[K-DRAMA] Spring Waltz

warning: may contain spoilers

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The director of the hit seasonal series, Endless Love made a brave move by choosing relatively new actors to play major roles in this last installment, Spring Waltz. Not completely satisfied with the cast, but the plot has improved which is why it became worth watching.

The drama started in Austria when Park Eun Young went there to attend an accessory/jewelry event. She coincidentally met Phillip, manager of Yoon Jae Ha, who fell in love for her. He gave her tickets to Yoon Jae Ha’s concert as Jae Ha was a famous classical pianist. Eun Young attended and there’s the last piece which Jae Ha played which made Eun Young remember her childhood. The scene flash backed to the past. Su Ho and his father visited their hometown and there they met Eun Young and her mother. His father left his son with Eun Young and her mother. His father likes to gamble and he has incurred a lot of debts so he’s trying to hide. Su Ho treated Eun Young badly and he wanted to go back and find his father. As time passed and no news from his father, Su Ho and Eun Young gradually drew closer and they cared for each other. One day, the father went back to the island. He heard that Eun Young’s mother had saved money for Eun Young’s surgery. Eun Young was a sickly child so she needed that surgery to survive. Upon hearing money, he went straight to their home and stole the bag of money and quickly escaped. Eun Young’s mother couldn’t accept it so she went to Seoul to look for the father. She failed to find him and she got hit by a passing car and eventually died. On the other hand, Su Ho was trying to leave the island to find his father and return the money. Eun Young tried to stop him, but eventually both of them managed to get into Seoul. In the midst of searching and nowhere to go, Eun Young fell sick and stayed at the hospital. She needs money for the surgery ASAP. Su Ho, while trying to steal the bag from an old lady, was saved by a man named Yoon Myung Hoon. Yoon Myung Hoon’s wife became ill after their son died from an accident. Su Ho resembled their son very much and with this, the husband tried to talk to Su Ho and pretend that he is his son. Su Ho refused but then reconsiders after making a deal with him that the husband would pay for Eun Young’s hospital bill. After that, he became Yoon Jae Ha and he left with his parents abroad. He then receives news from his parents that Eun Young had died during the surgery, but in reality, his parents hid the truth from him that Eun Young is still alive because they don’t want him to leave them. The scene returns back to present time and Jae Ha went back to Korea to make a Korean album. Jae Ha and Eun Young’s story continues…

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My favorite part in the drama was the childhood scenes which lasted for about 3-4 episodes. It was beautifully shot and the child actors were naturally talented. During the start, it can be noticed that there’s a strange and awkward vibe between the two lead child actors, but as time passed, they eventually became natural and close. It was a truly memorable scene; I loved it so much that I wished that the childhood scenes could be extended for a few more episodes. As for the drama as a whole, the script definitely improved and they were able to fill in what Summer Scent lacked. The sceneries were prettier and the location was set in an island which was a great idea. Though truthfully speaking, choosing new actors wasn’t a smart move. This was what Spring Waltz lacked the most.

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Seo Do Young as Lee Su Ho / Yoon Jae Ha — Many were surprised that he got the lead role. Hey, I’m surprised too. I mean let’s be honest; 50% or 75% of us would watch a Korean drama because of good-looking actors. I thought that Seo Do Young was lacking in so many ways– visual and acting skills. I tried liking him but his acting was a no-no as well. There were so many times I felt that his acting was way too awkward, especially his crying scenes. He could cry, but the scene was not beautifully shot. Unlike other actors, they could cry in a graceful(?) way, but he can’t. I might give him a second chance when I see him in another drama. But for now, I think that he was bringing down the female lead.

Han Hyo Joo as Seo/Park Eun Young — As a newcomer, I felt that her acting skills are passable and beyond my expectations. Han Hyo Hoo was indeed better than Seo Do Young. She was definitely better, and I was convinced. Though there were times that I felt it was awkward as well, but it was minimal and not as often as Do Young’s.  I think her potential as an actress was eventually displayed in this drama as she was able to land in other major roles such as Dong Yi and Brilliant Legacy. She also had a likeable character as Park Eun Young.

Daniel Henney as Phillip — Daniel Henney was simply an eyecandy in the drama. Probably one of the reasons why you’ll continue to watch. I felt that his character as Phillip is simply himself. He doesn’t seem like acting, he’s just being himself. It’s so weird though that Philip was speaking in English while the rest were speaking in Korean and they understood each other. While they were in Austria, Yi Na was conversing with Philip in English and Jae Ha was conversing with him in German. But when they returned to Korea, they spoke in Korean. I just find it weird. I wished they could make some effort in speaking one language while talking.

Lee So Yeon as Song Yi Na —  Lee So Yeon portrayed Song Yi Na as another typical second female lead. She’s rude, selfish and tries to ruin the relationship of Jae Ha and Eun Young. I’m convinced by her acting though, because I hated her character so much. Nonetheless, her acting doesn’t need a special mention.

Special mention:

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Siwon as Park Sang Woo — As a fan of Super Junior, I can’t help but not mention him. I haven’t seen his other Korean dramas except in Taiwanese drama, Skip Beat. I couldn’t see his potential as an actor in Skip Beat though. He was indeed funny with his hairstyle back then, but he already had the looks. He’s the typical little brother who always looks out for his sister and is fond of making fun of others. I’m happy to see him act. Although it’s only a small role, I am convinced by his acting skills.

The chemistry between the two lead actors is definitely not my favorite. It’s probably one of the worst pairings ever. I felt that they were awkward with each other. Their kissing scene was one of the most awkward kissing scenes that I have ever watched in Korean dramas. I don’t know why, but I felt that it was way too forced. I thought Daniel Henney was suitable for Han Hyo Joo better. The cast with newbie actors is perhaps a reason why the drama didn’t make it big. The plot was interestingly and creatively written. However the cast as a whole lacked that visual and potential that people are looking for. The child actors were way better than the adult cast.

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The ending was satisfying and the most happiest among the four seasons. At least we could see that they lived “happily ever after”. I think it was an ending that perhaps everyone would want. I was satisfied too.

The soundtrack is superb! I enjoyed the songs even though it was classical. My favorite would be “One Love” which was sung by Loveholic. It’s taken from the classical, Clementine, or I guess the intro part. Another favorite is “Rainbow” by Bada. Other tracks are worth listening to as well. Background instrumentals helped set the mood of the scenes. I love how they make use of the right tune for particular scenes.

Overall, it’s entertaining ONLY because of the plot. I’m not sure if this is a must watch drama since there a lot of new and great dramas around. But if you’d like to watch the complete Endless Love series, this shouldn’t be a miss! This should be my second favourite after Autumn in My Heart. Slightly draggy in some ways, it could have been a 16-18 episode drama. Interesting and improved plot. The cast was a flop though. Good plot combined with a  bad cast would not make it a major success. 

Rating: 7/10

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For a review of the complete Endless Love series: http://wp.me/p1O4OA-5j

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