Review. Chuno is a sweeping drama that weaves timeless issues throughout – friendship, love, loyalty, human dignity, good versus evil, during a time where slaves were crucial to life but considered the lowest rung of society. Slaves ran away from cruel conditions and Slave Hunters were employed to bring them back.
The pivotal role of slave hunter Lee Dae-gil is played to perfection by Jang Hyuk. His comrades, General Choi (Han Jung-soo) and Wang-son (Kim Ji-seok), acting as muscle and maid respectively, form a family.
Dae-gil is haunted by his first love, former slave, Un-nyun (Lee Da-hae), who escaped with her brother 10 years ago when Dae-gil’s family home was burned to the ground, to which Dae-gil was the lone survivor.
Song Tae-ha (Oh Ji-ho) crosses paths with Dae-gil multiple times during the series and is a key to Dae-gil’s first love, Un-nyun, story. Tae-ha is a military general for the royal court and a driver for the political storyline.
These parallel stories of slave hunting and political intrigue of the King’s court, push all the characters towards an intersection of fate and their choices for their individual life’s purpose.
This show is beautiful, each actor is lovingly shot to the best angles and lighting no matter how many days they’ve been without bathing. The fights are choreographed so that each character’s has a different style and no two fights are the same – difficult to achieve with as many fights scenes in the series!
What I loved about this drama:
1) Dae-gil is the lynchpin for the emotional punch of the series. I loved the character of Dae-gil – great fighter, fiercely loyal, savvy in what motivates people, the kind of guy you’d want to hang with. Dae-gil’s story interweaves with all the key characters. The actor Jang Hyuk brought this crucial hard-edged character to life.
2) The political storyline was interesting. Yes there are lots of characters and it takes a while to sort it out, but the selfish power-hungry politicians play chess with all the characters you love (and hate).
3) Great villains – Hwang Chul-Woong (Lee Jong Hyuk) driven to hard core assassin by chess master Minister Lee (Kim Eung Soo).
4) Cutest kid ever, Crown Prince Seok-Kyeon (Kim Jin Woo).
5) Eop Bok’s final stand was very satisfying.
What I did not love:
1) Mid-way the series took a dark turn that was recoverable, but the shock was significant.
2) Tough to keep the political story characters straight and politicians are never nice people.
3) Who lives and who dies? Even though I’d like some changes, the retribution and redemption choices the writers made, rang true for the characters.
4) More of an epilog on the final episode to wrap the series up, much is left to your imagination.
* Change by Gloomy 30’s, my favorite Theme Song ever!
* Stigma by Yim Jae Bum
* Moon has Passed by Beige
* EopBok The Sniper by MC Sniper
* Wanted by Various Artists
* Damned Love by Woong San
* Evil Earth by Various Artists
* Black Windy Mountain by Various Artists
* Biingnyeolli by Ccotbyel
* Flower Way, Star Way by Various Artists
* The Lost Paradise by Various Artists
* Swords Don’t Cry by Various Artists
* Stigma II (Bonus Track) by Yim Jae Bum
Favorite Songs from the OST in my YouTube Playlist (link or embedded below)