Kolorful Palette: Black and white [Three Musketeers]
I was a bit dubious that Three Musketeers would translate well into a fusion sageuk, but it’s turned out to be an adaptation that works surprisingly well. It has plenty of nods to the original, but it’s also a big enough departure that I don’t know how the story will unfold, and it certainly doesn’t feel like something I’ve seen before. So far I feel like we’ve barely skimmed the surface of this drama, but I’m already loving the characters and the vibe. As much as it pains me to say it, maybe producing only one episode a week was a good idea. The editing and production values overall seem fairly impressive, and it seems like there’s an extra attention to detail that’s giving it a certain je ne sais quoi.
Despite some rather weak acting moments, I’ve never disliked Jung Yong-hwa. I think he’s been well-suited to his roles and I’ve always been impressed that he manages to remain likable despite some pretty wooden scenes. All that being said, I never would have pegged him as a good fit for D’Artagnan. It’s a three-dimensional role that requires a strong solo screen presence, but Yong-hwa is doing a much better job than I expected. He must be a hard worker because his acting has improved leaps and bounds since his You’re Beautiful days and he’s nailing his stunt work, which doesn’t look particularly easy. I think it would take me a pretty long time to be comfortable cantering on a horse with no hands while turning and drawing an arrow, but he does it! I’m sure a stunt double was an option, but I always applaud actors who do as much as they can themselves.
This drawing is extremely simple, but I loved the lighting, and really just enjoyed the whole horseback sequence of Dal-hyang (aka D’Artagnan) chasing after No-soo and Mi-ryung. It did a good job of showcasing many classic D’Artagnan characteristics, such as his young naivety, his bravery, and even his pride. He may not make the wisest decisions, but it’s hard not to like someone so pure-hearted, who is willing to chase after someone dangerous with such conviction despite not having any personal reason to do so. When I saw this scene I thought it was perfect for Conté on black paper, which is a technique I love, but drawing negative space like this doesn’t work very well in most cases. I would have loved to have done this using real life materials but unfortunately I didn’t have them available. I’m going to try to track some down when I’m out of town next week, and hopefully another scene like this will present itself.
I was thrilled this week to see a Milady de Winter character presented (in the form of Mi-ryung) and I’m pretty freaking curious about which direction they’ll go with her character. The K-drama watcher in me thinks that she’ll ultimately redeem herself after various acts of villainy, but wouldn’t it be fun if her character stayed closer to the book’s? She’s barely even said anything so far and I already love her. I just know she’s going to stir things up, and I’m eagerly awaiting the chaos she leaves in her wake.
I’m actually pretty rusty on the details of Three Musketeers but this show has made me want to reread the book and give myself a refresher. The beauty of an adaptation that’s this different is that I can enjoy both without feeling jaded when something is missed. The drama actually feels like a book the way it’s unfolding, and personally I can’t wait for the next chapter.