Tree With Deep Roots

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  • Score: 8.4 (scored by 2,145 users)
  • Ranked: #474
  • Popularity: #530
  • Watchers: 6,438

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Completed
phoenixtearz9
39 people found this review helpful
Dec 26, 2011
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 10
This review may contain spoilers
Without spoilers, this is going to be a hard review to write, but I figured since no other reviews were written for it, I would give it a try. I used to not be a fan of sageuks, but recently I have been proven wrong, and this is one of those that did it.

In terms if writing, the story was well written. I kind of kept you guessing, and the cliffhangers were killers. The way the characters were written was brilliant, as well as the way history and fiction were mixed. It kept you coming back for more. Granted there was your typical backstabbing and plot making, but it fit in with the story, so it didn't seem out of place or to be to much.

In terms of acting, brilliant. Each actor portrayed their characters to the point you actually believed they were the character, not an actor playing someone. I have to say I was very impressed by Jang Hyuk, yet again, and after seeing two sageuks of his, I have a hard time picturing him playing any other type of role.

The music, I would have liked to have heard more traditional instruments, but all in all it wasn't bad.

I will definitely be watching this again. I was thinking that with 24 episodes that it would get boring, but never once was I bored. Give it a try.

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Completed
biniBningPunkista
31 people found this review helpful
Oct 5, 2013
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
This Drama was heavy, heavy, heavy. For a sageuk themed drama, with the glamour of a King and his followers... this had a fantastic story to tell.

Before checking this out, you, the viewer need the proper mindset before committing yourself into watching this drama (unless you are already into this kind of drama). Why? Because this is too far away from being romcom or light. There are witty scenes where you find the "funny" but not so much, because it would be obliterated in a second by the realism of the situation the characters are in. Watching this drama was heart racing, mind boggling and most of all tear jerking if you get to finish this in one go.

It was also frustrating being in the perspective of the king - because a person with so much wealth and power could be so helpless at the same time. *sigh*

My favorite character here was King Sejong - Han Seok Kyu's portrayal of him was so convincing that my heart was moved every time he does or say something. His decisions throughout the drama was really something, because it amounts to the lives that revolve around him, one mistake means the death of someone and one right thing could lead to the abundance of the entire nation. His role was really something and his acting was so deep into the character, I tend to forget that he was only acting about the agony of a king who cherished his people.

Then here comes the King's person: Kang Chae Yoon and So Yi.
These characters were portrayed by high fantastic artists - Jang Hyuk and Shin Se Kyung. Their roles were vital and important for the success of the king's plan and well... the ending was very dreary but there's that sense of fulfillment despite everything they have gone through. All in all their characters made this drama an unforgettable one.

The music isn't that catchy or is something that would stick to your head forever, but it does add to the drama. As for the re-watch value, I would not want to re-watch this lest I want to depress myself or stress myself all over again, but over all this drama is still dear to my heart. I loved this drama and would highly recommend it to those who love watching sageuks involving historical documentations.

Tree With Deep Roots - will move you, haunt you and make you change your outlook about your given language. Because this drama depicts history and the people who sacrificed a lot to make things possible.

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Completed
wonhwa
24 people found this review helpful
May 12, 2014
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
I doubt many writers wake up and say “Hey, let’s do a show about creating an alphabet! That will be exciting!” I suspect even fewer producers would greenlight such a project. Presumably, in the case of Tree with Deep Roots, the authors sold it as a conspiracy thriller, emphasizing the murders, mysteries and epic fight scenes. There is plenty of stylishly choreographed action and several hot guys with swords. However, as befits the show’s subject, the real battles are fought with words. And those battles are some of the most extraordinary I’ve ever seen on film.

“Tree” took a while to pull me in, but once the writers found their groove and the verbal fireworks began, it was riveting. Against the backdrop of a violent era, it asks if the brush can ever be mightier than the sword. If there is power in writing, and if so, who deserves to use it. If literacy is liberation or a different kind of slavery. Characters wield speech like blades in philosophical duels where systems of government and social orders hang in the balance. This is argument as blood sport – spectacular, visceral and deadly.

