Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Indian cinema VS Korean cinema - okay, why?

As I was writing my my review for Legend of the Evil Lake in my Korean cinema blog, I starting comparing films between Bollywood and Korean. Okay, so how did that start? Well, I was amazed at Legend of the Evil Lake when watching it. I have been watching Korean movies/dramas that were in the genres of romantic comedy and horror. So I ended up comparing Bollywood films and Korean movies.

Since more and more people keep mentioning how much they love Jab We Met, then they should give Korean movies a try. As I mentioned in my Jab We Met review, in Korean cinema, there is usually a sassy, spontaneous, chatty girl with a quiet guy. Hey, if you even like the Tollywood/Telugu movie Bommarillu, it definitely has a Korean feel to the film too! Now not every storyline is like that in Korean cinema. There will be films with the damsel in distress. Definitely. In addition, a lot of Korean movies focus on the couple's journey together. Rarely will a parent's influence help change their minds of who they should be with.

At first I thought about mixing my Indian cinema blog and Korean cinema blog but decided not to. So I separated them. I wish my Korean cinema blog would be more detailed like my Indian cinema blog though. It's just that I do watch a lot of Korean cinema on-line. Unlike with Indian cinema.

I've been asked before to list some Korean films for others to watch. I've listed some for Nida but I'm going to add more here. I hope to review all the ones I listed soon but so far, I have most of them.....

My Sassy Girl
Hey, if Hollywood and Bollywood (as Ugly Aur Pagli) remakes it, why not? Watch the original please! For those who didn't know, it's about a guy meeting a girl unexpectly. Even though the girl slaps him, bosses him around, he is attracted to her. He learns about why she is living her life in sorrow.

My Tutor Friend
First Korean movie that made me fall in love with the cinema. Romantic comedy about a hot, macho guy who should've graduated high school a long time ago. His parents get him a tutor who he doesn't find attractive, but starts to fall for her.

Too Beautiful To Lie
Hilarious movie about an ex-convict girl who got released on parole to attend her sister's wedding. She ends up meeting a guy on a train. He wants to propose to his girlfriend. However, the ring he plans to give his girlfriend ends up with the ex-convict. She tries to return the ring but gets mistaken for the guy's fiance. The second half of this movie reminded me a bit of
Jab We Met because of the family mistakens the two as a couple.

S Diary
When Bachna Hai Haseeno came out, I thought it would take parts of S Diary. BHH was about Raj's (Ranbir) journey back to his exes. Plus it was about three girls. Well, in S Diary, it's similar. The girl wonders about her past three boyfriends. It was three different stages in her life. She goes back and revisit each one trying to understand why she got dumped. This movie is more about revenge - she wants to get even with how they treated her.

My Little Bride
A cute romantic comedy about a high school girl who has to marry an older guy who she grew up with. She has a double life since none of her high school friends know she is married. Not even her high school boyfriend.

100 Days with Mr Arrogant
Funny movie about a girl who feels down after being dumped by her boyfriend. She accidently kicks a can and hit this rich guy's car. He bosses her around and tries to get her to pay for the damages. Since she doesn't have money, he says that she has to be his slave for 100 days. But later she learns that the damage that she cause was not worth it because it only cost $10!! She sets to get revenge on him.

My Boyfriend is Type B
Girl's boyfriend blood type is Type B. Not very good. People with Type B blood is the worse for a girl to find in a soul mate. Type B guys are arrogant, hard-head, and a jerk. Why did she choose such a guy?

Not a movie, it's a drama. Dramas run usually 16 episodes. It's not a soap opera where it goes on and on. But I'm going to mention these two....

Coffee Prince
The main heroine is a tom boy. Everyone mistakens her for a boy. Since she is poor, she lies that she is a boy to keep a job that the owner only wants to hire men called Coffee Prince. The owner is the hero. He doesn't understand why but he is developing feelings for a guy?

My Name is Kim Sam Soon
Kim Sam Soon is an unusual name for a Korean girl. Sam Soon hates her name. On top of that, she's overweight for Korean girls. No wonder why she's in her late 20s and single! She's a great chef and ends up working for a top-notch restaurant. The owner is the hero. He pays Sam Soon to be his girlfriend since there is no way in hell he will ever fall for her. His mom is constantly on his back about having a girlfriend.

Oh right, I was comparing Korean and Bollywood cinema. I also mentioned on the Legend of the Evil Lake review about the guys in Indian cinema noticing the girls after the girls have undergone a makeover.

