It’s been a while since it started and I’ve been following it slowly episode by episode, this story is absolutely out of the ordinary to the point it made us suffer from beginning to end without really knowing how things were going to end up.
But as I write in this blog, I try to never spoil anything so the ending does not matter to us, the main goal of this drama is to show how it is possible to drive a person crazy by pushing him to the limit to the point that he becomes a puppet. What happens when the man starts to have feelings of his own and all the possible reactions that lead to the most painful endings.
This couple has been painful in the past, they also worked in My Girl together, but! Hotel King goes beyond limits. Yes, it is a love story, or many, but in the end everything is about violence and despair. How hard can someone push someone else’s mind to the point it breaks?
I decided to add this article to the melodrama category, just because there’s so much of it going on that funny parts don’t allow us to rest enough to categorize it in the romantic comedy genre.
Ciel Hotel is the center of this painful and complicated story that mixes up the past and present of the people in the higher ranks. An ill fated relationship between a couple that couldn’t be more twisted from the very beginning they were born.
Cha Jae Wan was adopted and raised to be a hotelier, he suffered a violent childhood and is obsessive with his work to the point that everyone admires his standards. This was not achieved easily, in fact, his adopting father, Lee Joong Ku, has treated him with physical and emotional violence his whole life, and for that he is used to obey and try to be perfect in everything he does. Jae Wan is no ordinary man, he will do anything his evil father asks to, even dirty tricks to finally take over Ciel Hotel.
Joong Ku will tell Jae Wan, that Ciel Hotel’s president is his birth father, but when he asks for explanations, President Ah Sung Won is murdered. That is when Ah Mo Ne, Sung Won’s daughter appears. A naive, clumsy and childish woman that has no idea about how to run a hotel but she needs to inherit it as soon as possible so her father’s legacy won’t be lost.
She doesn’t count with all the people trying to take over it, and with her lack of experience, it’s really plausible they might. Losing her father she feels really lonely and relies on the people of the hotel who saw her grow up, she has no idea about Jae Wan’s birth relationship but they soon become close to each other, although he only holds hatred for the father that abandoned him, and loving his sister will be hard for him.
This is a story of love but mostly a struggle to survive with the tools that are given, going against evil schemes from the people they trust the most, and finding out their lives hide too many secrets.
Starring Hotel King Korean Drama
Lee Dong Wook (Wild romance, My Girl, Iron Man) is Cha Jae Wan, a trouble minded man who has been suffering from his adopting father’s evil deeds his whole life. On the outside he shows himself as a super hotelier that is excellent in everything he does, but on the inside he holds a huge grudge and sense of revenge, by having been punished physically and mentally since he was a child. I usually like Dong Wook’s performances, I’m not a huge fan but I think he’s a master of drama, here, I think his part was a little over the top at some points, although there were other scenes that were amazingly delivered. It’s not his best, for me, but it still a very good act.
Lee Da Hae (My Girl, Iris 2, Miss Ripley) is Ah Mo Ne, a naive girl that had only her father as family and now that he’s gone she doesn’t know what to do with her life and her childish nature. She will have to struggle through pain and sorrow to discover everyone she and her father ever trusted were, in reality, trying to take over their hotel. She’s sweet whenever she performs, although I didn’t like her starting point, I think the childish part of it was just too much, the overcome was great and as talented as she is, she makes everyone fall in love with her.
Lee Deok Hwa (History of the Salaryman, Secret, Cruel Palace: War of Flowers) is the super evil Lee Joong Ku, the man that adopted Jae Wan and spends his life training him to finally be able to take over Ciel Hotel. Jae Wan will, thanks to him, become a emotionless puppet that will fulfill his wishes as he commands until his net of lies starts falling, and his verbal abuse isn’t enough to move Jayden (that’s how he called him). I will never forget about the way he said “Jayden”, he’s an out of the ordinary evil, and even tho I tend to look at his hair without noticing, he always does an amazing job.
Kim Hae Sook (I Can Hear Your Voice, Marriage Not Dating, The Suspicious Housekeeper) is Baek Mi Nyeo, the staff manager at Ciel Hotel, who has a dark past and present. She holds a solemn figure with a mysterious aura that lets the audience know that she is always up to something, but not giving any hints until later. I love Hae Sook’s characters, always, there’s not a single drama or movie that her part could be ignored because of her natural charisma. She takes the laurels on the entire story since it was the best delivered character and also the toughest.
Im Seul Ong (The Fugitive of Joseon, Personal Taste, Infinite Power) is Sun Woo Hyun, a concierge at Ciel Hotel who has actually a hidden identity. She loves Mo Ne and will do anything to help her, but he tends to be a little useless and powerless. His character was well delivered but I felt like it had no real meaning in the whole story but to listen Mo Ne cry for Jae Wan.
Wang Ji Hye (Protect the Boss, The Suspicious Housekeeper, Cheer Up Mr. Kim) is Song Chae Kyung, one of the associate directors that will try to catch Jae Wan to get married, she’s so in love with him that she thinks she owns him, and the fact that she associates with Jae Wan’s father is what makes the audience don’t like her. Please, don’t turn her into another dead fish expression actress, she was really fun in Protect the Boss, but lately she’s been doing one facial expression. I didn’t like her, like I didn’t like her performance in The Suspicious Housekeeper either.
I know for a fact that everyone loved Hotel King, but in my opinion the same music intro and the same facial expressions were too many from all of them except for the Goddess of Performances, Kim Hae Sook. I did liked it, but for me except from some really deep emotional scenes, it was mainly too long for the story it was portraying and too, for instances…way too slow. Of course, that’s just my opinion and you are entitled to think otherwise, but sadly it won’t be among my favorites like other works from the same artists.
Still think you should watch it if you haven’t, first half of it is amazing and you will feel time flies, but it will pace slowly towards the end to the point that is almost unbearable. Too bad because it could have been perfect since the story is really great and out of the ordinary.