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BlancheNeige

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  1. Not to belittle CMS performance, he was very convincing in the role. But yeah, it was a very stereotype interpretation of a psychopath (which might be partly the directors fault tho). I mean he totally gave me the creeps in the intro, but after that he went a little overboard way too much. But yeah, audiences love those loud and very out there performances. And ofc the Oldboy fame is helping him as well and I guess LBH is often not taken as serious as some of his colleagues for various reasons, tho he isn't any less talented then them. But as soon as he's in a movie with SKH or CMS, they will probably automatically get the attention:/ Yes I'm very curious about those 2 taking on a disaster-themed movie. Esp. SKH, who we rarely see in more action heavy movies. I mean disaster movie can mean a lot of things. I would guess they have to stop the plane from crashing or something, that could also make for a very good thriller or drama with not too much action and explosions. Hollywood loves to make those kind of movies and they have gotten very stale over the last 10 years or so. It'll be interesting to see if a SK movie manages to bring something new and refreshing to this genre (like they did with train to busan). Whatever it may be, I'm looking forward to those two teaming up again and I'm sure there was something in that that made it worth both their time:) Finally a trailer! Or probably more a teaser, bc imo it was a little too short for a trailer? I hope we will get a full trailer soon. But it looks not bad so far. I hope they can pull off the CGI convincingly, didn't see much of that in the trailer. It at least looks more promising than most american disaster movies we have seen so far. Hope this will be big enough to be played in a cinema near me:/ I'm still very meh on LBHs look in that movie. Not sure if the hair or the beard is worse? But at least this only proofs that he doesn't need to rely on his look to leave an impression and steal the show (not that I ever thought that lol). Anyway, it's not as bad as it looked on that one pic and I'm sure his performance will be interesting enough as always to make me overlook that awful beard
  2. Well it is probably a discussion that will not really end anywhere anyway, since there are many different records that describe life back then in completely different ways, so it probably really is a matter of taste here. So let's just agree to disagree on this topic and move on:) The negative and unsatisfactory endings in KDramas (and CDramas) is definitely something that gets a little tiring over time. Tho I completely understand that Mr. Sunshine couldn't have ended any other way, but for Dramas that don't portray a specific time in history and don't have to pay respect to that, it is really unnecessary most of the time. Thank god I'm most of the time not that emotionally invested in those dramas or else it would be really depressing:/ Funnily, this is the only movie of his I've watched where I feel someone else stole the show from him lol I mean it's not the worst thing if it is SKH who's doing it since he's a phenomenal actor in his own right but yeah, I was not a big fan of the whole movie overall, so the characters in general also didn't do much for me. I'm generally not a fan of the overly cool bad boy characters, so thank god he mostly stays away from them and normally manages to give some kind of awkward aura even to the character so his that otherwise would have been the typically cool gangster as well (like in a bittersweet life or Inside Man for example). Tho the absolute bore of that movie was the Good for me. Probably what made that one so hard to watch for me lol I so wish ISTD would have toned it down a little on the explicit content. If it wasn't that gory I would have recommended it to so many people already. I get that it was necessary to show some of the things the killer had done in an explicit way for the audience to be on board with the things LBH's character does to him later on, but many things really went a little too far. Which is a shame since it is a masterfully directed and edited movie and from a technical standpoint and writing wise I can find no fault with it. I absolutely hate gory movies but I was unable to pause this one even for a second. Also great musical composition and the last 2 minutes were such a powerful ending. Really a shame:/ Yeah I think CMS did win some award for the role. I mean he was great as well, but I feel like he did the typical CMS thing he often does in those kind of roles. It was a Joker like performance (the crazy out there performances tend to get all the spotlight) , and while it was powerful, I'm always more for the down to earth subtle performances, which are far harder to do right in my opinion and sadly often get overlooked next to those more showy performances. So while I would never arguer that CMS gave a great performance in this movie and many others, in