My Review of the Classic Korean Drama Rooftop Prince

Rooftop Prince Korean Drama Review

 

Rooftop Prince Korean Drama Review

 

*SIGH*

 

I’m so sad this has ended 😢. I TRULY, TRULY loved watching this show. Rooftop Prince Korean Drama is definitely a classic. I didn’t expect to be as invested in this as I feel, there’s just so many things this show made me feel. I came to love Park Ha, Lee Gak and his three entourage sooooooo much.

 

This drama did start off okay for me. Nothing too attention grabbing but made me feel so nostalgic from seeing how much has changed since then to now. There definitely is something from dramas in those time period that only those dramas have. Something you rarely see now. I think it has to be that they feel more, raw? Unlike the dramas now which are obviously more high quality in terms of filming and editing, dramas from back then has a touch of realness to them.

 

 

This was a drama I’ve been avoiding for quite some time because I just didn’t feel so drawn to it and I’ve heard quite a mixed reaction about the ending. I didn’t know I’d get so blown away by this drama. It certainly is a drama that grew on me over time. It was all fun at first, nothing serious despite the seriousness of the reason they time traveled 300 years into present. I loved how Park Ha got the upper hand at first and just how bad the Joseon crew is dealing with this new time zone.

 

However I came to find that this was definitely deceivingly heartbreaking.

 

                            Seeing the “king” on the paper bill

 

If I liked the comedy and the silly antics of Prince Lee Gak’s sidekick, it was the strong but seemingly fleeting time the couple spent together that really had me undone. If I wasn’t very taken with the idea of them together at first, I was desperately rooting for them to live happily ever after in the end.

 

If you’re looking to watch an older drama, if you love time travel or just want something solid to watch – I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Rooftop Prince. For all it’s loopholes and a bit of its absurdity, it was really a drama that would stick with me for a long time. I’m really taken aback by how much I came to love this Korean drama.

 

The actors were amazing on their roles. Park Yoo Chun and Han Ji Min were perfect as Lee Gak/Tae Yong and Park Ha/Bu Yong. And I was surprised to see how much Lee Gak’s entourage made me feel as if they were really family, it was one of those warm bond I’d just happily watch over and over.

 

The Prince's entourage provided a much needed comic relief in Rooftop Prince Korean Drama

 

Do yourself a favour and prepare to laugh, fall in love and get your heart broken by these two. What an amazing portrayal of a love transcending time – it was so, so beautiful. I don’t like hearing that OST now – as much as it is hauntingly beautiful, it really reminds me of how heartbreaking their love was. 😭😭

 

 

Rooftop Prince Korean Drama – longer review

*spoilers ahead*


Rooftop Prince Korean Drama – The Story

 

This is about a prince who traveled 300 years into present to find out the reason behind his princess’ murder in the Joseon era. Along with his three royal servants, he began his unexpected journey in the present time and how everyone he met had something in connection to the murder he’s trying to solve.

 

The Beginning

I didn’t think much about this at all and just went it because I was looking for something older to watch. I was also challenging myself to watch something that I otherwise wouldn’t watch – and it paid off. To be honest, it took me quite a few episodes for this to fully catch my attention. It was light and funny in the beginning, with the prince’s three sidekicks making everything really fun and actually giving us a cozy vibe because of their bond. But I really wanted to get into the main story and fast. Again, patience did pay off.

 

 

Han Ji Min as Park Ha was really a revelation over time. She was portrayed as an independent person with a very kind heart. I loved her relationship with her stepmum. She truly cared for her mum and I loved the effort she’s made to do that. I didn’t see the chemistry between Lee Gak and Park Ha in the beginning, most probably because nothiing much was done yet to really highlight this.

 

 

I found her to be a strong, independent character for most of the drama. There were times when I just find it annoying that she’d allow herself to be pushed over though. I remind myself that this was an older drama and they are basically in two different time zones, with Lee Gak having a mentality 300 years too dated. Overall, those were really some minor complaints that didn’t really affect the whole drama.

 

But I love how well her character was written in that she’s so consistent to the personality she kept being reincarnated into. The Bu Yong from 300 years ago contrasted so well with the Park Ha we have in the present. You know they’re so different but the same person at the same time.

