Eversky.org A Dose of Asian Pop Culture & Entertainment

28Nov/080

Suddenly I Wanna Cry (2008)

Bong Dung Muon Khoc

Vietnamese Title: Bong Dung Muon Khoc
Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama
Starring: Tang Thanh Ha, Luong Manh Hai, Thanh Thuy, Nguyen Van Hung, Hieu Hien
Screenwriter: Vu Ngoc Dang
Director: Vu Ngoc Dang
Episodes: 35
MPAA: PG

Synopsis
Life is unexpected. There are events that suddenly occur, and because of them our life is forever changed. The surprises that life brought for us, good or bad, bewildered us. In that moment of bewilderment, we suddenly started to cry...

This is a story about two people whose life begins to take a drastic change after an encounter one faithful night. Bao Nam is a 21 year-old and good-looking guy. His favorite past times include partying, spending his parents' money, and more partying. One night while Bao Nam was drunk he got into trouble with a local gang and was rescued by Truc. Truc is an 18 year-old, generous, and strong-willed girl who makes a living by selling used book on the street. Truc loves to be surround by books even though she is illiterate. Her dream is to save enough money so that she can open a small bookstore. Later, she was given a chance to realize her dream when Bao Nam's parents asked to make a deal with her--to teach their son how to become a decent and responsible human being in exchange for money to open a small bookstore...
Source: Eversky.org

Rating: A (Excellent)
Rewatch Factor: High
Comment: This is the second drama that was written and directed by Vu Ngoc Dang, the first one being "Tuyet Nhiet Doi" or "Tropical Snow". Like the first one, this one also focus around an old premise in Asian dramas, poor girl meets rich guy. Despite the overused premise, the drama itself is highly entertaining to watch, and this is all attributed to the great script writing and directing of Vu Ngoc Dang. I appreciated that this drama has content that can easily enjoy by people of any age, and that there is a lot of substances behind all the glam. It speaks a lot when my dad who hasn't show much interest in watching drama became glued to the the television screen when watching this drama. It all thanks to the many well thought-out comedic moments that were written in every episode, which make it seems like less of a drama and more of a sitcom. I also appreciated the fact that this drama is keeping an honest portrayal in featuring many facets of life in the current Viet Nam; not trying to include something that is unrelated or unrealistic to the Vietnamese culture for the sake of trend. Last but not least, I appreciated that the female protagonist in this drama like in "Tuyet Nhiet Doi" while poor is not your typical damsel-in-distress, and that she doesn't simply wait for "prince charming" to rescue her, she instead rescued him first.

The cast selection was also excellent in this drama. Every actors and actresses seems to play an important role and has significant contributions to the success of this drama, especially the two leads. I saw tremendous improvements in Tang Thanh Ha's acting ability from the drama "Huong Phu Sa" to this. I knew she has big star potentials when I was watching "Huong Phu Sa", and I believed that her acting ability will improve with time and practice. She didn't disappointed me. In this drama, I can see that she is able to act with more ease and naturalness. There is not one moment while I was watching that I separated out Tang Thanh Ha and her character that she played. As far as I know, they are one. The same goes for Luong Manh Hai, he is very charismatic onscreen and his acting became more natural and less forced.

All in all, this is a wonderful drama for any age. If you're a fan of Vu Ngoc Dang, Tang Thanh Ha, or Luong Manh Hai then you definitely don't want to pass this drama by. Like the title of this drama, you will suddenly find yourself in tears while watching this drama, whether it is due to overwhelming happiness or sadness.

9Aug/080

Red Cliff (2008)

Red Cliff

A.K.A.: The Battle of Red Cliff
Chinese Title: 赤壁 (Chi Bi)
Vietnamese Title: Tran Chien Xich Bich
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Period, Historical
Starring: Tony Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Zhang Fengyi, Jona Chin, Chang Chen, Zhao Wei
Screenwriter: John Woo, Chen Han, Sheng Heyu
Director: John Woo
MPAA: R

Synopsis
Based on Chronicle of the Three Kingdoms--Battle of Red Cliffs and events during the End of Han Dynasty and immediately prior to the period of the Three Kingdoms in ancient China. Red Cliff is to be released in two parts totaling over four hours in length, with the first part premiering in July 2008 and the second in January 2009.

