Green Rose is a story of a man, rising from the dead to prove his innocence and restore his good name. Lee Jung-hyun met Oh Soo-ah, the daughter of SR Electronics' Chairman one night when he went out drinking with his friends to celebrate him and his best buddy getting jobs at the esteemed company. He met her again at the induction, though the fact that she's a rich girl has yet to be known. They didn't get to a good start as Soo-ah treated him with a cold shoulder (why was it again?). But their friendship, which later turned into love began when Jung-hyun saved Soo-ah from an accident. Things got all pretty for the couple, and they even thought about marriage, but that was before Soo-ah revealed her true identity, from which point things started to go downhill. At that time, her father was entertaining his own plan to set her up with his most trusted and capable young employee Shin Hyun-tae, a candidate that Soo-ah's uncle didn't quite agree. Just when Jung-hyun started to come to terms with Soo-ah's status and its impact on their relationship, he was accused of killing the Chairman's housekeeper and attempted murder on the Chairman himself who fell into a coma. On top of that, he was also charged with arson. He was found guilty of all charges and thrown into jail. Through a painful circumstance, he somehow managed to escape and left the country. And the game began.
I started this drama about 5 years ago but stopped at episode 2. I was totally taken by the charming Lee Da Hae (My Girl), but for some reason was turned off by the male protagonist played by Go Soo (To Marry a Millionare). And I read online the far-fetched story of how he rise from the dead and my interest got further down a few notches. At that time I've yet to recognize Lee Jong Hyuk (Powerful Opponents, Hello Mr. God) who played the love rival. Otherwise, I'm sure I would have stuck around for his sake.
But curiosity, and the fact that the source material was unexpectedly available at my disposal, made me picked this drama up again. I was watching (and still am yet to finish) Go Soo's latest drama Will It Snow for Christmas? and he seemed different from when he was in Green Rose. At least his walking style has changed, which was a huge plus point. I watched Green Rose with my brother over the New Year Break, and we couldn't stop making fun of his walk. He just got this really damn slow walk for someone who claimed he was a busy man. We felt like shouting to him to hurry up, you are wasting precious seconds. Next scene, please! haha. Nevertheless, despite all that - and the fact that his journey back home as a Chinese business tycoon after three (was it?) short years is just too good to be true - the drama is quite exciting, especially as the story unfolds to reveal the real murderer along with the secrets of the yesteryears that put our protagonist at the crossroad of his life. It's like watching the Hajime Kindaichi murder investigation, which never fails to amaze this humble yours truly. Besides, more than the main protagonist, his love interest and his love rival are the ones who kept me going.
I'm a huge fan of Lee Jong Hyuk. He is rarely the actual hero/leading actor in any of his dramas and movies, which is why I missed his dramas sometimes because normally the focus would be on the main male and female characters and they are the ones who are often mentioned. But if I stumbled upon a cast list and saw his name, regardless of how uninterested I am in the story or the leading actors, I'd surely give the drama a try. His acting is very solid and he got screen presence. Some of his amazing work includes the awesome no-female movie, Mr. Socrates alongside Kim Rae Won.
Lee Da Hae is simply charming. I barely know her back then, only that she was known to be a good Crying Queen in her dramas. But what captivated me in the first two episodes (before I surrendered and put the dramas behind to be resumed five years later) was her lyrical laughter and beautiful smiles. And of course, her acting was top notch. I have a newfound respect for her as an actress through Green Rose, which I thought was nothing short of excellent. No wonder Green Rose is associated with her for years after that. Even though I enjoyed her bubbly character in My Girl, and she was able to show a different side of her in that hilarious drama, I still think Green Rose is where she was able to demonstrate her real acting skill.
And lucky me, these two actors are now together (albeit Lee Jong Hyuk is again NOT the leading actor and I don't think he has any love link with Lee Da Hae's character this time around) in the hyped drama The Slave Hunters. I've yet to watch this drama and it's still airing. But I'm eager to get started. However, I'll let it rolling for a while first, wait for the subs and all, then maybe I can start. Else, I'll be frustrated waiting for the new episodes, if it's really THAT good as what most people claim it to be. Anyway, to both Lee's, fighting!