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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Operation Proposal (2012)


Country: South-Korea
Format: drama in 16 episodes
Genre: romance, sports
Cast: Yoo Seung Ho, Park Eun Bin, Lee Hyun Jin, Go Kyung Pyo, Park Young Seo, Kim Ye Won, Lee Doo Il, Park Jin Joo, Lee Eun Kyung, Joo Jin Mo, Kim Tae Hun,
Synopsis: Kang Baek Ho and Ham Yi Seul have been friends from elementary school. Even though Baek Ho has always loved Yi Seul, he never confessed to her thinking that she only feels friendship towards him. Now Yi Seul is getting married to Kwon Jin Won. On the day of  the wedding Baek Ho finds a letter addressed to him which he had never seen before. This letter makes him want to go back in time and change the past. Out of the blue a person called "Conductor" appears and gives him a bottle of time travel mixture. With the ability of going back to his past can he really change the present for better and win over the girl of his dreams?
Rating: 4/5 (I did not have the heart to give 3)
SO, this is the Korean remake of one of the most famous Japanese romance dramas - "Proposal Daisakusen" with Yamashita Tomohisa and Nagasawa Masami. As for a remake they changed sooo many things - some of the changes were great and some not - the biggest change was that it was not romance-comedy any more, but a serious romance-sport-drama, but first things first.. Sorry, if there is way too much comparing, but as it is remake, I have some criterion.
The main character Kang Baek Ho, acted by Yoo Seung Ho, was very bilateral character - some moments he was very clueless, reckless and said way too much in a wrong way, but I just fell in love with him when he was confident and honest, but in all he was not that pitiful as Kenzo, which was actually great. Yoo Seung Hoo is really young and that he was able to act out this character is just more than great. I was amazed by him - it is usual that you see characters grow in drama, but with "Operation Proposal" you can see how Yoo Seung Hoo grows as an actor - for example, his crying scenes got better with each scene. Many viewers start to watch it because of him and he is worth every second he is on screen - okey.. let's leave crying scenes and "renovatio" scenes out.  I like how Baek Ho makes some things worse and then tries to make it all better again - I do not understand some of his actions - like the tendency to drink too much - but I will forgive him.
Korean Rei aka Ham Yi Seul is actually really the same. She is the one character that has not changed, but has brought in front more, which I think is the point of remakes. I love how they show her fondness towards Baek Ho, but then again, she was never able to be honest with him, no matter what he did. When usually she had a cool attitude of never giving up and pushing her will trough, then she gave up on her love too easily without really trying. I think it sucked how she thought that she got more hurt than Baek Ho.
Coach is the most important character who has been changed. We all know that Tada-san was a wimp and I did not understand how can anybody like Rei fall in love with him, but when it comes to Coach - I can see why should one fall in love with Coach - he was arrogant, confident and full of fighting spirit. You see him falling for Yi Seul and if Baek Ho would not be a better match, then I would totally be for Yi Seul X Coach, (but there is Baek Ho). Also, you can see him trying to appeal to Yi Seul constantly and you can tense the competition for love. When Tada-san had almost no idea of Rei's and Kenzo's feelings, then without showing it out Coach was aware of Yi Seul and Baek Ho. I liked Lee Hyun Jin ever since I saw him in "Heartstrings", he suits for Coach role perfectly.
Chae Ri is made into really shallow character and it definitely is not cheer leading what she did in school - making these kind of "hot" dance moves for SNSD "Boys" is not cheer leading. I think that cheer leading is something that should stay into high school / university or as a hobby, I am sorry if I unintentionally displease someone, but I think that so called "Professional cheerleader" as a career is rather stupid. Also, I feel bad to say it, but I think that Kim Ye Won's acting was the weakest point in the whole drama, she seemed unnatural. Tae Nam's character was exactly the same as Tsuru's, but I felt like their story was totally left beside - of course the main idea stayed the same, but there was much more pressure on other's relationships.
Chan Wook was another character who was totally changed - when Mikio was independent, mature, knowledgeable, then Chan Wook depended more on others and was veeeeery clueless when things came to Jin Joo, who is a new character in the story. Jin Joo is a girl, who is the niece of the man, whose cafe they go to. Jin Joo has difficult past, but she is the most adorable character in the drama.
I liked Conductor since the first time he was on screen. He is the character you must watch closely, especially in later episodes. I cannot say anything else about him, because it might spoil things.
Negative changes: It was weird that they made it all revolve around baseball. Especially in first episode where their jobs were on the field too - later it goes more to Baek Ho, Yi Seul's and Coach's cabbage yard, but I did love the baseball glove idea, because they gave it a really big importance. But otherwise, baseball makes many scenes useless and at some moments I lost the track of story as it really went too far with baseball story line.
The second most annoying thing was the catch-line to go back in time. Baek Ho yelling "Renovatio, renovatio, renavatio, YI SEUL!!" in the middle of the night alone in his room sounds really wrong. Maybe I have too ruined mind, but it was weird and I always tried to cover my ears when this scene came. I understand that they were not able to copy Yamashita's "Hallelujah Chance", but Gyoooozaaa, they should have come up with something much better.
Also, there are the usual Korean drama flaws - slowness, wrong shootings - especially, when it should have had close up scenes and when long shots; just useless long music scenes, unnecessary dialogues and way too much drama. The fact that the changes in past created different present, made it  difficult at one moment to understand what things were real and what not, because there are things from wall to wall.
Positive changes - The best thing about the drama was amaaaazing kissses. Even though Yamashita Tomohisa is a great kisser, Nagasawa Masami totally killed their kiss-scenes with her fishkissing in Japanese version. Yoo Seung Ho is an amazing kisser, but the funny thing is that he and Park Eun Bin have known each other for over 10 years, so they are pretty much childhood friends too - they have acted together, but this was the first time they had to do kiss-scenes, which was a bit uncomfortable or weird for them as friends, but you do not see it from drama scenes.. and they managed to do most scenes with first try.
Another thing that made drama appealing was the family line - they showed how close Baek Ho was with Yi Seul's family and how clear it was to EVERYONE that he should be the one marring Yi Seul. Also, that they explained Baek Ho's family background as in Japanese version, there is nothing said about Kenzo's parents. This line made drama really heartwarming.
I think it is better to watch it as a drama which has some of the script taken from "Proposal Daisakusen", but as a different drama. And like usually with Korean dramas - it gets good in the end - I loved last 6 episodes, okey.. maybe I loved Baek Ho X Yi Seul moments - if they had concentrated more on that, it would have been even better. For me, "Proposal Daisakusen"  was better as a drama, but at least I got new favorite drama couple and new actors to look out for. I would love if someone would make cropped version of Baek Ho X Yi Seul story.
Some say it is better than the original, but it is up to you to decide, which you like more :)
I will add two trailers, because first is official dramafever trailer and another is very great fan trailer.



