Friday, May 9, 2008

Hong Gil Dong review

Hong Gil Dong

Hosted By
Based on a fictional book about a Robin Hood in Korea,Hong Gil Dong [1], this drama is very loosely based off of that book and the time it was set in.
Hong Gil Dong is the bastard son of a minister. He spends most of his time lazing the day away and taking goods from the various merchants. However, a local monk think he's destined to be more. Hong Gil Dong, for his part, really dislikes the injustices in this ranked world.
Heo Yi Nok has returned to Korea, fresh from China. She's an upbeat, naive and carefree girl. She's been living with her grandfather for the last few years. They both are merchants looking to make a fortune back in Korea.
Lee Chang Hwi, however, has been told since he was young that he's the rightful king of Korea. He bumps into Heo Yi Nok. This initially causes misunderstanding between them, but over time his heart is softening towards her.
Meanwhile Heo Yi Nok and Hong Gil Dong are developing a friendship that feels like (at least to Yi Nok) that it could be more.
As the question of rightful succession comes into play, Hong Gil Dong and Yi Nok are forced to take sides.

Main cast:

Kang Ji Hwan as Hong Gil Dong

Sung Yu Ri as Heo Yi Nok / Ryu Yi Nok

Jang Geun Suk as Lee Chang Hwui

Kim Ri Na as Seo Eun Hye

All info (+ more) from:

My opinion:
So another drama from Hong sisters... Well their previous dramas My Girl and Deligthful Girl did't leave any good impressions on me. I haven't seen fantasy Couple yet though. Well overall Hong Gil Dong was an ok drama. It did manage to win me over at some point but it lost it's grip. My Girl won me over, I was totally hooked but second half turned me totally off. Now that I think about it Hong Gil Dong did the same. First episode was noothing much. Then it got better with every episode and I was really happy. But around ep 10 I got suddenly bored. After that it wasn't downhill because sometimes plot was extremely interesting and then it was boring again. But just when I was about to yawn something happened again. So I can't say that it was bad. I also feel that romance romance lacked quite a bit. The ending fit the story at some point it was predictable but not bad. OST won me over. I donwloaded it and now am listening happily for all the songs!

The Cast: I have no complains. The supporting cast did great job. There were some older actors/actresses that are on my favorites list like Ahn Suk Hwan and Choi Ran. Tehe main cast agian... I liked Kang Ji Hwan. He looked marvellous and did his job really well. Hong Gil Dong was lovable, cute and at the same time very manly and intelligent character. Kang Ji Hwan brought him to life. Only Kang Ji Hwan can be Hong Gil Dong, it's his place. Sung Yu was good too though I couldn't see much development in her character. To tell the truth I didn't like her much due to stupidity of her character. Jang Geun Suk was a disappointment, at first I loved him but then I noticed that his acting lacked quite a bit. His face was like dead fish and I hated his voice. Kim Ri Na as was really good as spoiled little princess. I liked her a lot, it's as if she was born to be a noblewoman. There was this noble air around her.

Characters: Personally I loved Gil Dong at first but as the drama got more serious he became very distant. He was still cool but lost his charm. I think Gil dong changed too much. And why did his hair suddenly become curly? For some reason he became more handsome during the drama xD Anyhow I liked that carefree and happy go lucky Gil Dong a lot more than serious Gil Dong. Yi Nok was too dumb for me to like her. It was a hate-love relationship. Sometimes she did admirable things and her love for Gil Dong was cute but most of the times she was just stupid. One of my favorite characters was insane king. The actor did his job well. I can still hear his laughter sometimes xD Even though he lost his mind because of his sins he sometimes acted surprisingly intelligently. The way he ended up was pretty mean but beautiful. I could feel that he regretted his doings, that's why he let his mid go. Gil Dong father was one of my favorites too. His loyalty to the king was admirable. I think it was because he knew taht in his heart the king was a good man. But when Internal minister saw that there were no way to stop prince and Gil Dong he finally gave up. I think that was his way to change sides. I pitied that man a lot. The prince... At first I liked him then bleh... He was such a boring character. Mainly because Jang Geun Suk failed as an actor.

Plot: It was interesting. I have always loved Robin Hood tale ever since I heard it and this story recembled it a lot. First 10 episodes recembled comedy-drama very well. I was totally in love but then drama won and story became very serious. I wished that carefree story could have continued a little longer. When drama became serious it lost all the comedy. All following jokes weren't funny anymore, I felt like "ha...ha..ha... lame" most of the times. There were some repeated scenes like prince standing in front of the window and thinking about Yi Nok or Yi Nik saying she is stupid or Gil Dong looking after Yi Nok and saying out loud "you dummy"/"stupid girl" etc. Then story became a bit boring too. Especially the last episode felt like it would never end but I can't say it didn't have any exciting scenes. The ending totally fit. It was memorable and beautiful. Now I feel like searching Gil Dong of our time. I wonder who it is?

I would rate this drama 3/5. It was interesting but lacked in many aspects. Still it was really refreshing to watch historical drama which didn't follow all drama clichees and had a beautiful landscape instead of a city.


Anonymous said...

Jang Geun Suk failed as an actor ? See his dramas / movies . He didn't failed !

Anonymous said...

I loved this series up until the last three episodes. The ending didn't really make sense with the rest of the series, and if it was going to end that way, what was the first 20 minutes of the first episode for? It didn't make any sense at all.

Ally said...

I think you failed as a critic reviewing the cast's acting skills. Prince Chang Hwi is supposed to be a very sorrowful and oppressed character due to his past. Jang Geun Suk was excellent in portraying the suppressed emotions (do you expect Prince Chang Hwi to be loud like the rest of the characters)that reek of pain and then longing and hope once he got to know Yinok where he started discovering another side of himself. Basically I think the entire cast did pretty well with their acting.

Anonymous said...

Finally! Someone who also thinks that JGK's Prince was terrible.