In 208 A.D., in the final days of the Han Dynasty, shrewd Prime Minster Cao Cao convinced the fickle Emperor Han the only way to unite all of China was to declare war on the kingdoms of Xu in the west and East Wu in the south. Thus began a military campaign of unprecedented scale, led by the Prime Minister, himself. Left with no other hope for survival, the kingdoms of Xu and East Wu formed an unlikely alliance. Numerous battles of strength and wit ensued, both on land and on water, eventually culminating in the battle of Red Cliff. During the battle, two thousand ships were burned, and the course of Chinese history was changed forever.
Source: IMDb

Rating: A (Excellent)
Rewatch Factor: Medium
Comment: A much anticipated movie from the critically acclaimed Chinese film director and producer, John Woo, that does live up to the hype. Being a fan of the history of the Three Kingdoms and the historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms (RTK), I was awaiting to watch this movie with caution as I am afraid that it will be butchered in some way. Fortunately, I can safely said now that this movie pretty much live up to my expectation. The cast that was selected for the most part fitted very well in the characters that they played (Takeshi makes a dashing Zhuge Liang), the script was well written, and the movie was beautifully directed. Many RTK fans will find that the movie does not follow closely the story from the novel, nevertheless, it stays true with the overall gist of the Three Kingdom story. Also, fans of RTK and action fans alike will be very satisfied with the movie as they watched many of the epic battles being brought to live in front of their eyes.

If you are looking for that one epic war film to see, don't pass out on Red Cliff--you will not be disappointed. Even if you are not an RTK fan, you too will enjoy the movie and most likely to become one after the movie.

Hopefully, the second part of Red Cliff will be on the same par with the first part, if not better.

27Mar/081

Goi Giac Mo Ve (2007)

Goi Giac Mo Ve

Genre: Drama, Comedy, Romance, School, Slice-of-Life
Starring: Minh Hang, Huynh Dong, Ngan Khanh, Tan Phat
Screenwriters: Hoang Anh Group
Director: Xuan Cuong
Episodes: 66
MPAA: PG-13

Synopsis
Goi Giac Mo Ve, roughly translated in English as "Calling Dreams to Return", is a drama about the lives of the people on a small and developing island called "Long Hai". In particular, the drama follows the lives of four young high school students named Phung, Quan, Vy, and Minh. Phung is a clumsy girl, who does not excel in many things from academic to appearance, despite coming from a well-to-do family. On the other hand, Quan (the "bad boy") comes from a poor family, who always struggling with work and school. Vy is the "rose with thorns", in school she uphold the image of the popular, well like, and perfect student. She always striving to better herself and to escape her family background, no matter the cost. Finally, Minh is the richest and most popular guy in school, who seems to have a Prince Charming Complex--he likes to rescue damsels in distress and often are undecided about his romantic feelings.

One day, the lives of these four high school students along with their dreams began to change when there was talk of a plan to build a resort on the island. What will happen to the once humble and peaceful island? What will happen to the people on the island? And what will become of Phung, Quan, Vy, and Minh when they began to see there exist other worlds outside of the island that they called home?
Source: Eversky.org

Rating: A- (Great)
Rewatch Factor: High
Comment: It has been a while that I become excited and addicted to a Vietnamese drama. The fact that I finished this 66-episodes drama in just four days is truly a testament of how much I enjoyed watching this drama. Unlike, some of the recent Viet dramas that I seen that was heavily influenced by the "Korean wave", this drama never try to be something that it is not. I appreciate the earnest portrayal that this drama gives about the less-than-glamorous life of many people who still live in poor area in Viet Nam, especially people who live on island where the main way to make money is through fishing. Despite being a drama that mainly focuses on teens and teens' issues, it does not come off as superficial or "conjured up". There is a lot of hearts and laughters in this drama, all came very natural. From the conversations high school students have with each other to everyday conversation between parents and their kids--nothing seems force and everything seems real. I also must commend this drama for bringing up controversial issue (from teen pregnancy to sexual orientation) in a fair view and not in a preachy tone.

Another thing I love about this drama is the great actings. Minh Hang in particular was able to show me that she has grown as an actress. She definitely has finer acting skill and more confidence in the role that she played than when she was in Cai Bong Ben Chong. In short, her role as a mischievous and clumsy Phung is lovable and believable. Huynh Dong also gave me a good surprise for being very natural in his role as Quan. I love the on-screen chemistry between him and Minh Hang--as Phung started to fall for Quan so did I. The supporting cast was also well-picked for this drama, everyone managed to hold their own ground and bring to life their character whether through tears or laughters.