this case the clear standout for me still was LBH. There was much more gravitas and subtle rawness to his performance. I loved his performance in that movie and would probably rank it in his top 5 movie performances, but the movie itself fell short on being the masterpiece everybody praised it to be for me for one simple reason: The love story imo was absolutely unnecessary to the plot and was as shallow as it gets. Every time it came on, it totally dragged. I felt like it was the typical kind of shallow lovestory that was only there to have one, without making any real effort (tho the scene of him coming up with that unfortunate love poem was really sweet). I just saw no reason for him to fall for her other than him thinking she's beautiful and looks sad. His relationship with all the other characters tho was really great and the servant girl and his bodyguard dying in the end was really hard to watch. It's really rare that side characters grow on me in such a short amount of time, but they certainly did. Aside from that, his double performance was great to watch and I really loved the goodhearted nature of his character. Overall it reminded me a little of those Shakespeare tragic comedies and those historical movies that were done in the 90, when it was still more important to tell a powerful story with a positive and hopeful message than to simple go for gritty, dark and edgy. Hard to tell tho if I like this one or the Fortress better. Oh right, Emergency Declaration! So glad to see him team up with SKH again. I just really hope this is not another action driven disaster movie but more on the suspenseful thriller side. I'm glad he kinda went away from all the action heavy movies he did a lot in the last 10-15 years. I mean he is great at those but I like his movies were he can show of his nuanced dramatic acting far more. I'm glad the man standing next seems to be more focused on the relationship between the characters (at least from what he told in that one interview). Still looking forward the most to HERE and while it's probably not heavy on romance like most KDramas, there (hopefully) still might be a little bit of it in there like in LIVE. I kinda miss him in his more romantic roles and with Mr. sunshine he definitely proofed that he still is able to be convincing (which is a clear understatement lol) Tho ofc I know that it is more complicated now due to different reasons, so lets see:)
  3. Thanks, I'm glad you liked it:) I'm a total nerd for symbolism and leitmotivs, so this show really is a dream come true for me. Hard to find anything like that anymore sadly:/ I love that scene as well! I'm still amazed every time I watch it how it doesn't come across as totally cheesy romance kitsch. There is a really fine line there but it never crosses it, probably because the emotions are so deep, honest and heartfelt. I've felt especially bad for Eugene in that moment, being rejected by her grandfather for his American nationality AND his former slave status (and as you've said knowing that this would make them being together even more impossible than it already was) and then being told by Ae Shin to leave, thinking she really wanted him to go. The relive and surprise on his face when he saw her running after him gets me every time. Hard to say when Eugene is at his most handsome lol But the light in this scene really makes him look especially beautiful (as does the love and delight that is so clearly to see in his eyes. His expression is so open and vulnerable in that moment). As far as I know, only servants and a husband was allowed to touch a woman's feet (so this probably was more a rule for noblewoman) so this scene has a strong double meaning for me (there was a very similar thing in victorian and edwardian era england were it was absolutely scandalous for a woman to bare her ankles, so it doesn't sound far fetched at all) For one, I would say from Eugenes side it is an act of devotion and servitude to the woman he loves and Ae Shin not rejecting him touching her feet (I love how they so clearly focus on him cleaning her foot beforehand) and putting her shoe back on could be seen as a sign that in her heart, s he already accepted him as her rightful husband. It is a really tender and incredible intimate moment that shows both of them being completely vulnerable with each other and as you've said, no kiss could ever have the same weight as that for me. True! The writer clearly has a vast knowledge about about literature and the arts in general. I've also noticed that Mr. Sunshine is heavily influenced by the classics and a combination of how stories were told back then, but presented in a slightly modernized package (and is also able to go into much more depth in it's creation of characters since we have a much broader understanding of psychology today). It's the kind of story that probably would have been a classic for century's to come, had it been written 100-200 years ago, kinda like Les Miserables and War and Peace. This thoughtful review really brings that across as well.
