Updated: Dec 29, 2018
A wealthy but sad business woman, Cha Soo Hyun, goes on a business trip to Cuba. In between the finalization of her work and before she departs she finds herself wanting to explore Cuba. Unfortunately everyone she traveled with has a life of their own and wanting explore the city themselves. Weary she takes a couple of sleeping pills but otherwise decides to go out to the beach to the see the beautiful sunset. On her way there she is mugged and has her purse stolen as well as wears shows that are none too good for a long walk. She eventually finds her spot and sits down, but is also very sleepy from the sleeping pills she took before her little adventure. Before she falls asleep and falls to her death a Young Korean traveler, Kim Jin Hyeok, holds her steady adn allows her to sleep on his shoulder. They spend a night full of wonder and fun before each has to leave to their own lives in Korea.
This week I was a little unsure of what drama to write about both Encounter, also known as Boyfriend, and The Last Empress have both topped the charts in Korea and abroad. I have also seen both and have many things to say about them. So, I'll do my best to keep this post short and as through as possible.
On my sticky notes I have this drama a 85% on storytelling and a 5/5 on directing. Now, don't be alarmed at the low rating for the story. The reason I do this now is so that I can keep a level mind about this series. I know this is going to be one of the greats for me. By the end don't be surprised if the rating goes up a little. I just need to give the story a little room to grow. By now you must be wondering why I gave the story an 80%, but gave directing a 5/5 if I was giving the story room to grow. Well, I will tell you. The directing in Encounter is simply beautiful. I've not seen a director take such an artistic approach to filming a K-Drama before.
That being said, I want to add another category for this show on my sticky notes. That is the cinematography category. I've only added this category once ro twice. I know I added it to Mr. Sunshine but I can't remember if I did for anything else. Anyway, for cinematography I give this series a solid 4/5. All of the scenes from Cuba are breathtaking and has an artistic feel to it. Even the close-ups on the actors faces almost have that old school classic Hollywood aura about them. I love both the editing and the directing in this series. It is something to see.
The acting is nothing shy of great as well. I know this is Song Hye Kyo's return since her mammoth of a hit Descendants of the Sun where she met and married her handsome co-star, Song Joong Ki. I personally loved Decendatns of the Sun, and I loved her acting in it as well. So, it was no surprise to me when I witnessed how well she played this character, Cha Soo Hyun. Just like So Ji Sub she brings little nuances to her roles that make it seem as if the character they are playing are real people. She has this sadness and look of childlike innocence behind her eyes. I love the the contrasts in her character while she is alone and when she is with Kim Jin Hyuk.
I didn't quite like Park Bo Gum's last big hit, Moonlight Drawn by clouds, but I can't deny that his acting was great. He does another excellent job here. I love his carefree nature, but he isn't listless nor is he wishy washy. He knows what he wants and stands firm. He is definitely the breath of fresh air that Soo Hyun needs in her life. He is the one person, besides her close friend, that she can rely on and be herself.
This series was madly anticipated since it marks Hye Kyo's return to the screen. I have seen a comment here or there indicating that they would stop watching there seiries because the plot and was too far beyond real life and verges on the fairy tale front. The accusations are true, but that is actually why I love this series. It isn't too heavy on the drama. It is true to what it is, which is a light love story. I also know the age gap between Bo Gum and Hye Kyo were among the problems, but believe me their chemistry is great. If you are looking for something light and romantic to watch then I highly recommend Encounter. If you do, or you are already watching it, let me know what your take is. I would love to hear from you. Goodbye, and until next time, dear reader!