What Came First?: That Winter the Wind Blows Edition
Hi, hi, hi! I’m back again to talk about the roots of dramas. I thought originally that this series would be more constricted to simply live action adaptations of mangas, but nope, not 100% of the time. This second post is going to explore just what came first when it comes to the heavy melodrama That Winter, the Wind Blows (그 겨울, 바람이 분다; Geu gyeoul, barami bunda).
The 2013 Korean drama plot sounded so familiar to me at the time, I had to run and look up Moon Geun Young’s filmography and sure enough, that drama was exactly the same as the 2006 Korean movie Love Me Not (사랑따윈 필요없어; Sarangddawin Piryoeopseo), but that’s still not the original!
Ok. So, first off, what is this series about? There are two men who exist with the same name. One of them is a fairly decent guy who is also friends with the other who is not a very nice person (more like a conman when it comes to women among other things). It turns out the nice guy is actually the son of a wealthy family who left home years ago and is being sought after by his blind little sister. Due to an accident, the bad guy decides to assume the nice guy’s identity and pretends to be this thorny young woman’s brother. But what happens when he starts to fall in love?
This drama (not based on a manga to my knowledge), goes back to 2002. Forget Love (愛なんていらねえよ、夏; Ai Nanta Irane Yo, Natsu) was written by Tatsui Yukari and starred Hirosue Ryoko as Takazano Ako (the blind daughter of a rich family); the awesome Watabe Atsuro as Shiratori Reiji; and Fujiwara Tatsuya as Akutagawa Naru. Reiji is a pimp who went to jail for six months and when he gets out he’s lost everything except a 6 million dollar debt. Ah, this is because one of his women was actually a poor bank teller who embezzled money and heaped the blame on him. Mistaken for the nice Reiji who passed away while trying to protest the bad Reiji’s false incarceration, he claims Nice Reiji’s identity in order to gain access to the inheritance left to him by his recently deceased father. What starts out as a con does slowly turn into love for the Ako who is Good Reiji’s sister. I just recently found this drama with English subtitles. I’m definitely watching as I do like Watabe Atsuro and Fujiwara Tatsuya.
Then came the 2006 Korean movie Love Me Not which starred Moon Geun Young as the cold, blind heiress Ryoo Min and Kim Ju Hyeok as Julien. Julien is very much a narcissist who loves to con money out of his wealthy lady clients, but he gets into big trouble when he expands his business too fast. Thus he takes on Ryoo Min’s older brother’s identity in hopes to bump off the blind girl and claim her fortune to save his life. Of course the two fall in love and the disease that took Ryoo Min’s eyesight years ago returns to threaten her life. I haven’t watched this all the way through yet, but it’s not too bad from what I’ve seen.
Finally we come to the last incarnation (that I know of), the 2013 Korean drama That Winter, the Wind Blows. This drama starred two Hallyu icons – Song Hye Kyo and Jo In Sung as our two main characters. Oh…we can’t forget that Kim Bum is also in this drama. Oh Soo was abandoned as a child and as he grows up he became very cold and callous. He’s an exceptional gambler and involved with an actress. This jealous woman frames him for her own embezzlement to make sure he doesn’t leave her while she goes out of the country for a year. When Oh Soo gets out of jail, he has nothing left and is still saddled with paying back the embezzled money. He’s given 100 days. He gets mistaken for Oh Young’s brother (who was Oh Soo’s friend/underling also named Oh Soo) and knowing that he is in desperate need of money, he undertakes the role of being the blind woman’s older brother in hopes of gaining the inheritance to save his life.
So…they all have similar plots, but I’m sure you can tell the original stories have been tweaked and changed. One thing to note is that the original drama figured heavily in summer (“natsu”) while both the Korean dramas played heavily on winter “gyeoul”).