  4. Oh of course! I didn't want to imply that people back then all were prudes. As you've said, there were enough children born out of wedlock. Still it wasn't the norm as it is today (given that protection back then wasn't as good as it is today, the number would be far higher if everyone did this). It was also far more common for people of lower classes to engage in such activities, especially when women are concerned (totally different case for man of course). Just because people engaged in such activities doesn't mean that society as a whole functioned like that. This goes especially for women of noble birth, who often had a sheltered upbringing and barely learned about these topics (and also were discouraged from exploring their sexuality. Especially women of higher birth were to be married off without a saying in it and were not taught to and mostly did not look forward to engagement in sexual activities and god forbid if they weren't virgins anymore on their wedding night. For the longest time, the female orgasm wasn't even a thing that was encouraged -aside from curing hysteria in Victorian England ... - That doesn't mean of course that there weren't exceptions to this and of course, the pruder the society, the more is lurking under the surface). When I compared touching to the equivalent to sex I meant it more in the metaphorical sense, simply because it was absolutely scandalous for a woman of noble birth to hug or hold hands with a man who was not her husband. Again, of course there were people who went against these social rules in private, but that doesn't mean all people back then did that since tradition and religion also played a big part in those things and many people didn't joke around with that back then (and many are firm on religious and traditional believes even now) Taking Ae Shins upbringing into account, which was extremely sheltered, I see her more as the former one (especially since she's been shown to be very traditional in many ways, aside from her tendencies to dress as a men and shoot people of course). What plays a far bigger part in this however is Eugenes attitude in this. He of course doesn't have the excuse of a sheltered upbringing and being a high ranking American soldier, no one would have batted an eye at him being more forward. However, as rubie already said, the class difference and Eugenes stance on their class difference (which came with big insecurities from his side) played a big part in him being this reserved and I never saw him completely letting go of this thinking that was burned into his mind from childhood on. He also suffered great trauma back in Joseon and America (and had a missionary as his only parental guardian for a long time). There are no indicators that he had any form of sexual relationships before he met Ae Shin, which makes complete sense given the circumstances he found himself in in America and it becomes very evident that he has problems with intimate physical contact. Which again is completely normal given his past. Not everybody is able to express their sexuality in a "normal" way, and not everybody is even interested in it. I don't think it is as easy as to say there were people back then had sex in private before marriage, and taking this as an indicator that a relationship that looked more like something society approved upon (I mean aside from the fact that no one would have approved of their relationship) can be called unrealistic, especially if one part of the couple had a sheltered upbringing and the other one deeply seated traumas. That aside, I know couples even today who won't kiss or have sex before marriage, simply because religion and upbringing taught them to do it like that and they are perfectly happy. This concept exists still today even in Europe (again, not every couple follows those rules in private, but many do simply because it is what they are believe to be right), so I don't see how this didn't hold true back then when people as a society were far more strict on matters like this. Granted, I wouldn't have cried "Unrealistic!" had they kissed in one of the last episodes (it would have been totally out of place for those two before their trip to Japan tho in my opinion). I guess the biggest contributing factor for them not kissing was the controversy with LBH and KTR acting together, but I also don't see how the absence of a kiss makes everything else they shared unrealistic. Movies and the media today are way to focused on the physical aspect of an relationship, without often taking the human part into account. We are completely numb to the finer nuances that really are the core of a functioning relationship. In their relationship, especially for Eugene, the comfort of human touch, as in finally finding belonging somewhere, was far more important than anything else, and nothing conveys that better than a hug, not even a kiss or sex. This is also how most stories from back in the day portrayed relationships and KES imo payed great homage to that. 99% of the classics I've read told the romance without a single kiss.. Now that doesn't mean that that completely reflects how people acted with each other in private back then before marriage, but there are also enough books who were absolutely scandalizing for the time and in some cases even got banned, who portray relationships that go against those norms and even in those books it becomes evident that not everyone back in the days threw conventions out of the window once they were in private). But all the historical context aside, there are relationships that are not overly sexual, no matter the age. Does that make the love of those people any less realistic or real? Not in my opinion at least (this isn't to say of course that they went with hyper realism in approach of the love story, but that of course is something completely different altogether). Anyway, I guess it's also just a matter of opinion of course and I mean no offense here. I personally just found it a very deep and honest representation of the values of love that rings more true to me than what we normally get presented these days and no kissing scene could take that away or even improve upon that, but of course everyone has different views on this:) @rubie Thanks for the welcome again:) Hope this drought on LBH news and appearances will finally end. It really has been going on for far too long:)