 

 

I had so much favourite scenes in this drama and going through them, I realised they were all quite the emotional and heartbreaking scenes. I just think it’s in this we see their love more strongly and the desperation to be with each other. It was beautiful and painful all at the same time.

 

The time when Park Ha sees Lee Gak disappearing I think was the start of the train of pain for them and the viewers. It was bittersweet when she called him Lee Gak for the first time, how he said it was awkward but avoided her eyes cause he knew what was to come. As light as this was in the beginning, it was the last two episodes that really tugged at my heart. It was so heartbreaking and that ending made this story linger and their separation more poignant.

 

Yoo Chun – I’ve seen Yoo Chun in The Girl Who Sees Smells first and I really fell in love with him there. His character in that drama was more light and fun – balanced with something heavy but not overwhelmingly so, unlike here. He’s one of those idol-actors that’s really deserving to be called an actor. He was amazing as Lee Gak/ Yong Tae Yong. He’s made acting like a royal transported into present time so easy – but a lot of ihis interviews prove otherwise. He was so impressive especially when he’s had to switch to pretending he’s the real Tae Yong.

 

Park Yoo Chun has achieved an impressive feat in his acting in Rooftop Prince Korean Drama

 

Despite the disguise, I could recognise which character he’s playing and that is so nice to see. There are a lot of these dual role dramas nowadays and Yoo Chun certainly is one to learn from.

 

One of his charm is that he knew just how to control his acting. There were times were he could have over acted and get carried away but no, he had enough control and knowledge of his character to know when it’s enough acting. He knew when to act over the top and he knew how to lay low.

 

A Timeless Classic

 

For me, if there was one drama at the top of my head to say that it’s a ‘classic’ drama – this would be it. Watching this felt very nostalgic. Of course, as years went by, storytelling, cinematography and just the overall structure of how a drama is portrayed has changed drastically. Rooftop Prince Korean Drama remains a perfect example of that time in the past. It really shows us how five years changed so much.

 

 

One thing that really made this drama stand out against the more modern dramas we’ve got now was how solid the overall story was. Watching this – you could see the difference in directing and cinematography. No insanely high HD view like we’ve got now (you could even see their pores! Which was nice, I mean it’s nice be reminded theyre also like us 🙄). You get a more continuous sequence of scenes rather than a scene made up of so many cuts from different takes.

 

But behind all those HD movie quality a lot of Kdramas are adapting now, this one stood out and stood apart because of how it got a story to tell. As much as I would have liked the ending to have been longer and  basically just more time spent showing the couple together, overall it was a . I was amazed how they all wrapped it up in the end. The story made a whole lot of sense which perfectly accentuate their fated but tragic love.

 

*sigh* Having watched this, I found out what it was I felt lacking in a lot of Kdramas I’ve watched recently. It really explains why so much movies/dramas, no matter how old, survive the test of time. And it’s because it succeeded in this one simple task. It did this for me so well that I was able to overlook its glaring loopholes and logic mishaps.

 

Ofcourse I LOVE being able to watch something in high quality but if it lacks the motivation of a story – it’s really all for naught. At the end of the day if you’ve not got a good story to tell, then all that good cinematography becomes just that – a beautiful sequence of pictures.

 

Rooftop Prince reminded me that a well done story beats the one with a great quality visuals. Because it’s really not that sharp image that stays on your mind but what it made you feel watching it that remains etched, regardless if you remembered the details or no.

 

Favourite Scenes

These scenes were the highlight of the drama for me. It sums up why I really got so attached to this drama over time and why I think they best represent what Rooftop Prince Korean Drama offers.

 

  • I LOVE YOU

 

  • Don’t go.

Rooftop Prince Korean drama - the sad part

 

  • And before we had Goblin, we had Rooftop Prince first. And I thought it couldn’t get any sadder.

 

 

  • What dies in life but lives in death?

Bu Yong

 

 

 

I can’t express enough how I loved the entire scene in the end when they were back in Joseon. It tied in so much with the first episode I was so impressed with how they laid out the ground work. The riddle wasn’t answered until the last episode but it made so much impact and left me so satisfied in the end. How ironic also that Bu Yong seemed to have reclaim her rightful place in death? This scene was a perfect example of the writer/director’s brilliance despite its many loopholes. They just nailed this scene. With so much meaning there – this remains to be one of my absolute favourite scenes. 

