The Fangirl’s Movie Review: Seondal: The Man Who Sells The River

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Life is good for the king.  It is even better for the conman pretending to be the king.  That’s right, KdramaJen and Kmuse settled in to watch Seondal: The Man Who Sells The River and swoon over the beauty that is Yoo Seung Ho.  

Since we are both Yoo Seung Ho fans we thought this would be the perfect show for us to review.  Sadly, we are not in the same location so we had to wait for it to show up online and then cyber watch together.  Hopefully, we will be able to do this more in the future and bring great movie reviews to our readers.

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SYNOPSIS:

A movie from the ancient novel of satire and humor about Kim Seon Dal who sold off the River Daedong. Kim Seon Dal is a genius swindler, possessing an alluring appearance and boldness. He works with Bo Won, Female Buddhist Yoon and Gyeon. The swindler team is famous nationwide. The team decide to steal tobacco which is the most expensive traded product. For their plan, they have to deceive the most powerful man Sung Dae Ryeon.

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Cast:

Yoo Seung Ho – Kim Seon Dal

Jo Jae Hyeon – Sung Dae Ryeon

Go Chang Seok – Bo Won

Xiu Min – Gyeon

Ra Mi Ran – Buddhist Yoon

Yeon Woo Jin – King

 

Seondal: The Man Who Sells The River Trailer:

 WARNING:  Movie Spoilers Ahead

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Cinematography:

KMUSE: It was pretty simple directing.  Nothing spectacular, but it successfully created the right emotions.  I especially appreciated the gratuitous closeups of Yoo Seung Ho.

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The Plot:

KMUSE: I went in expecting a movie with a lot of flash and not much plot.  Thankfully they mixed in some deeper plot with all that pretty.  Although I will admit it didn’t take much to figure out where the story was moving.  Almost from the first scene, I was wondering when a certain character was going to die and make our leading man travel the revenge trail.

KdramaJen: Ummm… Yeah.  We were texting back and forth, “He is SO going to die” almost from the very first scene.

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Random Character Observations:

KdramaJen: Oh, Yoo Seung Ho!  Can I just say how happy I am that I get to see YSH smile??  Forget noona killer, this boy can slay this ahjumma with his slow smile and flirty eyes.  Ack!  Dead.   I loved his cos-playing antics and the way he thoroughly enjoyed the con and the chase.  I think it is completely unfair that he was handsome as a Qing slave, stunning as the King, and beautiful as a hanbok-wearing lady.

KMUSE: After so many dramas watching Yoo Seung Ho be devastated and in full angstfest, this was a breath of fresh air.  I know he tends to drift to more serious projects, but I really really hope that he picks a rom-com next. So charming.

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KdramaJen: Ran Mi Ran is one of my favorite ahjumma actresses.  I loved her in Reply 1988, but she is equally awesome in almost any role.  I loved how she commanded the attention of the camera in any scene.  That takes presence, especially when she is sharing the spotlight with the delightful YSH.

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KMUSE: Jo Jae Hyeon always plays awesome bad guys.  Loved him in God of Noodles and love him in this.  A movie can be made or broken depending on whether the big bad is believable.  And evil government official Sung Dae Ryeon is a very believable bad guy.  Willing to sell his own country to the Qing, Dae Ryeon has no morals.

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KdramaJen: EXO’s Xiumin plays Gyeon.  He was eager and idolized his hyung.  The role did not demand a great deal of acting prowess; he only needed to idolize his hyung and act eager and naive.  I think Xiumin was pretty effective in this role.

KMUSE: I didn’t get too attached since it was pretty obvious that Gyeon would not last long.  Despite this, I thought that the character was well acted.  Makes me wish that Xiumin had been the one to star in Scarlet Heart.  I think we would have a whole different Prince 10 if that was the case.

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KdramaJen: Go Chong Seok was great fun. We last saw him in Kill Me, Heal Me, so it took a while to place him.  He also does a pretty remarkable job cos-playing as part of their cons.  I enjoyed his relationship with the shaman and the way he looked out for Kim Seon Dal.

KMUSE: Bo Won was so much fun!  He was the perfect foil for Yoo Seung Ho’s suave conman style.

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KdramaJen: My favorite character (besides Kim Seon Dal) was the “soup lady.”  I loved how she reacted exactly as I would if flattered and pinned up against the wall by such a delightful young nobleman.  I totally switched places with her in my mind and just enjoyed that scene vicariously.  I bet that actress was the envy of all the others!

KMUSE: I was totally texting KdramaJen “This would be us!” through this whole scene.  So much fun.

KMUSE: The only character I didn’t enjoy was the leading lady.  It literally felt like she was thrown in just to have a hint of a romance.  This attempt failed miserably.  The character was poorly written, disappeared randomly from the narrative, and was stiffly acted.

KdramaJen: She was barely necessary for the plot to move forward, so she seemed a bit like an out of place piece of furniture in an otherwise beautifully decorated room.  Her acting was uninspired.

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Overall Review:

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KMUSE: I had so much fun watching this movie.  Would highly recommend to pretty much everyone.  Even though it is a historical movie, it is light and not bogged down in politics.  The action was fast paced and I never got bored.

KdramaJen: This was a delightful romp full of a smiling Yoo Seung Ho.  What more could a fan girl ask for? I think I smiled most of the way through it!

See you next time,

KMUSE & KdramaJen

 

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