Hotel King (2014)

Oh boy, what a great series. Thirty two chapters of suspense and great acting (most of the time).
The story begins with two young boys, Hyun-woo or Jayden who is Eleven and Ju-han who is seven.
These two are forced to beg for money on the streets of New York, the bosses hit them and abuse them and they only have each other to depend on. They think of each other as brothers.
One day, Jayden shoots one of the bosses by mistake, he is saved from the scene by Lee Joong-goo but Ju-han who was badly beaten up, is left behind.
Jayden wakes in in a hotel room, it’s the first hotel room that he has ever been too and so, he is sure that he has died and went up to heaven.
Jayden changes his name to Cha Jae-wan and Joong-goo raises him up in LA and makes him believe that he is a killer, thus controlling him and making him do unspeakable things in his name.
Joong-goo, who is the vice president of a hotel called “Ciel”, in Korean, tells Jae-wan that the chairman of the “Ciel” hotel, Ah Sung-won, is his father who has abandoned him and his mother.
When Jae-wan is a young man, Joong-goo takes him to Korea so that he can become the hotel’s general manager and torment his father.
Jae-wan confronts the chairman but Sung-won denies having a son and after he is driven into madness, he kills himself by jumping from his office window into the hotel’s pool.
After his death, his spoiled daughter and heir, who was brought up in a boarding school, in the states, returns to Korea and the hotel and is convinced that her father was murdered.
The only person who believes her, is the hotel’s concierge, the sweet and warm hearted Sunwoo Hyun, who also loved the late chairman.
Although Sunwoo Hyun works for a living, he is the son of a rich farm owner but he hides this fact from the rest of the hotel’s staff.
Ah Mo-ne and Jae-wan don’t get along at first but after a few mysterious attempts to frighten her and possibly kill her as well, Jae-wan, who is sick of the abuse the he receives from Joong-goo but is also forced to do as he is told, starts protecting whom he thinks is his half sister and in the process, they both develop feelings for one another.
Speaking of feeling, Song Chae-kyung who was Jae-wan’s first girlfriend, married for money and after her husband has died, she opens a restaurant in the hotel and tries to get Jae-wan, back into her arms.
The desperate Jae-wan, who suspects that the murder attempts against Mo-ne, were issued by Joong-goo, embarks on an investigation that ends up with the not so surprising revelation that Mo-ne is not really his sister, after that the mountain of lies that he has been told, starts to crumble and Jae-wan begins to fight for his right to love and be treated like a human being instead like of a dog on a leash.
I’m not a great fan of Lee Da-hae and her “I am so cute” acting schtiks but here, she is sort of OK and eve has nice acting moments.
Lee Dong-wook is a god and should be treated as such, although his character is so tormented and sad, he never becomes a sobbing machine and he’s also not overly soft or romantic when it comes to Mo-ne.
There are a few magnificent scenes where he unleashes his anger and frustration and he is a sight to be seen.
I don’t care if Lim Seul-ong is a member of a K-pop boy-band, he is so cute (despite his Dumbo ears) and his acting is so believable that it was a little sad to see the series end with no love interest for him.
The attraction here is the good writing and directing plus the great actors, there is one surprise after the other and you can never be sure what is going to happen. I’ve loved every moment of it.

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One Response to Hotel King (2014)

  1. Pingback: Bubblegum (2015) | The korean connection

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