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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Hwarang" Episode 1

2016/12/20 | 2554 views | Permalink

"Hwarang" is in every way as fun and lively as it was promoted to be. There is a touch of gravity to even out the levity and many of the flower boys have been introduced. Director Yoon Seong-sik ("Bridal Mask", "Lee Soon-sin is the Best", "The King's Face") delivers fresh cinematography while drama special writer Park Eun-yeong-I definitely has a touch for trendy dialogue and writing.

Park Seo-joon is charming as Moo-myeong is as charming as always with a touch of comedic. Joining him is Lee Kwang-soo as Mak-moon who is the master of physical comedy and together they make up a silly pair who steal into the capital to find Mak-moon's family. It starts an adventure inside the insulated capital where the first meet-cute between Moo Myeong and Aro (Go Ara) takes place and we trickle through meetings with the flower bloys Soo-ho (SHINee's Minho), Ban-ryu (Do Ji-han), and the young king (Park Hyung-sik). We meet the rather one dimensional power-hungry queen, Ji-so (Kim Ji-soo), and the man who gathers the flower boys, Wi Hwa-gong (Sung Dong-il). All of the introductions are pretty typical of fusion sageuk, complete with K-pop in the background, testy beautiful men, a couple of fights and showing off how amazing they are.

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The main intrigue is between a group called True Bones and those who are not. Queen Ji-so wishes to retain power and is emotionally withholding towards her son. This is most definitely a key point to be played on and the future presence of a legion of flower boy guards for the young king will definitely develop that. Go Ara is a poor story teller who is working to make ends meet, but she is, too, a True Bone so with many happenstance meetings, she will likely be drawn into the central intrigue. We have yet to meet a few of the promoted characters, but we have met idol V in his acting debut, which is sure to make many BTS Army fans happy (including me!)

For a first episode, this was pretty typical in terms of writing and execution. This does not mean that it wasn't entertaining. It was very entertaining. I just hope for more development starting next week. I'm anticipating this week to be purely plot set up and showing off the beauty of the boys.

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Written by: Lisa Espinosa AKA Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'

"Hwarang" is directed by Yoon Seong-sik, written by Park Eun-yeong-I, and features Park Seo-joon, Go Ara, Park Hyung-sik, Seo Ye-ji, Minho, and Do Ji-han.

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