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Friday, March 22, 2013

The Marriage Plot (2012)


Also Known as: The Marriage Scheme, The Wedding Scheme
Country: South-Korea
Format: drama in 16 episodes
Genre: romance, comedy
Cast: Kang Hye Jung, Lee Kyu Han, Lee Young Eun, Lee Min Woo, Kim Se Jung, Park Min Ji, Seo Jae Kyung, Kim Won Joon, Kim Jae Deuk, Cha Hwa Yun, Yoon Joo Sang, Jung Seung Ho, Kim Ik Tae,
Synopsis: So Doo Ryunis the president and founder of famous kimchi factory as well as a mother of 4 daughters, whom she raised up alone after her husband died in a fishing-accident. She is told that she does not have much time left to live and as watching back at her life she understands one thing - she has not raised her daughters well enough and she has not used the chance to get to know them. So she makes a big decision to act as the company is leading to bankruptcy, making a boarding-house for 3 single men out of their house, teach the daughters their last lesson and find out who is suitable of taking over the company.
Rating: 4/5
Actually the synopsis should be a little bit different or at least longer, but it is okey at least for beginning and main theme. The main characters actually are second daughter Gun Hee and her sometimes-subordinate-sometimes-boss Lee Kang Jae and their weird-office-private-kimchi-making-relationship.. Weird, I know, but the kimchi is the second most important subject after love in this drama.
Well, back to characters. Gun Hee is an independent woman, who mostly nags with everyone about everything they do or do not do. Also she almost never eats at home, but when she eats - it's only sandwiches. Work and career are the most important things to her and she finds that family and love will only hold her back, then again she talks how she remembers her father only working and same with mom, but keeps doing exactly like them .. and next moment she shows her appreciation to everyone. But her will-power and stubbornness are what keep her moving forward. As it is usual to Korean dramas, in addition to mom's cancer, then she is certain that she is adopted, because she heard her mom talking about it when she was little. It seems like a rough start, but actually she has many many great positive sides too - like how she unknowingly seduces Lee Kang Jae. 
Lee Kang Jae.. Gyoza, how I fell for this man. He is like grown-up goofy guy. (you know how I love those guys). At first glance he seems like a usual Korean flower-boy obnoxious jerk, but then comes the change - he is actually super-duper funny, makes totally wrong things at totally wrong moment, and he is not afraid to show out his emotions.. all emotions. I was even scared away when I understood that he is already fallen for her after some episodes. Of course, most of the remarks and hints seem like a joke to Gun Hee, but he actually means everything. Maybe one thing that disturbed me about him was that he said that he loves her really fast (that was one of the reasons why I broke up, because I cannot stand when people say that they love other after really short time..). But I forgive it to Lee Kang Jae as he did not say that to me. It is funny that he is the second biggest cry-er in the drama. I feel like they have switched the usual Korean roles as a strong-emotionless woman and emotional crybaby man, who cannot hold alcohol. They even do piggyback this way for several times... I said that Gun Hee is a strong woman. It is Lee Kyu Han's first MAIN-role. He has been more than once "the second guy who is left broken-hearted", but this time it is different. I have not seen his other roles and with a high chance I will not see either (at least with 2013 March state), but he deserves a medal of this role, because he is fabulous in it.
Sun Hee is the oldest daughter and has dedicated her life to serve her family.... why? because she also heard her mom and other lady talking about adopted child and thinks that it must be her. So she has basically given up on everything she ever has wanted.. and became total airhead... But fortunately, she changes and becomes freaking hot unni, who will get what she wants. She has a little slow and sweet mental thing going on with one boarding-house residents Seo Jang Won - a famous stunt man with a really sad smile. He is really sweet, but his moto is "I am lacking in many ways", because he keeps retelling it over and over again, so in the end I already thought that he is impotent or gay.. Next time, please give reasons faster.
Third daughter Min Jung is the most different from others and is really spoiled.. but she has spoiled herself by spending time only on partying, shopping and following her "rich-radar", which alerts when she sees a rich man. Financially she takes the bankruptcy the hardest, because it puts the end to the thing that she calls her life. Finally she starts to act more grown up and take responsibility. With these changes also her rich-radar starts to fail her with not alerting on rich guys, but on a simple chauffeur, who has worked for her mother for some years.
The last daughter is Min Ji - as she is the youngest, she is the most childish one and has the most mixed feelings about everyone and everything. She grew up without remembering her father, because if we do some calculations then she was just a little baby, when dad passed away. So she is kinda looking for male-example and as Seo Jung Won, her unni's love-interest, is the oldest man in the household, then of course she is growing some weird feelings for him. But she is just a kid.
Like most Korean rom-com dramas, the parents past will ruin and block some connections and make love impossible like it was in inextinguishable Romeo and Juliet love, but again no one can tell the children the reason why they cannot be together and just keep saying "You know nothing! but I
cannot say it out either.. ". The thing is that Lee Kang Jae is the son of the Sangcharim food company's CEO, who is the biggest rival and the most hated person of So Doo Ryun. Also Gun Hee actually works at Sangcharim, which is the biggest reason behind her off-relationship with mother. 
In the end, all girls have personally grown and changed into totally different people, so mom's idea to teach them a lesson about better life pays off as she is able to bring her family back together. But all the road til that is so damn cute, that I actually do not care how much of the script is logical. It is easy to watch, even though sometimes it feels that they concentrate on too many things at the same time, but then again it does not have annoying bad villains who take away the pleasure to watch and there are not big up-side-down turning changes and surprises. The drama has amazing kiss-scenes by all actors without horrible fish-kisses and I even cannot choose which kiss was my favorite or which pair I liked the most. 
If you ask why I did not give it whole 5 stars... then my sister and best friend are in fault of this - they thought that the end came too fast and the sound-music is totally overused. The last thing is true, because it seemed like they used almost as much music as music-dramas do.
But I enjoyed it, with a high chance that I will re-watch it right away, because I feel like this is exactly that I need at the moment - relationships in real life are hardly this heart-pounding than in dramas - and that's why I like dramas more. Kidding!   
I do hope it is everything I wanted to tell you about it, but I am not sure. Watch it yourself and tell me what you think! As much as I have noticed, then it is not the most popular drama from 2012, but I like it more than flower-boy-themed.

