Saturday, March 19, 2011

49 Days: embarkment

   Finally, after two first episodes. There is a lot I'd like to say about this drama that started, in my opinion, well. Two first episodes lay an outline for the rest of the series, but I believe screenplay will mess up the existence of the characters even more. I didn't write "lives", but "existence" on purpose. The main character is a wandering soul. So the word "life" is inappropriate.

   At first we got to know all the characters, and drama started by showing the aerial views of Seoul and dozens of pictures depicting human life. We saw birth, funerals, work, fun, tears, joy etc. I don't think it will delve that much into human condition, but the premise is promising. Seoul may be just the allegory of any other city, town, village, place to live. People are everywhere. Those moments are just small pieces of human life.
The characters introduced in the first episode got more layers in the second one. 
We have our main protagonist, Shin Jihyeon, who is a lively, positive and one-track-minded girl. Her friendship towards everyone is genuine, she wants to be on good terms with people. When she is introduced, we see her at the engagement ceremony, and because she's a jaebol's only daughter, this day is equally lavish to the wedding. She is accompanied by her two friends, Park Seowu, and Shin Injeong. The groom-to-be  (Kang Minho) best man, his younger brother (Han Kang) is iffy and gives up the honor. All we know from the hints that he had some kind of relationship with Jihyeon in the past, and still has some lingering feelings for her. 
On the opposite to this high-cut world there is Song Yi-kyeong, almost a zombie in her complete lack of interest in life. She's a walking shell. She eats, sleeps, and works. She's a woman who exists within one day. March 15, 2006. Her whole life is locked up in this one fatal day. On this day she lost her loved one.
And there is Scheduler (as he introduced himself) who is very sensitive about calling him Angel of Death.

The futile suicide attempt by Yikyeong causes havoc on the expressway. Jihyeon is fatally injured and lies in the hospital in a coma with the hints of being brain dead. Her spirit leaves her body and the whole story begins. The Scheduler gives her two solutions to this situation - either she'll leave through the elevator to the otherworld, or she can find three people who can cry genuine tears of love for her. In all her brightness and complete lack of sense of reality she chooses the latter option. The Scheduler takes her to the funeral and explains that "not all tears that are cried are the real tears".


What I liked?
The story. Yes, I do like the ontology and spirits in stories. Plus Jeong Ilwu. Those two reasons were enough for me to anticipate it. I like the angles of the shooting.
So far, Jo Hyeonjae is doing a better job than Bae Subin, but it's only my personal observation. Ilwu's acting is so far fine, with a bit of comedy and a bit of heavier hints here and there.

What I don't like?
The ending song. It ruins the mood completely. Oh well, not every drama need to have the ending song like in Gisaeng Tales, but they should find something more suitable.

There was one really, huge erroneous scene in it when both Yikyeong and Jihyeon were walking in a full light. Well, according to the definition, a spirit is not a material body, thus the shadow is unrealistic. They should try to avoid such mistakes in the future. Because it shatters the illusion of the whole scene.

What's next?
Injeong and Minho are ending up in the same room in hotel. From the short scenes it looks like they have an affair. Jihyeon father's company looks as if having some problems. And her mother is going insane with this situation.

I'm watching!