TV SHOW REVIEW: The Painter of the Wind [Korean]

TV Show: The Painter of the Wind
genre: k-drama, historical, girl-dressed-as-boy

Summary: This is a what-if story. In the novel Painter of the Wind by Lee Jeong-myeong, the Joseon-era painter Hyewon (Shin Yoon-bok) is portrayed as a woman disguised as a man, and that is the story the 2008 television show is portraying. And the fact that she’s hiding as a boy has everything to do with all kinds of political intrigues.

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I probably shouldn’t be posting this yet considering I’m only halfway through the show, but I would just like to say that Moon Geun-young does probably one of the best girl-dressed-as-a-boy roles ever in this show.

She really pulls off looking like a boy.  Not a mature boy, but a young boy that just happens to be tall for his age. Plus she has a very boyish voice, one that hasn’t broken yet. Then on top of all that, she’s also very exuberant and brash and that just reads “young boy” to me.

I loved “She’s the Man” with Amanda Bynes, but honestly, I wouldn’t have bought her as being a boy. In “Twelfth Night,” though Imogen Stubbs does a superb job and I love this movie dearly, I still never would have mistaken her for a boy (maybe if she was only 14 like the original actors were in Shakespeare’s plays.) And as anyone that’s stalking me knows, I am desperately in love with “Sungkyunkwan Scandal” and Park Min Young, but I honestly think that in real life there’s no way she could have passed as a boy–she’s so incredibly pretty.

All of those women did superb performances, but in the end they just came out too womanly for their roles. There are just certain lines to the face that are just too female and they really start to come into focus in the early twenties as the face thins and matures.

But Moon Geun-young looks incredibly young and she has kind of chubby cheeks. She’s simply adorable and totally makes me think of my little cousins. They all looked basically how she does in “The Painter of the Wind” right up until they were about 16 or 17. After that age they just basically morphed over night into men.

Moon Geun-young does an incredible job as Shin Yoon-bok. She seems like a young teenaged boy and that is basically the person Shin Yoon-bok is. She’s very naive and there’s a lot of things her upbringing as a boy keeps her from understanding.

The character of Shin Yoon-bok was written as being very young when her father started dressing her in boy’s clothes. She was never able to learn how to be a girl before she was being forced to learn how to be a boy. Unlike in all the aforementioned shows, she was not a young woman dressing as a boy, still pining for the things she left behind. No, she was raised as a boy and to all intents and purposes her inner identity is as a boy.

I don’t know if that even makes sense, but that’s what I got from this show. It’s been pretty serious so far with some cute moments and there’s something so beautiful about the love between Shin Yoon-bok and the kisaeng Jeong Hyang (Moon Chae-won.) That relationship was so incredibly poignant, so it really makes me wonder why Moon Chae-won isn’t top billed. Instead, in every article I’ve seen so far, she’s always way down on the cast list, yet her character seemed important to me.

This show is really very charming. It probably wouldn’t ever be one of my favorite shows, but it is one that I find myself really liking. So go check it out.

My rating: 4 stars

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2 thoughts on “TV SHOW REVIEW: The Painter of the Wind [Korean]

  1. now i want to see it again ^^ i started it – and really liked it – but midway i stopped to watch it for no reason and just forgot to watch the rest. so i am going to watch it now – thank to you.
    i also really liked the relationship between yoon-bok and the gisaeng – in that moment i so wanted yoon-bok to actually be a boy, because otherwise they would never have a chance to love each other (not in korea and not in that time). and i agree Moon Geun-young pulled it off being a boy. she doesn’t act girly – and i liked that a lot.

    • It’s such a great show. They did a really good job with it and there are realistic hardships going on during it–the hand crushing, her brother, etc.

      I’m going to try to finish the rest of the episodes in the next couple of days ^_^

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