There is much I could say about Song Joong-ki‘s performance in Tree With Deep Roots (2011).
How I love that his voice can be gentle and tender, and yet also startle with its ferocity. How his eyes can blaze with such anger, but also soften with compassion as he watches a child grieve so inconsolably for his father. I could tell you about how my own eyes welled up as palace gates fling open and the young Sejong steps into sight, in full view of a courtyard of soldiers and a former king. How my heart raced with fear as the arrows fly toward Sejong and yet also burst with pride that our king is resolute and unafraid.
Every scene with him in it is richer because of his presence; every scene without him feels instantly dull. He can express so much even in the absence of words! Despair and determination. Hope and conviction. Grave one moment and in the next moment smiling with such delight. If even his father, the former and much-feared King Taejong, is no match for his charm and charisma, what about me as I watch, transfixed and awestruck?
I loved him in Sungkyunkwan Scandal, but now? I don’t know how to describe how I feel now except to tell you that it’s akin to being drunk. Yes, I’m drunk on Song Joong-ki’s portrayal of King Sejong. I play and replay his scenes; I take a gazillion screencaps. I can’t get over the powerful and poignant way he is interpreting his role. His acting is exquisite and altogether perfect.
So yes, there is indeed much I could say. But rather than words, I’ll let the screencaps speak for themselves.
In parting, Episode 5 will air tonight in Korea. It will be the first episode where I will not see Song Joong-ki, unless the writer takes note of our collective moping and gives us an onslaught of young Sejong flashbacks. That’s not too much to ask, is it? After all, we are looking at the breakout performance of the year.
(Screencaps from Episodes 2-4)