The cast tackles their paragraphs of text with gusto, and the director keeps the camera moving and the tension high. The final episodes falter a bit, veering away from ideas and more towards traditional action, with an ending that felt yanked from a summer blockbuster instead of developing organically from the drama's themes. Perhaps this was designed to appease nervous studio execs desperate to get to away from all the talking. It’s a small price to pay though for a show that is otherwise so smart, unconventional, and emotionally engaged as it teases out the limits and possibilities of language.

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Completed
amrita828
14 people found this review helpful
Feb 7, 2015
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 5
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
There are a few topics one doesn't talk about at social gatherings. One of them is language. I myself have tried a few times but, in front of a pizza and coke, people are ready to talk about almost everything except their means of expression. Language is used, not pondered upon, unless one wants to be labelled the smart aleck of the party and be thrown out with the half-eaten pizza. Why? Because our mother tongue is perceived as a given, a common possession whose technicalities are learnt and then put into practice by everyone, well or not so well. We live in a society where illiteracy is almost unheard-of and have therefore forgotten how huge a power is held by simple education. This is exactly what Tree With Deep Roots is about: the power of knowledge.

So this drama is, first and foremost, very brave: it takes a topic generally considered yawn inducing - and conceited - and builds upon it one of the cleverest, suspenseful plot I've had the fortune to watch. Because the topic intrigued me, I approached this drama expecting to be intellectually swept away. What I wasn't prepared for, was to have my feelings deeply involved too. This drama is clever, yes, but it's emotionally intense and moving too.
Truth be told, in the beginning I was so confused by the trillion characters, names all sounding the same and genealogy tree that for a moment I thought I had suddenly become an idiot. Should you happen to experience the same, please don't despair: this is like a pile of jigsaw puzzle tiles thrown at you all at once that you start putting together. Once you have glimpsed the main picture, the rest follows on its own. I haven't found a single dull moment in the 24 episodes. I enjoyed the sometimes long political dialogues and didn't want to miss a word. I enjoyed the steadfast growth of each character and the relationship between them all, the marvelous setting, the wuxia-like sword fights.

Mostly, I enjoyed the portrayal of a great King, which naturally leads me to the acting. Among the brilliant performances of all, Han Seok Kyu shines his own light. I was sad to see Song Jong Ki go, as he delivers a great act of a young and fearful king who grows a backbone, but it's his older version I came to love, admire and enjoy the most. Second in my personal enjoyment chart is, hear hear, So Yi/Dam. By general consensus, a female character is considered strong when she opposes the rules, or when she can kick and fight. So Yi's strength, however, is in the brain, which she uses to comply with the rules, instead of opposing them. Shin Se Kyung embodies intelligence and courage in a very calm and effective way. Loved her to bits. Our third lead is the bridge between the passionate vision of a King and the idealism of the woman he loves. His common sense and simple views on life are a paramount addition to the dynamic and while he undergoes a major change throughout the drama, he stays consistent to his nature till the very end.

A character/actors review would be incomplete without the villains. There are moments when you may question who the villains really are. Their motives aren't wrong in the grand scheme of things, but idealism alone won't win a war and their methods go from arguable to unacceptable, mixed as they are with political greed, blind loyalty or personal grudge. Kudos to all the actors, though, for making me love to hate them.

I don't think the music is the strong trait of this drama. It has a few instrumental pieces and a couple of songs which are neither a disturbance nor a feeling magnifier. I must admit, however, that a couple of pieces are quite haunting, as I found myself humming a tone or two while doing totally unrelated things. Whether this is because they were used too often or because they were good, I don't know.

I've long debated about the re-watch value. I don't see myself sitting through the whole drama again in the near future, mostly because a well crafted thriller lingers in the memory much longer than a simpler plot. Ironically, its high quality makes this into a one-time experience. Which doesn't mean I won't go back to it when a considerable time has lapsed. It's an intense journey I recommend to everyone who's ready to invest a good dose of concentration in a drama.

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Completed
rad_lisette
13 people found this review helpful
Jan 15, 2012
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
One of the better dramas of 2011.

The highlight of the drama was the array of interesting and well written characters.
Also, the acting in the drama was top notch. But then again we are talking about Jang Hyuk and Han Suk Kyu and Song Joong Ki here. All very charismatic and intense actors in their own ways.

The cinematography was an absolute delight for the eyes. The settings and the costumes used in the drama series were exquisite.

The plot was engaging and full of the appropriate twists and turns. Who knew that a sageuk about Hangul (sounds like a snooze fest at face value) could be so amazing?