 

What an impressive portrayal by Han Ji Min. I was completely taken by her and she made it so easy for me to empathise with the character.


◊–◊–◊–◊–◊–◊–◊–◊–◊–◊–◊–♦–♦–♦–♦–♦–♦–♦–♦–♦–♦–♦–♦–♦–♦–◊–◊–◊–◊–◊–◊–◊–◊–◊–◊–◊–◊–◊–♦–♦–♦–♦–♦–♦–♦–♦–♦–♦–♦–♦–♦–♦–◊–◊

Rooftop Prince – Ending

Like a lot of people, I was pretty angry when I saw the ending at first. It felt rushed and so abrupt. I wanted more closure but I felt like the ending gave us more questions than answers. We established that Yong Tae Yong has woken up from his coma and have met Park Ha once again, by chance it seems. It also seemed as though that was really it for the Joseon crew – no more coming back and with Park Ha looking deeply sad.

 

Tae Yong, as we are led to believe he is, looked at Park Ha and seemed as if he was drawn to her. 

 

So was it really Yong Tae Yong or Lee Gak himself?

 

 

That is still a question for so many, ofcourse with the final conclusion left to us viewers. As still, a lot of us are left confused even more when Lee Gak appeared standing in front of Park Ha, in place of Tae Yong.

 

To put some more perspective into it:

  1. We see Tae Yong come in the shop without his glasses.
  2. He orders apple juice (at their first encounter, Park Ha accidentally hit him with an apple she threw.
  3. He gave her a postcard with a drawing of her on it, exactly like he’s done before.
  4. He seemed to suddenly appear out of nowhere, in the middle of the throng of people n the park, like an apparition.
  5. He had his hand on his back (as was Lee Gak’s mannerisms)
  6. Him asking for her hand, taking the one with her ring on.
  7. Their dialogue with what seem to have a double meaning.

TaeYong/Lee Gak: “Why were you so late? I’ve been waiting for so long.”

 

So him appearing in the end, I really think it was Lee Gak. We know that Yong Tae Yong is Lee Gak in the modern day but I feel like it was Lee Gak himself there in the end who appeared through Tae Yong. Otherwise we wouldn’t have been so confused in thinking if it was really Tae Yong or Lee Gak. Although it’s been said that Tae Yong was also Lee Gak – the person that Park Ha loved was the Joseon Prince Lee Gak. So if we applied that logic to the ending that would make sense, then we shall conclude that it was truly Lee Gak standing there in front of her in the end.

 

                                   Such a symbolic action with her ring on her finger

This was really confusing for me and it’s what prevented me from being able to write this review right away. I couldn’t come to a conclusion that feels right. I even stumbled upon Yoo Chun’s post drama interview about it. He said something along the lines of him acting that the end fully thinking he was Tae Yong and that he didn’t think he had Lee Gak’s memories. He concluded it by saying that he hoped Tae Yong and Park Ha together was the happy conclusion of Lee Gak in the Joseon era. But watching the ending contradicted what he said quite a bit.

 

So deducting that and going only by what they’ve shown in the ending – that seems to be the more satisfying ending for me. I felt a bit frustrated about the ending for a while but honestly it was still a ‘happy’ ending right? They were shown together in one frame so no matter how you look at it, they were still together in the end.

 

Regardless if he had Lee Gak’s memories or no, he’s one and the same.

 

Even if 300 years pass, I will still love you.

 

BONUS:

And because Im stubborn and I needed more proof, I happened to find this one! Remember that when the prince and his entourage disappeared? The picture with all of them only had Park Ha remaining in the end. It was because they all went back to Joseon. But here:

I didn’t see this one anywhere I watched the last episode. I’m not sure if it was cut in the end or only included in the director’s cut. BUT if there was ever more definitive proof he’s back, then it certainly is this.

 


Rooftop Prince OST

 

Because I can’t seem to leave my reviews alone without adding the OSTs, here’s two that really amplified the sad and heartbreaking factor. Hearing them now feels soooo nostalgic for some reason: