The Concubine (2012)
Director: Kim Dae Seung
Casts: Jo Yeo Jeong, Kim Dong Wook, Kim Min Jun, Park Ji Young, Jo Eun Ji, Lee Kyeong Yeong, Park Cheol Min, Jung Chan, Oh Hyeon Kyeong, and Oh Ji Hye
Genre: Drama and Period
Running Time: 122 minutes
Rating: 18 (South Korea)
The film tells a complicated love triangle story between Hwa Yeon (Jo Yeo Jeong), her true love, Kwon Yoo (Kim Min Jun), and the man who is going to be a king, Prince Sung Won (Kim Dong Wook).
Prince Sung Won falls in love with Hwa Yeon through love at first sight. On the other hand, Hwa Yeon loves Kwon Yoo. However, his mother (Park Ji Young) is not happy to see that Sung Won goes after Hwa Yeon. So, his mother makes Hwa Yeon as a concubine to her step-son (Jung Chan). Both Hwa Yeon and Kwon Yoo tries to escape but they are caught by her father’s men. In order to save Kwon Yoo, she has no choice but to become the King’s concubine.
Five years later, we see that she has the King’s child and she is the Queen. Suddenly, the King becomes sick and passed away. Even though Prince Sung Won becomes the King, his mother holds the power to country the whole palace and government. Later, Hwa Yeon finds out that the King’s stepmother killed him. In order for herself and her son to survive in the palace, she has to build up her strong will.
King Sung Won is craving for love towards his step-brother’s wife Hwa Yeon while being pressured by his mother’s power. One day, Hwa Yeon meets Kwon Yoo, who has become a eunuch, in the palace.
One word to express about ‘The Concubine’: mind-blowing. It was mental for me while I watched this film. From the very beginning till the very end, there were numerous reactions on each and every scene.
There are characters that I love and hate. Hwa Yeon shows the calm and intense emotions and actions. She is the woman with strong will to fight till the very end while protecting her son. I love the intensity and flaming charisma in her eyes. The fascinating thing that she ever did is to manipulate the men to fell for her beauty. She has made the whole world shaking. Next, King Sung Won. I feel sorry for him and yet I do sometimes hate him. Yes, he’s under pressure for having the sense of freedom for sex, love, and power. Yet, I can see the craziness from his facial expressions scary. As for Kwon Yoo, well, another victim to fall for Hwa Yeon’s manipulative charms. He seems so confused to what he’s doing in the palace. He loves Hwa Yeon and then hates her and then hoping she will come back to him by helping her survive in the palace. Prince Sung Won’s mother, I really do want to strangle her for whatever evil schemes she did. I clenched my fists whenever I see how she wields her power.
As for the sex scenes, well look at this way. The mother wants the king to get have a son thus he has to make love with the concubine. On the other hand, if you look at other scenes, it’s the perception of love and art. So, at first, I was slightly uncomfortable with it (Yes, an example of having the advisor to teach the King how to make love). Then, after some time, I take it as a form of love and art. I’m not going to tell you the ending but I can tell you that the ending is brilliant.
Overall, my mind was blown away because of the characters who have serious mental issues and craziness in the palace. Yet, I feel the intensity and madness from this film. Again, it’s mind-blowing.