The 18th Annual Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) kicked off 10 days of screenings last night with an opening ceremony gala. Plenty of stars were present dressed to the nines as they strolled into BIFF square in Nampo-dong, Busan. It’s amazing because when I think of that area, it doesn’t seem glamourous with all its food stalls and shops. But that’s the power of a red carpet and great lighting.
I have now seen way too many dramas with Bae Soo Bin and Lee So Yeon together. OK – maybe it’s just three, but these two have almost always appeared on screen as major characters with some love line or relationship.
It’s kind of weird, because they consistently play very different characters each time.
Dong Yi has been enjoying high ratings (in the 20s range) and will prove to be a tough competitor for the newer dramas Giant and The Nation’s Orders (also known as Call of the Country). It keeps getting compared to Dae Jang Geum, especially since the director Lee Byung Hoon also did that series. But what makes this drama different is the fact that the king Suk Jong and the mistress Jang Hee Bin have been completely reinvented. For example, the king (played by Ji Jin Hee) is now a more charismatic king who engages with the servant ladies and disguises himself to see how the commoners really live. Jang Hee Bin (played by Lee So Yeon) was also re-visualized by making her more of a deeper, thoughtful ‘villain’ than the outright spiteful woman that Mishil from Queen Seon Deok was. That’s also a nice change from her former character in Angel’s Temptation and helps distance her from playing that kind of villain. And Park Ha Sun has been able to show a tougher side to the usually gentle Queen Inhyeon.
The following is an excerpt from the cast interviews. The stars present were Ji Jin Hee, Lee So Yeon, Han Hyo Joo, Bae Soo Bin (as Chun Soo), Park Ha Sun, Jung Jin Young (as Official Seo), Lee Kwang Soo (as Young Dal), and Lee Hee Do (as Hwang Joo Shik).
Next week, Dong Yi premieres to take the place of Pasta on Mondays and Tuesdays.