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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Birth of a Beauty" Episode 11

2014/12/06 | 1816 views | Permalink

Tae-hee and Geum-ran remain fairly determined to not let the finer details of their revenge schemes get in the way of a fun and enjoyable romance. These two really do seem inseparable right now. I don't mean that in the lovey-dovey romantic sense of being in the same physical area. In fact, their willingness to be apart for significant periods of time is one of the factors that makes their being together so enjoyable. They trust and recognize that sometimes they need to separate in order to accomplish their greater goals.

Rather, they're inseparable in the much deeper sense of being immune to obstacles. Tae-hee has fully accepted Geum-ran's weird housewife tendencies. Indeed, he genuinely seems to enjoy seeing a whole brand new world, where instead of keeping secrets, he can just talk to people. For a man who makes lots of crazy plans, Tae-hee is genuinely excited just by the weird stuff you run in to at a traditional Korean market. It's their radically different experiences and personalities that make Tae-hee and Geum-ran work so well as a couple. They compliment each other, prompting change for the better.

It's something that Chae-yeol quite literally seems incapable of understanding. Her efforts fail, again. Kang-joon makes somewhat better progress, mostly through his use of an elaborate spy network. He and Min-yeok have a mutual enemy, and lots of power. Min-yeok in particular is very good at just being generally intimidating. The combination is a threatening one, even if to date their efforts against Tae-hee and Sara have mostly been ineffective.

This makes for an odd sense of tension. Every time I watch "Birth of a Beauty" I'm worried that somehow evil will prevail, even though to date nothing all that bad has happened. It's a refreshing reversal of normal genre trends really- normally it's the heroes with all the resources who fail through sheer stupidity. As fairy tale allegories go, it's easy to root for Tae-hee and Geum-ran when their survival depends almost entirely on their quick wit and mutual trust.

While there's still no major storyline movement, I'm still enjoying the general ambience. The dates are wonderful- even just the little gestures that Tae-hee and Geum-ran pull off when they're alone together are a lot of fun. In the end that may be where the tension is coming from. I doubt very much that Tae-hee and Geum-ran will lose in the long run, but in the short term it would be just awful if their happiness was somehow interrupted.

Review by William Schwartz

"Birth of a Beauty" is directed by Lee Chang-min-I, written by Yoon Yeong-mi and features Joo Sang-wook, Han Ye-seul, Jung Gyu-woon and Wang Ji-hye.


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