  5. I'm not that familiar with how promotion for Korean movies work, but I guess it's not normal for it to start THAT late, ? No trailer and not even official movie stills less than 2 months before a movie starts sounds like a really short time for promotions, especially for a movie with that kind of budget. I mean, maybe that's the angle they are going for, creating as much hype as possible so shortly before the movie comes to cinema? I really hope we will get something on the man standing next soon. Tho if they wait to prepare it for international film festivals that at least is a good sign for the quality of the movie. I doubt it's gonna be the next Parasite and win all the fame at Cannes (simply judging by the directors other works) but who knows. I'm personally not really a fan of Iris (the shaky camera really gave me nightmares and had absolutely no purpose other than being distracting lol) but him dying in the last 5 minutes really came totally out of nowhere. They really could have taken more effort to not make it seem like something they had to do because the actor choose not to return:/ I mean, of course everybody has different taste and I respect that, but the portrayal of the love story in Mr. Sunshine is actually one of the very few examples of an accurate presentation of how people behaved back then. A more passionate portrayal would be extremely modernized and westernized. The concept of kissing wasn't even a thing in many cultures back then, so them simply touching hands or even embracing (or god forbid, him touching her bare foot) while not being married was scandalizing and could be seen as an equivalent to having sex today. What we see in other historical kdramas and american historicals usually is not realistic for the time and culture. Nothing disgraceful about being the one drama that is actually realistic in that regard. I can't think of a more tasteful portrayal of romance back then. Doesn't of course mean that everybody has to like that:) Finally found my way here as well:) Not much to say about LBH that I didn't already say at the Mr. Sunshine site. Incredible actor, imo next to SKH the best Korea has at the moment. I wish there were more english speaking actors who are as versatile as he is and are able to portray this depth of emotions. It's really great to see how he is able to completely transform in his different roles. Even if he looks similar in some of his roles, the vibe he gives off is completely different for every character and there the devil really is in the details with him. Tho I think he gives an incredible performance in all of his movies (the one exception for me is The good, the bad, the weird. I didn't like his character and portrayal there) and always plays interesting characters, I'm often a little meh on the movies itself. He has some good ones, some kinda meh ones, but very few I would title as great. Let's hope the man standing next will fall in the last category. Performance wise my favorite of his (after his portrayal of Eugene ofc, which is the absolute best he ever was imo. But it's hard to compare with his movies ofc, since he has much more time to work out the fine details of his character) my favorite is without a doubt is performance in ISTD. Surely not the most complex character he ever played, but he gave such a raw and emotional and more subdued performance, it's hard to match that. There are many other great performances of his I'd like to go in detail about. Maybe another time:) Oh, and I'm really looking forward to HERE. I've recently watched LIVE from the same director, and I really liked the realistic and subtle approach she took with the characters. Never saw LBH portray such a kind of character, but if HERE is anything like LIVE in that regard, it'll be really interesting to see were he goes with this. Subtlety is one of his greatest strengths so I'm sure he's gonna shine, just hope his star charisma is not gonna hurt the realistic down to earth appeal the characters in LIVE had (tho he did a good job at this in Keyes to the heart, which partly could be due to the less glamorous look he had there. I kinda hope they don't go for that kind of glamorous look for HERE tho ... I'm kinda shallow like that lol)
  6. Thanks, I'll definitely stop by at the LBH thread at some point and will try to take part of the discussions going on here. It's always interesting to read the perspective of other people ... I mean most of the time Oh god, same here. I also tried to watch it with a friend once. She claimed that she loves it but she was on her phone half the time, so 90% of the nuances were lost on her. That was so frustrating. Well, guess not everyone can appreciate good art lol Oh well, I wrote some analysis on my tumblr blog. But I have to warn you, they are super long lol. If you are interested despite that, you can find two of them here and here. I have a few middle length ones on my blog as well but I'm mostly posting shorter ones on my twitter account now (in other words, I have no life lol But it's not my fault that there is so much to analyse about this show) Omg I absolutely love this essay. It just perfectly puts in words everything I love about this show. As a classic literature geek myself, I found myself reminded of so many great element from classics while watching the show. It's so rare that stories get told like that anymore. Love the special mention of the dialogue. There are many writers/directors who are able to write good and realistic dialogue (not a fan, but Tarantino for example is a master of dialogue) but in this show the dialogue really becomes a form of art itself. I love almost all aspects of this show, but if I had to pick one thing that stands out the most, I would probably pick the dialogue. I've been learning about storytelling and writing for some years now, but I've never seen anything like this before and was never aware that dialogue could be used in this way. Her reliance on certain words and phrases to create vivid images in the viewers head and strengthen different meanings and themes is really admirable and inspirational. Anyway, thanks so much for sharing this with us!
