Hyun Bin's filmography assessment... Part 1
Updated: Sep 9, 2021
Hyun Bin does not need any introduction!
On the other hand, I strongly believe that his works should be evaluated more diligently. I must confess that I have watched almost most of them (movies and series)!
I suppose that most of the viewers have become acquainted with him because of "Crash Landing On You". This series became very popular within the previous year and along with it, Hyun Bin's popularity skyrocketed!
However, my personal opinion is that the specific production was good but not extraordinary. I would characterize it as a "soap opera" which does not avoid the usual pitfalls of similar Kdramas, where the side characters take away the quality and gravity of many important scenes. Of course, Hyun Bin's and Son Ye Jin's acting was more than exquisite! The alternation between the austere north korean reality and the fairytale landscapes of Switcherland gives positive credits on the director's work. Moreover, the wonderful piano composition "Song for Brother" contributes to the melancholic and nostalgic cinematography .
Definitely it's a worthwatching series. My objection is that there are three previous works of his which are better and have not been properly appreciated:
"Memories of the Alhabra" , "Jekyll, Hyde, Me" and "Friend, Our Legend".
The science fiction concept of the first one and the double personality element of the second one may have affected the viewers' choice. I wouldn't have put any of them in my watch list if it was not for Hyun Bin. Now,I feel fortunate I didn't miss them!
I must say that Hyun Bin was perfect in both of them! Breathtakingly handsome with an overwhelming ability to adjust to different characters, especially in "Jekyll, Hyde, Me" where he transforms in front of our eyes from one personality to another with a natural ease.
"Memories of the Alhabra" was unexpectedly interesting and romantic especially the episodes that were shot in Spain. Very good CGIs and a plot with action,romance,and drama equally balanced.Certainly, it can be confusing for those who have no knowledge of the new generation video games and the virtual reality world, but I believe that those acquainted with them, will find this series very appealing.
"Jekyll, Hyde, Me" was a revelation! The first episode made me wonder if I should keep watching it! My initial impression was that what follows may be silly and badly staged. As usual, I didn't give up and once again I was highly rewarded. I have lost count of how many times I have seen this drama. I enjoyed it so much that whenever I need something to uplift my mood I go back and rewatch it!
"Friend, Our Legend" is a 2009 series which is excellent in every aspect. It is a TV adaptation of the classic film "Friend" under the same director. Following the dramatic story of four childhood friends, this drama depicts the tragic path they take from early deliquent teenagers to mobsters in adulthood. A real masterpiece, with Hyun Bin proving his great talent when it comes to dramatic roles.
The first time I saw Hyun Bin was in "Secret Garden". I immediately loved him! The series was the usual rom com. Not bad but I think that his co star Ha Ji-Won was not suitable for the role of his crash. Although she is a very good actress and she was great in many other dramas, somehow I couldn't see her as a good match next to Hyun Bin. Putting this aside, I enjoyed the series and I highly recommend it for those who haven't seen it yet.
"Worlds Within" is a not so recent series ( it goes back to 2008). I watched it because I wanted to see the chemistry between Hyun Bin and Song Hye-Kyo ("Descendants of the Sun"). I confess that I am not a great fan of Hye-Kyo's cold demeanor, so I may be a little biased. The trailer seemed very promising nevertheless the result was a little boring. Very slow and flat storyline with nothing extraordinary to maintain the viewer's interest. Hyun Bin was good,as always (I have never been disapointed by his acting). It took me some effort to keep watching till the last episode but I didn't regret it since I want to have a complete picture of my favorite actors' works. I think this is the best way in order for me to provide objective evaluations.
Lastly, I will make a referance to "My lovely Kim Sam-Soon" since for asian viewers, this is the one work that made Hyun Bin popular. I cannot say that it matches my preferences, but I guess that it is a good choice for those who like the usual easy going rom coms.