Asian Lady Abroad

Bringing in New Culture

Month: August, 2013

Drama Pick: Good Doctor

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A genius with deficiency becoming a hero is something only possible in comic books. Rather than a comic book here, I need a partner with whom it’s possible to communicate- Dr. Do Han on the 4th episode

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I’ve been twisting around my sofa, gripping the edge and from time to time kicking and squealing in my seat as I watch Actor Moon Jun Won amazingly execute the role of a Savant Syndrome patient named Park Shi-On in the new drama called Good Doctor. And when that frenzy happens to me I know I’m simply on the right track of k-drama land. After King of Dramas and The Greatest Love. I think this will be the next drama to be included in my really short list of Favourites.

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First off, I’ve always liked fast-paced and straight to the point writing and direction. And Good Doctor have reached that qualifications in their first 2 episodes by presenting the main subject: Park Shi-On’s an autistic young man with a genius mind who wants to be a doctor and backstories: He was inspired to become a doctor because of his rabbit and brother, he has a drunkard father who’s very brutal to them, a clinic doctor became his ‘second’ father who also helped hit to become the ‘robot’ doctor today crucial to set the the foundation of the lead character all in the first two episode. If I would be interpreting this drama in my own terms I’d say that it is like a healthy burger served perfectly in all honestly. No cheating by removing or adding parts that aren’t compatible or necessary just to make the each episode prolonged. However, it’s also not afraid to slow down a little bit when the situation requires it before going back to its initial approach of bombarding us with intense and gripping innuendos. Acting wise, I’d say all of them have been very compatible and convincing with their respective parts. The head Doctor of the paediatric team cold attitude towards Park Shi-On, the hospital’s fatherly gesture towards Park Shi-On, the bitchy attitude we get from the General Manager slash fiancé of team head Doctor and weird old guy who wants the position just all simply work well together.

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Most especially Actor Joo-won (who plays Park Shi-On) whom I really commend for becoming fluid and amazingly realistic as an autistic man rather than someone who’s only mimicking an impaired person. What’s really admirable about his acting is that he portrays the character without making us feel irritated. In fact, watching him alone is the only thing that makes every thing interesting. He just blossoms into the character who’s, despite his limitations and impulses that becomes the cause of agony among his co-doctors, very much independent and capable of mature emotions in contrary to what his co-workers have been labelling him with, ROBOT. (It’s just really a matter of perception, I tell you). In regards to his OTP with actress Moon Chae Won, I’d be frank and say that I can’t feel any chemistry, AT ALL. It’s like dating a wall. Acting wise she’s good because that’s her person in the drama. She must by any means give justice to her role. But what she always lacks in is when she’s supposed to act in love it still oddly feels like acting. Which was what I also felt while watching way back to her Nice Guy days. As much as Song Joong Ki and she looked good together, over all effect still felt devastatingly flat. What I’m trying to drive at here is when one is supposed to look in love he or she might as well feel in love. Not just using those smouldering gazes and intense eye stares we usually see in K-dramas. Because falling in love is not all about eye stares, it’s the aura you present and the atmosphere you share. (Although I personally thought she looked prettier there, maybe because of her leading man? I mean she wouldn’t want it if he looked prettier than her, would she?)

GD 5Although this statement may be deemed as arguable since only five episodes have been aired (for now) I still think that she should try and truly let herself out in that area because I dare to say that Moon Joo Won can totally send those sparks flying despite the character portrayal he has to handle. And if she won’t do it with him, I will. Mark my word! 😉 Overall, I’d say this drama is good and engaging. Despite the medical theme, which looks all business-y, I was mysteriously magnetised. Alas, my feelings were right! So if you’re one of those apprehensive K-dramatics who wants to try something new but is very much apprehensive I’d say this K-drama is for you because of its genuine substance, good writing quality and real entertainment.

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Movie Pick: A Werewolf Boy

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‘A Werewolf Boy’ although a commercial movie debut by director Jo Sung Hee, has received critical acclaim and recognition not only in South Korea but also in 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. Despite of the evident cold and murky aspect of the movie ‘A Werewolf Boy’ starring Song Joong Ki (my actor bias, swoons at the mention of his name) and Park Bo Young, the budding romance between Sun Yi and Cheol Soo helped in toning down the eeriness that was surrounding the movie.

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AWB is a romantic film that slowly builds up its dramatic intensity as you watch it. It’s a kind of movie that leaves you in a barrel conundrum of what ifs due to the bittersweet story. Although there is an evident similarity to Twilight’s premise: a star crossed love between two different beings, they differ one another. This is granted, more sincere and more realistic in terms of facing inevitable issues that will come in between our OTP. As a matter of fact, I can say that I’m satisfied about the OTP’s fate because based from the nature of the fantasy story designed to pattern a realistic view point of human life it was logically sensible.

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The movie starts where in we see a Halmoni getting ready at dusk even before her family has awakened. A little later, we watch the whole family eating together while talking about their other family member named Eun-Joo, suddenly a call disrupts their conversation, it’s the real estate agent asking grandma if she’s ready to put the house on sale. Grandma then seats stunned after the phone call and finally says she needs to go back to Hangguk. The next scene shows us an airplane landing in what seems to be the airport of South Korea. Halmoni comes out of the terminal looking for someone. A girl (also played by Park Bo Young) lets out a shrill excited voice from somewhere and we immediately know it’s the grand daughter. Both of them hug and kiss in the midst of their excitement. The moment they arrive to the house that looks dilapidated and haunted memories of Halmuni’s youth flashes back. And that’s when the real foundation of this tragic yet heart-warming story starts.

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As it progresses we learn that Sun Yi’s family left the city and chose to stay in the interior because of the her lung ailment. The doctor said it would have been better for her to have a different atmosphere so that she could recuperate -although it seemed to me as if it wasn’t that big of a deal in the story. Following the advice, they left and went to the countryside with the help of their late father business partner’s son.

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Song Joong Ki plays the character of a young boy with an unusual animalistic attitude who also has a supernatural DNA. (How that happened? I don’t know, all we can do is theorize) Due to the fact that he appears to be a feral, orphaned and pitiful teenager, Sun-Yi’s mother decides to adopt him. Ostracized yet headstrong young Sun-Yi despised the idea at first even to the point of refusing to eat with him everyday. Later on she finally took it to herself to break the wall that divided him and her by reading a book about how to train a dog.

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What’s really admirable in the portrayal of Chul-soo is that in spite of his inabilities to communicate via words, Joong Ki was able to perfectly convey what he meant through lycanthropic tendencies. What’s more admirable about this heart-warming story is that we were also able to witness a rewarding development between two people from two different upbringings coming closer together and unknowingly maturing by accepting their oddities just because of they have found inexplicable understanding and comfort from each other.

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Little did they know that what seemed to be an innocent engagement will become more than that. To be totally honest, the movie has a conventional storyline. It was just that the director perfectly resolved an orthodox plot into something totally new and emotionally gripping. Moreover, even if it did classify under the romantic genre it didn’t feel that way as I was watching it. It felt more like a story of an adoptive brother and sister getting to know each other kind of story. In fact it gave off a raw atmosphere through out the movie, like there was something missing, incomplete. Not until I was watching the almost climax and falling action parts of the movie that I got to really digest the whole romantic plot all together. It was actually a very clever technique of the director. He intentionally set up that kind of mood in order to give an end with Sun Yi’s unfinished business with Cheol-Soo by making her see him for the last time after 47 years.