My only gripe is that the story started to lose my a bit of my interest towards the last quarter. Other than that, a wonderful and engaging drama series.

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Completed
iindu
8 people found this review helpful
Apr 29, 2013
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
This review may contain spoilers
Enjoyed this drama very much. It tells an amazing story- an arduous but worthwhile journey to realize a larger dream.

The characters are great. The cast is brilliant. Each one of them- good or bad,even the irredeemable ones, stand out in our minds.

It's hard to say what I feel about the drama without giving spoilers, because there are so many great moments, conversations and scenes that come back to me now. Suffice to say, there's more than one hero in this drama and many memorable characters.
King Sejong is a great king, more human than any Sageuk king I can remember having watched. Chae Yoon is our hero, and he stays strongly in character until the end.

The most charming part of the drama are the many relationships it shows- between King Sejong and Moo Hyul(great rapport, even cute at times), King and Chae Yoon, King and the girls, Pyung and Jung Gi Joon and so on.

One thing you shouldn't expect going into this drama, though, is romance. There isn't much or any really. A hint of it comes from Chae Yoon, but isn't built up or even entertained beyond that.
Our lady, So Yi is smart, emotionally strong and with a very capable head on her shoulders, but her devotion all falls on her King and her cause. There isn't time or space for anything else.

But it doesn't matter really,as viewers, because.. it's all about great story telling and this is a sageuk everyone can watch without getting bored at any point.

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Completed
Reavel
11 people found this review helpful
Jun 25, 2012
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 10
No matter what people say for me this is one of the best dramas of 2011 if you ask me. I regret that I waited so much to watch it. If you are into history you will love this drama since it haves a lot of historic facts around the creation of hangul. The characters are AMAZING and well developed along the story. It haves everything you can ask for in a drama: Action, fights, betrayal, romance, funny moments and even some csi period style). Very intriguing with great cliffhangers. I cried a few times cause I got emotionally carried away with the story. I would totally re-watch it any given day. Another fantastic period drama that you might end up loving. The actors that portray the king where PERFECT. It might start slow but just hang in there cause you are in for a really bumpy roller coaster ride.

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Completed
PickyMcpickleton
7 people found this review helpful
Nov 21, 2013
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
I had to sit and edit this one, though it's already submitted but to be honest, it was one of the first reviews I ever published which is a review I wrote on another website that had a character limit. Nonetheless, as one of my favorite drama it deserves something better.

I'll delve straight into the base of the story which is about King Sejong attempting to create writing. Perhaps one of the most disinteresting plots you could quite possibly try to explain. However, what seems like a bland dish is actually the meat of the plot. What prevents this from being a flawless drama is that the meat of the plot is overshadowed by interesting looking vegetables. Kind of like a bibimbap.

In this case, sub plots will vie for your attention and lightly take away from what is an earth shattering story. Expect flashy swordplay and flying folk, something I tend to dislike but something that this drama made forgiving. What still makes this incredibly stellar is that the base of the story is so strongly told and so well acted that there are moments of revelation that left me speechless.

As King Sejong tries to create writing, he unfortunately, encounters a foe in Ga Ri On. Ga Ri On, cannot stand for the creation of writing (Hangul) and he will do anything to stop it. However, it becomes clear that he's not the belligerent idiot you encounter in just about every k-drama who makes the protagonist's life a living hell for no reason. He makes such a crucial point forcing the viewer to re-evaluate his/her philosophy.

Nonetheless, as disinteresting as this review makes the plot sound, there are action sequences and moments of fist clenching suspense, that had me very excited. The sublots feature Dol Bok's story, a slave turned soldier who has a strong distaste for the king. As you can see, this sublot just doesn't even feel like it fits in with the story, but it oddly manages to blend itself there and Dol Bok does play a part in whether or not King Sejong can create writing.

What makes this compelling is there are no true villains. Sacrifices are made on both sides and it leaves the viewer to ponder on something the viewer easily take for granted. The finale is a climatic end that I'd like to defend as I liked it. It was that moment in this plot that everything about this drama seemed to settle in and I took a breath as I bid a farewell to what for me is a drama that I can't forget. I think this is one of those dramas where you either "get it" or you don't.