  7. I love that scene when they first hug! His almost expressionless face in that scene really tells so much about where his character is emotionally in that moment. On first watch I was a little surprised that he didn't hug her back in that scene. It took me a while to realize that he wasn't able to emotionally be completely invested in their relationship by then because he didn't trust her to really accept him for who he is. Great how they mirrored this scene with the later one in the apothecary when he finally was able to hug her back. Eugene in general is not a talkative character, so his acting in those moments really is all we have to get where he is emotionally. I think my favorite scenes that really showcase his talent for subtleness is when he asks her to do love with him (the realization on his face the moment she takes is hand and they touch for the first time. It is so subtle, but you just see that this moment shook him to his core and that 2 seconds after going along with his plan of using Ae Shin for his revenge, he already realizes that he's far too deep in and won't be able to do it. You can totally see how this realization makes him uncomfortable with his own feelings as well. The whole scene is full of subtle moments like that) and the scene when they have their confrontation on the ice (that's actually my favorite scene in the whole show because it's the turning point for both their characters. It is noticeable before that scene that Eugene has a lot of complexes with his past as a slave and that he isn't able to see himself as being worth more than his former status, but in this scene it gets especially evident. His whole monologue doesn't even give new information to the viewer, because we already know all the stuff that went down that day. But simply the way his voice breaks more than once and how he sometimes has to practically force himself to say certain words is so heartbreaking to watch and tells much more about how he views himself than 10 pages of info dump in dialogue could. He doesn't even give Ae Shin the chance to react properly. He went into that confrontation with his mind already made up about how Ae Shin would react to his revelation and that's just such a classic case of subconscious thought manifestation, it's really sad to watch. Simply the way he hesitates and is barely able to say the words "[What was it that shocked you, what the noble man said,] or was it my origin" tells so much about his character. If I had to point out my favorite moment acting wise, it would be that one. Yes I love that as well! The show strictly uses the show don't tell approach and that's so refreshing. Especially in recent years movies and shows mostly do it the other way around, always spoon feeding us information and it's really easy to get used to this approach, even tho it is not how it should work. I actually needed some adjusting to get used to finally seeing something more mainstream that required me to think about the deeper hidden meaning behind words and actions. It's easy to write some parts of the show off as lazy writing or simply not logical, when in reality in most cases it is just done in way that requires the viewer to make connections to different scenes and think about stuff without getting it spelled out for them (which doesn't mean that the show is completely free of some improbable events happening ...) How is your friend liking it so far?(I've watched it the first time with my sister and it took away a little from my joy of watching it to see that she wasn't moved by some of the stuff happening at all lol). I've seen the show 4 times by now and I still find new stuff every time I revisit a scene. Just recently I did some analysis of some of the symbolic clues in some of the scenes and I had some completely new realizations. That's really a sign for the quality of the show.
