Faith


Reviewed by: sukting

October 05, 2014

Rating: three

Year produced
2012

How long
24 episodes

Foreword
It is a fusion fantasy-historical-medical drama. It is about a modern-day plastic surgeon who gets kidnapped and travels back in time to the Goryeo period, 700 years in the past. There, she meets and falls in love with a warrior who is the leader of the royal guard. The title Shin-eui, means faith, as in belief in justice. But in Hangul it also means divine healer or great doctor. It is Hee Sun's first drama after giving birth to a daughter. 
 
 
Story/Introduction on characters
1. Lee Min Ho as General Cui Ying
He is a bodyguard to King Gongmin. He is 29 years old and has no regrets in life, no ambition for women or money, and whose hobby is sleeping. Because he lives a life of no regret and gives up on love to be a determined warrior, he's not afraid of death. He treats women no difference from a stone. He talks little, unlike his past. He realizes that the palace is different from he imagines.

He is the brave captain of the Wu Da Chi warriors and loyal to the king.  Ying believes that people who do not fear death and is a warrior with a brain who has the ability to strategize and attack head-on. Ren De is stabbed so he comes to the present to kidnap En Shu to cure her. He hides all his wounds from her but she is able to detect to bandage them. During the process of protecting her, he starts to love her. He starts to get confused – is this due to faith or love to continue living?

Min Ho is brilliant in fighting scenes. He is equally good in love scenes, the way he shows affection towards En Shu when she is ill surprises all. The classic scenes will be how his subordinates get stunned to see him dragging En Shu away by holding her hand or to gossip about how they kiss one another.
 
2. Kim Hee Sun as Yin En Shu    
She is a chatty 33-year-old plastic surgeon in the year 2012. En Shu is originally a general surgeon but quickly finds that it is an overworked, under-paid profession and switches to plastic surgery. Her dream is to open her own practice. But one day a strange man she thinks is dressed as a drama extra kidnaps her and takes her back to the Goryeo era.

In Goryeo, she is believed to be the apprentice of the famous Chinese surgeon, Hua Tuo, sent from heaven. They call her the divine physician and she adapts to the life well. She even creates her own soap and toothpaste to let others use. Ying changes due to her and she is troubled when she is unable to neutralize the poison that De Xing hits her. She manages to cure herself with Bin's help.

Ying is injured by Che and she seizes the timing to get into the present to seize medicine to bring to the past. However, she gets into the wrong era 100 years ago and has to go through many sessions to get into 5 years after King Gongmin's rule to get reunited with him again under the tree – after getting information from De Wan and the other soldiers. Her acting has improved and manages the emotional scenes well.       

3.Yoo Oh-sung – Qi Che
He is De Fu residence owner and is an important court official. He is the elder brother of Empress Qi. He also knows the frozen skill to be the eldest senior. He dreams of going to the future to escape being killed to change history after picking up En Shu's medical utensils and letters. En Shu is confused after seeing them. The notebook is indeed her handwriting. It turns out that she stops at different eras to look for Ying and leaves that behind. 

He finds Ying a strong opponent as their skills are at par. He fulfills his dream to force En Shu to go with him to the heaven door but his internal strength freezes him to death instead.  He is constantly intelligent but becomes a nutcase whenever anyone mentions about Hua Tuo's things or En Shu's things. Brilliant actor in making his villain comes alive.

4.Ryu Deok-hwan - King Gongmin
He is good in calligraphy and paintings but is troubled that has no power. He does not dare to go against Che. He wants to tie Ying by his side. That is why he abuses his authority to pull En Shu back after she saves Ren De. In a rage, she stabs Ying and he treats it as paying back a debt. That shows how despicable the king is. He realises his mistakes after that to repent. He later becomes a king and is grateful for his help.

I know this is a serious drama but I can't help laughing whenever I see her. Why? He resembles Hong Kong actor To Man Chap and his small build is easily ignored among the crowd due to this. Even his queen is taller than him. His acting is only passable.  

