In the 21st century, being a woman can still be a disadvantage because we haven’t achieved gender equality. Although people are more open to it and we have a lot of strong and influential women representing us like Emma Watson (He for She), we still have a long way to go.
I can imagine how it was to be Hwang Jin Yi. She was beautiful, smart, independent and a talented artist but there was one thing she didn’t have : social status. Being a lowborn, she didn’t have much of a choice but to become a gisaeng. Whether she hated it or not, she was a celebrated artist of her time and a woman who left an exceptional mark in history.
But enough with my rant, this blog is to review the Korean Drama adaptation of her life. The sageuk titled “Hwang Jin Yi” with lead actress Ha Ji Won was such an amazing work of art. The quality of actors and actresses performance were exceptionally high and Ha Ji Won even won the Daesang award.
Unlike most sageuks, this drama was not political as it mainly focused on Hwang Jin Yi’s life, lost loves as well as her journey in pursuit of her art. My disappointment was that most of the story was about her tragic love life. Hwang Jin Yi was supposed to be an independent woman but she became demotivated, vindictive and an alcoholic after she lost her first love. She only began to recover from heartbreak when she fell in love with another man. They say artists turn to their art to express their emotions but such was not the case for this drama. Jin Yi either turned to revenge, alcohol or her man.
My rating is 8/10. I’m only giving this score because it disappointed the feminist in me. I was kinda hoping this would empower women just like Queen Seon Deok but it didn’t. But all in all, it was well-made and worth 24 hrs of your time.
Thanks for reading!