Needless to say, this drama has restored my interest in Viet drama. Hopefully, in the future there will be more dramas with substance like this one and not just soulless dramas with only pretty-face cast. In sum, if you're Vietnamese and you haven't watched this drama yet you're missing out on something great!

16Jan/082

9 End 2 Outs (2007)

9 End 2 Outs

A.K.A.: 2 Outs in the 9th Inning
Korean Title: 환상의 커플 (9 Hoimal 2 Awoot)
Vietnamese Title: 9 Cong 2
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Starring: Lee Jung Jin, Soo Ae, Lee Tae Sung, Hwang Ji Hyun, Lee Sang Woo
Screenwriter: Yeo Ji Na
Director: Han Chul Soo
Episodes: 16
MPAA: PG

Synopsis
In life and in baseball, you need comebacks!

A poet once said that the party is over at 30 but “Two Outs, Bottom of the Ninth” counters that with the mantra that the party starts at the age of 30. Hong Nan Hee (Soo Ae) has never hit a home run in life, not to mention a single as she reaches 30. She thought she worked hard to get ahead in life but all she has are some small savings in her bank account and a mother nagging her to get married. But she has one thing to be happy about in her life. Her current boyfriend is Jung Joo (Lee Tae Sung), a talented baseball pitcher who is aiming to play in the big leagues in America and eight years her junior. But her mother disapproves of her daughter’s crazy choice.

One day, a childhood friend of Nan Hee appears in her life. And he’s Hyung Tae (Lee Jung Jin). Hyung Tae thinks he got over Nan Hee but is that really true? As a friend tells Hyung-tae that life begins at the bottom of the ninth with two outs, we’ll see how the game of life unfolds.
Source: Hancinema

Rating: A- (Great)
Rewatch Factor: Medium
Comment: This is one of the underrated dramas in 2007. At first, I almost passed it by because from looking at the promotion pictures I thought this is a drama about baseball. I didn't know that baseball is only a theme to compare the lives of the people in the movie. I think I must have been getting old because more and more I found myself in love with watching dramas about 30-something-years-old people. Needless to say, I really found myself immediately addicted to this drama after the very first episode. From watching this drama, I came to realize what a talented and versatile actress Soo Ae really is. Previously, I only know her through more serious roles in dramas such as Love Letter, Sea God, etc. and like with Chae Rim, I didn't think that she can be funny or can act in romantic comedy drama. However, this drama has helped me changed my mind. Her chemistry with Lee Jung Jin is also undeniable--you knew that the characters that they played have something for each other whenever they appeared together in this drama.

Lee Jung Jin is also very believable in the role of a guy who is torn between the feeling he has for his best friend and the feeling he thinks he still has for his ex. My heart ached whenever I saw Hyung Tae takes a quick glance at Nan Hee because there was love in his eyes and the pain of bearing an unspoken love. This drama is not only about the two best friends who have to risk losing the deep bond of friendship and learn to admit their love for each other, but it is also about the people in their 30s--their lives, ambitions, and regrets. Really, you don't need to be in your 30s to appreciate this drama because there will come a time when we all need/hope for one great comeback in our life, and this drama brings a hopeful light that it can will happen.

8Jan/080

Couple of Fantasy (2006)

Couple of Fantasy

A.K.A.: Fantastic Couple, Fantasy Couple, Couple or Trouble
Korean Title: 환상의 커플 (Hwansangeui Keopeul)
Vietnamese Title: Doi Tinh Nhan Tuyet Hao
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Starring: Han Ye Seul, Oh Ji Ho, Kim Sung Min, Park Han Byul
Original Screenwriter: Leslie Dixon
Adapted By: Hong Jung Eun and Hong Mi Ran
Episodes: 16
MPAA: PG

Synopsis
This series is based on the 1987 American movie Overboard. Anna Jo (Han Ye Seul) is a rude, feisty, and audacious American-bred heiress who can never be satisfied. She returns to Korea only to continue being a controlling wife to her already cowardly husband, Billy Park (Kim Sung Min). When her yacht gets stuck for repairs, she hires local handyman Jang Chul Soo (Oh Ji Ho) to fix her shower, but when they have a heated spat over her dissatisfaction and non payment, she pushes him overboard and dunks his tools into the ocean right along with him. Later, after a quarrel with Billy that threatens to end their marriage, she herself gets drunkenly pitched overboard and falls victim to a bad case of amnesia.
Source: DramaWiki

