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Who is the story about?

 
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nslan
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 8:17 am    Post subject: Who is the story about? Reply with quote

I have seen a few write-ups here and in many places about the faults of Jang-saeng and comments that the main story of K&C is really about Gong-gil etc. There was a time that I too have such doubts in my mind and then I come to realize something and would like to offer my thoughts herein…

Remember something that goes like this…
There were six wise men who taught me all I knew. They are who, what, when and where, how and why.

I think there is no difficulty of anyone in knowing the when, where and what about “King and the Clown?. The how and why may not be as easy to understand but the question I am most interested is the “who? – who is the story about? A very simple question. Knowing who the story is about and you will know whom narrative point of view the story takes.

So is it Jang-saeng, Gong-gil, Yeonsan or even Nok-su? In my view, it has always been Jang-saeng and only Jang-saeng. The perception that it is Gong-gil may have been wishful thinking from fans of Gong-gil and Lee Jun-ki.

Why do I say it is Jang-saeng?

The reason is very simple. Who has changed the most at the end of the story is who the story is about.

Has Yeonsan or Noksu really change between the beginning of the story and at the end? No, neither really has. Yeonsan remains the insane king who is not in control of his emotion or situation that he is at the beginning while nok-su remains the same person who stands by his side.

What about Gong-gil? Has he changed? No, from the moment he picks up the sickle and thrust it into the troupe leader’s back at the beginning and his proclamation at the ending scene, he is firm in his belief that the one person he really cares for is Jang-saeng and only Jang-saeng.

May be in their own small ways all the above three characters have come to recognize themselves better at the end of the story but who has actually changed the most? The only one who has is Jang-saeng – emotionally, mentally and physically. In the beginning, he can see but at the end, he is blinded in the eyes. In the beginning, he is blinded to his true feelings. Everything that he does show that he cares for Gong-gil so why does he feels insecure and uncertain. At the end, he finally realized what it is that matter the most to him to sacrifice and risk it all.

In fact, the whole story is all about his journey of self-realization, his struggle to know himself, his tussle with life, against fate and society, his fight to protect for what he believed in and wanted most. Given this understanding, I am in no doubt of director Lee joon-ik’s directing capability in any way. He has craftily and brilliantly portrayed Jang-saeng’s story to a very believable point. Karm’s performance has further enhanced this believability more than people are aware of.

Then, why the sudden craze or shift to Gong-gil and/or Lee Jun-ki?

Before going further, let me recap what I have said elsewhere why I think people like or dislike the characters of Gong-gil and Jang-saeng : One likes a particular person because one sees the goodness of him/herself in that person or some virtue that s/he likes or wants to have. Likewise, one dislikes another only because one sees undesired vice or the quality that one dislikes of oneself. (喜欢一个人,是因为在他身上看到了自己好和喜欢的一?,或想?得到的一?。?样的,?喜欢一个人,也因为看到了自己??和?喜欢的一?。)

In a way, many people are captivated by Gong-gil’s innocence that is out of this world and something that as a human being we desired and aimed to strive for. Why the perception and even so, why the shocking attachment and affection?

It has been said that Jang-saeng lives to provide and protect the younger more passive Gong-gil from the harshness of reality out of a sense of common destiny or even love. As I see it, Jang-saeng is not only protecting Gong-gil as family or even lover but as a part of himself and what Gong-gil represents in his heart/mind. To Jang-saeng, Gong-gil is the image of beauty, pureness, goodness, happiness and even strength that could be of his own heart as well as his ability to protect what he hold dearest. That is why Jang-saeng's reaction & emotion rides on everything that is connected to Gong-gil and he is willing to risk it all, sight and life if it comes to that.

In the movie, it is Jang-saeng’s Gong-gil that we see, love and cherish - be it his gentleness, his helplessness, his dependence on Jang-saeng or his willingness to center his world around Jang-saeng and even sacrifice for him. In many interviews, both director Lee and actor Karm have also mentioned that Gong-gil is like an illusion and it is this image of him through Jang-saeng’s eyes that we see.

Thanks to Lee Joon-ik’s directing and Karm’s acting, I can only say that we have come to believe what Jang-saeng believes. Therefore, we are mesmerized by Gong-gil and turned our focus on him only because Gong-gil is the image that Jang-saeng holds dearest and is centered to his world. May be, on a sub-conscious level, we also want to believe that such a ‘perfect’ person that exists in Jang-saeng’s eyes does really exist.

Doubting what I say. Think again. Why do many people see no fault in Gong-gil? It is because Jang-saeng sees no fault in Gong-gil. Why are people so forgiving towards Gong-gil, because even Jang-saeng has not the heart to reprimand him. Why do people blame Jang-saeng, because he blames everything on himself. Is everything really the faults of Jang-saeng? I don’t think so. Gong-gil is too assuming, expecting that no words is needed between him and Jang-saeng but he forgets that Jang-saeng may be bold and self-confident on the outside but needs his assurance to ease the uncertainty in his heart. As for criticizing the decisions that Jang-saeng made, as his partner Gong-gil should have said something. It’s illogical to blame all decisions on Jang-saeng only. As the old saying goes - if you are not the solution, you are part of the problem.

Why do many people watch this movie over and over again? Why do many people find it difficult to see another movie after this? This is because they now have an illusion of Gong-gil that they cannot bear to be tarnished in any way. In the same way, Jang-saeng has his perfect illusion of his Gong-gil and all his uncertainties only point to his fear that his perfect Gong-gil will forsake him. Fortunately for Jang-saeng, his worries are unfounded and his Gong-gil fulfills all his expectations.

When the thought of doing the role of Gong-gil crosses Karm Woo-sung’s mind, I believe he truly understands the significant of Gong-gil and even more so when he helps to mould the image of Gong-gil through Lee Jun-ki. Therefore, I am not surprise when he proclaims his love at the Blue Dragon Awards. I believe it is his proclamation of affection for his own image of Gong-gil personified through Lee Jun-ki. In comparison, I do not believe Lee Jun-ki truly understand the full significant of his character, Gong-gil. I can’t fault him for this - he is after all only a youth in his early twenties. I think because he does not have any pre-notion of the meaning to the illusion of Gong-gil, he is able to infuse his own youthful innocence and does a very convincing job of fulfilling the expectation of Jang-saeng’s (or Karm’s) Gong-gil.

So who is the soul of the movie? Gong-gil is very much a personification of Jang-saeng idea of perfection that he holds dear. Without Jang-saeng, there is no Gong-gil that we know of. So Jang-saeng can be said to be the soul of the movie. Yet, Gong-gil is the core of Jang-saeng’s existence. Jang-saeng may define his illusion of Gong-gil but concurrently, Gong-gil fulfills all his expectation. So, who is to say Gong-gil is not the soul of the movie. Whatever it is, “King and the Clown? will not be what is it without either Jang-saeng or Gong-gil but let it not be mistaken that the story is still very much the journey of Jang-saeng and nobody else.

My 2 cents worth…


Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes
P.S. I like the character Gong-gil. There is no doubt about it. He is a personification of ultimate unworldly innocence that I will hold preciously close to my heart (a soul that remained pure and intact even as his environment changes and corrupts). But I identify only with Jang-saeng…he is as real and complete a person as you can ever get. For Gong-gil, I dare not even consider the thought…I am after all only human.


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dunnbother
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi nslan Very Happy

i had to read and reread what you have written above to try to understand your gist in your persuasion that this is jang saeng's story. anyway, i don't think anyone would want to dispute with you on that, it doesn't matter really. as you said so, gong gil is the core of jang saeng's existence, so without gong gil, jang saeng wouldn't have this story at all.

……..and i knew sooner or later someone would come up with this..." As for criticizing the decisions that Jang-saeng made, as his partner Gong-gil should have said something. It’s illogical to blame all decisions on Jang-saeng only."..…as you have stated.

