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What I Like About Scent of a Woman

7 Aug

Being a drama addict, I’m always craving new dramas that can excite, move, and compel me to keep coming back for more. Some dramas I’ve tried have only ever had me at arms’ length and I stop watching after one or two episodes. Not so with Scent of a Woman.

Scent of a Woman interested me first because of its premise–a woman (not a childish young adult or a high school girl, but a woman) finds out that she has terminal illness and only has six months to live. She decides to do everything that she wanted to do before her time comes.

Right from the start, I was hooked because that is the kind of stories that pack a wallop of gut-busting emotions and will need some serious thespian to pull that off. I am an actressexual (read: someone who relishes actresses, especially ones who do extremely incredible work) and therefore the thought of having such a meaty storyline makes me weak.

Watching the first two episodes, I wasn’t disappointed. The cast delivers sensational performances, especially Kim Sun Ah and Lee Dong-wook, who play the main character role of a woman on the verge of death and the man she falls in love with.

Kim Sun Ah has such great comic presence that she mines every laugh out of every joke. Her twitchy approach to Lee Yeong Jae is both endearing and hilarious. But she’s just doesn’t do prat falls or randomly get dumped with buckets of water. Her awkward, clumsy, and disheveled appearances work to highlight Yeong Jae’s simplicity and good nature. We see a genuinely smart girl who tries hard but gets stuck in unfortunate situations rather than some girl who is stupid that does a lot of stupid things because it happens to be funny. The comedy comes from how desperate her situation is and how Yeong Jae reacts to these situations. In addition, she uses her high-pitch quavering voice to highlight the character’s timidity rather than use it as a prop for more laughter.

However, as much as I love her comedic ability, I love her dramatic parts even more. What makes or breaks a Korean drama, for me, is the quality of acting. I was hooked by dramas like Shining Inheritance or Coffee Prince because of their impressive acting and repelled by the lack of good thespians by dramas like Playful Kiss. The scene where she finds out she has cancer won my heart and made me addicted to the drama. As she hears those words, we see time passes by in her face and all the trauma and fears she felt all day build up exquisitely as she goes to work and subsequently quits. Hers is the performance of the year and I doubt anyone can top hers.

Lee Dong-wook meanwhile plays the stereotypical jerk rich guy with subtle comedic nuances that never makes him boring. His quiet disposition is inviting while the subtle facial tic show an actor who thinks about his words and his feelings rather than just someone who is saying the lines of a script.

The rest of the drama is up to par with these two stars. The cinematography, especially, is wonderful–the strong lighting and colors of this drama makes the experience cinematic. Even the music adds a light touch to a drama that is supposed to be heavy and burdensome. In short, everything works in this drama and I couldn’t be happier.

–Clarence

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2 Responses to “What I Like About Scent of a Woman”

  1. angellit November 26, 2011 at 5:13 am #

    i so really love scent of a woman. it gives a lot of lessons .. 🙂

    • dramapop November 26, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

      I love Scent of a woman!! 🙂 It’s one of the best this year

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