Rating: A (Excellent)
Rewatch Factor: High
Comment: This is a surprisingly wonderful drama about two people from opposite world--the two people that you would think if the fate of the world rest on the two of them get together and procreate, we all would be doomed. While the story about romance blossoming from an amnesia incident is a very cliché story in Korean drama, this drama nevertheless managed to make this story fun, upbeat, and refreshing. Han Ye Seul fulfilled her character role perfectly in this drama as the snobby and hard-to-please heiress, Anna Jo, and later as the woman who has amnesia. At first, I wasn't convinced whether Ye Seul can pull off this role because she has such a stiff look and strong face, but thankfully all of her strong features all work to her benefit in this drama. Also, both Oh Ji Ho and Kim Sung Mi surprised me greatly in this drama for their great comedic actings in this drama. I have watched a lot of dramas before with Oh Ji Ho and Kim Sung Mi in a more serious role and I didn't think it was going to work when they were casted in this drama, but they proved me wrong.

I especially enjoy the many hilarious scenes that occurred when Kim Kwang-Gyoo and Kim Sung Mi appeared together on screen. All in all, I really love most of the supporting cast in this drama, those people is one of the important reasons why this drama is so fun to watch. From past experiences of watching Korean dramas, I was expecting something major and tragic to pop up from this drama like cancer or another case of amnesia that will separated the main couple apart until some years later. Thankfully, none of that ever happened and the drama has managed to keep me smiling toward the very end. In the end, I came away from watching the drama with some nice messages about the meaning of love and human relationship with each other.

In short, I love this lighthearted drama and I regretted that I didn't watch this drama earlier. So don't let that happen to you! Lastly, this drama has peaked my interest for the movie "Overboard". I need to hunt down that movie and see how it fare with the drama--my expectations are high now that I watched the drama.

6Jan/080

My Tutor Friend 2 (2006)

My Tutor Friend 2

Korean Title: 동갑내기 과외하기 레슨 2 (Gonggabnaegi Gwaoihagileseun 2)
Vietnamese Title: Anh Ban Gia Su
Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama, School
Starring: Lee Chung Ah, Park Ki-Woong
Screenwriters: In Eun-Ah, Jo Joong-Hoon
Directors: Kim Ho-Jeong, Ji Gil-Wung
MPAA: PG-13

Synopsis
Junko, a Japanese of Korean ancestry, comes to Korea to find her sweetheart. She finds lodging at a guest house that provides room and board. Unfortunately, the room that she is supposed to stay in belongs to the owner’s son, Jong-Man. On her first night in Seoul, Junko is forced to share the room with Jong-man. Junko wants to find another place, but the owner desires to keep Junko as a guest and offers Junko free Korean lessons from Jong-man. It is going to be some adventure for Junko in Seoul!
Source: Korean Film

Rating: A- (Great)
Rewatch Factor: Medium
Comment: "My Tutor Friend 2" follows the success of the previous movie. This sequel has similar concept and charm as the first movie, but features a brand new cast.

It is rare for a sequel movie to be greater than the first, and for me this sequel is just so. The plot in this movie is also better developed than the first and thus has more heart than the first movie. The main cast in this movie is truly wonderful, and sparks fly whenever the two appeared together on screen. As first, I couldn't determine whether I like Park Ki-Woong, but quickly I came to appreciate his fine acting ability and his portrayal as Jong-Man, a guy with tough outward exterior and a soft heart. He carried a lot of weight in this movie, and largely because of him that the movie is so enjoyable. Down to his characteristic facial expressions, he has managed to make his character came off as humorous, lovable, and genuine. Lee Chung Ah also portrayed well as a sassy yet at time clueless female protagonist. Another thing that I love about this movie is that it has a great supporting cast, from Jong-Man's two mischevious best friends down to the adorable exchange student, George. This movie is also better when you watch it a second time because you will also catch some important scenes that you missed the first time you watched it. If only, all movie sequels were like this.

15Sep/071

Sakuran (2007)

Sakuran

Japanese Title: さくらん
Genre: Period, Drama
Starring: Anna Tsuchiya, Hiroki Narimiya, Yoshino Kimura, Miho Kanno, Masatoshi Nagase, Masanobu Ando
Screenwriter: Yuki Tanada
Director: Mika Ninagawa
MPAA: R

Synopsis:
Based on the manga "Sakuran" by Moyoco Anno.

