Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Goong, Iljimae director takes on Playful Kiss adaptation

Okay, now THIS I could really get behind!

When I first heard about the adaptation of Itazura na Kiss for Korean television, I was not impressed — I’m tired of the constant Japanese-manga-to-kdrama efforts, and I was skeptical about Group Eight’s ability to handle it well. The production house’s biggest success to date has been Boys Before Flowers, and they seem to have a particular eye for translating trendy manhwas to television, but for every decent show (Tamra the Island) they’ve had a bomb (Goong S). And we all know that Boys Before Flowers was a success despite numerous flaws.

However! Now director Hwang In-roi has signed on, and that makes me very, VERY excited. Hwang In-roi did Goong and Return of Iljimae, and turned those two projects into sumptuous feasts for the eyes. I didn’t love Goong’s pacing, but as a work of directing it’s a gorgeous feat, and Return of Iljimae. Those two dramas, which were both based on manhwas, have breathtaking cinematography and two of the best soundtracks and scores of any kdramas I’ve ever seen. Hwang has a sharp eye and brings out the best in his actors, including a few who were not known for their acting before working with him (Yoon Eun-hye, Joo Ji-hoon, Jung Il-woo), and has a wonderful, delicate touch with emotional beats.

Writing is Go Eun-nim of Bungee Jumping of Our Own, the 2001 film starring Lee Byung-heon and the late Lee Eun-ju.

Playful Kiss (aka Mischievous Kiss) was adapted into a hit Taiwanese drama in 2005, It Started With a Kiss, and was so popular that it produced a sequel series.

The Korean drama version will soon finish casting and begin filming in July, and is aiming for a Fall 2010

credit: javabeans

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