....but oddly enough you have provided the answer for that yourself, you wrote.."It has been said that Jang-saeng lives to provide and protect the younger more passive Gong-gil from the harshness of reality out of a sense of common destiny or even love. As I see it, Jang-saeng is not only protecting Gong-gil as family or even lover but as a part of himself and what Gong-gil represents in his heart/mind" and "his dependence on Jang-saeng or his willingness to center his world around Jang-saeng…..".
i think you already knew the reason why gong gil didn't speak up but you refused to acknowledge it because you want gong gil to be blamed as much as it is jang saeng's fault.

as much as you've agreed, jang saeng is like the head of the family, the one who carries the load of making all decisions. he was the one who initiated that they ran away together from being servants, the first one to develop the love of acting as a minstrel, to leave the pimp's troupe, to go to the capital city (seoul). so jang saeng is the dominant one and gong gil, i am sure, has implicit trust in him. for gong gil to be quiet and didn't object to jang saeng's idea of mocking the king nor even show any surprise at all as six dix did, i believe has attributed from the fact that he is as ignorant as jang seang is, both being country folks. six dix, a city dweller, could immediately tell that jang saeng is from some rural area by calling him a bumpkin. and being a bumpkin, i guess he may not have realised the danger of delving into plays about politics. (it has been said that for anyone who wants to live a long quiet peaceful life is to stay away from both politics and religions).
now being ignorant country folks is not a fault in itself but the idea of mocking the king is. i could understand jang saeng may have wanted to make money but why did it at the expense of the king? or even at the expense of anyone else? why mock others at all?
they were talented minstrels and any plays initiated by jang saeng, gong gil could improvise very well, as we can see in their blind men's play. they could do so many other plays…. but why picked on the king? and the very idea came from jang saeng, reveals the condition of his heart…that he is rash and not a humble person at all. never underestimate the value and virtue of being humble that which can help to safeguard a person from making bad mistakes at times. and it's a virtue that can be found in great people, be they politicians (gandhi, mandela, abe lincoln), actors ( please fill in the names of your own favourite actors) and those filthy rich people (bill gates, my grand uncle, princess diana ) and it's not an inborn quality. it's a virtue that's needed to be cultivated, sometimes thru life's experiences, sometimes by observing others. jang saeng may have other good qualities but being humble is not one of them. somehow i have the feeling that his tragic end is his own doing. Sad

you may think that i was being unkind to jang saeng by pointing out his mistakes. nah, actually i love jang saeng. for all his mistakes, i still love him. i know nothing much about the actor GWS and i only came to know junki because i love gong gil. and even though you may convince me that this is jang saeng's story but i doubt you could do that to those millions of female viewers out there who love junki.
i still stand by my belief that the sale of 12 millions tickets was largely due to junki "the guy who is more beautiful than most women". you can't dispute the fact that he is the most popular one now. he even toppled rain once for a poll in who's the guy girls would want most for a date. he came up top in many other voting polls too. before his mega popularity, he was always sidelined at interviews, talked the least, always taking the last chair. and now how the tide has turned that he became the sole promoter of this movie most of the time, loved and honoured, being sent abroad to places like taiwan, thailand, china and japan. once he played second fiddler to all but now he leads.
so whoever, jang saeng or gong gil, is the sole of this movie doesn’t matter. what and how millions of female viewers out there who feel for gong gil is what really matters. Very Happy

Btw..that bit about my grand uncle is a joke…...just kidding.
I shall cont. later. there is so much more in your post that i would like to discuss about... Wink
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nslan
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi dunnbother,

Thanks for reading my long long post Laughing Laughing . As to the points you have mentioned...

Quote:
as you said so, gong gil is the core of jang saeng's existence, so without gong gil, jang saeng wouldn't have this story at all.


What I'm trying to say is that from the start to the end, the story is taken only from Jang's saeng's point of view. There has never been any shift from JS's POV to GG's POV as commented by shandian1972 in her write-up. And so on that basis, this is his story.

BTW, I really have to add that without Jang-saeng, you will also not have this particular story at all. You may have a story about Gong-gil, which could be as captivating like the play "YI", but you will not get a story about a Gong-gil that is so loved and cherished by everyone.

Quote:
……..and i knew sooner or later someone would come up with this..." As for criticizing the decisions that Jang-saeng made, as his partner Gong-gil should have said something. It’s illogical to blame all decisions on Jang-saeng only."..…as you have stated.


In my views, I would say both are at fault - Jang-saeng being too self-assuming while Gong-gil is being too reliance on Jang-saeng. If you are saying being too reliance is not a fault, then I say that you have nobody else to blame for this choice (to rely on another to make decisions for you) you make. Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes

More later...
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nslan
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi dunnbother,

Sorry I had to stop earlier to catch the bus back to my hotel...continuing from my last post...

Quote:
i think you already knew the reason why gong gil didn't speak up but you refused to acknowledge it because you want gong gil to be blamed as much as it is jang saeng's fault.


I'm not in the blaming game here. Laughing Laughing I am just saying that if you let other make the decisions for you, you are as responsible for the outcome as the person who make the decision for you, unless you are a child who can hardly think for yourself.

On a personal level, given that Gong-gil is much younger and innocence than Jang-saeng, I would be inclined to hold Jang-saeng more responsible for all the decisions made. But the fact is that Gong-gil does have a say in the decision that he made, e.g. staying to perform the 3rd act before leaving. Therefore, I would believe that Jang-saeng and Gong-gil accept the decision made by each other and thus are both responsible for the outcome.

To me, it is illogical to blame everything on Jang-saeng. You say trouble begin with him mocking the king. Then, I say he shouldn't have made the decision to come to Hanyang, better still, he shouldn't have chosen to leave the troupe or intervence in Gong-gil being traded-off for food. On the other hand, why not fault Gong-gil for insisting to stay and put up the opera act when they have the opportunity to leave. Every event thereafter rest on this pivot point. What I want to put across is that events happen and decisions have to be made, one way or another. That's life. So, it's really make no sense to fault Jang-saeng. The only explanation that I can think of is because he is believable enough for people to blame him as he blames himself for everything that happen.

As for your comment that Jang-saeng is rash and not a humble person at all. That could be the case. From his confession at the end, clearly he has recognised his shortcoming. Therefore, again, I say this story is really his journey of self-realization, his struggle to know himself and his tussle with life.

Quote:
and even though you may convince me that this is jang saeng's story but i doubt you could do that to those millions of female viewers out there who love junki.


I'm not out to convince the mind of those millions of Lee Junki female fans Wink Wink but I believe some do share the same viewpoint as mine. For others, they will have their own interpretations. I'm just presenting what in essence is my take on the movie.

Quote:
i still stand by my belief that the sale of 12 millions tickets was largely due to junki "the guy who is more beautiful than most women". you can't dispute the fact that he is the most popular one now. he even toppled rain once for a poll in who's the guy girls would want most for a date. he came up top in many other voting polls too. before his mega popularity, he was always sidelined at interviews, talked the least, always taking the last chair. and now how the tide has turned that he became the sole promoter of this movie most of the time, loved and honoured, being sent abroad to places like taiwan, thailand, china and japan. once he played second fiddler to all but now he leads.
so whoever, jang saeng or gong gil, is the sole of this movie doesn’t matter. what and how millions of female viewers out there who feel for gong gil is what really matters. Very Happy


oh...I'm not denying the appeal of Lee Junki. He is a beautiful and sweet kid and I for one find his smile to be very sincere and likeable which I have not found on anyone, ordinary folks or stars, real or fiction. He is very popular now. My take is this comes largely from the character that he plays, Gong-gil who is really a fragment of our illusion of the goodness and innocence that could be of ourselves as seen through Jang-saeng eyes. Of course, the fact that he is a very gorgeous person is also very alluring to women. To mould an image of perfection in one heart/mind is hard. To be an image of perfection is even harder. So it is going to be very hard to measure up to the expectation of the illusion of Gong-gil in the mind of different people . Of course, there may have already been elements of Lee Junki being personified through the Gong-gil character that he plays and vice versa. The challenge left is how much adjustment Lee Junki or the people watching/expecting from him has to make through this self-realization process. Having say this, the image of Legolas by Orlando Bloom suddenly come to my mind and there seems to be many similarities here. Anyway, let's leave this to another topic that we can discuss on the man...or boy LJK himself.

From Lee Junki's ability to do a convincing job of fulfilling the expectation of Jang-saeng’s (or Karm’s) Gong-gil, I believe he has much potentials. As for your comment that "once he played second fiddler to all but now he leads", I have my reservation. I think he still has quite a journey ahead to be a seasoned actor. Purely my personal opinion.

BTW, I'm not here to dampen anyone devotion to LJK but to just present how I see things from my own perspective. Wink Wink Wink


Last edited by nslan on Thu Jan 25, 2007 1:28 am; edited 1 time in total
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lady wakasa
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very very interesting conversation, especially what I've read about the differences between the movie (where Jang-saeng is the focus) and the play (where Gong-gil is the focus).

But does it have to be a matter of "blame"? Especially if you believe this was fate? Things happen, in both real life and the movie. Jang-saeng probably felt he was protecting Gong-gil in the aftermath of their escape when he suggested going to Seoul (and, in fact, he probaly was). And Gong-gil was likely learning how to give for once, instead of always being ministered to, when he wanted to stay long enough to perform the last skit.

I don't see that their choices necessarily had to end the way they did, even if they did. Jang-seang's "error" in coming up with the skit didn't have to end the way it did if they had left after the king laughed (which I think was possible). Gong-gil's "error" in wanting to do the Chinese opera would not have ended the way it did if Jang-saeng had left when he was released from jail (although Gong-gil would have likely ended up dead).

