Just watched White Christmas (2011) for the third time over the weekend. First time in HD, and it’s as brilliant as I remember it to be. I actually saw all the details I glossed past before.
It’s not flawless of course, there are in fact some inconsistencies and lapses in logic. Like how Yoon Soo got a haircut halfway through, how strangely the principal/teachers and media never show up in the final showdown, and the crappiest bit has got to be the Teacher-Killer body swap and how apparently none of the police know what Killer looks or sounds like.
There were a lot of things done right too, much more important things (although body swap just cannot be forgiven). The world they lived in was wonderfully crafted, and each character was so well fleshed-out. Everyone obviously had their own backstory, no matter how much was actually shown, and every expression, move and line made sense, inside and out. Such rich characterisations with strong arcs and motivations really show how well thought-out the story and script was. The narration and episode titles, when you put them into perspective, are just mind-blowingly good.
The directing is just, brilliant. Superb storytelling, with each revelation drawing upon a build-up and released subtly and only at the right moment. Things were not said, but left to be discovered piece by piece, and every time you thought you knew what was going on the story takes another turn and leaves you breathless. I especially love how they told Yoon Soo’s story, and you really don’t know, as much as you think do, up till the very end. The cinematography is gorgeous, with each and every shot beautifully composed, taking their time to linger meaningfully in your consciousness.
Casting was great too, seriously, look how far all of them are going. I must say that I was captivated by Choi I-cannot-emote Chihoon first. He’s endearing, no? He even wanted to touch Mooyeol’s bump! And he had nice clothes! Well everybody had nice clothes. WANT ALL THOSE COATS. It’s great that all the actors, green as they were, did a pretty decent job. They were visibly trying, as opposed to Kim Sang Kyung just living and breathing Serial Killer, but it was never cringe-worthy and they were all easy on the eyes so I’ve no complains. Jo Youngjae really made my blood boil, actually, so good on Kim Young Kwang. Sadly though, Mooyeol and Eunsung have no palpable chemistry, so their romance bit fell just a little bit on the unconvincing side for me.
I think this was an awesome project for Kim Woo Bin to debut with, because come on, Kang Mireu is perfect. Power and performance! He’s brains, brawn and bad-ass all rolled into one, with a dash of goofball for perfection’s sake. If you think about it, Mireu’s character is the only one that’s positive from start to finish; he was someone they could all depend on, despite being for all intents and purposes, mad. I recently learnt that Mireu (미르) means ‘dragon’, and I just love how apt it is. The red hair with that face - I don’t even know what else a mad dragon could look like. The directors really hit the jackpot on this one. Who’d have thought he’s a circle-V-ing aegyo boy in real life!