Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Moon Embracing The Sun

Title: The Moon Embracing The Sun / Haereul Poomeun Dal / 해를 품은 달
Genre: Classic, Palace Intrique, Drama
Cast: Kim Soo Hyun as Lee Hwon, Han Ga In as Heo Yeon Woo / Wol
Directors: Kim Do-Hoon, Lee Sung-Joon
Scriptwriter: Jin Soo-Wan from same title novel by Jung Eun-Gwol (2005)
Broadcast Network: MBC
Number of episodes: 20
Runtime per episode: 65 min
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

The Moon Embracing The Sun OST on 4share.

“In the beginning, there were two suns and two moons. But day was too hot, and night too cold. All of creation was thrown into chaos, and the people in misery. It was then that a hero appeared and shot one sun and one moon out of the sky with arrows, and brought peace to the world.”
The Moon Embracing The Sun is a fictional classic story setting in Joseon Dinasty (now known as Korea). TMETS is about a journey of a young crown prince and his beloved and choosen crown princess before they could be together as King and Queen, which in the way the King should face so many palace intrique and political issues while the future Queen undergo so many perturbation and affliction.

The story began with the shocking murders of a noble prince, the present King half brother, that in some people eyes was a thread to the King's authority. By this scene, we could see how much power some ministers had plus how the Queen Dowager play her ilicit capacity. As much as the King wanted to fight it, he didn't have the capacity nor the stregth.

From L to R, Prince Yang Myeong,
Crown Prince Lee Hwon, Heo Yeom and Kim Chae Woon
Meanwhile, The Chief Scholar Heo Yong Jae, one of the few man that still loyal to the King, had three main deciples. One was his only son, the handsome Heo Yeom, one was Yang Myeong, a prince but born from a concubine mother, and the other was the fast sword Kim Chae Woon. Woon had this lovely face that came from his gisaeng mother and a calm noble nature from his noble father, a some sort Official Governor or something. Just like Prince Yang Myeong, Woon did not had many advantages as noble birth because of his mother lineage.

Heo Yong Jae also had a beautiful smart and modest daughter name Heo Yeon Woo. Once when she went to the Palace to attend her brother and Woon honored as best scholar and best cavalier, she met a boy whom she thought was a thief. When she called for the guards, this boy grabbed her hand and run and hide under a bridge. After convincing her that he wasn't a thief, he was amazed by her knowledge and her confident to criticizing some of the Palace laws. Yeon Woo did not realised that this boy was the The Crown Prince Lee Hwon until she was at home and read his note gave to her by a court lady. Later, his brother Heo Yeom was  designated to be Crown Prince's mentor, and from him, the crown prince learn about her more, admire her and started to had feeling for her. She in the other hand, although started to admire him and his idea of how should a King would be, worried that he would still be angry to be called a thief.

Young Crown Princess Heo Yeon Woo
Some times later, the Queen Dowager wanted the King to start choosing the Crown Princess, the future wife for the King. She wanted Minister Yoon Dae Hyun's daughter, Yoon Bo Kyung to be selected, so both she and Minister Yoon could also puppet the future King. But the Crown Prince sure to have his own will, and after the King met Heo Yeon Woo -she was Princess Min Hwa study friends- he also favor this girl for her vast knowledge, kindness and modesty. After some tricky political treat from the Crown Prince and The King against Minister Yoon and Queen Dowager, much to Prince Lee Hwon delight, she was named the Crown Princess. Not to everyone perceived, this event scared Prince Yang Myeong heart's deeply, for he also had feeling for Yeon Woo. But he buried this in a smile and just walk away. The only one noticed about it was Woon and his sharp eyes.

Not admiting their lost, Minister Yoon and Queen Dowager made another evil scheme. Using Princess Min Hwa desire for Heo Yeom, they made her a means to put dark magic to Yeon Woo and killed her. Fortunately, Jang Nok Young, the head shaman that they forced to do the dark magic ceremony, had promised to her death friend - who was in life debt to Yeon Woo's mother - to protect Yeon Woo no matter what. So she planned to fake her death. The noble birth Crown Princess Heo Yeon Woo was death and buried, but then digged up again by the shaman, lost her memories and lifed again as commoner shaman in far away village.