I do like the idea of seeing Gong-gil as Jang-saeng sees him. I don't think that makes him "bad" or "blameless" because we don't see things from his viewpoint.

The whole Lee Junk-ki phenomenon is something different altogether, and I think he's got a long row to hoe to live up to that.
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nslan
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lady wakasa wrote:
But does it have to be a matter of "blame"? Especially if you believe this was fate? Things happen, in both real life and the movie. Jang-saeng probably felt he was protecting Gong-gil in the aftermath of their escape when he suggested going to Seoul (and, in fact, he probaly was). And Gong-gil was likely learning how to give for once, instead of always being ministered to, when he wanted to stay long enough to perform the last skit.

I don't see that their choices necessarily had to end the way they did, even if they did.


Well...lady wakasa has said it better than I could ever write. Love you for it! What I want to say is that events happen in life, you have to make your decisions and live with the outcome. So, it is not a blaming game between Jang-saeng or Gong-gil. Anyone who choose to fault Jang-seang should be reasonable enough to look at Gong-gil's action. Alas, I seriously doubt many pyeins will care for reasons when they look at Gong-gil... Laughing Wink Wink Wink

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dunnbother
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi nslan, Very Happy

hmmm….i see you didn't get my gist then…or what i have been trying to say really...
what i meant to say is i could see the 'fault' in jang saeng's character or personality. it's not really about the skits they played or whom made what decisions really.

the fact that jang saeng could conjure up the idea of mocking someone shows that there is a nasty bone in him, a dent in his character. that's the fault i've been trying to point out. mocking is like slandering and it's not nice to slander. it likes he is picking up a fight with someone whom he hardly knows and who has done him no wrong. i am not defending the king here, i am only trying to point out that there is a certain 'nastiness' or a fault in jang saeng's character.

then why didn't gong gil speak up? because gong gil couldn't have seen that 'fault' in jang saeng's character and being ignorant as he was like jang saeng, he couldn't have known the danger of doing that skit too. like i said he had implicit trust in jang saeng not because he was incapable of making decisions but because he loved jang saeng and willingly let himself be led. that's why i said gong gil is being docile and of a gentle disposition and not that he is a helpless or indecisive person.
not only gong gil didn't object to jang saeng's idea, even those 3 other minstrels went along with it, being attracted by jang saeng's ability to perform. earlier jang saeng has proved his prowess doing those coal-carrying somersaults and i supposed six dix was rightly impressed after having lost the challenge to him. and ended up even calling him captain. six dix went along with jang saeng's decision because, like gong gil, he only wanted to work to earn a living. anyway this much i'll say about jang saeng that he has leadership quality in him.

you wrote: On the other hand, why not fault Gong-gil for insisting to stay and put up the opera act when they have the opportunity to leave. Every event thereafter rest on this pivot point. What I want to put across is that events happen and decisions have to be made, one way or another.

about gong gil's decision to want to do that opera has very much to do with his sympathy for the king and there is no malice or 'nastiness' intended whatsoever in his decision. gong gil's intention was really to help the king to come to an understanding that his mother was really dead and gone. from the shadow play, gong gil could see the king wants his mother. the king was crying out loud, asking for his mother whereby he was chided by his father for being weak in will and even being called a changeling (woo...that probably hurts…ouch). gong gil in his naivety probably thinks that the opera could help to soothe the king's pain.

and while we are on this topic about leaving, if jang saeng had wanted so much to leave, then why didn't he just grab gong gil's hand and drag him away from the palace like he did so at the fat patron's chamber? baffles me! he's the dominant one, always is, so why didn't he just put his foot down and say "lets go!". why give in to gong gil's decision to play that opera? being the man that he was, he should have been firm. there were times i think he could have done something positive about leaving yet he allowed things to fetter to the point of no return. like he had wanted to leave much earlier yet he couldn't resist the temptation baited by cheo-son, the old eunuch about mocking the ministers. he took the bait. now what does that say about him?

i am definitely sure if he is adamant about leaving, gong gil would just follow even if gong gil didn't want to, like his initial reaction at the fat patron's chamber. no matter how we look at it, gong gil will go where ever jang saeng wants him to. so why didn't jang saeng take a firm stand on leaving? what's in the palace that is holding him back? food? sleeping quarters? baffles me.

anyway i don't think i should point out too many of jang saeng's shortcomings or else you'll ended up not talking to me. Wink lol Laughing . and homura will even come here to bite my head off….oh well Wink

you wrote: The only one who has is Jang-saeng – emotionally, mentally and physically. In the beginning, he can see but at the end, he is blinded in the eyes. In the beginning, he is blinded to his true feelings. Everything that he does show that he cares for Gong-gil so why does he feels insecure and uncertain. At the end, he finally realized what it is that matter the most to him to sacrifice and risk it all. ....

i shall comment on this later….hmmm this is going to be interesting...

have to stop now..later then...

btw, i agree with lady wakasa that this is not a blaming game here. it's about the way we see those characters on the screen, their faults and warts....their good side as well as their bad...
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nslan
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi dunnbother,

dunnbother wrote:
anyway i don't think i should point out too many of jang saeng's shortcomings or else you'll ended up not talking to me. Wink lol Laughing . and homura will even come here to bite my head off….oh well Wink


Don't worry, I wouldn't stop talking to you. Wink In fact, I like to see you point out more of Jang-saeng's shortcomings so I can understand your viewpoint better. I may take some time to absorb what you say and share my view but I will certainly reply to you. Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

...cont (PS. I have made some revision to my original posting to make my writing clearer)

Quote:
the fact that jang saeng could conjure up the idea of mocking someone shows that there is a nasty bone in him, a dent in his character. that's the fault i've been trying to point out. mocking is like slandering and it's not nice to slander. it likes he is picking up a fight with someone whom he hardly knows and who has done him no wrong. i am not defending the king here, i am only trying to point out that there is a certain 'nastiness' or a fault in jang saeng's character.


oh...I have never said Jang-saeng is an angel or has a perfect soul...I admit that there is more than just a nasty bone in Jang-saeng. Twisted Evil Twisted Evil All the more that he is very human and belieavable.

I must say, from the many examples on the "fault" of Jang-saeng that you have given, I am more convinced of my viewpoint that the story is very much taken from his POV.

Quote:
and while we are on this topic about leaving, if jang saeng had wanted so much to leave, then why didn't he just grab gong gil's hand and drag him away from the palace like he did so at the fat patron's chamber? baffles me! he's the dominant one, always is, so why didn't he just put his foot down and say "lets go!". why give in to gong gil's decision to play that opera? being the man that he was, he should have been firm. there were times i think he could have done something positive about leaving yet he allowed things to fetter to the point of no return. like he had wanted to leave much earlier yet he couldn't resist the temptation baited by cheo-son, the old eunuch about mocking the ministers. he took the bait. now what does that say about him?

i am definitely sure if he is adamant about leaving, gong gil would just follow even if gong gil didn't want to, like his initial reaction at the fat patron's chamber. no matter how we look at it, gong gil will go where ever jang saeng wants him to. so why didn't jang saeng take a firm stand on leaving? what's in the palace that is holding him back? food? sleeping quarters? baffles me.


Again, my view is that Gong-gil may be docile with a gentle disposition but he does have a say (much more than you think) in the decision that Jang-saeng makes so it's not correct to assume that every decision rest on Jang-saeng only. If Gong-gil has been adamant about staying at the fat patron's chamber, Jang-saeng would have stayed on with him. Did he not sit down when Gong-gil initially refused to leave? He grabs gong gil's hand and drags him away only because Gong-gil is willing to leave with him.

In fact, Jang-saeng rest a lot of his decisions on Gong-gil because of his uncertainties and fear that his perfect Gong-gil will forsake him.

I am not defending Jang-saeng or dismissing Gong-gil. As they say "Character is destiny" so I'm more inclined to believe that it is really both the self-nature/temperament of Jang-saeng and Gong-gil that determines their fate in the movie and not one over the other.

Quote:
btw, i agree with lady wakasa that this is not a blaming game here. it's about the way we see those characters on the screen, their faults and warts....their good side as well as their bad...


Upto this point, I can see only the "flaws" in Jang-saeng's character as mentioned by you but none in Gong-gil. Wink I guess like many who loves Gong-gil, you are refusing to acknowledge there is any in Gong-gil. Laughing Laughing . This (I believe) is the Gong-gil that Jang-saeng sees. Despite his doubt and insecurity, he has never dismissed this image of his Gong-gil.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you wrote: The only one who has is Jang-saeng – emotionally, mentally and physically. In the beginning, he can see but at the end, he is blinded in the eyes. In the beginning, he is blinded to his true feelings. Everything that he does show that he cares for Gong-gil so why does he feels insecure and uncertain. At the end, he finally realized what it is that matter the most to him to sacrifice and risk it all. ....


hi nslan Very Happy Wink

could you please elaborate a little more on why you think "In the beginning, he is blinded to his true feelings. " Question
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dunnbother wrote:
hi nslan Very Happy Wink

could you please elaborate a little more on why you think "In the beginning, he is blinded to his true feelings. " Question


Hi dunnbother,

Sorry to get back to you so late Wink Was tie-up over the weekend with something urgent.

