COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: South Korea
DATE OF RELEASE: Jan 10th, 2013
MOVIE DURATION: 2 hours, 15 minutes
CAST: Kim Rae-Won, Jo An, Lee Sung-Min, Lee Kwang-Soo, Ji Dae-Han.
An ambitious thirty something musical director takes part as a mentor for a musical project. Through an audition they are trying to cast an actor to play King Jungjo. The musical director picks a boy named Young-Kwang through a blind test involving listening to just his singing. The musical director is surprised to learn that the young boy is a Filipino-Korean boy. The director becomes impressed by the boy’s passion for music and also his family history. The boy is cast for the character of Yoo Il-Han. The director first uses the boy for his own success, but later changes his ways.
This is a truly heartwarming movie about a man who lost himself years before and is a failure and a boy who wants to belong so badly. They’re lost, confused people.
I hated Yoo Il-Han at the beginning, and who wouldn’t? He’s vain and so desperately pretentious when there’s nothing that would give reason to his vanity. I found it a little pitiful how he held on to that overblown pride of his as some defensive measure against his failure as a musical director. You can tell that he wants to make it so bad to the point where he forgoes his true self to do it. And that is exactly why he’s a no-name–he forgot about his originality in the process.
So you can imagine how gratifying it is to see a character like this grow and be the better person at the cost of his ambition. It was humbling seeing him do that one act of selflessness.
Then there’s Kim Young-Gwan, played by the cute Ji Dae-Han, who is a half-Korean, half-Filipino boy who is missing and looking for his Korean father. He feels like he doesn’t belong and the people around him don’t help.
In regards to that, I think the movie raised some interesting issues such as racism in Korea. People kept commenting on Young-Gwan’s dark skin and how his heritage is an issue. He’s a half boy and that’s all they care about.
As for the music (since this is majorly a movie about making musicals), I thought the music itself was great and the dance routines were amazing (some performances gave me goosebumps). Yet I didn’t like how incredibly autotuned the singing was. I know the kids singing in the movie are not professional singers or anything but the autotuning was too much and too obvious. It ruined the songs a little for me. However, not everyone would have a problem with this as it depends on personal opinion.
I recommend watching this movie overall~ I had so much fun watching it.