Saturday, September 13, 2008

Winter Sonata

Every once in a while, I get in a mood, thinking that there are certain movies that I have to watch. You know, iconic films that have so entered the lexicon of the culture that you feel like less of an American for not having seen. Brando's "On The Waterfront" ("I coooduh beenuh contenduh!") or "Annie Hall" (Woody Allen....shudder). Can you believe I've never seen Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho"? Don't get me wrong, I know what the movie is about, I've seen the shower clip (who hasn't?) and I've heard the loving thousand wax poetic. I really don't need to see it...but yeah, I need to see it.

There are some Korean dramas/movies that I think are the same. Last year I watched the canceriffic drama "Stairway to Heaven".... (eh...not so much) and "My Sassy Girl" - which I thoroughly enjoyed. At the time I watched it, I had no idea that "My Name is Kim Sam Soon" was allegorical as well.
Piano-04 - Piano-04

Last night and today - I finally watched the much ballyhoo'd television blockbuster "Winter Sonata" starring Bae Yong Joon as the tragic Kang Joon Sang / Lee Min Hyung and Choi Ji Woo as the impacted by loving Mr. Tragic Jung Yu Jin.

Maaaaaan, was this one crazy convoluted complicated boat ride. An attempt to sum up would take pages. But I'm game! BFF loves Angel Face, Angel Face thinks of BFF as a brother. Seriously Depressed Lonely Boy meets Angel Face, Angel Falls in love with Lonely, BFF is pissed. Hair is blown in slow motion, snow folk kiss, bicycles are ridden, angst is shared. BFF is pissed.

Lonely dies, Angel weeps, BFF comforts. Lonely's Doppleganger shows up, with freshly washed highlights in his hair, on the eve of Angel's and BFFs engagement, throws Angel into a tailspin of angst, depression and girly pain. Doppleganger is confused, Angel is a weepy mess, BFF is pissed.

Twists worthy of palace machinations offer swooning, magical hypnosis memory inserts, a car accident, a bus accident, a construction accident, brain aneurysms, maybe-incest, paternity tests, insane mothers wanting to believe the baby they had out of wedlock was the fruit of her love with her forbidden when really it was the illegitimate seed of his best friend, obsession and true "will always remember you because I wasn't stricken with amnesia" love and the inevitable blindness. Blind Guy living ironically in a very real "Land of Shadow" on the continent of the "Perpetual Winter Coat". I don't think BFF is pissed anymore.

Perfectly clear. Let's get on with the review, shall we?

Ponder Angst – The ponder angst killed me. I've never hit the ffd button so much in my life. I don't think the letters are on the remote anymore. I even started speed reading by ffding x4 so I could get through the slow dialogue. WS loses points - first time ever - we got a -10.

Love “ – “ Angles – It's a square of love. Doppleganger loves Angel, Angel loves Dopplganger, BFF loves Angel and B*tch Scag loves Doppleganger. 16 points

Sizzle – The only sizzle in Winter Sonata was when some soju spilled on a grill in a restaurant. Kidding...Sorta. Bae Yong Joon provides the only sizzle the show has. A gifted actor, his man-pain made my chest hurt. His stop dead in the snow "I think I'm falling in love with Angel" moments were wrenching. Some people got it, BYJ's got it. I'll give WS 20 points just because I liked BYJ.

Physical Intimacy – Sweet kisses, lots of hugs. Not a whole lot going on here, but gently typical of k-drama. 10 points

Tragic Heartwrenching Disease and/or Character Death from Same – Mmmmmm, constipation quotient. Like I said, swooning, aneurysms, amnesia, packed with depression and obsessive behavior, Winter Sonata was a pantheon of medical intervention. I'm giving it 25 just for the heartwrenching, loss of balance causing brain haematoma requiring immediate surgery, forcing Doppleganger to sacrifice his love on the altar of medical martyrdom resulting in his eventual and complete blindness. 25 points. Oh, if someone could tell me why he needed glasses after he LOST HIS FRICKIN' EYESIGHT I'D APPRECIATE IT!

Going to the Beach – There was sadly, no real suicidal ideation in the series (unless I ff'd past it) and though beaches were plentiful, no one decided to utilize the ocean as a blessed release from this mortal coil. No bonus.

I will, however, give myself 10 points for recognizing Sam Sik's Buddy from "MNIKSS" and for identifiying the eunich from "Jewel in the Palace". So padded, Winter Sonata gets a big 71 points. I think this will disappoint fans of the show - from what I read, it's well loved. The music was beautiful, made extra special by the Bee Gees "How Deep is Your Love" playing in the background during one scene. (Yeah, that's how much I was paying attention the action and dialogue).

Winter Sonata was OK - which made me sad - I wanted and was ready for another "Thank You" to love.

It's ok. Maybe I'll watch "Psycho" next.


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