To answer your question...I would have to note one important view that I'm holding..that is there is no intimate physical relationship between the two characters. Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes

From the start, it is very clear that everything that Jang-saeng does show that he cares very much for Gong-gil. My feeling is that deep down inside Jang-saeng knows that Gong-gil is very important to him but initially he takes it as some sort of strong bonding between them as family, performing partners, etc. There were also nothing and no one to challenge this viewpoint of his. When Yeonsan appears on the scene, he starts to feel insecure, uncertain and jealous because of who he is and how much he meant to his Gong-gil is being challenged. As the story unfold, he finally comes to realise that Gong-gil is more to him than just family, performing partner, lover, etc. If you listen carefully to his confession on the tightrope, you will realise this change of perception by Jang-saeng - from happy performing with his partner to being blinded and not see a murdeous thief stealing his Gong-gil's heart... Razz Razz Very Happy

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Last edited by nslan on Mon Feb 05, 2007 5:14 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi nslan, Very Happy

i have been contemplating should i give jang saeng another bashing if i were to accept your viewpoint that there is no intimate physical between him and gong gil. and if jang saeng were a real guy, then he has to be the stupidest guy that ever walked this planet. and that he is not only "blind" but utterly selfish too.

if your viewpoint is correct, that would mean he and gong gil didn't do anything to "seal" the bond between them, then that would also mean gong gil is not his "wife". and since gong gil is not his "wife", gong gil doesn't belong to him and he has no right to stop the king from wanting gong gil. and he cannot accuse gong gil of being unfaithful. and he ought not to be so selfish to keep gong gil away from the king, instead he should have put gong gil on a silver platter and give it to the king so that gong gil could have a better life and a better future. and if he is not gong gil's husband, he has no right to stop gong gil from wanting to go to a wealthy and powerful man either.

but...

my viewpoint is different from yours. since the beginning i have always held the notion that their bond is "sealed". it's basically through gong gil's puppet plays and jang saeng's maniacal behaviours, i take it that their relationship is sort of like a "married" couple. i believe that jang saeng's maniacal possessiveness and jealousy stamped from his "ownership's rights". that crazed selfless behaviour in not allowing gong gil to go to that fat patron and how he endured being kicked and beaten tells us that gong gil to him is more than just a partner or someone he just simply care for. and the anger and frustration in his outburst while sitting on the rope condemning the king of 'mounting' his gong gil and also depicting his penis as a snake are indications of intense sexual jealousy, as if the king was violating his "wife".

this was what i wrote in asianfanatics some months ago to a fan of junki: you asked did i think gong gil and jang saeng had a sexual relationship, i'll say yes. i choose to be generous towards the character jang saeng, because since gong gil could have sex with other men, why not with jang saeng too!
concerning how he loves gong gil to such distractions, of having to endure being beaten and kicked and nearly had his foot smashed and finally to go blind. it would be too cruel if he didn’t have the pleasure of having of gong gil while others did.
from the onset of the movie, when jang saeng screamed at the captain of the troupe "stop pimping off of gong gil" is a good indication that that wasn't the first time gong gil has been pimped off. when he saw the captain talking to that ugly old patron, he lost his mood to perform and drop from the rope on purpose, that showed that pimping off gong gil had happened b4. and this indicates gong gil isn't a virgin, so i don't think their relationship is a platonic one.

and

sometimes it's unnerving to think of how touching jang saeng's love for gong gil is. like those nights when gong gil was away, he would sit up waiting for him to return. he wouldn't sleep but brood instead, wallowing in jealousy i suppose.
after the arrow shooting incident, when the whole troupe was preparing to leave the palace, jang saeng just sat there, refused to move his butt until he saw gong gil coming. and the last thing he wanted to hear from gong gil was when he said 'don’t go' and i guess in his frustration he flung off gong gil's hand. even then we the audience knew he wouldn't leave gong gil behind. like when he was released from jail by the old eunuch and taken outside the palace, he couldn't just walk away. he won't leave without gong gil .
no doubt all these are fictional characters and any interpretation is up individual liking but still it's one great love story. if there any man i would want to love, it would be jang saeng but i guess he would only want gong gil and no one else.
and i believe it's every woman's secret desire to be loved and wanted like gong gil.
great love story. truly great...."

i modified a little here and there.

you wrote: If you listen carefully to his confession on the tightrope, you will realise this change of perception by Jang-saeng - from happy performing with his partner to being blinded and not see a murdeous thief stealing his Gong-gil's heart...

the last scene was the reason i love jang saeng, and overlook his past mistakes. i was simply touched and overwhelmed by his emotions.
this was what i wrote in asianfanatics forum to the fan of junki, about the last scene….

i greatly admire the character jang saeng for his courage and strength, of how he protects and loves his gong gil, the light of his life. when he thought that light was gone, he rather go blind. he really thought that gong gil had fallen for the king. i wept so bitterly when i finally understood his lost and his desperation in the last scene. that was after watching the dvd listening to the spoken chinese instead of reading the english subtitles. the english substitles is not good enough in revealing the emotional depth of what was being said most of the time. the chinese translation was much better. the spoken chinese is far more accurate in exposing the emotional depth of how jang saeng felt. one line made so much difference was when he said in chinese "the murderous thief has HIS heart stolen away" whereas the english subtitle says "the murderous thief has stolen a heart"......


according to the chinese version, which i like better than the english subtitles, jang saeng said something like this...."i am a natural born "blind" (meaning he was someone who is impulsive, sensitive and constantly being ruled by his heart) when young, the first time i saw minstrels acting, i was "blinded". (here he meant that's how he came to love and wanted to be a minstrel). when rapping with my partner and without resistance ( he meant not fighting the resistance or pull of attraction), i was "blinded" by this youth (this is a clear indication that's when he knew he had fallen in love with gong gil as a lover). came to seoul, i was "blinded" by gold. (blinded for the love of money, the indication here, he knew he had made a mistake doing that skit). came to the palace, (in the korean version, he paused and his tone is highly emotional here) saw something not suppose to "see" (meant he knew right from the start the king was eyeing gong gil) but being "blind" didn’t see the king stealing gong gil's heart. (possibly he was blinded by the luxuries of food and lodging, and the good times he had with gong gil in the palace, he overlooked the 'danger sign' of the king's amorous advances.) if i had known earlier (all these misfortunes) i would rather be blind sooner. "(he meant to be really blinded in the eyes, as we singaporeans would say 'no eye see')......

you know chinese too, why not you tell me what you really think of the last scene?

actually there's a lot more to talk about in this last scene. like why i believe the king would eventually pardon jang saeng and allow gong gil to leave with him. many comments that i have come across said that the jesters would surely die when the ministers revolted but history said the king didn't die right away but two months later. i wouldn't be so quick to jump to the conclusion that the clowns died there too. those corrupted ministers revolted but the soldiers (in red) were with the king. by the king's command, soldiers could have saved or protected those two clowns. no doubt the king is emotionally immature but he is not someone without feelings, especially where gong gil is concerned. see how he defiled cheoson, the old eunuch and noksu when they spoke and acted against gong gil indicated how much gong gil meant to him. i believe right till the end, the king has affection for gong gil, even after he knew that gong gil will only and always love jang saeng alone. the director joonik has used the king's body language to show that the king was remorseful. and this is why jang saeng was brought to the rope for the king wanted to hear his side of the story. i don't blame the king for loving gong gil because he couldn't have known about the bond between jang saeng and gong gil and no one told him. after he knew about it, from gong gil's puppet's revelation and attempted suicide, i guess he felt bad and went back to noksu for comfort. at the last scene, he sat with his hands grasped together in a slouching position, with guilt and shame written all over him, definitely unlike a king. and when gong gil appeared, he was eyeing gong gil with sheepish looks, and his body language was a dead giveaway that he was "sorry". this is why i believe he would eventually pardon jang saeng.

and also the reason why i keep longing for a sequel. lol. Wink

there's alots more to discuss but i'll wait for your reply...














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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome back dunnbother! Laughing Laughing

WOW!!! There was a different take from what I have seem so far at the Chinese Bar. Very interesting viewpoint but I need to properly disgest first before getting back to you on some of the things you have written.

