07 September 2013

칼과 꽃 Sword and Flower

Title: 칼과 꽃 Kalgwa Kkot
English Title:
  • Knife and Flower
  • Sword and Flower
  • The Blade and the Petal
Country: South Korea
Language: Korean
Year: 2013
Episode: 20
  • 엄태웅 Uhm Tae Woong
  • 김옥빈 Kim Ok Bin
  • 박수진 Park Soo Jin
  • 김효선 Kim Hyo Sun
  • 온주완 Ohn Joo Wan
  • 이정신 Lee Jung Shin
  • 이민호 Lee Min Ho

Princess So Hee is the daughter of King Young Ryu, who reigns during the Goguryeo period. Although her younger brother is set to inherit the throne, Princess So Hee seems much more capable to lead her country; she is smart, skilled in sword fighting, and well-trained by her father in politics and diplomacy.

Yeon Choong grew up ostracized by society because of his mother's social position as a slave and his lack of a father. When Choong finds out that is father is Yeon Gae So Moon, Choong goes to him hoping that he will accept him as his son but Yeon Gae So Moon coldly rejects Choong.

While wandering aimlessly around the city, Choong meets Princess So Hee in disguise as a commoner. So Hee falls in love with Choong at first sight and she encourages him to apply as a palace bodyguard. Choong heeds her advice and becomes appointed as the princess' personal bodyguard.

Choong's father Yeon Gae So Moon plans a rebellion, and kills both the reigning king and the crown prince. Princess So Hee escapes alive with the help of the secret society guarding the noble family. She changes her name to Mu Young, which means 'without a shadow', and she vows revenge against her family's killer.

Sword and Flower is exceptionally beautiful, with amazing cinematography and great directing that presents the gorgeous set designs in its best angles. If there's anything positive to commend the drama without any qualifications whatsoever, that has to be it.

To be fair, Sword and Flower was somewhat promising in its early stages. It is quite sad that it went downhill after a few episodes because the story was not developed properly. I think the scriptwriter didn't quite know where to take the drama and how to get to wherever it is supposed to go.

I really liked the 'supposed' characterization of Princess So Hee because she was the opposite of a damsel-in-distress. It was interesting to see a female lead character who is not lacking in typical female attributes (beautiful, feminine, etc.) but also overflowing with characteristics usually attributed to male characters (skilled in sword fighting,intelligent, logical, calculating, etc.).

I think that was why it was extremely disappointing to find Princess So Hee changing depending on the demands of the drama's plot; she's supposed to be skilled in sword fighting but she can barely defend herself in a fight and has to be saved by Choong in an earlier episode, and then she supposedly got much better over time and was sort of able to defeat Choong a few episodes down the line, and then she again got poor fighting skills around the end of the drama. Needless to say, character consistency is non-existent in her case.

칼과 꽃 Sword and Flower