Heartstrings

It’s good to have a big dream. Even if your dream is shattered, the shattered pieces are still big.”

Heartstrings

You’ve Fallen for Me
Episodes: 15
Genre: Romance, drama, music
Year: 2011
Starring: Park Shin Hye, Jung Yong Hwa, Song Chang Ui, So Yi Hyun, Kim Yoon Hye, Kang Min Hyuk, Lee Hyun Jin

Rating: 9.5/10

Intrigued by Park Shin Hye in You’re Beautiful, I turned another of her kdramas, interested in seeing her play a more feminine role. In Heartstrings, we finally get the happy ending for Shin Hye and Jung Yong Hwa that we missed in You’re Beautiful. They just make the cutest couple! ^o^

Heartstrings

Lee Shin is a uni student studying modern music. He’s the lead singer and guitarist in his band ‘The Stupid’. Despite his incredible popularity with the ladies, Shin has no real interest in life other than his music. He is cold, with no plans for the future. He is in love with Yoon Soo, the dance teacher at the university.

Gyu Won is a student in the traditional music department, favouring the gayageum. Her grandfather is considered one of the top traditional musicians in Korea, and he wishes for nothing more than for Gyu Won to follow in his footsteps. Willing to please him, she dedicates herself to the gayageum.

But when Lee Shin and Gyu Won meet, both their lives are upheaved. With events spiralling out of control, the two are embroiled in a challenge: traditional music vs modern music. The stakes: the loser is the winner’s slave for a month.

Add in a festival musical, and this is one kdrama not to be missed.

Park Shin Hye

With this one role, Shin Hye has become my favourite Korean actress. She plays Gyu Won so perfectly. I know I bitched about her appearance in You’re Beautiful, but in Heartstrings, she really is beautiful. Her hair suits this lighter colour, and I adore the asymmetrical line of her bob. Her makeup gives her a cute look. The clothes she wears are very Gyu Won.

Gyu Won develops so much throughout this kdrama. Often, you just have a straight romance, with no soul searching or character development. But here, Gyu Won is tested in her passion for traditional music. One she has been exposed to the joys of modern music, it’s hard to meekly return to her gayaseum. The ending for Shin Hye’s character is wonderful.

Jung Yong Hwa

I love Yong Hwa. Seriously. Not only is he Korean eye-candy, he can sing and act. What more could you ask for in a guy? I’m so happy we get to hear him sing more in this kdrama; we didn’t really get to hear much of him in You’re Beautiful. His songs here are so sweet. His voice practically throbs with emotion.

Again, I enjoyed his character’s progression. Lee Shin starts as cold, ambitionless, but Gyu Won brings laughter into his life. Watching his love shift from Yoon Soo to Gyu Won is beautiful. And when he tells Gyu Won “Don’t give up liking me”…*swoon* Yong Hwa and Shin Hye have a very honest chemistry.

Secondary Cast

This kdrama is rich with secondary characters and their interactions. There’s the history between Yoon Soo and the Broadway director Kim Suk Hyun. Suk Hyun is asked to direct the festival musical, and has his eye on Gyu Won for the lead role. Their friendship is cute.

Then there’s Yeo Joon He, the ever-hungry drummer of The Stupid, dopey and poetic, who falls in love at first sight with university princess Han Hee Joo. Kim Yoon Hye’s performance as Han Hee Joo is splendid, with her naturally gifted voice. Although, her dancing leaves much to be desired… ^ ^;

Let’s not forget the extraordinary voice of Lee Hyun Jin, playing Ki Young, who snags the lead in the festival musical. His voice is just…wow.

The antics of Gyu Won’s grandfather, Lee Shin’s younger sister, Suk Hyun’s jealous brother, and Hee Joo’s ambitious mother round out the cast nicely.

Music

Hearstrings has what You’re Beautiful lacks: music. There are so many original songs used throughout this kdrama, both as songs sung in the drama, and then used as background music.

All the cast has been chosen perfectly for the songs. Their voices vary greatly, and each adds their own value to their respective songs.

Although we don’t really get to see all of the festival musical (based on Yoon Soo and Suk Hyun’s past love), what we do see is stunning. Incredible dancing. I was a little confused on how they were so hung up on the lead actors being able to sing, and then they only get one song at the end of the musical. Ah well.

Of note in this drama is the melding of traditional music and modern music. The Stupid and Gyu Won’s traditional music group The Windflowers team up and play together. They make breathtaking music.

Concept

I love the way this kdrama continually melds and adapts. It’s not just the one plot, seen from beginning to end. The story moves through several different plotlines, giving the drama more depth and a touch of realism.

I was more than happy to sit through all 15 hours of Heartstrings, and was devastated when it finished!

Summary

Heartstrings is aptly titled. Not only does this kdrama play with the characters’ heartstrings, it will play with yours, too. This is definitely one to be treasured.

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