Meanwhile, the Crown Prince left broken hearted and learn the hardest lesson of his life, as a man and as a political pawn. Added to this, his father suddenly stop the investigation and his half brother came with the same bleeded heart and rage anger, blaming him who could not protect one young girl. He never been the same again. His eyes lost the sparkle, except for the sparkle of hate towards Minister Yoon. His lips never smile, except for the cynical smile he gave the man in his court. He never said anything nice to anyone, and he dare not trust to say anything that he feel or think except infront of two men, his eunuch Hyung Sun and Woon, now his personal guards.

Eight years later, things are changed and somehow the same. Heo Young Jae died of illness not long after his daughter sudden death. Heo Yeom married to Princess Min Hwa. Crown Prince Lee Hwon, now King, forced to have Yoon Bo Kyung as his Queen, but their marriage never consummated. The court still rule by Minister Yoon and his accomplishes. Prince Yang Myeong still live free spiritedly. But, I guess faith could not be cheated forever. By some bizzare chance, the King and his guard, Woon, who decided to wondered alone met a young shaman who did not have recognition to her past. Her face reminded the King of her beloved Yeon Woo, while her knowledge and assertiveness astonished him. Because she had no name, he name her Wol (means Moon), in memory of his lost moon. He constantly should reminded himself that she was not her, but this made him wanted to investigated more about her death years ago. Back in the Palace he ask Hong Gyu Tae, a royal police that he knew still had loyalty to him and some bravery in his bones to ask around.

The King's rejection towards his Queen did not escape the Queen Dowager's eyes. So she sent a word to bring back Shaman Jang Nok Young to the capital, in order to strengthen her position and to 'cure' the King so he can intimately received the Queen and produce a heir.

"Don’t come close! But don’t go far…"
King Lee Hwon and Wol, confused
By accident, some fool thought that Wol was a powerful virgin shaman and secretly put her in King's chamber to eliminate bad magic. As much as Woon suprised, he kept it to himself. The King did slept better and awake -much to his own suprise- a happier man. So one night he pretend to take his sleeping tea and want to know what the scheme. He was totally confused and shocked to find Wol at his bedside but then worried and relieved at the same time. Worried if Wol is some kind of spy his opponent sent to him, relieved because deep down he wanted to see her again, also relieved it was her that calm the nightmare and longing he had been having. To Wol, this experience -his touched, his face, his smile - became more and more frightening to her, she started to have vision of someone else's happy and hopeful lifes. Buried memories that came knocked on her concious door.

So things became so much interesting. The same handwritting of Wol and young Yeon Woo noticed by Woon and then by the King. Gyu Tae noticed that hours after Heo Yeon Woo's death her body still warm. Woon saw Yeon Woo's maid lurking outside Heo's residence. Gyu Tae remarks that everywhere he investigate, Wol's maid also ask around. Later he learned from one of Hae residence's servant that both maid were the same person. The King started to learn what happened 8 years ago while Wol started to remember her past life. One occasion, when the eclipse happened, which literaly means the moon and the sun on the same perfect lines, Yeon Woo memory came back to her in full and Lee Hwon investigation triumph to open the secret behind the death of his Crown Princess

Prince Yang Myeong walked away again
while Woon watched in pain  
Of course these did not came freely. The King enforced to courted the Queen and Wol was framed and punished as traitor and seducer, tortured and exiled, humiliated beyond customary. Luckily, she always had Prince Yang Myeong by her side to help her and did simple things that made her happier. But after her memories' back, she could not help to feel guilty and sorrow to reject him again, and went back to Lee Hwon side. Like last time, Woon was the only one who knew, and now, more than ever, he was squeezed between his loyalty to the King and  his sympathy towards his best friend. 

