Sunday, April 25, 2010

TWSSG I - 千年の愛

Hi Hi sisters ....... last week, cloudnine and I watched the first chapter of the TWSSG movie in Toho cinema. To ensure we had a perfect view of the handsome Damdeok, I even ran to the cinema 2 days prior to showing and reserved the best seats in the house (hehe, and can’t help patting myself on the back for acting so quickly this time :)

On the morning of the showing, I was expecting crowds of BYJ fans gathered in the lobby, chatting and busy taking pictures of Yonsama's poster (much like the time when I watched Winter Sonata during my visit here in summer 2007) Aye? …… “Did I mix up the dates? Where is everybody?” I was wondering. I double-checked my ticket again, yup, it’s today. “But why is it so empty?” I guess 25 out of 165 seats can safely be considered as ‘empty’, right? My heart was dropping, has everybody forgotten? (Trust me, Toho cinema has shown Winter Sonata, Barefooted Youth and Papa before and it was always full house) I came up quickly with my own justification..… it could be the fact that the movie has been showing everyday since April 10 in many cinemas across Japan. Or as cloudnine explained to me that most fans would go on Wednesday, ‘ladies day’, which they pay only 1000 instead of 1800 yen for a movie, therefore Thursday is usually quiet. Arayso …… before I had time to analyze further, the theme song of TWSSG started playing and I was eager to watch the handsome Damdeok again!

The movie began with the drama-ending which the teary King Damdeok speaking to Kiha, who had turned into a black sujak. Then the story was directed back to 2000 years ago on the mythology of Lord Hwangwoon, Gajin and Sae-oh. The director was basically re-telling the story as in the drama – plot by plot, scene by scene in the same order. From the title "Thousands Year's Love", I thought there would be more emphasis on the love relationships, emotions and sensitivity revolving around the characters. Maybe I have misunderstood the intention of this project, there was no new perspective, no new scenes as I was hoping for. The re-editing from 6 hours of drama to 2 hours seemed choppy at times as certain scenes went too fast and you felt like something was not explained in between (of course for BYJ fans like us, we can practically recite the dialogue backwards :) I wonder for someone who has never watched the drama before, if they are able to follow what happened.

For example, this romantic scene showing Lord Hwangwoon’s attraction and courting of Sea-oh was skipped. which made it quite abrupt when Hwangwoon (out of nowhere) declared to his aboji that Sa-oh would bear his child and be the mother of Earth??
By the same token : the scene when Hwangwoon cured Gajin from her injury which led to her falling in love with him was also skipped - which made it hard to explain Gajin's jealous eyes as she watched Hwangwoon kissing Sae-oh??
Having said that, TWSSG is TWSSG. We all know it's a magnificent production with the best cast and crew from Korea. The drama has a heavy historical element init and the story has to be told. There are a lot of plots and it's certainly not an easy task to condense and re-edit 21 episodes into a 4 parts movie. Hehe, the good news is a condensed version means they have cut out a lot of non-BYJ scenes and the frequency of Yong Joon showing up is so much more higher. Hehe, not to give away too much details, the ending scene is Kiha embracing the teary Damdeok in the wooden shed. Now in this scene, they did show a new angle shooting from Damdeok's back for a few more seconds :) All in all, there is really no NEW surprise in this movie so far, if that's what you are looking for. For fans who miss Yong Joon and like to see his acting, I guess it's a wonderful outing with your Bae sisters :)

Chapter 2 :すれちがいの運命 (The Destiny of Missing Encounter) will be showing starting May 8!


cecy said...

hi jaime, how are you?
is very exciting to see our Damdeok prince again, as beautiful as ever.
thanks for sharing these images.
cecy fondly Mexico.

Mikino said...

Hi Dear Jaime,
First, I want to thank you for this posting!
Unfortunately, I live too far from Japan and Korea and have no opportunity to attend any event connected with his work. But believe me, if I had this opportunity, I would take advantage, regardless of how much money will I need? I'm glad to everything He does! I know, He works with passion and love, and which I hope to continue to make us happy! !
With Love

Anonymous said...

Dear Jaime and Bae sisters:
Greetings on a stormy season with a tornado to boot.
Of course, many things are lost from one translation to another in media format.
I am trained to analyze a movie as follows. I divide the movie into four parts. The first part is set up of place and introduction of characters. Then the characters must propel the plot, just as the plot must deepen the characterization. The middle part is the crisis or the turning point. Three fourths towards the ending is the climax and then resolution. Again the strengths and weaknesses of the character must always push the plot forward, just as the plot must reveal the character. For example, in Winter Sonata is perfect about this: Yu Jin is characterized from the very beginning as always running, which results in Ming Hyung's accident in the plot.
As you have analyzed, such structure has not been rigorously maintained in the shortened movie of TWSSG. Thus, I will still prefer to watch the full blown historical TWSSG, which is one of my favorites.
Sarang Hamnida,

yudi said...

Dear Jaime,

Even through there is few new scenes in the movie version of TWSSG and it seems at some point it's not telling the story clearly, watching YJ's acting on the big screen will be still a very good experience which I haven't had so far. I don't know when I will have a chance of that sort. I think you are one of the luckiest among all Bae sisters. I am very happy for you.

Take care.


Marce said...

Hi Jaime,
you can't imaging how much i was waiting for this post, since you showed us pictures of the tickets some time ago. =)
thank you for sharing this, after to see the extended version, sure that the compressed looks incomplete, but you was able to see our prince on a big screen. ;).

have a nice time. God Bless you.

jaime said...

Hi cecy,

glad to know that you like TWSSG and Damdeok. He is a wonderful actor. just curious, do u watch the DVD in spanish subs or dubbing? have a nice week!

love .. jaime

jaime said...

Hi hi mikino,

that's the spirit, my dear! yes, I agree with you. We should always be positive and have hope that wonderful things will happen inour lives! I sincerely hope you will see our Yong Joon someday too :)

love ... jaime

jaime said...

hi dear josephine,

oh, sorry to hear about the tornado in central US. did it affect philadelphia too?

Thanks for sharing your insights. Yeah, this makes me question the intention and the extra value-add of this movie project?? I hope it's not simply another way to wring more revenues from the original drama by KJH Production (banking on the support of Japanese fans for Yong Joon) Well, I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and look forward to the 2nd chapter. will let u know.

please take care!
love .. jaime

jaime said...

Dear yudi,

So nice to hear from you. Hope the weather in Calgary is nice :)

Yeah, I am always thankful of how lucky I am. I remember I cried the first time I watched Winter Sonata in a Tokyo cinema. The experience is amazing to watch Yong Joon on a big screen with other BYJ sisters!

Hehe my dear yudi, you were in Tokyo Dome last September! And that was a LIVE SHOW, I think you can't get any better BYJ experience than that :)

Enjoy the lovely spring, jaime

jaime said...

dear Marce,

Thank you for waiting for my post. sorry, I have no idea, otherwise I would have written this earlier.

Yeah, I guess I shouldn;t complain so much when I can see Damdeok on big screen. Gosh, we really miss him, eh?

have a nice week!
love .. jaime

Marce said...

OOOH NO NO NO, Dont feel sorry Dear Jaime, your time was proper. I dont want to pressure you. Yes, we really miss him.

love.. marce