Lovers of the Red Sky
Born at a time of great challenges Hong Cheon Gi was born cursed to be blind by the very god, the evil Ma Wang, that her father helped trap. Her mother died giving birth to her just after she fervently prayed for her husband's safety as he painted the cursed former king and use the painting as a vessel to trap Ma Wang. She is destined from the beginning to love Ha Ram another child born on the cursed night Ma Wang is sealed. However, years later when they both have grown Ma Wang is released from his confinement, which puts both Hong Cheon Gi and Ha Ram's future in jeopardy.
My first thought when watching Lover’s of the Red Sky was, wow cinematography. The cinematography of the first couple of minutes is just absolutely great. I’ve seen online that there’s been some debate about whether or not there is too much CGI in the drama, and I have to say it’s actually not that bad. Like Arthdal Chronicles the CGI
isn’t exactly what you would expect from a Marvel movie or even a DC movie. However, the CGI is just fine. It’s a fantasy drama for the small screen, of course it’s not going to have the same budget as the mammoth Hollywood films. To give a better context, if you’ve watched the BBC’s Merlin or the early Tom Eccleston and David Tennant Dr. Who series, I’d say the CGI from Lover’s of the Red Sky is better than those. Yes, the CGI is perhaps only a little better, yet no one complains about the CGI from Merlin or Dr. Who. Perhaps the viewers are used to westernized fantasy not eastern. I've never cared too much for CGI, I more to less concentrate on the way the story is told through acting, cinematography, directing, and editing. This is a fantasy drama. It's going to be weird, and fantastical. I expect it to not look real.
I give this drama a 80% for storytelling and a 4/5 for direction on my sticky notes. After the stellar first few episodes the progression of the story slowed down and it felt like there was this award time where they had to make "challenges" for the main
couple, such as have Ha Ram constantly telling Cheon Gi to move on, and have a second male lead with an obsession with the main female lead. The music marries well with the scenes the rhythm and the words enhance the plot. Hopefully, the story returns to the pace it had once before and they leave the lopsided obtuse love triangle behind. The cinematography is still beautiful, and the editing well executed.
CGI aside, I love the cinematography. The director, set designer, and site scout did an amazing job finding locations to fit the fantasy drama and it marries so well with the traditional historical look of the series. The fashion designer does well to set the tone apart from the light and the dark character’s, especially with Ha Ram, who is portrayed by Ahn Hyo Seop. In the beginning of the series the costumer dressed Hyo Seop in darker blues and grey almost like a subtle nod to the fact that the evil water god is trapped inside him, and his tragic past has darkened him, yet he himself is not necessarily evil. He’s the shady area in between. Then when he turns into the trapped
god inside him his clothes turn black and take an older tattered look. As the drama proceeds, Ha Ram's clothing starts to show brighter vibrant tones, more light blues, even pinks, especially after he lets Cheon Gi into his heart. Hong Cheon Gi, played by Kim Joo Young, wears a lot of white, blush pink, and tanned colors. She wears more earthly tones to indicate that she is not just poor but I believe that she is now a child of sight and also the light. Just like a moth to the flame Ha Ram is quickly attracted to her light.
I also have to give another shout out to the main actors Ahn Hyo Seop and Kim Joo Young, as well as the director. They did an amazing job portraying the two’s supernatural attraction to each other. It is as if the two parts of the god’s essence that is trapped inside both of them calls to each other much like the ring calls to it’s master Saruman in Lord of the Rings. Yet, the attraction runs much deeper than the god himself. At the beginning of the series they tell the audience that these two were fated for each other. They are literally two halves of a whole.
While I love Kwak Si Yang, I liked him from the moment I saw him in Oh My Ghostess. As the second male lead he made me fall in love, and as an actor I absolutely adored
his capacity to act not just through dialogue but his facial expressions, his gaze, and his body language. I still believe he was robbed in the catastrophe that was Alice. They didn't utilize him even though he was one of the greatest weapons in their cast.
However, this is not his best performance. This is not the first time he's portrayed a villain, in Chicago Typewriter he portrayed Back Tae Min whose father was partners with the Japanese and as the eldest he too had to shake hands with the enemy. He was the villain, a Japanese supporter even then his acting was believable. I don't know if there is a disconnect between the character and actor, or the director, perhaps even the script but whatever it is I hope it gets better. He's usually good at delivering lines, but I feel in this series his line delivery is weak (or too aggressive more like) making his scenes cringe worthy. He's always growling, trying to make his voice have more of a gravelly texture, he barely ever delivers a line in his regular or in a less angry tone. His facial and body expressions are fine, it's mostly his line delivery.
I’m excited to see what happens next. Hopefully the writing continues to progress well, the director continues with his beautiful cinematic shots,as well as direction. I have a feeling none of the actors will disappoint. Most of all, I hope Kwak Si Yang finds his footing. Anyway, let me know what you think in the comments down below. I love to hear from you. Goodbye and until next time!