From the moment the film opened to the agonizing and poignant scene of the king who ordered his son to death by imprisoning him inside a rice crate, I was rendered confused on what I will learn and who I will blame on the ill-fated life of Crown Prince Sado. *chuckles
The director achieved a well-executed story-telling even when he started on a climactic point while traversing the past life of the main characters. It was a brilliant switching of character thoughts and development while unraveling the conflicts and the plot of the film. It was an exchange of point of views that were equally battled out making the protagonist turn to being an antagonist and vice versa.
I thought how Joseon era has a really intense and dramatic history in trying to keep up with the challenges of the empire and the changing times. The Royal family through the years have a fair share of inadvertently killing family members to protect the Crown and to claim power. When I was browsing Korean history in preparation of my review today, I maintained a soft spot to Prince Sado, but on the last tearjerking minutes of the movie, I felt how helpless the father and the son were at that situation. King Yeongjo mentioned how he would be remembered as the father who killed his son and his prince will be remembered of all his wrong-doings that were unbecoming of a future King.
All his life Prince Sado lived up to the expectations set to him as a future King. He was forced to focus on his studies and was forbidden to cultivate activities that won’t help him build his character as a future father of the country. His stern father who was pressured immensely by the government officials became even more uptight in raising his son that even the smallest error he committed would anger him. And as the son, who wanted to please his father but was unsuccessful in doing so, he might have been caught up in what we call today as depression but he channeled it through outraged rebellion in his time.
Hands down to Yoo Ah In in another exemplary portrayal of the disturbed Prince who defied and yearned his father’s love at the same time. I was flinching on his head banging scene feeling the pain of what he had to endure in suiting up for that sporadic persona. Maybe because I’m a daughter too that’s why I pitied him, but granted that his communication with his father was off beat and mostly resulting to both of them frustrating each other, at that time it was still not fair and good to have his rage go to innocent lives that served him. The lesson of this movie in simple words is that how parents and children should find ways to communicate well and not allow pride and personal beliefs to cloud their judgments when they are both to decide on life changing situations. If all else fails they should always choose to be forgiving and loving as they are both each other’s life.
Albeit the despondent tone, for me it did not mar the ruminative effect of the film. It was definitely meaning to present the inconsolable truth about the depth of a parental and filial love. In the case of the main characters in the narrative, it was an unfortunate conflict that was not resolved both in real life and the film.
I think this movie would appeal more to contemplative people who like biographies and period films. It is also educational for film majors with its editing and screenplay technique. I would like to say I would let my future children watch this to learn from it, but it would be too cynical. *chuckles
The movie experience despite the forlorn gave a pensive mood after for me or should I say made me depressed I had to eat chocolates after hahaha. It was nicely narrated and superbly acted so the challenge would be how it will be engaging. So placing the climax in the beginning was I think a premeditated move because it will allow the viewers to be hooked on it and subconsciously find themselves immersed in the story. It was also not overly dramatic and yet it moved my heart big time.
If you are into history, biography and drama, choose your favorite tea and enjoy an afternoon viewing the life of a once unfortunate Korean prince – Sado. -jediprincess♥♥♥