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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The King's Face" Episode 11

2015/01/08 | 683 views | Permalink

Pieces were forced into place in this episode of "The King's Face". It is almost the halfway mark and something large needs to happen or change - that event is a compounded national and character shift. The Japanese invasion has begun in earnest, and Ga-hee enters the palace, most likely for good. The changes are welcome. It's just that the changes felt as fluid as the Tinman's joints before Dorothy found him.

The King's Face" tends to be overly dramatic. In other words, it's downright cheesy. The way rumors are spread resemble a Disney move gossip chain and the music is ridiculously emphatic during more emotional scenes when a quieter, rhythmic piece would be much more effective. Everything from music, to acting, to direction tends to shove the plot down our throats instead of drawing us in.

Also, there is one huge logical flaw that baffles me. In fact, it also baffles the major players who then miraculously understand the situation. Ga-hee is the daughter of a traitor. At that time, progeny of traitors were killed or sold into slavery. Ga-hee would not be accepted into the palace as the king's concubine under such conditions and the plot is twisted in order to get Ga-hee into the palace. It makes little sense. Or none.

The Japanese invasion from the south is the best thing to happen to the show thus far. The romance was (and is) staler than week-old bread, and where Gwanghae proved himself was in his brilliant protection of Joseon. That, and this will finally involve King Seonjo in the plot on a deeper level than that of a man who only makes threats.

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.

Written by: Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'

"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 Sung-jae, and Shin Sung-rok.


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