  8. Thanks for the warm welcome! I don't even know why it took me so long to finally post on here, but reading all those old posts really makes me wish that I already was here when the show aired so I could share my thoughts with all the sunshiners who were active during those days. Glad to see that some are still here to this day. I've been mostly active on tumblr over the last months posting my analysis and metas for this wonderful show, but the fandom there is so dead by now, I feel like I'm talking into a void. From all the posts I've read from back when the show aired, I feel like some people really didn't treat Ae Shin fairly. Maybe the problem is that no matter how romantic Mr. Sunshine is, it isn't a romance drama like most typical KDramas. For a typical romance drama, I would have other expectations as well but I think the show made perfectly clear from early on that this wasn't that kind of drama. I think KES has done a wonderful job with Ae Shin, giving us a heroine that is strong, but not overbearingly so, who has a soft and naive side and real goals that aren't self motivated in any way, but she's also allowed to have faults. Even with typical strong female characters, we hardly ever get such a range of things. Sure she is treating Eugene a little unfairly now and then. It's frustrating and heartbreaking to watch, but that actually makes her more human and not a badly written character as some people suggest. I hate how women are held to higher standards than men in some ways. I also wish that she would have behaved differently in some scenes, but she is only human like all the other characters, and making choices we as the viewers don't personally agree with doesn't make her a badly and inconsistent written character. On the other hand, male characters are held to higher standards in different ways as well. I've read my fair share of comments about people calling Eugene a weak and spineless man, who doesn't deserve a strong woman like Ae Shin. This particularly coming from people who think she would be far better matched with Dong Mae makes me question what some people deem as real strength for male characters. Eugene lacks in terms of typical male values like pride, possessiveness or violent tendencies. He is untypically demure, insecure (in certain situations), soft and subservient for a male character and shows far more feminine traits than all the other characters. That's something we hardly see in fiction and it's a little sad how some people call those (typically feminine) traits a weakness and think he's a wimp. People always cry that they want strong female characters. But for one, you can't have a strong female character and pair her off with someone aggressively male, that just doesn't work, and it's also a little hypocritical to expect reshaping of outdated gender norms only for female characters but make fun of it as soon as the same concept is used for male characters :/ Not to be judgemental because I know like any art, acting is very subjective to some degree, but the people who complained about LBH not putting any effort in his performance don't seem to know much about acting and types of different acting styles that are required depending on characterization. Not saying anything about those who simply don't like him, because that's totally fine. If you like an actor or not has only partly to do with his acting skills. There are immensely skilled actors who I don't like as well, but that's a matter of taste and I would never call them bad actors. So yeah, like any art it is subjective to a degree, but calling LBH a bad actor is as wrong as calling Daniel D. Lewis a bad actor. LBH can be extremely expressive when he chooses to be, but this role required him to be subtle and sometimes even expressionless. It's part of his character. Eugene simply doesn't know how to express himself in the beginning. He was part of the military for a long time and clearly didn't form any human connections aside from Kyle (the only person with whom he is extremely expressive even in the beginning. No idea how people didn't catch that) so it's only logical for him to be extremely closed off. It's unfair to compare his performance to that of others who are allowed to show their characters expressing themselves more freely. And I honestly can't name many actors, even in hollywood, who would be able to do this kind of subtle acting. LBH is a character actor, they hardly ever do the over-expressive showy acting like many actors do. Sadly, there are not many actors who are able to do this kind of acting, so I guess people are just not used to it (maybe it's good that I only got here after the show aired. I would have done nothing but arguer with people lol) I'll definitely be here for "Here"! I've recently watched Live (one of the very few kdramas I was able to finish) and I'm really excited to see what he is able to do with a more slice of life character. Hope that new drama will be more like "Live" than "It's ok, that's love"