But on some of the minor points, I can share my comments...

dunnbother wrote:
i have been contemplating should i give jang saeng another bashing if i were to accept your viewpoint that there is no intimate physical between him and gong gil. and if jang saeng were a real guy, then he has to be the stupidest guy that ever walked this planet. and that he is not only "blind" but utterly selfish too....

but...

my viewpoint is different from yours. since the beginning i have always held the notion that their bond is "sealed". it's basically through gong gil's puppet plays and jang saeng's maniacal behaviours, i take it that their relationship is sort of like a "married" couple.


I think their relationship is very ambiguous. It's very difficult to tell if their bond is "sealed" or not. I too have my doubts on this earlier on. As you said, the puppet plays and Jang saeng's maniacal behaviours does indicate that of a jealous husband/lover but there are other signs indicating otherwise. More later on. Jang-saeng is indeed very "stupid" when it comes to the subject of love - he did not realised it as "love" in the beginning but understand it finally what all his rage, insecurity and jealousy are about.

On your comment about the English Subtitles and Chinese Version, I did not watch the Chinese Version but rather the Korean Version with the English Subtitles. I am not sure which Chinese version you watched but there are several and not all are accurately translated. Up to this point, I am still of the opinion that the English subtitled Korean version is fairly accurate. Of course, there are still great deviations on these from the actual Korean original.

Quote:
and also the reason why i keep longing for a sequel. lol. Wink


So do I...but a modern 21st century version if you get what I meant Wink Wink Wink but it can only be in my dream... Laughing Laughing Laughing

More later on...
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi nslan Very Happy

you wrote:
On your comment about the English Subtitles and Chinese Version, I did not watch the Chinese Version but rather the Korean Version with the English Subtitles. I am not sure which Chinese version you watched but there are several and not all are accurately translated. Up to this point, I am still of the opinion that the English subtitled Korean version is fairly accurate. Of course, there are still great deviations on these from the actual Korean original


the dvd with the chinese version that i have was brought in spore, so it's original and legal. on its cover, it's written: "the copyright proprietor has licensed the film and distributed by Poh Kim video pte ltd. chinese and korean version with english subtitles."

by now, i have 4 dvd sets of the k&c. 2 sets were from korea, the special limited edition (4 discs) and the standard version (3 discs), 1 set of spore version and 1 set of china version.

the reason i brought the spore version was because i was curious about the chinese subtitles. then in hong kong, i saw the china version and brought it too because i was again curious about the subtitles. but the china version turns out to be exactly the same as the sg. version. and so far i haven't come across any other different chinese subtitles beside those two that i have mentioned.

whereas i have came across a different version of the english subtitles, definitely different from those of the original korean disc. i saw this different version on an SQ plane (singapore airline). though the meanings were similar to that of the original version but still there were major differences. it was far bawdier, funnier and more descriptive. for example, as gong gil said "i was expecting to see thee fall and crack thy frame" but the different version that i saw on the plane was "i was expecting to see you fall like a monkey and crack your frame". Laughing and i remembered in the first skit, the exchanges between jang saeng and gong gil were more erotic and crude. there were many other differences but i can't recall them now. if only i could get my hands on that different version, no matter how much it costs, i'll buy it.

i once read an article that said that those original english subtitles were done by a korean professor. i think he must have been an old-fashioned guy, who probably thought that since the movie was a period piece, he might as well gave those subtitles a shakespearean's touch with those "thee" and "thy", probably also thinking that a classic touch would appeal to a foreign audience. yeah…he was also probably a prude since he white-washed all those crude humours and watered-down every erotic overtone and ended up giving us very bland english subtitles. blah. Rolling Eyes

i was thinking maybe my above translation looks confusing. let me highlight what jang saeng actually spoke on the rope....to be easy on your eyes.

jang saeng said something like this...."i am a natural born "blind" (meaning he was someone who is impulsive, sensitive and constantly being ruled by his heart) when young, the first time i saw minstrels acting, i was "blinded". (here he meant that's how he came to love and wanted to be a minstrel). when rapping with my partner and without resistance ( he meant not fighting the resistance or pull of attraction), i was "blinded" by this youth (this is a clear indication that's when he knew he had fallen in love with gong gil as a lover). came to seoul, i was "blinded" by gold. (blinded for the love of money, the indication here, he knew he had made a mistake doing that skit). came to the palace, (in the korean version, he paused and his tone is highly emotional here) saw something not suppose to "see" (meant he knew right from the start the king was eyeing gong gil) but being "blind" didn't see the murderous thief (king) stealing his (gong gil's) heart. (possibly he was blinded by the luxuries of food and lodging, and the good times he had with gong gil in the palace, he overlooked the 'danger sign' of the king's amorous advances.) if i had known earlier (all these misfortunes) i would rather be blind sooner. "(he meant to be really blinded in the eyes, as we singaporeans would say 'no eye see')......


about this chinese version, don't knock it until you've heard it. you should give it a try. somehow i feel that chinese and Korean languages have more similarities than korean with english. even some words have similar sound like "wang" king, and "chen" money. and chinese characters were used widely in the movie, on the banners and fans and patches over bum of gong gil and the fronts of seven ravin and eight pate.

i have given some thoughts to your other posts, about your meaning of jang seang being blinded to his feelings.
you seem to imply that being "blinded" is akin to a blockage. you said jang saeng was blinded to his feelings about gong gil, so are you implying that there was an obstruction in his feelings that made him couldn't see that he love gong gil until it was too late? in your opinion, is being "blinded" a negative attitude?

my understanding of being "blinded" is in a positive sense, it's the feelings or emotions that a person may have, which could be uncontrollable and cannot be explained and could even be illogical, as like blind faith, blind devotion and blind obedience. in jang saeng's case, it's like those special (unexplainable) feelings which he has for acting and loving gong gil, feelings that come to him naturally which he can't prevent or be explained logically.

anyway i thought you said you were going to write more…and i am still waiting… Wink
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi dunnbother,

I’m back. Laughing Laughing Laughing

I don’t have the K&C VCD/DVD over the weekdays so had to wait until the weekend to come home and re-cap the scene before replying.

dunnbother wrote:
i have been contemplating should i give jang saeng another bashing if i were to accept your viewpoint that there is no intimate physical between him and gong gil. and if jang saeng were a real guy, then he has to be the stupidest guy that ever walked this planet. and that he is not only "blind" but utterly selfish too.

if your viewpoint is correct, that would mean he and gong gil didn't do anything to "seal" the bond between them, then that would also mean gong gil is not his "wife". and since gong gil is not his "wife", gong gil doesn't belong to him and he has no right to stop the king from wanting gong gil. and he cannot accuse gong gil of being unfaithful. and he ought not to be so selfish to keep gong gil away from the king, instead he should have put gong gil on a silver platter and give it to the king so that gong gil could have a better life and a better future. and if he is not gong gil's husband, he has no right to stop gong gil from wanting to go to a wealthy and powerful man either.


I guess in your view the movie happens after the bond between Jang-saeng and Gong-gil has already been ‘sealed’. To me, the story takes place at a time where they are still fielding out their feeling about each other and their place in each other’s heart to their declaration at the end. So, while Jang-saeng does not have possessive right of Gong-gil as a husband, it doesn’t mean he will not and cannot get to be jealous and feeling angry as he try to make sense of his true feelings. And all his behaviors point to this. So, in a way, there is no selfishness to talk about. [PS - I have also not seen any scene whereby Jang-saeng accuse Gong-gil of being unfaithful].

As to your comment that he should ?put gong gil on a silver platter and give it to the king so that gong gil could have a better life and a better future?, all I want to say is even if he let him prostitutes himself, Gong-gil will not necessary have a better life. Furthermore, I truly doubt Gong-gil or anyone really enjoys prostituting himself/herself out for a better life. If Jang-saeng is not to be selfish as you put it, then he should just let Gong-gil be when the fat patron summoned him, after all compared to Jang-saeng, he is definitely “wealthier? and more “powerful?...so why bother. In my view, Jang-saeng initial behaviors stamped from a common sense of destiny as family, performing partner and close friendship. It is only as the story develops that he comes to realize the truth to their relationship. And to me, “the anger and frustration in his outburst while sitting on the rope condemning the king of 'mounting' his gong gil and also depicting his penis as a snake? are indications that he is becoming aware of his true feelings to Gong-gil.

In reverse, if I were to accept the viewpoint that Jang-saeng has ?ownership’s rights? to Gong-gil, then I would give him a serious bashing Wink myself for his actions in the movie – for tolerating the thought of his “wife? being prostituted to the fat patron or the king, for not grabbing Gong-gil and just leave the palace without second thought, etc.

