Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Rewriting Iljiame

I think everyone alredy knows that I was really disappointed with Iljimae. At least with the first 7 episodes. Then it really picked up but then again speed was too fast even though this drama totally captivated me after all. I still feel the taste of disappointment in my mouth though. Iljimae was not what I expected, it was worse. After watching Time of Dog and Wolf with Lee Jun Ki I was really looking forward to his character in Iljimae. I mean REALLY! That's why it still kinda annoys me that the beginning was so lame. Now I want to represent the version that would have been cool in my opinion.

The beginning was good in a way. It started from the very beginning and went on slowly so we could see and understand what happened and then easily remember it later when needed and understand latter happenings. But I would have preferred something else. When I first learnd about Iljimae I didn't read the summary that troughtly, justa gave it a glance. I got the impression that Iljiame is a merchant at day and a hero at night. That's all. I wish it would have been like that.

part 1
It could have strated from where Geom waoke up after he lost his memory and Sae Dol would have been relieved about it. We wouldn't know what has happened and why. I know why Danee was added but I feel that it's not important if she is related any way to Sae Dol or not (she can be still in teh story and link with them later) in my version she wouldn't be. Also Sae Dol wouldn't be stupid loser but a very cunning and talented thief yet old. So he would wish to retire and after what happened he would take Geom that is Young-ae and flee to China or any other country nearby. Geom's meeting with Bong Soo and her older brother would be there so everyone would think that Geom is actually dead. But the scene would be shown later. In the beginning there would be shown no assasins no king, no politics at all.

So after Sae Dol had fleed with Young-ae (who thinks that's his real father) they would become traveling merchants maybe with some company... Then one day they would come back to Young-ae's hometown because Sae Dol would think that it's better if Young-ae someday remembers his past. Why? Well, Young-ae wouldn't be stupid and bullied but a very intelligent guy who can read and write. Still he wouldn't be nice one but cunning and selfish guy. He would become strong and goal oriented. Someone who could change things. And Seo Dol would think that it's better for a human being to know the truth no matter what but he wouldn't have heart to tell it. And there can be tons of reasons but that's not important now. So they will be back. They will buy a house, meet people, make friends etc. But somehow Young-ae would feel strange after coming back as if there was something he should remember. Still he would act like usual: cocky, a bit rude, happy, superior etc. They would be selling locks because well, I thought it was a great idea in the original story. + other stuff, maybe even something oroginal...

part 2
Well after a while Young-ae would see that the king and his underlings are not as honest as he would have imagined. There could be lotsa schieming, corruption and dirty secrets. Then we need a tigger for Young-ae to remember. Well he could walk past the house he used to live in (it could be alredy made into inn by Eun Chae so there would be a reason for Young-ae to go see the trees) After seeing the titis trees he would remember good memories about his childhood. That of course would be a great shock. He would keep it a secret. Then we deed a tigger for bad memories. of course Young-ae would try to find about his sister and that's when someone would find out that he is Geom, that Geom is still alive.

Sister's death could be a tigger for bad memories. It should be the same as it was in original Iljimae though I would prefer Young-ae being more rude and someone raping his sister and him finding out about it later (maximum shock) and him finding out about her identity only after she had died some kind of violent death. After seeing it he would be very shocked an go to only place that could bring peace to him, to the garden. Yes, he would sit there and slowly remember some bits. Then Eun Chae would come out and he would have to act like a total asshole. I would like to see at least once such scene when Young-ae is shocked, his heart is breaking into peaces and he has to act like nothing has happened. He would make an excuse to look away for 5-10 seconds and in that time audience could witness his eyes filled with pain, sadness and rage. Just a moment and he would smile and and be rude to a noble woman with shameless, empty eyes making it immpossible for her to notice anything. then he would walk away, trip and fall onto ground and then suddenly remember everything in a flash. (that means in childhood, after his father's death Sae Dol wouldn't have carried him away but they would have run away and Geom would have fallen on ground) I had something like this in my mind. And yet after remembering such thing he wouldn't cry because he would have to control himself and hid the truth at least until he gets to a place where no one is around.

Of course Young-ae would try to come up with some kind of plan how to find out about his father's murderer. The training session would be now not later. Sae Dol wouldn't be so kind hearted in my version and he would have made Young-ae steal and learn lotsa techniquest when he was young and now Kong He (Bong soon's adopted father) would teach him to save lives. I thought it was great idea to teach one to kill and another to cherish life). Then Young-ae would become Iljimae and by accident a hero.

Then this is when original Iljimae begins to be interesting and it would continue with a bit slower pace than original and with Iljimae wearing his first uniform from beginning to very end (black clothes) and less fighting Iljimae vs stupid meathead guards but more sneking, overhearing dirty secrets and such. More iljimae planning his moves, more serious Young-ae.

part 3
The most interesting thing in Iljiame is that Young-ae has to keep it all a secret and lead a double life. If in the beginning he wouldn't have been such a stupid kid whom everyone could bully it would have been more realistic and understandamble and logical. In my version I would like to see more different expressions on Young-ae's face when he hears about Iljiame. When he overhears someone syaing something he just needed to know. A few seneaky smiles for 2-4 seconds for example. Meaningful expressions that only audience and Young-ae could understand, that could be their secret. More What Happened in Bali style. I loved male cast in the drama. So Ji Sub's silent, sneaky, painful and worried feelings that he treid to hide so hard. Jo In Sung's rage that he tried to control. These two mixed together would have made perfect Iljiame. I would like to try to make audience to see the world with Young-ae's eyes. Something similar to playing a computer game.

For example to make it even more shocking Young-ae could have some paroxysms of rage, total loss of self control to the point that he has to hurt himself in order to stop it. For a boy who has seen so much violence, witnessed so much death and felt such pain it's impossible to become absolutely normal. In fact to make it even more shocking he could kill Sae Dol after finding out that it's him who turned his real father into traitor. Of course that would bring a lot of regrets to Young-ae later. That would make him dirty because a hero can't be innocent (yeah, I like batman...xD). Well, after I think about it. The training could come after this. First Young-ae would sneak a bit around, find out some bits of truth, apprehend it a bit wrong and kill Sae Dol. After that comes the training. Then he would have something in common with the monk.

To sum it all up I would have made Iljimae into dragedy more than silly comedy. There would be comedy here and there, it could still be saeguk. The balance would be as good as in Hoong Gil Dong. However what I didn't like about Hong Gil Dong was that it suddenly became so serious in the middle. In my Iljimae there wouldn't be such great change at once. In the beginning it would be funnier but after truth comes out bit by bit it would turn into more and more serious (yet still with funny scenes here and there) until BA BOOM! What I want to say the mood would get more and more tense. This makes it possible for the beginning to be REALLY funny.

There are countless of possibilities that screenwriter couldn't come up with.