meganbmoore: (when princesses grow fangs)
 57 x Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny
42 x Painted Skin: The Resurrection
63 x Memories of the Sword

here )
meganbmoore: (wbds: ji: sword)
Memories of the Sword is a Goryeo-era Korean movie about Hong-Yi (Kim Go Eun) a young woman who has been trained from an early age by her adopted mother, Wall So (Jeon Do Yeon) to avenge her biological parents. All she knows about the circumstances of her parents' deaths is that they were betrayed and murdered by two of their friends. When Hong Yi sneaks off to compete in a tournament, she catches the attention of Yu Baek (Lee Byung Hun), a powerful general. When Wall So learns Hong Ye met Yu Baek, she tells Hong Yi the true story about her parents' deaths. Her father, Poong Choon, led an uprising 20 years earlier, joined by his friends, Deok Gi, and Deok Gi's lover, Seol Rang. Deok Gi betrayed Poong Choon, and Seol Rang, who had been ignorant of the betrayal until then, killed Poong Choon to save Deok Gi from him, only to have Deok Gi kill Poong Choon's wife and, he believed, their daughter under orders.

Then Wall So throws in the kicker: She is Seol Rang and Yu Baek is Deok Gi, and she spirited away the injured infant after telling Deok Gi that she would raise the baby to kill them. MOST AWKWARD OF AWKWARD MOTHER/DAUGHTER CHATS. For a bit of icing on the cake, Hong Yi's crush, Yull (Lee Junho) became one of Yu Baek's soldiers while he was in town.

Realizing that she has become the heroine of the most tragic of tragic period dramas, Hong Yi runs around and gets really really drunk a lot and engages in a bit of vigilante-style heroics to save some people from Yu Baek's throne-stealing schemes before having her first go at revenge.

As much as I love sageuks, Korean movies can be rather hit-or-miss, even when they sound perfect for me, but this one was good. The acting and characters were good, the plot was interesting and contained additional twists, and the fights were spectacular. I'd compare the visuals and fights the early 2000s wuxia movies, (or The Duelists for a Korean example) complete with extensive wirefu, but with the benefit of more advanced technology. I will says that Yull seemed a bit of an afterthought in ways. The character and actor were just fine, but he barely passes the "sexy lamppost" test, being there pretty much being a nominal love interest for Hong Yi (though they are rather cute when not being involved in the most tragic of tragic stories) and a semi-conflicted soldier under Yu Baek, but he mostly (sometimes very literally) is a bystander to the epic Hong Yi/Seol Rang/Deok Gi tragedy. I actually wish this had been a series instead of a movie so that I could have had hours and hours of certain parts of the story, especially the backstory.

I'm happy to report that it doesn't end in COMPLETE tragedy, but there's enough angst, drama and tragedy that I need to spend the next few hours before bed consuming fluff and cheer.

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