Gaksital / 각시탈
- Joo Won as Lee Kang-to/Sato Hiroshi/Lee Young
- Jin Se-yeon as Mok Dan/Esther/Boon-yi
- Park Ki-woong as Kimura Shunji
- Han Chae-ah as Ueno Rie/Lara/Chae Hong-joo
Episodes: 28 (60 mins)
Theme song: Goodbye Day by Ulala Session
Two brothers – Lee Kang-to and Lee Kang-san – live in Seoul in the 1930’s, oppressed under the Japanese rule. Kang-to, the younger brother, is a rising star in the police force and works with the Japanese police to capture “Bridal Mask,” a mysterious freedom fighter who fights for independence wearing a Korean Bridal Mask. Later when Lee Kang-to’s life is turned upside down, he dons the Bridal Mask and fights injustice and rights wrongs against the Japanese during one of the darkest periods of Korea’s history.
Kimura Shunji is a gentle Japanese teacher who has come to teach in Korea against his father’s will. He is best friends with Kang-to and shares a loving relationship with his Korean nanny. He also falls in love with the fiercely patriotic Mok Dan, a woman who is in love with Kang-to, a twist that begins to change him into a darker person.
Alright, alright. This drama seemed pretty bad when I read the synopsis. What Japan occupation and police force against a guy with a bridal. It sounded absurd and extremely boring. Then, I started hearing here and there about how amazing it was. Just to see the feeling, I opened the episode one and closed it after not even 5 minutes. It looked too bad for me. But then, for some reason, I decided to give it a try.
After the two first episodes, I knew… I just simply knew this was going to be amazing. The ratings were going up every episodes and I was awaiting for more and more awesomeness. Oh yes. The whole concept of Japanese violence was impossible to endure. I must say that the torture scenes will stay in my mind for forever! The nail cage, that was the mean monster. Otherwise, how the police abuse of their power was just unacceptable. On the other hand, the fights between Bridal Mask and his enemies were epic and really enjoyable.
The development of each character was well prepared and I loved them all or I hated them and wanted to bury them, alive, 10 feet underground and torture them to death (that means mostly Shunji and Koiso). Some characters were funny, others were courageous. I must say that in general, the acting was wonderful. Joo Woon, our hero was very true to his character and we are with him, going through his happy moments and painful moments. Jin Se Yeon, on the other hand, is not as great. There are moments she seems dull, but I completely forgive her because she is younger than me and that gives her all the right to be praised despite the negative points some viewers rate her.
The story of Bridal Mask itself was really interesting. The setting and development was excellent. No confusing, no contorsions, no extended useless scenes. (Well, there are some scenes that are dragging here and there, but no matter what, it’s still a Korean drama). However, 28 episodes is indeed quite long. Sometimes, it just seems that the same happens over and over again. Catching people, hitting people, beating people up, escaping, running away, we get enough of them towards the middle of the drama. But then, towards the end, we get a flow of tons and tons of new players in this game between Joseon people and “Japanese Bastards” and it makes everything so interesting again. The final episodes makes us enjoy the show even more. It is hard to stop when events just happen one after the other: TACK. TACK. TACK.
After this drama, every single view will have their own list of: I-love-this-person and I-hate-this-person. Many people of both camps will perish and other will survive. But at the end of the storyline, it just felt that none of that matters. Like Dam Sa Ri says: A boulder is strong, but it’s dead. An egg is weak, but it’s alive. A boulder will become sand one day and a chick will hatch from the egg. The final scene was heart warming and concluded perfectly the feelings of all the Joseon people.
I must say that there must be more than 800 characters (haha, kidding, but quite a lot). And it’ll be impossible to mention them all. However, I wanted to mention a few people that I consider important. First, our main protagonists: Lee Kang To, Mok Dan and Shunji will form the love triangle, which by the way, was not interesting at all, but I never watched the drama for its love story anyways. Shunji’s brother was quite someone that I wanted to see die really soon and I just wanted to punch his father’s arrogant face. Then, Ra Ra adds in and she’s pretty sexy and powerful, but I enjoyed much more the character of her bodyguard: Katsuyama. Kang To’s assistant was the cutest ever: Abe, I will remember you. The yeobo yeobo couple was really cute, and the wife is a really, REALLY amazing actress. Dam Sa Ri is a really handsome man and his determination was impressive and will stay in our minds… So many many many more, but if you want to know about them, you just gotta go watch it.
Here’s I will leave THE MOST amazing, beautiful OST of the drama: Goodbye Day. This is he memory that will help me remember Gaksital for ever and ever. But warning: once you start, there’s no turning back. Each episode will keep you out of breath and always wanting more.