hee, Lee Seong-jae, and Sin Seong-rok.

KBS2 Drama "The King's Face" Episode 15 Review & Full Movie

News via hancinema.net

As for Ga-hee and Do-chi, they are two characters who have partially fallen off the grid. The writer only makes use of them as pawns. They are no longer strategic parts of the plot or interesting characters in and of themselves. I"d like to see Do-chi"s downward spiral developed (are you noticing a pattern?) beyond simple steps towards his goal. He needs psychological dilemma; interactions with more than one or two people. This is a recurring issue with "The King"s Face", wonderful setup, and little follow through. Any time serious development is necessary it is avoided by including pointless plotting, or with copout voiceovers.

"The King"s Face" is directed by Cha Yeong-hoon and Yoon Seong-sik, written by Lee Hyang-hee and Yoon Soo-jeong, and features Seo In-guk, Jo Yoon-hee, Lee Seong-jae, and Sin Seong-rok.

KBS2 Drama "The King"s Face" Episode 12 Review & Full Video

News via hancinema.net

King Seonjo notoriously leaves his people and flees north to protect himself. He leaves Prince Gwanghae in charge of defending the capital. "The King"s Face" depicts the king as a coward we know him to be, but it also shows the struggle he faces in making that decision. While this drama, for the most part, has failed to make the king an interesting character, the agony that Seonjo faces in deciding to flee makes him much more colorful. He is less a writer"s tool and more a veritable character. Until now, he"s been selfish and jealous, but not much else. The change in his character wasn"t shown. He was supported by the cast of characters we find in his bickering, narcissistic ministers, but could not stand on his own.

Gwanghae, on the other hand, can and mostly does stand on his own as a character. Unfortunately this episode turned him into the caricature of a hero who made noble speeches, but lacked the depth to pull it off. Seo In-guk made a noble attempt to make him powerful, but the whole thing was rather Shakespearean in delivery - it didn"t fit.

The few scenes with interesting filming techniques also didn"t fit the general tone of the drama. They were beautiful and visually alluring, but stuck out of the visual landscape the director had previously created. That is the general issue I have with "The King"s Face" - a lack of consistency in tone whether it be in dialogue or camera work. The history that backs the script is what holds it together.

KBS Drama "The King's Face" Episode 11 Review and Full Video

News via hancinema.net

Gwanghae"s brother, Imhae, is more developed than Seonjo. Imhae is slow-witted, ambitious, violent, but had a good relationship with his younger brother despite his jealousy of the keen Gwanghae. Gwanghae looked up to his brother. While the relationship wasn"t the closest, it was definitely very relatable. "The King"s Face" would"ve done better had they made this relationship more solid. In any case, now that Imhae has declared Gwanghae his enemy as they battle for the title of crown prince, the brotherhood has fractured and the pain spurs Gwanghae on. It"s a tried but true plot device that works well in the drama.

If Imhae was brighter, he could be Gwanghae"s true adversary – that role goes to Do-chi, who lacks the consistency of development that Imhae is fortunate enough to have.

Perhaps now that war has broken out the pace of "The King"s Face" will pick up and there will be more intrigue. Thus far, everything has been quite predictable and rather lackluster.

Korean Drama 'The King"s Face' Episode 2 Review

News via hancinema.net

I suppose the issue I have with "The King"s Face" is the inability to connect with any of the relationships. They are forced down our throats and have no gravitas. I don"t feel how much Ga-hee cares for her father to pity her when she cries for him. Our newest character, Kim Do-chi, loses his mentor and sobs in angst, which again, I have no connection to. While this show is well-choreographed and slick, all that gloss doesn"t allow for me to have a concrete connection to the characters.

-What this show does have going is the fact that the momentum has not slowed. Political intrigue is always high and many very important people are constantly playing for power. It"s a good set-up for young, not-yet-wisened Prince Gwanghae to step into as the idealist who wants to do right by the woman he loves and by his people. Gwanghae has the strongest set up in terms of character. We"ve seen the most sides of him and have been shown his intentions as a man and as a future king.

I need more time with "The King"s Face". It has a lot of potential that hasn"t yet been fulfilled. Perhaps that will happen once the lightning fast opening episodes have passed.