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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Birth of a Beauty" Episode 9

2014/11/29 | 2298 views | Permalink

Last episode Chae-yeon discovered the terrible secret that Sara and Geum-ran are the same person. I noted at the time that there's doesn't seem to be a useful way for her to actually utilize this information, and this episode reaffirms that fact. Chae-yeon is acting awfully smug for a person who has no apparent plan whatsoever. By the end it's clear she's not even sure what Tae-hee and Sara's long term goal is, given the surprise Chae-yeon shows when one character is missing from an important meeting.

Kang-joon similarly manages to come off as kind of dumb. His stupid plan to deal with Geum-ran's mother is foiled, not just once, but twice. There were two separate plans to get Geum-ran's mother out of the hospital. If one hadn't worked, the other would have ended up even worse. Kang-joon's entire dirty evil and obviously illegal deal would have been exposed. And the ridiculous part is that there wasn't even any point to it in the first place. The man's literally charging at ghosts and only barely managing to avoid knocking himself out by running head first into a lamp post.

With antagonists like this it's no wonder that Tae-hee and Sara have moved on to the much more ambitious and satisfying plan of corporate mayhem. I like how flexible Tae-hee is. He's long since admitted that his plan to get Chae-yeon back was kind of a dumb one and with Sara at his side Tae-hee now stands an excellent chance of conquering the world and getting revenge on his more important enemies.

One of the things I really like about the relationship between Tae-hee and Sara is that they're kind of like an evil, scheming power couple, except that they're the protagonists. It's a really fun dynamic. Considering how often we've seen these kinds of characters as the bad guys it's really a lot more enjoyable to cheer them on as heroes instead. I'm surprised no one's tried to do this before honestly. There's a sheer screwball element here that's a neat callback to classic Hollywood of all things.

Really, though, credit has to be given where it's due. Most of the reason why this drama works is because of the chemistry between Joo Sang-wook and Han Ye-seul. I really can't think of any other way the relationship could play off so convincingly. Admittedly, the preview indicates that "Birth of a Beauty" is at least going to try with that. And let's keep going in that direction. Be ambitious, wacky, fun. It's worked for "Birth of a Beauty" so far, and it will continue to work.

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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