In Korean cinema, the girls don't have to make a dramatic transformation for the guys to like them. The guys will like the girl no matter how she looks. They like the girls for their personality. Not in Bollywood films, girls gotta change their looks for the guys to notice them - ahem Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Ishq Visqk, Main Hoon Naa, etc.

How I came across this is I was talking about in the Legend of the Evil Lake review about how all the Korean movies I've seen, everyone has dressed in modern clothing. Legend of the Evil Lake is the only movie that I've seen Korean traditional outfits.

Here are just some stills from Korean cinema about the girl not having to change their looks and the guys liking them.

In My Name is Kim Sam Soon , the girl is overweight by Korean standards but the guy likes her regardless.
In Coffee Prince , the girl is tomboyish but the guy falls for her anyways.


Anonymous said...

OMG these movies sound soooooo good. You watch them online, you wrote. Do they come with subtitles? If yes, where do I find them online?

And on the subject of remakes - I think something similar to Coffee Prince was being tried on Indian TV.

Nicki said...

bollyviewer - wow!! I'm glad I convinced you to try to watch some Korean movies. :)

I watch most Korean movies on YouTube. You just have to type in English and then the film title. The only sucky thing is the movie is broken into many parts.

However, I do have some Korean movies on dvd at home. My friend in Mpls sends me copies - I believe many are pirated. It's so hard to find official dvds because it's so expensive in the USA. Official Korean dvd are also a different region than the USA, where I live. Plus the subtitles on Korean dvds suck. Most of the movies that are on YouTube are Fan-subbed - the fans sub them and share with others - that's so much better. Trust me.

Anonymous said...

Nicki, I'm so glad you posted these--and with pictures, too! They look and sound like a lot of fun. I love how you point out the similarities and differences between Bollywood and Korean films.

Wow, the part about the men liking the girls for their personality...that really peaked my interest. I mean, even in Hollywood this seems like a foreign concept. Actors and actresses are paired up based on their onscreen chemistry and physical looks, and most films show the guys falling for the beauty before the brains. I think these films would be a refreshing change of pace!

I'm not sure if this is going on a tangent, but do you think the Korean culture reflects this in a positive way? What I mean is, here in the U.S. the film industry and media have a lot of influence on how we perceive our bodies and appearances. Many women feel they need to look a certain way to attract a guy, partly because of the messages in film and television. Do you think Korean men and women may have more of a focus on personality because of the way they are portrayed on film? Which, by the way, I would think would be a very positive message for Korean films to send...:)

Oh yeah, one more question and then I'll shut Korean films have music like Bollywood films do?

Nicki said...

You're welcome Nida.

I thought posting this would be fun. It was. I wanted to share with others about Korean films. Since Hollywood and Bollywood remaking Korean films, why not share a few of my faves here. :)

Dang, I hate to say this but I believe it's only in movies where Korean guys fall for the personality. I mean, I'm sure it happens in real life too. From what I know, Koreans are really self-conscious about their looks. 90 percent of them have had plastic surgery - especially nose jobs and eyelid surgery since many of them don't have eyelids. One of my Korean friends told me that (which is also in My Name is Kim Sam Soon), when you fill out a job application, you MUST attach your photo - the employer wants to see how you look like.

Even though I have said all this, I still find their movies/dramas very entertaining. I love horror films and I personally think they have better horror films than Japanese movies.

About music in Korean movies, there is music in the background. It's just like Hollywood films. No singing/dancing. However, in many Korean movies/dramas, the lead pair end up karaoke, which usually makes me laugh so hard.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Nicki, for answering my questions!

Ahh,so I guess we women will never be truly happy with our bodies and overall appearance. Wow, the job application thing is bit unsettling... but not surprising, since here in the U.S. people are hired on the basis of appearance every day. They may not paste a pic on their app, but that doesn't stop the employer from making judgements on the interview...I'm not saying this happens all the time, but I believe it does indeed happen.

But back to the films--they really do sound adorable! I'll have to check these out. I'll be emailing you soon:)

Nicki said...

Nida - You're welcome. I agree with you on what you say about women. We will never be happy with the way we look because we will always find faults within ourselves.

I can't wait for your thoughts on Korean movies and your e-mail. :)

Filebook said...

Korean Movies are way better than Indian Films. I'm one of k-movie and k-drama addict as well.

Anonymous said...

Korean movies and dramas are definitely much better and diverse than indian movies...
The best part is that there are many female centric movies with strong female chars unlike indian movies where the girl always falls in trouble and the guy has to come and save her!

Unknown said...

Nice article . especially because you made a comparison between Bollywood and Korean films. Its saddening to know koreans are still self conscious about their looks despite of the dramas and movies they have. Hope the messages of these dramas and movies will help other people