Finalement, Han Suk Kyu, Han Suk Kyu, Han Suk Kyu. Those three words translate to well acted brilliantness that really makes this story come alive. When someone's acting is so riveting that it makes you pause as your marvel over every psychological reaction, every moment of torment coming alive. This man is just brilliant, he just is.

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Completed
Starae
5 people found this review helpful
Oct 6, 2013
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.0
Story 5.0
Acting/Cast 6.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 3.0
So this drama started out being very promising, and I really anticipated what was going to happen next....
Unfortunately that didn't last long, about halfway into the drama it began to plummet downhill and lost everything that was good about it.

The story started out being about revenge and striving to become stronger; and the ending went into an entirely different direction and lost what had captivated me in the beginning.

For those of you who are into fairy tail-like happy endings, you also may want to skip this one, the ending wasn't exactly happy but it also wasn't sad either.

The acting wasn't horrible, but it wasn't amazing either....I just did not get that connection with the characters like I have had in other dramas.

Overall I just wasn't too thrilled about this drama, especially towards the end I could barely pull myself through it.

The only reason I watched it was because I was looking for a good historical and I saw someone wrote a good review for it, but I definitely do not feel the same way.

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Completed
chestwarts
10 people found this review helpful
Feb 1, 2012
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 2.0
I wouldn't rank this as one of the best dramas in 2011. This is highly overrated in my opinion. It starts a little boring but picks up the pace after the prison break. The plot is not exactly unique but at least different from other Korean dramas from the Joseon Dynasty. To be honest, I actually regret that I started watching this. Too much crying by the lead actor and it's a tad too long for a drama just to introduce the korean alphabet. There are also interesting yet underdeveloped characters such as Karpei and Yoon Pyung. It would've been better if they provided us with back stories and how they came to work for the Hidden Root.

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Completed
Lily
1 people found this review helpful
May 6, 2017
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.5
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 9.5
I started this drama on a whim, originally interested because I love one of the OST songs. Well, that was one of the best decisions I've made. This drama packed-in so many great things, from music to acting to story, that it has been hard to find another one like it. All of the performances were so powerful, especially that of the king, and really immersed me into the story. And, most of all, I enjoyed the fact that the ending was believable, not saccharine-sweet and not unnecessarily tragic.

I recommend this drama from the bottom of my heart - whether you want to learn more about Korea's culture or you just want to watch a solid drama - seriously, watch it, it's worth your time.

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Completed
TheWanderer_Beansprout
1 people found this review helpful
Oct 1, 2016
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 10
I need to remind myself that don't expect so much in happy ending when watching historical dramas. Although for me I'm okay with the ending. I cry less than the ending of Chuno. But overall its a great joyride for me. Every episode was interesting except that I need a more romance between So Yi and Chae Yoon and some development how the Milbon wanted to take over the politics or how they will implant SamBongs' teaching.

Chae Yoon and So Yi is like a pillar that hold the King together. They gave so much support and inspiration to the King for him to succeed... And also there's Mu Hyul... :)

Character:
King Sejong- This King is awesome. I really love how he used those cursed word that you will laugh about it not criticizing the King. Those moments when he cries and confused was so touching. You will realized that the King also needs people on his side and consider their feelings. He's my favorite King in Historical Drama Land.
Chae Yoon/Ddolbok- Well, Jang Hyuk is Jang Hyuk..Jang Hyuk made me fall for him even more. I love him coz his character really think what's the best for the situation. He's a genius in planning everything. My favorite is how he plan to circulate the letters(in the last episode). Love his sense of humor and his acting with the King was phenomenal. Their like best of friends... PS. I want more fighting scene with Chae hyun and gaeoropi. Like in Chuno..
SoYi- I love Soyi coz she's not weak character. She's clever as Chae Yoon that's why they are perfect to each other. She's not your typical girl that needs to be save. Great great character.
Moo Hyul- This guy is love by everyone. Coz he's the perfect bodyguard ever. His dedication and loyalty for the King is touching...
Jong Ki Joon- This guy manipulate me.. If you what I mean... He really nailed his character. That good turned to be the evil guy did a good job. Nice acting.

In the end I cry like a baby but its a good thing that they made that ending like that. Maybe you will not satisfy but at least they give you a sight how Chae Yoon and Soyi live together... Overall its one of my favorite drama. Great acting to everyone.

BUT PLEASE WRITER. JUST GIVE JANG HYUK A HAPPY ENDING PLEASE.....

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