SPOILER-review: It had so many things going on! In the end, if we leave out those weird unreal not-true "presents", I feel that Yi Seul was the one who hurt Baek Ho much more than he did her - Yi Seul never said out her feelings, even when Baek Ho confessed to her so many times, she was the one who ran into Coach's arms whenever she felt hurt and most of all - she should have pushed Coach away when he kissed her. At that moment he was dating Baek Ho and I actually think it is cheating, if you date someone and then do not push another man/woman away when he/she kisses you - just like Baek Ho pushed Yu Bin away. I totally hated her at that moment. But I find it amazing that they were able to go back to best friends, but at the same time it was like they decided to forget that they ever dated or what happened in the beach house.
I did not see many things coming like the car accident and conductor being actually his father. It seriously has the best father-son moments.
And that end.. I actually find that it was a great idea to make him forget everything. That made Yi Seul understand how much she loves him - I cried my eyes out because of them!

1 comment:

  1. I love your review of Operation Proposal, and I loved almost everything about the drama. It would be one I would want re-watch for many reasons, but I don't know if I ever will because of one thing.......

    *SPOILERS AHEAD* this is the first drama where my heartbreak for the second lead dampened my happiness for the main couple in the end. During the part where Yi-Seul died, the scenes of Coach mourning for his fiance who he was supposed to have married in a few days were too much for me, especially knowing he wasn't even going to get her at the end. Then the fact that she left the poor guy at the end during their wedding reception was heartbreaking. If they had made him a bit of a jerk, or even better, if they had shown some hope of future happiness for him it would have made me feel better about the ending. But they put poor Coach through too much I think, and it affected my enjoyment of the ending :(

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