5. Park Se-young - Queen Ren De
Her Chinese name is Wang Jia Zhen. She is a Mongol princess and wears a veil before she marries Gongmin. Gongmin opposes to fixed marriages and tells her that, unaware that she is the one even though he falls for her as she covers her face. She loses her trust in him and treats him coldly. However, Gongmin realizes this and wins her back. She is later pregnant but has a miscarriage due to Qi Che's kidnap. They are a happy couple together after that. Her acting is also stiff at times but is fine since she is a newcomer.     

6. Lee Phillip - Zhang Bin
He is the palace physician. He is doubtful of En Shu after she stabs Ying. However, he respects her after seeing her medical skills. Both of them become close friends and he supplies her with the herbs. He also teaches her TCM. En Shu is very upset when he is killed by Tian Yin Zi and Huo Xiu Ren by protecting the herbs that both are trying out as her poison's antidote.

7.Sung Hoon – Tian Yin Zi
He is Che's junior who is skilled at killing by blowing pieces from his flute. He has a good sense of hearing but Ying observes his weakness to reflect and causes his ears to get injured. He is in love with Huo Xiu Ren and is in anguish after she dies. Ying pins him under a table to finish him off. A friend of mine has wished that he will go deaf instead before getting killed but I don't mind. I don't understand why his hair must be white in colour besides his dressing. It doesn't blend with his flute's colour at all. 

8. Shin Eun-jung – Huo Xiu Ren
She is Che's junior who masters the hands of fire. She is also lustful and often tempts Tian Yin Zi. She also tries seducing Ying but to no avail. She is cunning and often manipulates men. However, she is killed by Court Lady Cui and De Wan. She wears in red and her hands are in red gloves.

9. Lee Byung-joon – Zhao Ri Xin
He serves King Gong Min for 10 years before deflecting to Prince De Xing. He is a timid man who only wants to save his own skin.

10. Kim Mi-kyung - Court lady Cui
She is Ying's aunt who is sent to protect the empress. She sees how the two couples fall in love and decides to bring them together. 

11. Baek Kwang-doo – Pei Zhong Shuo
He is the second general and is Ying's capable assistant. He seems very serious but is able to joke with the rest when they are off duty.  He is killed by Che and that inspires Ying to deal with Che despite of losing his grip on his sword repeatedly – just like what happens to his master. He manages to cut Che's sword into two – that is indeed a heavy sword as he has said. 

12. Kang Chang-mook – Gao Yuan
She is a mute but is a dedicated medical lady. She is Bin's capable assistant and also learns some martial arts from him to protect En Shu.

13. Yeon Kyun-sang – De Man
He is one Yu Da Chi soldier who has spiky hair. All love to make fun of him as he is cute and he able to distract Tian Yi Zi with his foolish tactics to bring others to safety.  He is smart to use a washcloth and a basin nearby to deal with Huo Xiu Ren's firehand.

14. Park Yoon-jae - Prince De Xing
He is King Gongmin's uncle – his mother is a court lady who is of low status so he stays outside the palace in a temple all along. Che brings him back, wanting him to be a puppet ruler. He doesn't want to be controlled by him and has his own plans. This is a desperate move. He forces En Shu to marry him but to no avail. He then agrees to stage a rebellion with Che but fails. Thus he tries fleeing to Mongol.  

15. Ahn Jae-wook – En Shu's doctor ex-boyfriend
Many must have remembered how they acted as lovers in 'Sunflowers'. Unlike the pair who gains attention, Ahn acts as a jerk to belittle En Shu to tell her how unattractive she is to break up with her and how he is going to marry another rich woman who is able to let him manage a hospital.     

16. Choi Min-soo – Wen Zhi Hao
He is the leader of Chi Yue Dui and Ying's master. Seeing how Ying's beloved gets humiliated by Prince Gongmin's uncle, he defends her to get killed by him instead. Before he dies, he still asks Ying to protect him. It breaks Ying's heart when his beloved also hangs herself to death a few days later so he clamps up completely, refusing to open his heart to any woman until En Shu comes along.

