Kim Woo Jin is a stage drama writer while Korea is under Japanese occupation. He is married, but he falls in love with Yun Shim Deok. Shim Deok is the first Korean soprano. She records the song “Praise of Death” which becomes the first Korean pop song in 1926. Woo Jin and Shim Deok's fate ends tragically. ~~ Based on the true story of Kim Woo Jin and Yun Shim Deok. Edit Translation
Cast & Credits
The story was wonderful. Even if some parts aren't true to history or are embellished and skip over things, it didn't matter. I was enraptured the whole time, barely breaking any from my screen to even eat. I cried and laughed, but the somber tone never quite left me as you get the ending in the beginning. To me, it seemed more than just the story of adultery and betrayal; if this is keeping you from watching the drama, please reconsider. Woo Jin spells it out plainly to the woman he is married to in almost every scene they are in: to him, he will never love her and will never be hers. They married without seeing each other and while she accepted it as her fate, he couldn't. Shim Deok is the same. She left when she found out and when they came back together, it was because they didn't want to fight anymore. In the scene where he explodes at his father, that isn't a man who is alive-- he's only alive with those who encourage his passions. His father chose to turn away from his son and his wife went along with it.
Lee Jong Suk was wonderful, his performance was moving and even when he was speaking, his eyes told us everything you need to know about Woo Jin. You could tell the exact moment he fell in love with Shim Deok and likewise with Shin Hye Sun. Their chemistry was amazing and they gave off the intimate feeling with out it ever being explicitly stated. You can buy into the innocent love, that it can be pure and untouched even when so many things are happening that try to disrupt it. They were completely their characters which only added to the story. The secondary characters left an impression as well, especially her sister Seong Deok. Their last scene together really throws a knife in your heart as you can see the inner turmoil in Shim Deok's heart, but she won't turn back to a life full of nothing. The fiancé played by Sang Yeob made you swoon. He was caring and dashing and he was so sweet even when she left. The cast fit everything perfectly and I loved how I could recognized them from other projects. It was sweet and short and lovely.
The music was phenomenal. I pay much better attention to the music now and I loved how they decided to use the instrumental of Hymn of Death instead of the vocal version. It made the 'movie' more bitter-sweet and I can't wait to download the OST.
I'll probably rewatch it, honestly. I love Lee Jong Suk and Lee Sang Yeob, not to mention the first jilted man, Lee Ji Hoon. The show made my heart race, especially at the end where I wished for it to keep going. It's hard when something ends, yet the watcher isn't ready to say goodbye just yet but there's also nowhere else to go so you create fan-vids and stories and endless Tumblr posts... which it probably where I'll end up. ^^
I hope this helps and that you all can feel the love for the drama, the actors, and the history.
A tragic love story from the start, the journey of Yoon Shim Deok and Kim Woo Jin was hard to watch because of their known inevitable end. However, I still found myself falling hard and becoming emotionally attached to them and their relationship, despite the barriers they faced. No matter what they did, it was obvious this was the only true end for them.
The acting from the main two leads in this I think was perfect. It wasn't over dramatised or unplayed, there were the right amount of emotion from each of them that my heart broke every time they faced a hardship.
The OST isn't incredibly memorable, however it fit perfectly with the story and style. It would have been nice if they sang 'Hymn of Death' rather than read it like a poem, but I understand why they didn't. And because they didn't, I went to do some research and listening of the song myself, which I probably wouldn't have done if it was included in the drama.
Of course this drama is a tragedy, despite this, because the drama is so short I feel I could easily watch it again just to experience its beauty all over again.
I would recommend if you're heart can take the pain of what is to come, and if you appreciate that sometimes love can be strongest in death.