  9. Great point! I'm still a little on the fence with how to view Ae Shins actions in some of the later episodes. While it is completely understandable and natural to do everything in your power to protect your loved ones, it was still not her decision to make. In some way, her pushing him away and thereby hurting Eugene immensely is not totally different from Dong Mae cutting her hair without asking for her consent first in order to protect her (but of course it's not nearly the same extreme and there is absolutely no excuse for his behavior). Both acts were done out of love, but in a misguided way and both inflicted a different kind of harm. That is not to say that Ae Shin is not allowed to break up with Eugene if she wants to, but she choose to take on a lot of responsibility when giving Eugene a home to finally belong to. Eugene feeling like he never belonged anywhere and the sense of worthless he felt because of that was always his biggest source of pain and so deeply rooted inside of him that he only could commit to her completely when she offered him a place at her side. In retrospective I feel like she didn't fully understand what this act really meant to Eugene and I do fault her for the way in which she tried to cut him out of her life. While I get that her intentions were meant to protect him, by then she should have known Eugene well enough to know that not even death would be more painful for him then to be left alone again and tossed aside like that. I mean, Ae Shin made it clear from the very start that Joseon always came first, and while in a way that is a little sad, given how devoted Eugene is to her, at least she never pretended otherwise and no one can fault her for that. However, Eugene didn't ask her to choose him before Joseon, he merely wanted to walk the same path as her, no matter where that might lead them and she never until that moment make it seem like she wouldn't accept that. That being said, of course Ae Shin is only human and I love that she is not a perfect character who constantly makes the right decisions. It makes her way more realistic and it is a logical reaction on her part. She just witnessed the loss of her whole family. It's hard to expect her to act all rational. But where she definitely lost many points in my book was her cold and short farewell right after they arrived in Japan. If Eugene hadn't stopped her their last moment together would have been nothing than a few cold words from her. Making the goodbye so short was solely for her own benefit as to not make it any harder on herself, without taking into account what kind of impression that would give to Eugene and how much pain and doubt it would cause him. That was definitely her most selfish act in the whole show for me. ________________________ I love this show so much! It's not only my favorite KDrama (which isn't to say much) but my favorite show in general. I'm generally more a fan of character driven atmospheric storys and man, this show really delivers in that regard. I've rarely seen a story that delivers such a dense atmosphere. From the visuals to the music to the story portrayed, it is so rich. The characters are all have their own story to tell and the supportive relationships the 5 main characters form is simply beautiful and inspiring to watch. I wish there would be more stories that focus on those positive human emotions and how people come together and help each other in times of struggle - especially in historical settings we don't see something like that very often. I prefer this above all those gritty and dark storys we often see in a setting like this. The cinematography here is outstanding, but even better is most of the time spot on editing. There are many movies and shows that have nice visuals these days, but here the pictures don't simply look nice, they are full of visual storytelling and symbolism. Combined with the great editing and music it often almost looks like a poem come to life. I've never seen anything quite like it before even with movies that mainly focus on visual storytelling. I'm not even gonna start on the clever and deep way the dialogue is written, because then I would probably never stop talking. That aside, I'm not really a fan of romance, because mostly it's done in a really shallow and cliche way but the love story presented here is probably the best depiction of love I have ever seen. They show how powerful the simple act of holding each others hands or hugging someone can be when in modern days these things have become such a mundane thing. There is no need to show them kissing, because everything they have done during the show portraits their deep love for each other far better. In a way, they were comrades first and then lovers, just like people in real life should not only be in love with each other, but best friends as well. Showing how they slowly fall in love and get to know each other better was bittersweet to watch. It was especially beautiful to see how they learned things about themselves and the world from each other and helped each other to grow and become better versions of themselves. It's refreshing that by episode 9 they already made their feelings for each other clear and it wasn't the typical will they/wont they for the whole show. Good performances from the whole cast, but especially from Kim Tae Ri and Lee Byung Hun. KTR has such a refreshing and unique face and presence and she really is a natural. She really shines especially in her more naive and vulnerable moments. I'm really looking forward to seeing more from her in the future. She deserves all the praise she got for this. LBH definitely was the star of the show for me. He probably had the most thankless job out of the main cast, especially in the beginning. His character often was extremely restricted in the way he could express himself, but even in moments when he was completely stone faced, he just radiated emotions and I could always feel that there was some stronger emotions brewing beneath the stony facade. In the moments when he was able to freely show emotions it is beautiful to watch. I've rarely seen an actor who is able to express such a huge range of emotions in such a deep and convincing manner. The things he can express with his eyes alone. His micro expressions and general presence do the rest. Overall a really wonderful show. It will take a long time until I might find something that will surpass this one. (Also, still surprised how this absolute gem and DOTS could come from the same writer. That's what I call progress)
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