Interesting facts from wikipedia and baidu
This drama cost 300billion won and was Korea's first 3D drama. The production unit was once responsible for 'The Legend'。It was supposedly about how the ancient physician Kang Chan became a divine healer. The highest viewership is 16%.

During its run, Faith received viewership ratings around the 10% range, but even though other Korean dramas recorded lower single-digit ratings, taking into account its high budget, in terms of profit Faith was considered the biggest television flop of 2012.

Lee Joon Gi wass initially cast for Ling but had to drop it as he was enlisted to go for the army. Hee-Sun visited a shospital in Gangnam to learn how to hold the scapel and scissors for her role.
 
Many also suspected that they copied parts from Dr Jin. The producer rewrote the script to write more on the warrior Ying. Thus the Chinese name, 《信義》is more applicable than 《神醫》although the Korean name 「신의」remained unchanged.

Several months after the drama had ended, members of the Faith cast and crew filed a lawsuit in February 2013 against director and producer Kim Jong-hak over unpaid wages amounting to ₩640 million (US$572,800), under the charge that he had misappropriated ₩7 billion for personal use.

Furthermore, Kim was accused of double-contracting Faith's soundtrack rights (to two separate companies), in addition to a separate ongoing litigation filed by a construction company that had built the sets for Kim's previous series The Legend for unpaid building costs of ₩265 million.[24] Later, Kim committed suicide and passed away. Writer Song Ji-na, and actors Kim Hee-sun, Lee Min-ho, Ryu Deok-hwan, and Park Se-young came to grieve at Kim's wake.

Min Ho came to Singapore in Oct 2014c for OSIM chair promotion. The drama 'Faith' was shown at the same time. I went to take a glimpse of him. He is dashing and approachable to his 4000 over fans. All remembered how he different he looked in the drama as from now. He joked that he had no time to take care much of his complexion then. Still, he enjoyed shooting the fighting scenes, which was so different from his normal, romance dramas.     

Awards won: 
20th Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress Kim Hee-sun Won
SBS Drama Awards
Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Lee Min-ho Won
Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Kim Hee-sun Nominated
Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Yu Oh-seong Nominated
Special Award, Actor in a Miniseries Ryu Deok-hwan Nominated
Special Award, Actress in a Miniseries Shin Eun-jung Nominated

New Star Award Park Se-young Won
Top 10 Stars Lee Min-ho Won
Popularity Award Lee Min-ho Nominated
Kim Hee-sun Nominated
2013 49th Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actress (TV) Park Se-young Nominated
Most Popular Actor (TV) Lee Min-ho Nominated
Most Popular Actress (TV) Park Se-young Nominated

8th Seoul International Drama Awards
Popularity Award Lee Min-ho Nominated

Most favourite character
Ying, he puts everything upon himself and does a lot for many. That commands a lot of respect from them.

Most hated character
Che, he must possess whatever he wants. How can this be possible? I suspect that he is sick in his mind.   

Conclusion
If you watch this drama, you will understand why it is a flop although there are big stars in this drama. It is too slow moving. The court scenes are boring when none of the scholar officials are competent. Moreover, the king doesn't look like a king at all although he sits down. I feel that he looks more like a lackery instead. The way he walks in the midst of the officials is like a kid being surrounded by adults.

The exchanges between Qi and his juniors are equally dull. I would like them to demonstrate their powers more often but they prefer to hide! I also don't understand why En Xiu must be poisoned twice. To torture Ying to go through this ordeal repeatedly? And the way she has to go through so many turns to return to him is another long-winded round for me.

It is still a treat for Min Ho's fans as he sheds his flower boy image to be a chivalrous general for a refreshing change. Hee Sun's fans might also be delighted to see her on the small screen again after so long. She also delivers a better performance as compared to her usual boring suffering roles in the past.      

Sukting's ratings:
On acting : *** (Scale of 5)
On story : *** (Scale of 5)






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