A young kamuro (maid in a brothel) is sold into the red-light district Yoshiwara, and is put under the care of the current oiran of the Tamakiku-house, Shouhi, who names her Tomeki. The girl is very rebellious and does not cry when punished, is foul-mouthed and bad-mannered, and talks back and even hits the other kamuros. It is because of this that the more experienced people in the household begin to think that she will be one day a great oiran, since to be an oiran one needs not only beauty and talent, but she should also have the tenacity to maintain the position.

After that, we follow Tomeki as she becomes O-Rin, a hikkomi (or prostitute-in training), and later Kiyoha, the most beautiful girl at the Tamakiku-household. Her popularity threatens the position of Tamakiku's oiran Mikumo, which creates great tension and jealousy between the two.

But rivalry is not the main problem to overcome for young Kiyoha, but rather the appearance of young Soujiro and the impossibility of love in the love-quarters.
Source: Wikipedia

Rating: A- (Great)
Rewatch Factor: Medium
Comment: Sakuran is a delightful movie, meant for mature audiences only. Its story similar to "Memoirs of a Geisha" but it is less romantic in a sense. The girls in the movie are no geisha, and to put it bluntly, they are high-class prostitutes of the Red Light District. Not to mention, Kiyoha, as rebellious as she is, holds no desire for the position of oiran in the beginning. The way the story presented is clear as you are hooked into the life of Kiyoha and those around her. It's hard to explain the story without spoiling it. It's one that requires you to watch the story from beginning to end without skipping any parts. The high points of the movie are the visuals. The clothing, setting, everything is beautifully done, and you shouldn't expect less. Fans of Masanobu Ando might enjoy seeing him in this movie, as well. The ending was quite a surprise, but it is a happy one. This is one movie you shouldn't pass up.

14Sep/071

Coffee Prince (2007)

Coffee Prince

A.K.A.: The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince
Korean Title: 커피프린스 1호점
Vietnamese Title: Hoang Tu Cafe or Duoc Lam Hoang Tu
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Starring: Yoon Eun Hye, Gong Yoo, Lee Sun Gyun, and Chae Jung Ahn
Screenwriter: Jang Hyun Ju and Lee Jung Ah
Director: Lee Yoon Jung
Episodes: 17
MPAA: PG-13

Synopsis
This drama is based from a romantic comedy manhwa by Lee Sun Mi.

The life of Go Eun Chan (Yoon Eun Hye) is not easy; she works many jobs to pay off debts and even gave up her feminine image. Choi Han Kyul (Gong Yoo) is the heir of a big food company, but his grandmother wants him to settle down, so she arranged many dates for him. After Eun Chan bumped into Han Kyul and was mistaken for a boy, Han Kyul decided to hire Eun Chan to be his gay lover in order to avoid the arranged dates. Desperately in need of money, Eun Chan had no choice but to accept. Han Kyul's grandmother also made Han Kyul in charge of a filthy coffee shop in danger of being bankrupt. Eun Chan begged to work at the coffee shop, and not long after, feelings start to spark, except, how would Han Kyul accept his "homosexuality"?
Source: DramaWiki

Rating: A (Excellent)
Rewatch Factor: Very High
Comment: From the casting, the storyline, music, to the settings everything seem to fit perfectly in this drama. "Coffee Prince" is not just your typical drama that centers around a protagonist female doing gender bending--aims at teenagers like "Hana Kimi" because it is much more than that. There is much depth, honesty, and realness about this drama that attempts to uncover another side to love. Indeed, this drama is intended for young adults everywhere. Arguably, the biggest captivating feature about this drama was the dedication of all of the cast and all of the sincerity everyone had putted in this drama. "Coffee Prince" easily can become another typical--shallow teen drama if it weren't for Gong Yoo and Yoon Eun Hye's fine actings. The onscreen chemistry between Gong Yoo and YEH is undeniable. In my opinion, one of the finest actings in the drama occur when the two main characters struggling to accept love, thus leaving my heart bursting with pain during those scenes. Not enough good things can be said about this charming drama. It is definitely one of my highlights of the year 2007.

Additionally, after you have done watching "Coffee Prince" and still experience the addiction urge to watch more "Coffee Prince" then don't pass up on watching the drama special. While the special is not any extended episode of the drama, it certainly will fill that "Coffee Prince" void inside you and you will leave with a greater appreciation of what everyone has putted in this drama.

