With the current political tension that Japan has with many of its neighbours, this drama cast a grim reminder of the brutality of the Japanese prior to end of WWII. The 28 episode drama ended its run in Singapore on Thursday.
This drama is set in the 1930s when Korean is still a colony of Japan. Lee Kang To is a member of the Japanese police and is detested by the Korean community for the brutal way he treats his country man in the line of duty. In contrast, the masked Bridal Mask, a mysterious man wearing a Korean traditional mask in the face of a bride, is hailed as a hero for often coming to the aid of the community. Lee Kang To wants to capture the masked man but he proves elusive.
Kimura Shunji is a good friend of Lee Kang To. He is a kind-hearted teacher who treats the Koreans with respect and sometimes saves them by exerting his authority as son of the police chief.
Both the men are in love with Mokdan, a circle girl who is helping the underground fighters.
The drama starts with a series of cat and mouse game between Kang To and Bridal Mask. Kang To tries to discover the Bridal Mask’s identity but fails many times. Mokdan is secretly attracted to Bridal Mask who saves her many times.
The twist comes in the middle part of the story when Lee Kang To’s kills Bridal Mask, not knowing that the Bridal Mask is actually his older brother, whom everyone thought was the village idiot. He returns to his house to find it burnt and his mother killed. He finds the culprit, Shunji’s brother and kills him. Then he transforms and becomes Bridal Mask himself.
Shunji is devastated of his brother’s death and vows to kill Bridal Mask for killing his brother. He joins the police force and becomes the most brutal of the members. He is suspicious of Kang To as the Bridal Mask but is never sure.
What follows is another round of cat and mouse between Shunji and the new Bridal Mask.
I had trouble watching the drama as it was quite violent. Scenes of forced confession by torture is aplenty and bloodshed was common in many scenes.
Park Ki Woong, as Shunji, deserves special mention for his acting. His smile, once seems kind and loving in the beginning, becomes cruel and fearing at the end. His eyes speak volume, love, anguish, determination, cruelty.
However, I was not convinced that someone like Shunji could change 180 degrees overnight. If you are kind and compassionate, as he is in the beginning of the show, he wouldn’t kill another being he knows as easily as was shown, yes, even if this is a fictitious story.
I much prefer watching a light romantic comedy any time.