REVIEW: The Princess’ Man

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source: everythingchineseandkorean.tumblr.com

After watching Arang and the Magistrate, I decided to watch other similar sageuks that I didn’t get the chance to watch. The Princess’ Man was definitely listed next. It’s been a week since I finished watching this drama and I had to say that every scene still lingers over my head.

Plot. Hardcore heavy drama. The Korean version of Romeo and Juliet, with a twist. Kim Seung-yoo, our Romeo, falls in love with our Juliet, Lee Se-ryung, the daughter of Grand Prince Suyang who is responsible for the demise of his family. Despite its similarity with the famous Shakespeare tragedy, the Seung-Ryung love story has one element that I truly like: it was never love-at-first-sight. It all started with pure curiosity that blossomed into a deep-rooted romance.

The story begins when Lee Se-ryung learns about her impending arranged marriage with Kim Jong-seo’s son, Kim Seung-yoo. Out of curiosity, she decides to swap places with Princess Kyunghye and attend the royal lesson to catch a glimpse of her intended husband.

With the death of King Munjong, the whole world started to lose its colors for the lovebirds as Grand Prince Suyang started the wave of bloodshed towards the throne. He annihilated every court officials that are against him, including Kim Seung-yoo’s family whom he considers one of his biggest political threats. I believe you already have an idea of what happens next…

I really like how the writers carefully recreated history with this drama. Although some people might find this misleading, it will still give you the urge to know more about Korea’s history especially for non-Koreans like me.

With Romeo-and-Juliet and sageuk combined, lust for power, bloodshed, and tragedy are to be expected. The ending pierced my heart, but I was satisfied.

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Cast and Characters. This is probably one of the few dramas that I would highly commend each actors’ brilliant performance.

Park Si-hoo as Kim Seung-yoo. Very, very impressive. This drama completely turned the tables on how I see Park Si-hoo. I felt the depth of Kim Seung-yoo’s character through Park Si-hoo’s brilliant performance. He perfectly executed the many faces of Kim Seung-yoo:

Moon Chae-won as Lee Se-ryung. I’ve seen a number of K-series starring Moon Chae-won and with the number of characters she has played, I think Se-ryung would be my favorite. Lee Se-ryung’s personality is a fusion of being feisty yet charming, careless yet elegant, a little bit of a tomboy but feminine, and definitely strong yet fragile. Moon Chae-won’s versatility as an actress brought out the best in Lee Se-ryung’s character.

I love Moon Chae-won’s chemistry with Park Si-hoo: they complement each other perfectly…

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Hong Soo-hyun as Princess Kyunghye. This character received my sympathy as she was the one who lost the most: her royal status, family, and even her pride. At first I expected that I would really be annoyed with Hong Soo-hyun because of her resting bitch face, but eventually I learned to understand her character more. She needs to be strong to protect the monarch from the usurping threats of his uncle and she’s the only one that the young king can depend on.

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I also love how she finally learned how to love her husband.  **SPOILER ALERT** It was heartbreaking to see her swallow her pride and accept defeat by kneeling in front of Suyang just to save her husband. **END OF SPOILER** 

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source: yooneun-hye.tumblr.com

Lee Min-woo as Jung Jong. Another character that will definitely catch your heart. Honestly speaking, my first impression of Jung Jong wasn’t that good either, just like when the Princess first met him. Aside from the fact that his family is debt-ridden and he’s not as courageous and charming as his two other friends, it may appear that this guy is definitely not the one you would want to spend the rest of your life with.

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With the turn of events, I really admired this character and he earned my respect. He was a gentleman and patiently waited for Princess Kyunghye to love him in return. You won’t see him sword-fight against his enemies, but he was courageous enough to stand for his beliefs and risk his life to protect it.

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Song Jong-ho as Shin Myeon. Disappointment. That’s how I feel every time I see his face on the screen. He wasted not only his friendship with Seung-yoo and Jong, but he wasted his whole damn life because of his poor decision-making skills. It is true that he may be forced to side with Suyang because of his father, but at the end of the day the choice is still on his hands. He was also given a lot of opportunities to change a lot of things and prevent unnecessary bloodshed, but he still chose the other way around.

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Kim Yong-cheol as Grand Prince Suyang. I really appreciate Suyang’s scenes with Se-ryung as it shows us how deeply he cherish his daughter. It also gives us a deeper understanding of why Se-ryung cannot fully detest her father. Although it is to be expected that a daughter cannot fully detest her father, the scenes gives us a glimpse of Suyang’s gentle side.

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source: braaaaadley.tumblr.com

Production.

At the beginning of the story, we see a lot of vibrant and lavish hanboks which may represent the state of our characters. But if you paid any attention to the characters’ costume, you’ll notice how things have changed and their lives losing its colors.

 

I also appreciate the OSTs selected for this drama. It was perfect in setting the mood while watching.

It’s been a while since I last watched a heavy drama like The Princess’ Man. It wasn’t a perfect drama but it will definitely be tattooed in everyone’s heart.

“Although I lost my sight, I have retrieved my heart. Although I lost the desire for revenge, I got you instead. –Kim Seung-yoo

Final verdict: ♥ ♥ ♥   [4/5]

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