Naver.com is perhaps the most popular portal site in Korea. Its homepage features real time trending that reflects the most popular search terms any given time. A pretty neat feature that instantly gives us a sense of what Korean internet users are itching to know. Actor Lee Je-hoon was at the top of the chart on Naver about two weeks ago. It must have been after a photo of the cast prepping for Fashion King was released. I figured people wanted to know more about Lee. Even though his roles in Bleak Night and The Front Line have made him one of the most sought-after stars in Chungmuro, he is still relatively unknown to many people, especially in comparison to the other leads of the drama: Yoo Ah-in, Shin Se-gyoung and Yuri.
But I learned later that the ranking was more of a reaction to the television segment about Introduction to Architecture, an upcoming film starring Uhm Tae-woong, Han Ga-in, Lee Je-hoon and Suzy from Miss A. In the short interview, the reporter asks Suzy what her most memorable scene was, and Suzy replies that it was the kiss with Lee. You can probably visualize all the Suzy loving boys and girls madly punching keys away to identify this guy who stole their dear Suzy’s precious lips. There had been some photos posted on Twitter also. In them, Suzy and Lee are together, smiling. In a different television interview, when asked about people’s reaction to the Twitter photos, Lee joked that the photo has earned him public anger. I instantly thought of my cousin and his brother who had kept telling each other that Suzy is the greatest thing.
Suzy and Lee Je-hoon play the younger versions of Seo-yeon and Seung-min, respectively, in Introduction to Architecture set to be released this spring. Uhm Tae-woong and Han Ga-in each play the current Seung-min and Seo-yeon who meet again after 15 years, not as classmates, but as an architect and a client who wants to build a house on Jeju. As Seung-min and Seo-yeon work together to complete the house, memories of their innocent romance return. The film will be more than a flashback though; we will get to look at both their past and present.
The film was directed by Lee Yong-joo who was an architecture major like the hero of the movie. His debut work Possessed (2009) has won much applause for having delivered a genuine Korean-style horror story. Critic Lee Dong-jin writes on Cine21 that the movie offers us a reason why we should not give up our hope in the Korean horror genre. Sounds like Introduction to Architecture will take on a mood that is vastly different from the one presented in Lee’s previous work.
The setup is already so romantic with Seo-yeon as a music major and Seung-min as an architecture student. And Jeju Island? Even if the story fails, we will still have a thoughtful collection of breathtaking images to appreciate. I certainly wouldn’t mind dreaming about the beautiful seaside drives and the adorable and dorky faces of Seung-min and Seo-yeon.