From the Queen’s Vantage Point:
One of the reasons that we watch Kdrama, and love it is that series after series, we find heroes and heroines surviving the impossible just because they believe that there just has to be a way to triumph over the evil that would suppress them. There is a name for this weapon against the oppression that attempts to dominate. It is called faith. One of the best examples was set in the series Padam Padam where we find Yang Kang Chil who after 16 years of imprisonment for a crime he did not commit, still believes that there must be a way.
When we watch Kang Chil’s story, we have to wonder if God loves him at all. After all the years in jail, a lost childhood, a mother who does not want to know him, a society that labels him a thug, and a detective who never believed in Kang Chil’s innocence and still feels he has not paid enough, Kang Chil goes on. He smiles, he sings and he builds beautiful wooden sculptures and buildings. He meets the son he never knew he had only to find out the boy is not his. He is beaten, stomped, and spat upon, and he saves the man who let him be wrongly imprisoned. What else could there be? Well, he gets hit by a car and that leads him to find out that he is dying of liver cancer. Is that enough? No, apparently not. Later he finds out that the son he has come to love is not his and the child’s biological dad wants to take him to America to live.
Anybody want to scream to the heavens for Kang Chil? Yet he smiles, he dances, he falls in love. Oh, yeah about that, his lady love is the daughter of the one man who will even give up his badge to kill Yang. His only friend, Lee Gook Soo, an angel is starting to believe that there is no Heaven and he is no angel. How can he be when the one thing he wants to do is to save Kang Chil and that is impossible? How much joy can be had when you watch the one who used the weapon of death that imprisoned you, living with prestige, money, and a stolen good name? Yang Kang Chil needs is a miracle and the miracle store seems to be closed to him.
It may be hard to see the handsome Jung Woo Sung in the face of Yang Kang Chil, but this actor makes you feel and believe in Kang Chil’s plight. Also, he leads you to applaud Kang Chil’s spirit. You cannot look at this series and not wish a huge, long overdue miracle to enter this man’s life. After all he has been through, Kang Chil still believes that there is some good in man. He still fights for his chance to clear his name so that he can have the life he desires. Many of us would have given up or even sought revenge. Kang Chil only wants peace and his health back in order to enjoy his freedom. He wants to love and marry the girl of his dreams and he wants to give his mother a better life. Will he accomplish any of that? It seems the deck is severely stacked against him.
Jung Woo Sung transformed himself into the gaunt, haggard, and somewhat childish character in Padam Padam with such finesse that it is hard to tell that he is as handsome as he really is. However, what is not undersold is his wonderful spirit and engaging personality. He brings his character to reality by building on these qualities. You fall in love with Kang Chil although he never becomes debonair or suave in this drama. You agonize and cry every tear he cries and you experience the anger he never gives into each time someone does him something wrong. Even that mild Dr. Im Jung (Choi Tae Jung) befriends the man who steals the heart of the woman Dr. Im loves. Kang Chil had the innocence of a child and the toughness of a Superman. He may not be made of steel but he lasts as well as steel does. In the end, we are left to wonder if he will get his miracle beyond what he believes he has already achieved because we want him to live. From the Queen’s vantage point, Yang Kang Chil has outlived the best of us because he has faith and it is the triumph of his spirit that shines through.
For more from the Queen, click here!