Quote:
this was what i wrote in asianfanatics some months ago to a fan of junki: you asked did i think gong gil and jang saeng had a sexual relationship, i'll say yes. i choose to be generous towards the character jang saeng, because since gong gil could have sex with other men, why not with jang saeng too! concerning how he loves gong gil to such distractions, of having to endure being beaten and kicked and nearly had his foot smashed and finally to go blind. it would be too cruel if he didn’t have the pleasure of having of gong gil while others did. from the onset of the movie, when jang saeng screamed at the captain of the troupe "stop pimping off of gong gil" is a good indication that that wasn't the first time gong gil has been pimped off. when he saw the captain talking to that ugly old patron, he lost his mood to perform and drop from the rope on purpose, that showed that pimping off gong gil had happened b4. and this indicates gong gil isn't a virgin, so i don't think their relationship is a platonic one.


It’s very clear that Gong-gil is not a virgin and has been prostituted by his troupe more times than can be imagined. Still this doesn’t mean Jang-saeng has done the same to Gong-gil as other men. In my view, Jang-saeng treasures Gong-gil very much in his heart as someone very special and because of this, he will not defile Gong-gil like other men because he is unsure of the relationship between them. As for the reference of husband/wife he often suggested in the movie, I believe this stamped more from the role-play that they are so used to in their performances.

Quote:
i greatly admire the character jang saeng for his courage and strength, of how he protects and loves his gong gil, the light of his life. when he thought that light was gone, he rather go blind. he really thought that gong gil had fallen for the king. i wept so bitterly when i finally understood his lost and his desperation in the last scene. that was after watching the dvd listening to the spoken chinese instead of reading the english subtitles. the english substitles is not good enough in revealing the emotional depth of what was being said most of the time. the chinese translation was much better. the spoken chinese is far more accurate in exposing the emotional depth of how jang saeng felt. one line made so much difference was when he said in chinese "the murderous thief has HIS heart stolen away" whereas the english subtitle says "the murderous thief has stolen a heart"......


I do not believe the above viewpoint will change whether their relationship is 'sealed' or not. The thing is that Jang-saeng did at that point believed he has lost his Gong-gil to the king. As for the Chinese version being better than the English translation in revealing the emotional depth of the story, I do not agree to that. The professor doing the English translation could have toned down the overall crude humors and erotic overtones but I think the Chinese version also did not express the full bawdiness of the Korean original. So I would say for some parts, the Chinese version is better but for others, I personally think the English translation is better. Regardless, the Korean original is still the best so I have invited a Korean pyein to share her views with us. Hopefully, she will take up the offer and join us.

Per your example, Jang-saeng said in chinese "the murderous thief has HIS heart stolen away" and the English subtitle says "the murderous thief has stolen a heart". From what I know, the Korean original has something to the effect that “a bastard has stolen his heart?. After which, Gong-gil said to Jang-saeng “You bastard! Is it so good to be blinded? (something like that), thus telling Jang-saeng that the person who stole his heart is him and not the king. If there is already a sealed relationship between them, then why there is the need for this open declaration???

Another example, when Jang-saeng declares he is the king of the palace on the tightrope, Gong-gil says that he has always wanted to see HIS king according to the English subtitle. However, the Chinese translation is not that specific.

Before I go on further, I do want to comment on the different versions. I have actually bought the Poh Kim’s VCD version first to watch the show. After finishing it, I passed it to my sister and at the same time bought myself the limited edition with only the Korean original and English subtitle. A few months later, I got a DVD retail copy (Taiwan/China Version) for a friend staying overseas as well as for myself. I must say that there are differences between the Chinese dialogues (Poh Kim S’pore vs Taiwan/Chinese). That is why I do not rely on these interpretation totally. My DVD version is currently with a friend so I’m using my VCD as reference.

Quote:
jang saeng said something like this...."i am a natural born "blind" (meaning he was someone who is impulsive, sensitive and constantly being ruled by his heart) when young, the first time i saw minstrels acting, i was "blinded". (here he meant that's how he came to love and wanted to be a minstrel). when rapping with my partner and without resistance ( he meant not fighting the resistance or pull of attraction), i was "blinded" by this youth (this is a clear indication that's when he knew he had fallen in love with gong gil as a lover). came to seoul, i was "blinded" by gold. (blinded for the love of money, the indication here, he knew he had made a mistake doing that skit). came to the palace, (in the korean version, he paused and his tone is highly emotional here) saw something not suppose to "see" (meant he knew right from the start the king was eyeing gong gil) but being "blind" didn't see the murderous thief (king) stealing his (gong gil's) heart. (possibly he was blinded by the luxuries of food and lodging, and the good times he had with gong gil in the palace, he overlooked the 'danger sign' of the king's amorous advances.) if i had known earlier (all these misfortunes) i would rather be blind sooner. "(he meant to be really blinded in the eyes, as we singaporeans would say 'no eye see')......


As for what you have said above, I really do not see or read it as such in reference to the Chinese version on my VCD.

Quote:
actually there's a lot more to talk about in this last scene. like why i believe the king would eventually pardon jang saeng and allow gong gil to leave with him. many comments that i have come across said that the jesters would surely die when the ministers revolted but history said the king didn't die right away but two months later. i wouldn't be so quick to jump to the conclusion that the clowns died there too. those corrupted ministers revolted but the soldiers (in red) were with the king. by the king's command, soldiers could have saved or protected those two clowns. no doubt the king is emotionally immature but he is not someone without feelings, especially where gong gil is concerned. see how he defiled cheoson, the old eunuch and noksu when they spoke and acted against gong gil indicated how much gong gil meant to him. i believe right till the end, the king has affection for gong gil, even after he knew that gong gil will only and always love jang saeng alone. the director joonik has used the king's body language to show that the king was remorseful. and this is why jang saeng was brought to the rope for the king wanted to hear his side of the story. i don't blame the king for loving gong gil because he couldn't have known about the bond between jang saeng and gong gil and no one told him. after he knew about it, from gong gil's puppet's revelation and attempted suicide, i guess he felt bad and went back to noksu for comfort. at the last scene, he sat with his hands grasped together in a slouching position, with guilt and shame written all over him, definitely unlike a king. and when gong gil appeared, he was eyeing gong gil with sheepish looks, and his body language was a dead giveaway that he was "sorry". this is why i believe he would eventually pardon jang saeng.


I doubt so. Yeonsan has any power whatever so to pardon anyone after the revolution. He was exiled and died only two months later simply because of the fact he was once the king. In fact, from what I know, Nok-su was killed during the revolution so there is no reason to believe that two lowly clowns could escape death. The last scene also showed the soldiers in red running away so he is really alone at the end with only Nok-su by his side. The king may have been remorseful and has selfish affection for Gong-gil but that is certainly not love. Even the actor playing the king has said that Yeonsan does not know how to love. Yeonsan already knew the bond between Jang-saeng and Gong-gil when they tried to die in each other place before Jang-saeng was blinded but he chose to ignore that.

Quote:
i have given some thoughts to your other posts, about your meaning of jang seang being blinded to his feelings.
you seem to imply that being "blinded" is akin to a blockage. you said jang saeng was blinded to his feelings about gong gil, so are you implying that there was an obstruction in his feelings that made him couldn't see that he love gong gil until it was too late? in your opinion, is being "blinded" a negative attitude?

my understanding of being "blinded" is in a positive sense, it's the feelings or emotions that a person may have, which could be uncontrollable and cannot be explained and could even be illogical, as like blind faith, blind devotion and blind obedience. in jang saeng's case, it's like those special (unexplainable) feelings which he has for acting and loving gong gil, feelings that come to him naturally which he can't prevent or be explained logically.


I'm not implying being "blinded" is a negative or postive attribute. Rather, it refers to some facts or emotions that Jang-saeng is not fully aware of at that point of time. It could also be interpretated as what you have mentioned above.

Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes It's too late. now Got to stop here for now. I will add on if I can think of anything further.

--


Last edited by nslan on Mon Feb 05, 2007 5:33 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi dunnbother,

dunnbother wrote:
i once read an article that said that those original english subtitles were done by a korean professor. i think he must have been an old-fashioned guy, who probably thought that since the movie was a period piece, he might as well gave those subtitles a shakespearean's touch with those "thee" and "thy", probably also thinking that a classic touch would appeal to a foreign audience. yeah…he was also probably a prude since he white-washed all those crude humours and watered-down every erotic overtone and ended up giving us very bland english subtitles. blah. Rolling Eyes


I think there is some different in viewpoint here. If you really look at it...the shakspearean tone only takes place during the act in act or when the characters are in play. At other times, the language used is quite modern and avoid the use of "thee" and "thy" etc. I think that was the original intention of the English translation.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My gosh! I heard something interesting was going on here and indeed! I really need to come back to this thread again and really read carefully through this debate...

