Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Review: Damo

Damo is not a typical Korean movie where the loves between characters are clearly lined. The lead characters in Damo – Chae Ok, Commander Hwangbo and Jang Sung Baek – struggle in defining and fighting for what they consider as right, what they believe in.

As the differences in their position and status make it impossible for her and Commander Hwangbo to be anything more than what they are, Chae Ok tries to kill her unbounded love for the man she has loved since fate brought them together.

On the other hand since the day he saw the little girl with blistered feet and carried her on his back, Commander Hwangbo has felt responsible for her. With his complicated background he understands her pains and loneliness. Since then on they have become inseparable.

It took him sometimes to realise that his feelings for her are more than what a master normally felt toward his beloved servant – not that he ever thinks of her as his servant.

As the best King’s Commander, it is no wonder that Commander Hwangbo ends up with the task to catch an illusive insurgent’s leader, Jang Sung Baek who has made himself a Royal headache.

And naturally Chae Ok considers it her duty to do her best in catching Jang Sung Baek as well.

However, when she meets him she is inexplicably drawn to him. She doesn’t understand why she couldn’t bring her self to hurt him or why she falls in love with him loving Commander Hwangbo as she does.

Chae Ok has to strugle with only her unquestionable loyalty to carry out her duty.

But her loyalty towards Commander Hwangbo means death for the man who she denies to love. But not catching Jang Sung Baek also means death for the man whom she loves with her whole heart although she would never admit her feelings no matter what.

Not even when she finally knows that Commander Hwangbo also loves her.

I must tell you that I decided not to watch this drama when I started it and saw a final fighting scene between Chae Ok and Jang Sung Baek which they put as the first scene.Thinking that it was nothing more than a regular love turns to hate drama. Thinking that it was just another star crossed love story. However, I decided to give it another five minutes. And as the movie continued I fell in love with Commander Hwangbo.

I like the fact that despite his rather sad background he could rise and stand tall and become such an admirable man. But what I love most about him is his love for Chae Ok.

Although he also tried to kill his love for her, not because of their differences in position and status, for he cared nothing about that, but because that’s what Chae Ok wanted, in the end his true feelings win.

He could no longer deny that he truly and  sincerely loves her. That he loves her more than anything else. Even more than his own honor. And that says a lot being such an honorable man that he is.

I cried an ocean when Hwangbo finally realised who Jang Sung Baek really was. I cried an ocean because by then I knew what it meant. Loving Chae Ok as much as he does, Hwangbo would never have a chance when he fights Jang Sung Baek.

When my fears came true I cried another ocean and lashed out at the script writers for making the movie ended so tragically.

Yes, I hate the ending. I really really hate it.

Having said that, I have to be fair and say that Damo is a very good series. One of its kind. Way much better than Jumong. It’s worth your time and your tears.

I don’t recommend you to see Jumong. I bought it and have no plan to finish it. I’m not even willing to swallow my disappointment when I saw how the story went. I feel cheated by those who recommended Jumong as the biggest romance of the centuries. What romance!

Those people really need to watch Damo to learn what true love really means. Potato Boy (Sodongyo/Song of the Prince) is even better than Jumong when one wants to talk about the biggest love stories between ancient characters.

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