Heo Yeom also had his own dilemma. He began to learn that his cheerful now pregnant wive, was one of the people responsible for his sister's death and undeliberatly for his father's deceased. How can he choose between his father/his sister and his wife/his unborn child. How can he choose between his past and his future.  

Prince Yang Myeong and King Lee Hwon draw swords to each other,
while Minister Yoon watching. Woon's sword also on Yang Myeong's neck
Around the time, Minister Yoon thought that the King was way out of his control. Her daughter, the Queen, was no used at all. So he masterplaned a big scheme to replace the King. He slowly made his move to approach Prince Yang Myeong and cut a deal to made him King, in return of making himself a Prime Minister. A broken hearted (again) Yang Myeong was hesitated at first, no matter what King Lee Hwon was his much adored younger brother. In the other hand, he took his only love, twice. After much consideration, he agreed, with only one condition, he's the one that would kill the King.....


OMG. I am not a big fans of palace intrique kind of drama, but OMG I loveeeed this story! Here's my 'why-list':

First of all, the protagonists were all smart people. They are not sitting duck target of the bad guys, they played chess with them. Well, they were not always winning, but they surely not lost all the time. It's fun to watch and I really enjoyed it. The main female character was also commandable and not pain in the a** who can only cry and be resilient. Well resilient was ok and needed, of course, but most of the time they tended to be idealized as damsel in distress. This is a Palace story, you want to be a Queen, fight for it and endure the bitterness. And so she did.

Secondly, it was not always a serious gloomy story. From time to time -even in the darkest hour of the story- there were still a sparks of humor that made me smile. But yes, we could see some men crying in some scenes. Well, what is oriental drama, without them, right? ;-)

Third, it was a nice picture of a palace situation. It's not just all glamour and comfortable place. It was also dangerous and tiring place. I also like to see the old Korean royal culture, not just the noble life of king's family and how's their lifes were bounded with protocols, but also the back stage living, you know like the lady in waiting, the maid, the royal chef, the doctors, the eunuch, etc.

Forth, all the cast, played briliantly, especially the King. I often got goosebump when he stare so icely or smile cynicaly towards someone. I also like the difference countenance that Wol and Yeon Woo gave, sometimes in the same scene. Just by her look or the way she uphold her chin, we could know who she was right that time. For the record, this series was name The Best Drama and and Best Actor in Drama Series (Kim Soo Hyun) on 48th Paeksang Arts Awards - TV Dramas Categories 2012. People reception was not far different, after just 3 episodes, it peakes the Korean National TV Rating and never went down. It's 18th episode (when the King and Yeon Woo finally met) top with more than 47% shares.

Fifth, it was short series, it was only 20 episodes. I never was a patient person, long series bored me (ogk how I can finished Dae Jang Geum 80 episodes!).  :-)

There... there were my reasons. If those wasn't sufficient enough, just check out those HHHAAAANNDDDSSOMME cast and say they are not tempting... *lap iler*
Wakakakakka..... enjoy...... ^_^

BTW: I keep some of my favorite The Moon Embracing The Sun OST songs on my 4share. Fell free to enjoy them.

Also read:
Faith / Great Doctor, new k-drama series starring Lee Min-Ho and Kim He-Seon


justaveragereader said...

love triangle? It's a great spice for any Korean dramas :)
Political intrigues? I don't watch any classical korean drama, but from I heard, this kind of plot is a MUST :)
Beautiful and handsome casts? Yo mesthiii... They are actors and actresses.
Great acting? Suureee... They are not sinetron casts huakakka....
The review of this keju? I loooveee it... #lemparkembang....

cynthia said...

I loooveee it... #lemparkembang....

speaking of "lempar kembang" there are TWO romantic scene where there were flower petals came raining down. First one was a true nature doing when he and she first met, the second was the crown prince doing. He had his eunuch hiding in the roof with a basket of flower, while he 'kidnapped' the girl to have some alone moments. He3x. #garinkbanget