Since I'm a little pressed for time at the moment, I'd just like to mention one thing. Regarding Jang-saeng's "blinded" monologue, which seems to be frequently the subject of debate... the English translation differ quite a lot here and I figured the translator tried to preserve the lyrical quality rather than accurate translation, since the way Jang saeng speaks here is very rhythmic, especially with all those repetitive "blinded" phrases. Without paying attention to the rhythm whatsoever, the direct translation would be:

"As a child when I first saw a minstrel troupe, my eyes went blind by that rhythm (clowns' percussion music) When I became a clown, it was so much fun playing with this one clown as partners, my eyes went blind by the fun. When I came to Seoul, my eyes went blind by the money the spectators threw. And when I ended up in a palace somehow... in a palace... I couldn't see a thing. I didn't see this scoundrel (murderous thief or whatever... ) stealing his heart..."

When he says "his heart," the Korean word for "heart" here is not literally the heart, the organ of the cardiovascular system, but a word that is also used as "mind." The English word "heart" strongly implies love. The Korean word, "ma-um" literally "mind," can be interpreted as care, attention, thoughts, and love as well.

I agree that Korean is much closer to Chinese than it is to English. It would clear up a lot of things if a Korean script were available with chinese characters since most Korean words are chinese derived... But then, the movie is quite vague to begin with, open to a lot of interpretations. Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While surfing the net recently, I came across an old article which gave some interesting insights into K&C. I’m not sure how accurate this write-up is but it certainly re-enforces my viewpoint that the story of K&C is from Jang-saeng perspective through the intention of both director Lee Joon-ik and actor Karm Woo-sung. I have included the extract from the Chinese article and my 2-cents worth translation herein. See below.

I think it is a pity that most people view this movie as simply a very touching and mesmerizing love story. It is but it is also much more. It’s a re-awakening tale about a person to know himself better and to know what is really important to him. To the rich and powerful, everything that one can ask for seems well within reach and yet their cravings are not easily or often satisfied. For the poor and insignificant, there is often nothing tangible to hold on to except one’s faith and belief. That is why, in my opinion and again I like to re-iterate that Jang-saeng holds Gong-gil so previously close to him, not only because of the close family/friendship bond or even love between them but an ideal illusion of his faith/belief in another person who is kind, innocence and beautiful; who believes in him, needs him and his protection and whom bring him joy and happiness; someone who complement him completely.

Nothing beats a man who loses faith or belief. Therefore, Jang-saeng is willing to forsake his sights, life and freedom when he no longer thought his Gong-gil stands by or with him. In the end, I believe Gong-gil returns to him because he fights hard enough and fierce enough for his Gong-gil right from the start to the end. It could also be that Gong-gil feels the same way or simply just a genuine deep love and affection for his Jang-saeng – this I can’t tell because the character Gong-gil is never explored to such depth in the movie.

----------------
Chinese Extract :
“王的男??(导演 ?俊益)公开了??在?典场??的故事。为几乎全部都是?典场?的高质?的电影诞生给?俊益导演最大帮助的就是甘宇?。?传闻甘宇?在?摄过程中?常和导演探讨自己的想法,这对电影的质?起到了很大影?。

最?能?到的是在影片中??们进入到皇宫後看到?次演出结?後都有人死去,对此感到害怕并决心离开皇宫时的‘张生’(甘宇?饰)割掉绳?的镜头中就??映出了甘宇?的??。原?这个镜头被设定为张生跟孔?(?俊基饰)大???的场?,但甘宇?认为张生跟孔?的矛盾应该进一步加深而??议把绳?割掉,还有被很多人认为“王的男??的?典场?的在狱中张生的独白也是甘宇?自己所创作的??。

代替孔?入狱,加上眼?失明的张生,对看守的人诉说自己?时侯故事的场?,刚开始其实设定为张生抱怨自己命苦的镜头。但是甘宇?认为必需?让观众知?张生为何无法抛弃孔?的?由,并创作了“?然?了一棒我用嘴挡了它,当时如果我用眼?挡了它的?现在嘴巴还能裂开???等??显示了他对电影的热情。

最後失明了的张生走?绳时并扔掉扇?时说出的“?世我还?当???这个场?也是甘宇?所??出的,这?味著张生放了今生的最後一次绳。?时这也表示没有一直?赖的扇?也能飞到自由世界的?境。为了表现这样的??甘宇???出了?扔掉扇?的建议。在甘宇?的热情和导演?俊益对他的信赖之下诞生的‘王的男?’?典场??为了打动700万观众的原动力。

Overview of English Translation :
Director Lee Joon-ik reveals hidden insights on the classical scenes in the movie “King and the Clown? (King’s Man). News has it that Actor Karm Woo-sung frequently discusses and shares a lot of his own ideas during the filming process, especially on many of the classical scenes. Thus, Actor Karm has been a great help to Director Lee in shaping the quality of the movie tremendously.

The fear and determination by the minstrels to leave the imperial palace following the bloodshed after their last performance also carried a reflection of Karm’s opinion. The original scene was to have a fiery argument between Jang-saeng and Gong-gil but Karm thought that the contradiction/conflict between the two characters should be further deepened. Therefore, he proposed the scene whereby Jang-saeng tries to hack at the tightrope, thus attempting to cut off the bond between him and Gong-gil.

The monologue by Jang-saeng in the prison scene was also created by Karm Woo-sung. During this scene, Jang-saeng has lost his sights and is imprisoned. He then goes on to tell the tale of his childhood with Gong-gil to the prison guard. The original conception was to have Jang-saeng complaining about how life and fate has been cruel to him. However, Karm thought that there is a need to let the audience know why he is unable to abandon his Gong-gil. Therefore, he created the many classical line as such "suddenly come a stick hitting right across my mouth…at that time if I have used my eye to keep it off, it would be my mouth that split or burn now?" etc which demonstrated his enthusiasm on the movie.

In the final scene, the act of discarding the fan as the characters make their way across the tightrope and the line “to be minstrels again in their next life “ were also suggested by Karm. The action of throwing the fan away denotes that Jang-saeng has given up on living this life. It also expresses the idea that without the fan, the minstrels are also free to roam as they please without constrains. It is this enthusiasm from Karm Woo-sung coupled with Director Lee’s faith in him on these changes that have become the driving forces behind “king's man? classical scenes that moved 7 million audiences.

Two addition notes -
a) In the audio commentaries, it was mentioned that Karm was instrumental in keeping the scenes after the minstrel first performance to running away together. Extract on what Karm Woo-sung said : “This was one of the crucial scenes that led me to decide to do this movie as I read the scenario. (* Jang-saeng’s line, “There are things you shouldn’t sell. What kind of life is that?) Especially because this was still fairly in the beginning, I considered this scene to be a very important moment that acts as a bridge. However, when our director, Mr. Lee, sent me the first edited version, I saw that the parts from the following scene to the one of running away from the master’s house were taken out. I felt surprised, very surprised, and even flustered. Of course, our editing process was one with constant revision and fluidity. Therefore, I informed Mr. Lee of my dissatisfaction, and spoke to him on the phone for over an hour about the absolute necessity of those scenes. Unless he reconsidered, I even told him, I was willing to withdraw completely from any further involvement with the movie production.?
b) There was also something else I remember reading but unfortunately I can’t trace the source. From what I remember and understand, the original scripted dialogue between Jang-saeng and Gong-gil were actually switched but Karm or Director Lee (I can’t specifically recalled who) felt that the intereaction would be better the other way around and so to our good fortune, we end up having the classical lines to be “king? vs “minstrel? that are so much imprinted in our minds.)


More than 2 cents worth here…. Laughing Laughing
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Teether!

Welcome to the debate... Laughing Laughing Laughing

teether wrote:
Without paying attention to the rhythm whatsoever, the direct translation would be:

"As a child when I first saw a minstrel troupe, my eyes went blind by that rhythm (clowns' percussion music) When I became a clown, it was so much fun playing with this one clown as partners, my eyes went blind by the fun. When I came to Seoul, my eyes went blind by the money the spectators threw. And when I ended up in a palace somehow... in a palace... I couldn't see a thing. I didn't see this scoundrel (murderous thief or whatever... ) stealing his heart..."

When he says "his heart," the Korean word for "heart" here is not literally the heart, the organ of the cardiovascular system, but a word that is also used as "mind." The English word "heart" strongly implies love. The Korean word, "ma-um" literally "mind," can be interpreted as care, attention, thoughts, and love as well.


I'm not sure if it's me or what but the above what you have described is what I perceived from the English translation itself, i.e. Jang-saeng was mesmerized as a child by the intrigue of performance that is why he chose to be a minstrel. As a clown, his happiest moments were sparring with his partner in "plays"/"drama" that he forgets the hardship of life. When he came to Seoul, he was blinded by money and material comforts that he chose to overlook the 'danger sign' of what is to come even if he knew it was there, especially in the palace. For me, it is only at the last part that he reveals any true feeling about Gong-gil. May be I was really reading between the lines in the English translation than what the words actually say.

