Friday, June 6, 2014

Review:// Wonderful Radio

Wonderful Radio aka Love On-Air 원더풀 라디오 movie poster.

I went into this thinking that there would be a lot of bickering and tension filled scenes between the leads, but Wonderful Radio surprised me by focusing more on Shin Jin A (Lee Min Jung) and less on her romance. It's a well balanced film, delivering tender drama, comic relief, and a bit of romance.

Lee Min Jung 이민정 as Shin Jin A hosting a radio program.

Shin Jin A plays a former idol turned radio host, whose show doesn't get high ratings, but the staff is like a family. She interviews new groups who have never heard of her group, Purple, and she seems to be looked upon as a has-been.

Girl group, Purple, performs on stage.

The way Purple parted ways hearkens back to The Greatest Love where one of the members is still close to Jin A, while the other hates her. You have the feeling that she's protecting the one, while the other is lost in a misunderstanding, so is doing her best to make Jin A's life difficult.

Lee Jung Jin 이정진 as Lee Jae Ik in the foreground while Shin Jin A, Nan Seol played by Jung Yoo Mi 정유미 and Lee Kwang Soo 이광수 as Cha Dae Keun have a lively conversation in the background.

Lee Kwang Soo is hilarious as Jin A's manager, Cha Dae Keun. Kwang Soo and Min Jung are such an awesome comedic match; both are great at physical comedy and their chemistry is undeniable. I just wanted more, more, more. Writer Nan Seol (Jung Yoo Mi) also has a good dynamic with Kwang Soo, making their scenes quite memorable.

When Jin A's producer goes on maternity leave, she gets a stern new replacement who is tasked with raising the ratings. He gets an earful before even meeting Jin A, and at that point knows that his work is cut out for him.

Shin Jin A hosting her radio show with her guests, a cab driver (Jeong Man Sik 정만식)  and a student (Jo Jung Eun 조정은)..

The radio show's new format involves bringing in listeners who have a story to tell, who then sing a special song. This further emphasized Jin A's caring nature and proved to be emotional to the point of evoking tears.

Lee Jae Ik gazes at Shin Jin A on the balcony.

Though Jin A does clash with PD Lee Jae Ik (Lee Jung Jin), he's a more mature character who doesn't get dragged into theatrics. Love sneaks up on them subtley, and is very sweet when it finally arrives.

Kim Jong Kook 김종국 hires Cha  Dae Keun as his designated driver.

Manager Cha Dae Keun takes on various driving jobs to make ends meet, which is the perfect opportunity for Running Man co-stars Kim Jong Kook and Gary to make an appearance. These guys have such a great rapport, they played off of each other perfectly.

Shin Jin A laughs and sings in the recording studio.

Jin A falls from grace in the public eye when she steps into a trap on-air. The process of her finding herself is shot in warm, romantic amber lighting, in music video style, and Min Jung is absolutely beautiful through it all.

Kim Jung Tae 김정태 as In Suk, threatens Lee Jae Ik in the hall.

Talent agency president, In Suk (Kim Jung Tae), made for a good villain with enough power to add tension and suspense to the film. He brought out the best and the worst in people, in way that was believable and lent itself to character development.

Shin Jin A and Lee Jae Ik smile at each other over the city lights.

Our couple came together in a very cute way that matched their different personalities and brought the film to an end with all strings tied up nicely.

Cha Dae Keun gives a thumbs up.

Director Kwon Chil In gave Wonderful Radio a romantic feel with his choices of lighting and framing. It's really a visually pleasing film to watch as well as a good story. Thumbs up from me and Kwang Soo.

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