Not because I am a huge fan of Kim Hyun Joong. Not because this is his awaited comeback. But besides all these reasons, there are a lot more to give to say that the premiere was what I really am expecting and much more! The teasers that promised a compelling and riveting drama was delivered. The huge action scenes I have come to memorize from all the trailers are choreographed and executed very well. The short presence of Kim Hyun Joong in the first part of the drama was well acted upon, enough to tease me as a viewer that his hard work is paying off.
The huge budget the production team has for this drama is translating through the quality of the drama. Every scene is well executed and well written. I love how the scenes were edited. Just right for the next scene. So far I am loving the cinematography. The episode showed continuity from the present times where adult Shin Jung Tae was shown in a fighting scene to earn money for his sister's medicines to the life of young Jung Tae as the breadwinner and the keeper of his sister. As Jung Tae character, I believe, both showed the same fierce and passion the character needed.
First, let me applaud Kwak Dong Yeon as young Jung Tae for a job well done. His portrayal of the role is very convincing, his emotions are not over the top but just right. His face can capture the audience's awe in his passionate and emotional scenes. I think, developing the character of Jung Tae won't be hard for KDY and for the writer. A lot is still to offer.
I love the opposite characters of the two main girls as Gaya and Ok Ryeon. Gaya is a reserve and cool person yet feisty. While Ok Ryeon is a cheerful one and more open to people around her. I think it's because of their different backgrounds. Gaya has been living a tough life with her father. Ok Ryeon while she is a daughter of a gisaeng, she is living a modest one. She was surrounded by people she can talk to like Jung Tae and some ladies at the gisaeng house.
The adorable part is the bromance between Jung Tae and Jjang Ddol. Pilot episode showed how they stick with each other through thick and thin.
The story opened with the adult Gaya showing her fierce personality. Then to Jung Tae in a fight. He was down, and everyone in the place [ maybe a warehouse or something] was cheering for what's happening and betting to who will win. His opponent was waiting, sure of his win already. But Jung Tae stood up, maybe energized with the reason why he was there and should win. He fought with knowledge, with skills and outwitted his opponent. While he was making a fist with his arms to the chant of the people around, his opponent traitorously knocked him in head. He was down and bleeding.
He looses but still got some money. The man who I think is the organizer of the fight was urging him to take another fight and promised him a big reward.
Next scene was in the pub where JungTae stopped for a drink. But the man who he fought with came and was provoking him, pouring his drinks over his head. The man used the girl in the pub by slapping her and hitting her. That's when JT stood up and beat the hell out of him.
Wang Baek San came and talked to him and told him to go to a place in the mountains. He boarded a ship then flashbacks.
Jung Tae was earning money through pulling a rickshaw. He and his friend Jjang Ddol are both doing it. Jung Tae saved his earnings for his sister's medical expenses. One night he saw a young girl being bullied by two men and because he could not stand seeing it, he fought with them. They went away. Gaya was at first not thankful for she knew those guys and that they will be back, but Jung Tae told her not to worry and just look for him. He told her his name but she never told hers. But the meeting left a curiosity to Gaya. Jung Tae put medicine on her wounded palm.
Ok Ryeon was looking over at the pharmacy. Her affections towards Jung Tae is not a secret. People teased her about it and she doesn't mind. Jung Tae went there and bought something. I think the feelings are mutual. But not serious. I felt Gaya's attraction to Jung Tae when she came looking for him at the place where he usually is with Jjang Ddol. They met again. Jung Tae let her ride the rickshaw for free, That short moment they spent together was enough to somehow develop attachment if not friendship.
Jung Tae was hardworking but Jjang Ddol always found himself in difficult situations. As a friend, he showed his support and protection.
Towards the ending, the money he saved was gone. And it all pointed out towards a group of gangsters led by Hwang Bong Sik and PoongCha. He was not afraid to face them. He called them and fought. PoongCha was too tough for him. In the end, he held his legs as he recounted how hard he earned those money.
This scene put a huge lump in my chest while watching it. So simple yet it connected. Jung Tae in his weakest moment begging for the money.
I have a feeling that somehow he attracted Bong Sik and Poong Cha's attention. He was so strong and not easily frightened.
The drama unfolded a short background of Jung Tae, Gaya and Ok Ryeon. How these lives will tangle is something interesting to look for.
some screen caps only
too lazy to edit..:))
will add more later...