I just don't feel the same interpretation as above or as what dunnbother has highlighted from the Chinese version.

BTW, if I remember correctly, I may have an online copy of the korean draft script somewhere. May be I can pass to you and we can share some of the details over here when you are not to tie-up.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

been busy lately, been trying to download a video clip and send it to a fan of junki and it's much harder than i thought. will take me some time to figure out the whole process.…still figuring….damn…and i couldn't find a vital installation disk which i might have displaced it somewhere in that mountain of my clutters.

hi teether, welcome to the forum. please contribute as much as you possibly can. it's always such a joy to read others' comments and viewpoints. Very Happy

hi nslan, yes indeed, in the chinese version, jang saeng said cha joe (bastard) pa tah ter cing (had his heart) thoe ler (stolen). "cha joe" in hokkien is "chup ching" and in cantonese is "chap chung". i knew it was bastard but when i was typing out the above post i was too mentally preoccupied with the english subtitle that overlooked this point.
in fact i had made a few typing errors in all my posts above…..typing too fast..i guess...that the brain and fingers lacked co-ordination. lol. Embarassed

some of those oops were..

"if i were to accept your viewpoint that there is no intimate physical (relationship) between him and gong gil. and if jang saeng were a real guy, then he has to be the stupidest guy that ever walked this planet."

and

the dvd with the chinese version that i have was brought (bought) in spore.

you wrote: PS - I have also not seen any scene where Jang-saeng has accused of Gong-gil of being unfaithful...

how about the scene here?
jang saeng said "so what's this then? might as well fuck the richest guy in town, is that it?"

and also this is what homura wrote in soompi: "When JS said "Whoever pleased his one-eyed snake was given delicacies and silk robes, and a title to boot!" the king was not there. JS was giving Gong-gil (not the king) a fierce scowl as if he is blaming his wife for infidelity"...


i once read someone (i think it's homura) commented that every time when you see this movie, you'll discover new ideas and perspectives. i totally agree. after seeing this movie for the zillion times, now i have come to the conclusion that gong gil had never entertained any men prior to that incident regarding that fat patron at the onset of the movie. the reason is jang saeng wouldn't have allowed it to ever happen. ..that crazed madness he exhibited in stopping gong gil says it all. i guess the troupe's leader could have tried to pimp off gong gil before but without success because of jang saeng's adamant objection. and probably the leader could have tolerated jang saeng in the past because jang saeng was his best minstrel. i guess the crash between jang saeng and the leader finally came to blows because at the fat patron's place, the leader was at his wits' end worrying about his troupe being hungry and that led him to give jang saeng that beating.

i found this comment in soompi that i like tremendously.
this is what Mj07 wrote:

"homura, you're not the only one with that interpretation. I took it that way from the start; JS and GG were a long-time couple, probably since they left their former master's home and became minstrels. Many critics around the globe view the relationship the same way. However, the interpretation is unpopular here at Soompi b/c many people are uncomfortable with the idea of a homosexual relationship. So, I'm afraid you'll run up against a lot of brick walls."...

yah Wink ..my sentiment exactly.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi dunnbother,

dunnbother wrote:
hi nslan, yes indeed, in the chinese version, jang saeng said cha joe (bastard) pa tah ter cing (had his heart) thoe ler (stolen). "cha joe" in hokkien is "chup ching" and in cantonese is "chap chung". i knew it was bastard but when i was typing out the above post i was too mentally preoccupied with the english subtitle that overlooked this point.


I think I'm getting confused...mixing up the chinese and english translation Laughing Laughing Laughing Anyway I don't have the VCD or DVD with me now so I will not comment more on this.

Quote:
you wrote: PS - I have also not seen any scene where Jang-saeng has accused of Gong-gil of being unfaithful...

how about the scene here?
jang saeng said "so what's this then? might as well fuck the richest guy in town, is that it?"

and also this is what homura wrote in soompi: "When JS said "Whoever pleased his one-eyed snake was given delicacies and silk robes, and a title to boot!" the king was not there. JS was giving Gong-gil (not the king) a fierce scowl as if he is blaming his wife for infidelity"...


If my view is taken that no physical intimacy happened between the two and they are at a stage where they are still fielding out their feelings, then there is no accusation of unfaithfulness, just very frank and harsh words to someone that you really care about...may be like jealousy between boy/girl friend before they become steady???

If your view is correct that they are "husband & wife", then JS is not wrong. It is not an accusation but a fact that Gong-gil was indeed already been mounted by the king.

Quote:
i once read someone (i think it's homura) commented that every time when you see this movie, you'll discover new ideas and perspectives. i totally agree. after seeing this movie for the zillion times, now i have come to the conclusion that gong gil had never entertained any men prior to that incident regarding that fat patron at the onset of the movie. the reason is jang saeng wouldn't have allowed it to ever happen. ..that crazed madness he exhibited in stopping gong gil says it all.


It's true that depending on your stage of mind and age, you do get to discover new ideas and perspectives every time you watch K&C.

I disagree with your view above though. If Gong-gil has never been "sold" before, I doubt he would be acting like he is so resigning to fate even if he dislikes what is being done to him. He would be even more hesitant and Jang-saeng would not have said "there is something you should not sell for".

Quote:
i found this comment in soompi that i like tremendously.
this is what Mj07 wrote:

"homura, you're not the only one with that interpretation. I took it that way from the start; JS and GG were a long-time couple, probably since they left their former master's home and became minstrels. Many critics around the globe view the relationship the same way. However, the interpretation is unpopular here at Soompi b/c many people are uncomfortable with the idea of a homosexual relationship. So, I'm afraid you'll run up against a lot of brick walls."...

yah Wink ..my sentiment exactly.


Different people have different interpretation. Many other critics also have the view that they are soulmates but not necessary having a sexual relationship as you see it. Wink Wink
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi dunnbother,

Quote:
after seeing this movie for the zillion times, now i have come to the conclusion that gong gil had never entertained any men prior to that incident regarding that fat patron at the onset of the movie. the reason is jang saeng wouldn't have allowed it to ever happen. ..that crazed madness he exhibited in stopping gong gil says it all. i guess the troupe's leader could have tried to pimp off gong gil before but without success because of jang saeng's adamant objection. and probably the leader could have tolerated jang saeng in the past because jang saeng was his best minstrel. i guess the crash between jang saeng and the leader finally came to blows because at the fat patron's place, the leader was at his wits' end worrying about his troupe being hungry and that led him to give jang saeng that beating.


After giving it more thoughts, I will have to agree partially to what you have said above. I believe Jang-saeng must have been protecting Gong-gil right from the time they first met. However, I would not say that at all times he would have been successful. There must have been a few times that things happened and he couldn’t have done anything about it, either he was not around or prevented from protecting gong-gil, like being knocked unconscious or whatever. Therefore, Gong-gil must certainly been pimped off for sexual trade-off before so he already knows what to expect even if he is very unwilling to do it. That is also why he acted the way he did – hesitant but resigned. So in short, Jang-saeng must have saved Gong-gil from being pimped-off lot of times and yet there must also have been a few times that he was unable to stop it.

As for Yeon-san and Gong-gil, I certainly believed he has been “mounted? by the king. No doubt about it. In a way, Gong-gil has accepted his fate in this kind of matters so there was not much intense reaction from him but at the same time he must have expected some sort of understanding from Jang-saeng. Alas, Jang-saeng is really a block-head and blinded by his jealousy not to see how much Gong-gil cares for his thoughts on him.

There are other points which I want to add to support my viewpoint that there is no physical relationship between the two. I do believe Gong-gil is young, a boy no more than 15-16. Even if Gong-gil has been pimped off before, I doubt Jang-saeng would bear to force himself to satisfy his own curving. Thus, I believe Jang-saeng is protecting Gong-gil like an older brother. In the process, he then discovers his feeling is more than that. If, as you said, Gong-gil has never entertained any men before, then as a pair of young “boy? and old “boy? (一个?孩??一个大孩?), I do have my doubt about how much they know about sex to enjoy it, regardless of how bawdy their plays are. Again, if Gong-gil has been pimped before, he certainly knows what is going on but I doubt Jang-saeng will have the heart to exploit him. So in my view, this is still very much the self-discovery phase of their love story, if you must insist this is a love story. Wink Wink

My additional 1 cent worth…. Laughing Laughing

-----

Something else I remember from another movie (The Professional) that came to mind when I watched K&C…

Matilda : “Is life always so hard or only when you are a kid??
Leo : “Always…?

So for Jang-saeng and Gong-gil, who are lowly creatures of the society that they lived in, you can well imagine how hard life is for them and what indignity they have to suffer. Therefore, to me, K&C is truly one unique movie that explores the many aspects of human desire, motivation, conflict and tension.


----
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