The Thieves (2012)


Country: South-Korea
Format: movie
Genre: action
Cast: Lee Jung Jae, Gianna Jun (Jun Ji Hyun), Kim Hae Suk, Kim Soo Hyun, Kim Yun Seok, Kim Hye Soo, Simon Yam, Oh Dal Su, Angelica Lee, Kwok Cheung Tsang,
Synopsis: World's biggest theft is going to take place, when Macao Park assembles best thieves from South-Korea and Hong Kong to steal "The Tear of Sun" diamond from Asian biggest criminal Wei Yong. Tempting catch makes everyone's mouth run water and in a collective, where each person stands for own profit, you will never know where to expect a stab in the back.
Rating: 5/5
Very interesting movie, because I usually do not come across action movies like that, but thanks to my anime-club I am able to see movies out of my watch-list (and future-watch-list).
Many people compare it to "Ocean 11", but it has much more betrayal (and actually I have not seen "Ocean 11"..). Movie sold 12.98 millions of tickets and was the second best selling South-Korea movie in South-Korea box-offices. Its attraction is amazing cast and even more amazing technical side of the movie. You can see that each member of the filming-crew has put 120% into this movie (you can find many many "behind the camera" material from edkofilms channel on Youtube).
Macao Park, Popie and Pepsee were old friends, who fell apart after one mission goes out of control and Pepsee gets arrested, while Macao Park runs away with stolen gold bars. Now their awkward past-relationship brings much entrust to them. This triangle brings the most changes into the movie and also it gives many reasons why one or other acts like he/she does. Even though the past is the reason why Pepsee is not included into the plan at first, despite being the best safe-opener from South-Korea.
From Korean crew are also Chewingum, Yenicall and Zampano - who mostly do the dirty job and acting to steal the goal as Zampano is in charge of technical properties and Yenicall is the one who climbs the building walls and cuts through windows. As you might suspect then there are going to be a little "happenings" between Yenicall and Zampano, and at least for me, they brought in comedy the most, because you do not believe how funny scenes they will share. Chewingum actually thinks of it as her last job. In some way, she has given up on her life, but at the same time, she longs for quiet happy life. The actress Kim Hae Suk, even received awards for her role in the movie. She   
really did a great job, because she actually had to act different emotions, scenes and characters.
The Hong Kong crew does not seem that great, but they are not shown that much. Chen, Andrew, Julie and Johnny are rather alone standing thieves than crew. Chen also has a darker past which is connected to operation "Tear of Sun" and has almost decided to retire as well as Chewingum. Andrew is the most unprofessional and even in movie he is referred as "charity project" as he has no special skills that would make him that necessary for the whole crew, but I think that on every mission you must have someone bad who might get caught while everyone else get away, like running away from a bear - you must be at least faster than one member of the crew. Julie can open the safes by ear - her father was a well-known thief and his know-hows and techniques have shared through blood, but what others to not know, is that actually she is there to take orders from law.
Johnny was one weird character and I almost think that he was totally forgotten. Because from one moment I do not remember anything about him nor I know what happened to him.. and see for yourself that he is not even mentioned as the member of the crew in trailer!! Sooo weird.. oke oke ... Julie is not mentioned in trailer either..  THIS is the only mistake they have done with the movie, but it is a HUGE mistake. I have seen many people questioning "Where's Johnny?". He is almost like Waldo with the exception that he actually is not on the screen, while Waldo is. For the first time, I have really no idea what happened to this character or why he was missing for the most of the time. He was even half-cropped from many DVD covers and posters..
Maybe Kwok Cheung Tsang looks too usual in this movie, that he did not stand out that much and I did not caught a sight of him :/  I wish someone would give me the answer. Due to this unknown truth I will not take stars down and I hope that it has actually a logical explanation, which I will be gladly waiting.   
It is very interesting movie - full of action, comedy, changes, emotions etc. I am so happy that I was able to see it and I do recommend it to you.. even if you actually are not that big fan of action-movies. :) 


SPOILER-review: I feel like actually Yenicall, Zampano and Chewingum had the trust between them and that they would not have deceived each other and I admit that the moment Yenicall said, that she thinks that Zampano would have been happy for her and Chewingum proud of her, I almost started to cry... but because I was watching it with mostly men, it would have been too embarrassing.