The series got off to a slow start but it started picking up pace after the third week. This drama is deep-set and emotive. The show was initially criticised for discrepancies with respect to actual history. This made me curious and I read up on the country’s history during the timeline too.
The drama is set in the timeline when Joseon slowly fell into Japan’s control. The makers have done a great job in showcasing how hard the patriots and citizens struggled to stop the inevitable. The brutality of the Japanese and the spirit of Joseon is depicted well. The predominance of the caste system and its influence had been portrayed strikingly.
Mr Sunshine shows the life and love story of Eugene Choi untill his death. Eugene Choi’s characterisation is extremely impressive. He is truly ‘the great and noble one’ as addressed by the other characters. His memory shines brightly and is everlasting like the sun.
The show showcases the life of people from various backgrounds in Joseon during the Japanese invasion, how their lives are impacted by it and their feelings towards their motherland. Since the show takes some time to develop, we get used to Joseon’s atmosphere along with its locals and it creates an impact when we see Joseon change during the invasion. The supporting characters grow on us as we continue to watch the series.
The plot is complex with a series of subplots. The romance plot also started suffering after a point of time as there was a constant wavering and sometimes selfishness in the character-sketch of the female lead. The series also kept seeing new characters that kept cropping up even when it came into the final week. For a series that showed a lot of promise in the beginning, the finale could have been better. Despite that,
What makes Mr Sunshine worth watching are-
- Uniqueness of the Romance
- Character sketches
- Exceptional performance by the actors
- The songs and themes
The romance in Mr Sunshine is unique and interesting with the language barrier acting as a bridge that contributes to the bond in relationship between the leads Go Ae-shin and Eugene Choi. It was refreshing to see a deep relationship with almost no physical intimacy between the lead pair, which is rare. The ironic part is that despite there being two other leads, Ae-shin’s patriotism towards her motherland seems to be the hindrance to their relationship. Eugene always seems to be struggling to make her love him more than Joseon.
The bromance in this series is the best I’ve seen so far. Despite the 3 leads liking the same woman, the scenes with the three main leads are extremely good. The rivalry was shown in a light-hearted and humorous way.
The cinematography is mindblowing as it displays all the four seasons and the sets are picturesque.
The Series promised us a story about the unsung heroes during Joseon’s struggle for freedom. It was interesting that the unsung heroes who stood out were the loved ones (Eugene, Dong-mae, Haman, Mr Haengrang etc) of the freedom fighters. They deserve more praise as its not their cause to begin with and they joined the cause because the person whom they care for feels strongly for it.
Lee Byung Hun has given an exceptional performance in his role as the majestic Eugene Choi. His portrayal of the extremely intelligent American soldier who was born in Joseon does full justice to the role of Mr Sunshine. Eugene Choi is an unwavering and righteous personality who loves selflessly and his character stands out among the rest. He will be remembered as a foreigner who helped Joseon putting his life on the line to keep his lady love safe.
Kim Tae Ri has portrayed the female lead Go Ae-shin excellently. She deserves praise as the character involves various kinds of emotions to be brought on screen and she has delivered it perfectly.
Yeo Yeon Suk’s performance as the brooding and daring swordsman Gu-Dong mae is laudable.
Kim Min Jung has done a great job in portraying the calm, composed but fiery Hina Kudo who creates an impact with her performance.
Byun Yo-han has perfectly portrayed the role of Kim Hui Seung, a charming man who becomes an important addition to the freedom movement.
The supporting cast’s work is praiseworthy as they constitute the spirit of Joseon.
Patriotism is an emotion highly felt in the countries that celebrate an independence day. Now and then we need a series to show us how tough it was to fight off invasion and gain the freedom that we take for granted. Mr Sunshine did that by delivering this piece of work in the form of a tragedy.
-By Soul Sword-