Posted September 1, 2014on:
My fickle heart hasn’t disappointed. After beating steadily for KSH since February, it has since jumped ship sometime in June and is now singing a new tune for Ji Sung. He’s another one that you can’t fully say anything until you see him in action, and as I have seen him in plenty of action, he’s one to keep watching. Whereas KSH has consistently landed on hits, JS has landed on a fair amount of duds, through no faults of his own. He himself says that he’s drawn to characters, and the characters he has portrayed are varied and awesome, however, the overall storylines of his dramas suck, so in the end, he has suffered some setbacks due to low ratings. One drama that didn’t truly suck is “Protect the Boss,” but it doesn’t have the crack-factor, so lots of people tend to drop it without seeing it through. Ji Sung is great in there. His most memorable character for me is one in “Swallow The Sun.” Ji Sung himself said that he was immensely drawn to the character, and I can see why. But the story line really suffered some suck-ass moments, dragging all the way to the end for a very WTF conclusion, like, wow, you hit epiphany… just like that ?? Oh well. Ji Sung was awesome in it the 1st half though. He played a small time gang member name Jung Woo in a poor backwood town with no prospect for future, someone who has been thrown away time and and time again, yet still maintains a sense of innocence and wonder about the world, a yearn to make something out of whatever limited resources that he has, and a gentle heart that embraces people no matter how much he has been burned by them. He is both reckless and gentle, wise and hot headed, fearless and reserved; it breaks your heart to watch him burning his candle at both ends, and you can’t help but admire him and be drawn to him because of it.
The most memorable scene for me that speaks volumes about Jung Woo’s character is one of the earlier scenes, where he and one of his gang buddies pass by an opulent mansion that was built on what used to be an orchard where his childhood love grew up. No one knew much about that mansion and the owner, except for cautionary tales that warn all intruders to beware. Jung Woo wants to take a look so he just walks right up to it and both of them don’t look like baddies at all, just a couple of curious kids. The owner comes out with a shotgun levelling straight at JW’s face telling him to get the fck out before he counts to 10 and blast his face off. JW is taken aback at first, not sure what to say in face of such hostility, but by the time the owner has counted to 5, JW is pissed and barks back at him to just go ahead and shoot, don’t bother to count any further because a thug’s life isn’t worth spit and no one will miss it. The owner then pulls the trigger but moves the gun at the last second so that the bullet barely grazes JW’s face, and at the sound of the shot, JW’s knees sort of buckle so that he ends up swatting a bit, with a look of complete shock on his face, yet the rage is still there mixed in with so many other emotions, including his measure of self worth at that moment.
Ji Sung is very good at portraying a character who is both rough around the edges but warm in the heart, and also at portraying an innocent child still walking side by side with his weathered and worn down adult counterpart. In another series, “Secret” where he plays an obsessed man who doesn’t blink twice at tormenting a weak woman whom he believes to have been the perpetrator of his fiance’s and unborn child’s death, it’s amazing how JS manages to make you still rooting for him as he goes about being a terrible person. In my favorite scene, JS got drunk and woke up in the poor woman’s room. This woman calls him “boss/president” (because he takes over her loans so that he can hound her and make her miserable instead of leaving that pleasure up to the loan sharks, he’s fantastic I know). At this point he’s having some mixed feelings about her, coming to a conclusion that the way she behaves is contrary to her conviction at the trial where she was found to be guilty of a hit and run – find the victim severely injured but chose to flee from the scene. He wakes up finding himself top naked while the woman is cooking breakfast nearby, so he completely freaks out, and then remembering himself, he tries to summon his dignity, gathers his clothes, and then runs out of the house because he’s so embarrassed to be indebted to her and also showing her his unglamorous side. As soon as he gets out side, he starts to straighten up his clothes, unbuttoning his pants to tuck in his shirt. The woman follows him outside to talk about something right at that moment, so he’s caught in a compromising pose once again. JS plays this scene with total exasperation of someone trying hard to look commanding and fearsome, yet his emotions of major embarrassment and bewilderment totally betray him. He petulantly finishes up tucking in his shirt in front of her, finishing up with a grand zipping up gesture that is so fantastic (like a boss!), you’ve got to see it for yourself.
Ji Sung has some pretty still shots, but he’s most notable when in action. “Swallow the sun” has a very nice OST. I really liked the melody of the opening song, turns out, it has really really dramatic lyrics, so much so that I felt so inspired to translate it into a cantabile Vietnamese version. You can find my sub version here:
I played around with aegisub software and got the desired effects, but when the time came to make the soft subs into hard sub, I just gave up because handbrake can’t handle aegisub files.
here is Ji Sung singing the same song at a fan meeting in Japan sometime back in 2012. I love watching him sing.