Secret Garden: The Anatomy of a True Love Story
Until I had the opportunity to see Secret Garden, I thought that everything that one could say or express about love had been written, acted, sang, and talked about. What the actors did with this script was magic itself. This series was my introduction to Hyun Bin and I am in love with his acting for life. Even though I have seen him in other series since then, none has had the effect that his portrayal of Kim Jo Won has. And that is saying a lot because this man is one dynamic actor. From My Lovely Sam Soon to The World They Live In, this man is an acting genius. But as the lover of Gil Ra Im in Secret Garden, he puts the actors of the Golden Age to shame. In my opinion, a modern day Clark Gable, Tyrone Powers, or Errol Flynn could not touch his finesse of this role if they were still around and young today. There is not a chance that Brad Pitt, Kevin Costner or a younger Tom Cruise could do it either. The Queen is satisfied to say from her vantage point, he is the best in this role and will remain so for all time.
While he may look like a laughable buffon in some of the episodes, this man is shrewd in business and firm with his mother who dotes on her only son. Even when mother takes everything away, he stands his ground and stands by his woman. Every woman watching this series, young or old, married or single envied Gil Ra Im and imagined herself in Ra Im’s place from beginning to end. The classic line to his mother, “I have been your son for 34 years and now I want to be that woman’s man for the rest of my life” (or words to that effect) sent most of us watching over the edge! What man would say that to not only mother but one who held such gigantic purse strings? Mom’s shock was impressive! And Kim Jo Won was impressive to a greater extent. For his “amazing woman,” no sacrifice was too great!
The final stage was set as he placed her unconscious body in his car and gave her what he thought was his last thoughts as he drove off into the storm to give her his soul. His soul, ladies, did that not leave you weak all over? No hesitation was evident in his movements or his motives. Ra Im must live even if it meant his dying! No weak-kneed Romeo here! No running afoul of the law forest-dwelling robber! And no dead lover who had to leave in the end unless that was the only way! Ji Won is a man and a man covers his woman in his love and holds her more precious than his own life! The love story for all time is Secret Garden. Women will still watch it when they are more mature and if they have not found such love for their own lives or even a pale comparison, there will still be the envy of Gil Ra Im who must have been blessed beyond all reason to have been given such a gift. From the Queen’s vantage point, what a way to live and to love!
The Queen previously wrote about the Metamorphosis of Flower Boys here.