Oh my god I’m so in love with this; or more precisely, with Cha Seung Won. God bless Cha Seung Won. May he live forever and ever and keep acting for eternity. He’s done all kinds of roles and only needed to be a king! And what a king! The most charismatic and conflicted king out there. You can’t possibly hate those pleading and melancholic eyes!
In the two episodes, CSW eyes haunted me. I found myself actually crying when his eyes filled and he looked so miserable and so lonely. The loneliness evolving him is so intolerable. He can neither scream it out nor are the people he cares about standing by his side. He has been doing everything to have Haneum Lee Deok Hyung -the prime minister- by his side but eventually and because of people moving in the background he loses him. That look of supplication and despair as Gwanghae tells Haneum that he really wanted him to go together and achieve their dreams broke my heart; literally.
You can evidently see his inner conflict and pain. He really cares about his younger sister. He wants to keep his promise to her. He’s still haunted by Imhae’s death and he hates hurting his family. You can see all this. And at the same time, you can see the scarred child who’s still suffering because he was born the child of a concubine. He has great ambitions and dreams: ”My Joseon will be different”, so he has to ”sacrifice” things. No matter how hard he tries to avoid some dreadful sacrifices, he finds them inevitable -thanks to the bitch and asshole behind the scenes. Excuse my French!-.
His father and the politicians of the country turned him into an insecure king; one who is not able to improve his country and the lives of his people because of opposition and his fear of his so much younger brother; the true blood. ”There’s no such thing as a little child in court.”
He could finally bring the Uniform Tax Law into life but then he had to face all the opposition of moving the capital. No one even cared to hear his argument. They objected simply because it was Gwanghae. And they didn’t trust Gwanghae; they didn’t want him. His weaponry inventions and experiments to build a stable and strong defence line shows how much he cares about Joseon. At the same time, he has to conduct them all in secret. He knew better.
What’s killing me the most is his black attire. Damn it! Tell him NOT to wear that. I keep missing the conversation. His passionate defence of his dreams and thoughts is so heart throbbing. And if I can invent a new expression, I would say, his voice is on fire and I’m caught in the flames.
Then comes Jeong Myung. The child actress is giving us so much to anticipate once Lee Yeon Hee is on screen. The princess is free-spirited, strong, kind, trusting and articulate. Her care for her younger brother reveals so much of her loving character. She rejects her defined role as a woman and a princess and is eager to explore the world. But still, her family comes first. When she goes out in the world, her expectations scatter and she starts noticing the ugly side of the world. Then epiphany hits her and another side to her loving brother; Gwanghae, is revealed to her.
Between her fears and her disbelief, the 13-year old princess finds herself having to take some crucial and life twisting decisions. Fate, omens and prophesies are emphasised here especially when it comes to Jeong Myung. Is she really an ominous child and does her fate affect the country?! What about Haneum’s words that a person is stronger than their fate?! Can she change her fate?
Speaking of Haneum, god bless whoever cast the man. With all the typical actors acting the same roles in every sageuk, having Lee Sung Min acting the benevolent, bold, loyal and wise Lee Deok Hyung is a relief. I love how he always speaks his mind and never cowers in front of Gwanghae. I wished he’d stay on Gwanghae’s side. No matter how evil he might turn out to be, I’m always on Gwanghae’s side. I bet you know the reason.
How influential is the court ladies’ role? Kim Yeo Jin acting Gae Shi is one pleasant surprise. She’s an interesting character; strong, shrewd, manipulative and governing. She’s responsible for all the behind-scenes plots to give Gwanghae the ultimate power -oblivious as he is of many-. Behind the scenes is her playground. She decides and moves Yi Cheom who moves others. Her loyalty is dangerous. How far would she go to serve the one person who recognised her and treated her as a human being? Seeing how far she’s gone already!
Speaking of everyone’s favourite; Yi Cheom played by Jung Woong In (just kidding don’t kill me). His hatefulness can still disgust me; strangely. I should have gotten used to it by now. How much of his actions come from his pure loyalty and how much is his selfish desire?! Let’s wait and see.
The drama is called Splendid Politics and it’s all about it. There are some questions that have been tackled in the two episodes and I’m sure more to come. How much of politicians decisions is selfish caprice and how much is true concern and care about the people of their country? What exactly is loyalty? And what on earth is treachery? How much of the history given to us is accurate and how much had been manipulated?
The child actors are doing awesomely preparing us for the gorgeous adults and telling us much about their personalities. Can’t wait.
Two things I don’t like much, first is the typical cast and second thing is rushing the events. I mean I know they want to bring the adult cast to screen quickly but this is a 50-episode drama. They could’ve presented more of Gwanghae’s first years as a king!
Jeong Myung’s last words and dragging Yeong Chang outside the palace left me so curious. I’m not reading or watching anything about the era or any of the historical characters before I finish the drama. I’m not biased or anything.