C-Movie: Palace

  • Title: Palace
  • Chinese Title: 宮鎖沉香
  • Language: Chinese
  • Genre: Historical Drama
  • Released: August 13, 2013
  • Main Cast: Chen Xiao (as Yin Xiang), Zhou Dongyu (Chen Xiang), Zhao Liying (Liu Li), Lu Yi (as Yin Zheng)
  • Rough Summary: Started off as palace maids, Liu Li and Chen Xiang are on good terms with each other, until the princes cross their paths. Liu Li, ambitious for power and affluence, becomes a scheming woman and won’t stop at anything to climb to the top of the hierarchy. But as for Chen Xiang, power and affluence meant nothing to her. It was the love for her prince that she treasured most. Regardless of the suffering that she has to overcome, her heart will still remain by his side.
  • Comment: I am really excited to watch this movie. Judging by the posters and photos, the movie looks like it’s going be of very high quality. And, the costumes are just magnificent – I mean look how amazing Zhao LiYing’s hanfu is! But as most of you may or may not know, the movie is directed by Yu Zheng – the very same director of Gong and Gong II. And this movie is supposedly a spin-off of the Gong series. The Gong dramas have received mixed reactions from viewers and I have read a lot of negative comments about these two dramas. So, this movie could also suffer the same consequence. But personally, I enjoyed Gong and Gong II. Yeah, there were some really cheesy moments and the acting could be overly cutesy, but the story was entertaining to watch. Regardless, I’m still anticipating this movie because the graphics look promising and the cast comprises a strong assortment of actors, most notably Chen Xiao and Zhao LiYing.


K-Drama: Monstar

  • Title: Monstar
  • Korean title: 몬스타
  • Language: Korean
  • Episodes: 12
  • Released: May 17 2013
  • Main Cast: Yong Joon Hyung (Yoon Sul-Chan), Ha Yeon Soo (Min Se Yi), Kang Ha Neul (Jung Sun Woo), Kim Min Young (Sim Eun-Ha), Park Kyu-Sun (Do Nam), Kang Ui-Sik (Park Kyu-Dong), Da Hee (Kim Nana), Moon Yong Suk (Ma Joon Hee), Ahn Nae-Sang (Han Ji Woong)
  • Synopsis: Under unusual conditions, a group of psychologically challenged students are forced to spend time together. Little by little, they each begin to develop an understanding for one another and they start to embrace this new-found (or for some – a renewed) friendship.

Comment: A lot of issues pertaining to an average student’s life is discussed in this series: family, sense of belonging, a misunderstanding that drew apart a friendship, love and acceptance. This short drama tackles quite a lot of issues that most of us had or are dealing with in school. And most of it is not very pretty. It brings out the harsh truth behind an image of a normal school kid. And it is music that becomes their medicine and a home they can return to. But as well as revealing some of these ugly realities, humour is also incorporated to lighten up the mood. And this is achieved by including the arrogant celebrity, Yoon Sul-Chan into the story.

The gang

No. It’s not another one of those celebrity-type dramas. It’s much more than that. It reminds us that even celebrities are humans and that they too have their own demons to vanquish. By placing Yoon Sul-Chan in a school setting, his celebrity image becomes slightly degraded to a normal human being – like you, like me. And you start to think, they’re not much different to us. Besides Yoon Sul-Chan, Min Se-Yi is also another protagonist of the story. Don’t worry, she is not like one of those annoying female characters. I think you will like her. She’s definitely the gem of the drama.

Yoon Sul-Chan

Let me just say, I absolutely love this drama! I’ve still got two more episodes until the end. But still – it’s amazing. The drama doesn’t drag, has a good cast, good story-line and a good balance of humour that doesn’t destroy the plot. Also, Ha Yoen Soo’s amazing. Combined with her adorable looks and dazed expression, she makes Min Se-Yi a lovable character – not only to the viewers but also the characters that she’s surrounded by in the drama.

And I must add, the ost is amazing – maybe you might want to check it out as well as the drama. Hope you will like the drama as much as I did.

Min Se-Yi

Min Se-Yi

And here you have the cast