Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Deep Rooted Tree

  Sageuk, sageuk everywhere! After the first episode I know who Suyang takes after. The first episode was very fast, and it's not a rule in a period drama, usually it starts slow and needs 4-6 episodes to fully bloom. But after The Princess' Man I'm not really sure if any near historical stuff can sweep me off my feet again so ferociously. And the more I watch period dramas the more pleasure I find in the shadow politics, forcing, distorting, scheming and plotting. The impuissance of people who, faced with cruelty, can do really nothing but wait and get stronger, the smouldering revenge and consumming flames of emotions... all this moves me more than jaebol's problems, seriously. Period dramas have also one more advantage - they are huge in terms of feelings and people. There is broader spectrum of emotions and characters.
Having said that, let's look at that tree.

The description after dramawiki:
Based on Lee Jeong-myeong’s novel “Deep-rooted Tree”. Work that highlights the serial killings during the 7 days before the announcement of the Korean script.
A series of murder occurred during the reign of King Sejong. As Kang Chae Yoon who is investigating these cases gets closer to the root of the truth, he finds himself embroiled in a massive conspiracy behind the serial killings which involves a group of genius who are willing to risked their lives towards their cause/goals and secret powers who will interfere with the course of his investigations. ---
Official Website


   I read favorable opinions after the first episode, but I found some of them slightly retarded. We know from the first episode why Chae Yun is seeking revenge on King Sejong, and most of those reviews tried to cloud this in the mystery - no, ladies and gentlemen, it's all to avenge his father's death who died after delivering faked letter. 

   The description above is good to have so-so image of the drama, but in the same time is devoid of any logic, so I don't trust it that much. It's obvious they will focus on the struggle between King's enlightened circle that wants to implement Hangeul and those who oppose it (politicians based on their knowledge of hanja, oh so obvious). And we will get personal issues as well. That means - everything that sageuk does so good - mixing political intrigue with whirlpool of emotions.
The world was changing and too bad King Sejong successors rejected Hangeul as the official script, going back to hanja. Oh well, who am I to judge?

   As I mentioned earlier, the first (and the second as well) episode was fast. We were presented with characters and their motivation. We know that young King Sejong is right now just a young man who tries to adapt to the still violent times and can't copy with the reality. His father, the founder of the new dynasty, King Taejo is a ruthless man that only looks like a gentleman. There was this very powerful scene in episode 1 when former King visited young one in the library. King Sejong played with mathematical riddles trying to figure out the solution. Taejo solution to 9-blocks square was swift and cruel - he threw them all on the floor and then picked up one, only one square with hanja for the number 1 (一) and placed it right in the middle. He fought for the throne in blood and he didn't hesitate to kill everyone. And this is what he said to his son - that the ruler can be only one and not dependent on others. I was really under big impression of this scene. One of the most powerful ones I have seen lately in Kdramas.

   So far so good, as always kids are great, lots of familiar faces (Minister of War from SKKS, ebbrybody!), general from Idiot Dongsu and many others. Plus petto, I mean Song Junggi who really does a good job here. He's not that cheerful person we usually see from him. He's the young King, but already disillusioned and powerless. And to make it worse - he knows that. He said that himself that 'he can't do anything". The little serving girl whom he trusted betrayed him and this small intrigue is, in fact, the reason for Chae Yun's hatred. Fighting scenes look a bit too stylized, but I can't complain as Jang Hyuk is known for his skills. And I do really like the poster. It's not common to see the poster all monochromatic and so thoughtfully done. It looks like painted with ink, and the title is written like early Hangeul was. 

I'm King Taejo and my grandson is called Suyang. We'll see blood again.

   Oh, and we also heard Kim Jong Seo mentioned, so I could giggle a bit. Oh history, history, you timeless whore!

Oh, don't cry, sweetie, nuna Ara will be back soon^^ In the meantime, come to me :P

Verdict? I'm watching!