26Jun/071

Love and Honor (2006)

Love and Honor

Japanese Title: 武士の一分 (Bushi no Ichibun, A Samurai's Honor)
Genre: Period, Drama, Romance, samurai
Starring: Kimura Takuya, Dan Rei, Bando Mitsugoro, Sasano Takashi, Ogata Ken
Screenwriter: Fujisawa Shuuhei
Director: Yamada Yoji
MPAA: R

Synopsis: Though he is low rank with modest means, young samurai Mimura Shinnojo (Kimura Takuya) has a fairly happy and stable life with his loving wife Kayo (Dan Rei). All this comes crashing down, however, when Shinnojo, as the lord's food taster, eats poisoned shellfish and becomes blind. Distressed by his inability to support the household, he turns violent and resentful, and even considers ending his own life to redeem his name. At the urging of unsympathetic relatives, Kayo seeks the assistance of captain Shimada Toya (Bando Mitsugoro), who uses his influence to help Shinnojo retain his income and rank. As the rumors begin to get louder, Shinnojo becomes increasingly troubled that he may be losing his wife and honor to another man.
Source: YesAsia

Rating: A+ (Masterpiece)
Rewatch Factor: Medium
Comment: Love and Honor is the third and final installment of Yamada Yoji's samurai trilogy based on the novels written by Fujisawa Shuuhei. However, Love and Honor stands alone from the other two as being the best of the trilogy. In the movie, Mimura struggles for honor in the face of many challenges: his blindness and the rumors about his wife. The movie's portrayal of this was superb. People shouldn't expect fighting scenes just because it involves samurai. After all, it is a drama and it does uphold that genre. I found myself crying in buckets at some parts of the movie, but that doesn't mean this movie is full of melodramatic silliness. The title "Love and Honor" fits the movie well because they are something that Mimura has to fight for in the end. The acting were especially wonderful and everybody were perfect in their role. People who watched the 80s samurai movies will recognize an old face, Ken Ogata. I didn't think there were anything lacking in this movie. It does take patience to watch it, however. I love everything about this movie and it is something that everyone will enjoy.

26Jun/072

Ooku (2006)

Ooku

A.K.A.: Oh-Oku - The Women of the Inner Palace
Japanese Title: 大奥
Genre: Period, Drama, Romance
Starring: Nakama Yukie, Igawa Haruka, Nishijima Hidetoshi, Oikawa Mitsuhiro
Screenwriter: Hayashi Tou
Director: Asano Taeko
MPAA: R

Synopsis: Set in 1713, during the reign of child Shogun, Tokugawa Ietsugu, Ooku addresses the scandals of the inner palace where the Shogun's wife and concubines reign. While men battle on the battlefield and in the courts for power, the women themselves also battle within their own chambers for power as well as love. Lady Gekoin, the previous Shogun's concubine and the current Shogun's mother, supposedly has an illicit affair with court advisor Lord Echizen. Lady Eijima, Lady Gekoin's closest friend, knows of this and keeps it a secret from Lady Gekoin's rival, Lady Teneiin, the late Shogun's widow. Things become more complicated as Lady Teneiin becomes aware of the affair and plans to trap Lady Eijima into confessing to Lady Gekoin's crime by hiring a Kabuki actor to seduce her.
Source: Eversky.org

Rating: A+ (Masterpiece)
Rewatch Factor: Medium
Comment: Ooku is a wonderful period movie about love and politics within the doors of the inner palace of the Tokugawa shogunate. Although the viewer is first introduced to the two main parties in the beginning of the movie, Lady Gekoin and Lady Teneiin, the true main character is in fact Lady Eijima played by Nakama Yukie. Nakama Yukie fits perfectly into her role as Lady Eijima, who is not only loyal but doesn't easily fall prey to traps. Throughout this movie, Lady Eijima learns two things that she has never experienced before: love and intimacy. The movie is more about her transformation as she ventures through the palace and outside the palace, although it does provide viewers an insight into the happenings of the inner palace.

I really enjoyed watching every bit of this movie, and I thought that it was simply beautiful. It's one of those movies where we have to pay attention to everything. The pace of the movie can seem slow for most people with a lot of conversations held throughout the movie, but I didn't think so at all. And people will surely appreciate the love that blossoms in this movie, and I'm not referring to the affair between Lady Gekoin and Lord Echizen. Everything was subtle, but I can feel that it was true love. Not to mention, the costumes and the scenery was simply magnificent.

The ending was just right and I didn't feel like anything was missing at all. I really recommend this movie for people to watch. It'll provide you an insight to the minds and hearts of the women in the inner palace during the Tokugawa shogunate. It's a movie of politics, friendship, and love.