Saturday, May 28, 2011


So, I just finished watching 49 DAYS. All it took was 4 days for me to finish all 20 episodes. Since I work at a Korean company, many of my students mentioned about how great this drama is. My friends also recommended this drama so I went ahead and watched it.
This is not the typical romantic-comedy Korean drama that we are aware of. It tackles the realities of life and how you could lose your life in one snap. While I'm writing this, my eyes are still puffy and my chest is still heavy so I hope you read on and find out what I thought about this drama. :)

49 Days (49일 sa sip gu il) is a fantasy story where the lead character falls into a coma from an accident days before her wedding and finds out she can live if she collects tears from three people who truly love here besides her family.

The characters in this drama are all known.

Lee Yo-Won who had played the part of Queen Seon Deok plays the part of Song I-Gyeong, the heart-broken woman with whom the soul shares body with.

Jo Hyeon Jae from the drama Three Dads and One Mom plays the part of Han Kang, the misunderstood friend who will turn out to be as a good man.

The very handsome Scheduler Jeong Il Woo who I think makes the drama lighter. He will definitely make you smile here.

Bae Soo Bin who played as a good Oppa in Shining Inheritance now plays the villain Kang Min Ho.

Nam Gyoo Ri plays the part of Shin Ji Hyun who was given 49 Days to collect tears.
Seo Ji Hye plays Sin In Jeong, the person who will cheat her friend.
Kang Seong Min as Dr. No Gyeong Bin who was the first person to help I-Gyeong and pull her out from the dark.

Yoo Ji In is Ji Hyeon Mo who plays as Ji Hyun's kind mother. She also played the role of Lee Seung Gi's mom in Shining Inheritance.

Choi Jung Woo is Shin Il Shik who plays as Ji Hyun's dad also played Bae Soo Bin's dad in Shining Inheritance.

The Scheduler's Granny Sunbae is the rich grand mother in Shining Inheritance.

Why I like it:
What I liked about this drama is that it's pacing is so fast. You'll never get bored since each episode they unveil a secret. And unlike other Korean dramas where you have to wait for 2 or 3 episodes to really get the story, 49 Days revealed the plot during the first episode.

There were some scenes where they talked a lot and those scenes were a little dull. But you have to play close attention for each scenes and each situation is connected.

I think the actors did a really good job i n portraying their roles. Song I-Gyeong and Han Kang's scenes made me fall in love and cry. Shin Ji Hyun and Song I-Soo's scenes made me laugh and smile. While Kang Min Ho and Shin In Jung made me annoyed and heated up. I guess you could really say that the actors are good if you get carried away while watching them.
Lee Yo Won is really a great actress. You will never get confused if she I-Gyeong or Ji Hyun since she was able to show the audience differences between the two characters. I-Gyeong is a dull and lifeless woman who doesn't smile and doesn't even check herself in the mirror. While Ji Hyun is the jolly and carefree woman who is also kind and vulnerable.

I also liked the editing of the s
tory. They chose not to start from the past rather in the present. And what's interesting is when a character remembers something about his or her past, it unlocks a secret about the present.

I also liked that everything that happened in the past is related to the future. Let's give the Schedulers case as an example. When Ji Hyun's dad was about to get deceived by Min Ho, Scheduler helped her by stabbing Ji Hyuns photo just so her dad would get distracted. Because of that, Granny gave her one week extension as a penalty. In the last episodes, it was revealed that his term was extended because he needed to be with Ji Hyun when she comes back to life...(and dies again.) His term was extended because he needed to escort Ji Hyun to the elevator.

When I-Soo came back to life to meet I-Gyeong, he had to leave her for a couple of minutes, and when he left, he came to Ji hyun to tell her that she would still die in the end. At first you wouldn't think there was a relevance to that scene,but there actually was.

The writers and editors were really amazing! I give them two thumbs up!

I like Han Kang's character. He was misunderstood at first as a bad guy but then he turned out to be the person who greatly helped Ji Hyun during the 49 Days. I think Ji Hyun would not have survived the 49 days if not for him.
One more reason why I liked this drama was because of it's OST.
This is one of the songs and it's entitled Scarecrow or 허수아비 in Korean. It was sung by Jung Il Woo (Mr. Scheduler). I really liked this song and it's so touching and you can really feel the love that the singer has for the girl.

The Ending:
My friends who have watched this before I did, said they all didn't like the ending so I wasn't really expecting too much from it. But it turned out otherwise.

For those who haven't watched this
yet, then please consider this as a SPOILER ALERT..
Ji Hyun got into an untimely accident which caused her death. So she was given 49 days to collect tear drops from three people who really love her. I don't know why but from the beginning of the story I didn't really hope that she would get back to life... I was also surprised when The Scheduler disclosed that the third tear drop didn't come from Song I-Gyeong, though she also cried for Ji Hyun. It was from her friend In Jung who betrayed her and broke her heart.
I also did not hope, but it entered my mind, that Song I-Soo's final wish was for his life to be brought back and live happily with I-Gyeong.

I actually liked the ending and I think there's no other way for it to have ended than this. It hit me that no matter what you do and no mater how hard you try, if it's really your time to go then you must go. Ji Hyun got three tear drops and was able to come back to life, but only temporarily. Rather than dying on the 49th Day, I think it was clever for the writers to think that she could go back for a couple of days to comfort the people who really love her then go, rather than just disappearing like a bubble. I was happy that she did not loose her memory so she was able to remember every single detail of the 49 Days. It would have been totally disappointing if she didn't.
Starting from the first scene of episode 19 until the last scene of episode 20, I was crying incessantly.
I cried when Ji Hyun and Han Kang went on a date as a couple, ate Kimbap and wished on a wishing well. I like Kang and though I didn't hope for Ji Hyun to be alive in the end, I hoped Kang won't be heartbroken in the end and end up as I-Gyeong's boyfriend.
The conclusion scenes were also tear-jerking. I fell more in love with Song I-Soo and Song I-Gyeong's love story.

So I was anticipating
g how the Scheduler's five year duty would pay off and finally get the chance to see I-Gyeong for the last time.It is heart-breaking that two people who are deeply in love would be separated forever by death. That no matter how much you still love each other, the pain is unbearable knowing the fact that the person you love will n ever ever return. You are left here all wounded and don't know where and how to start your life over again without that person.And 49Days didn't fail me, I loved everything about their reunion. The location was breath taking. The dialogues were intense. I was crying so loudly that I can't even stop. They finally saw each other again! They did things they wanted to do five years ago that fate didn't permit them to. They kissed in the middle of a beautiful garden, wore the engagement ri ngs, went to an amusement park, hugged in bed and walked by the shore.

Things wo
uld have been perfect, only if he was ALIVE.
The reality is, no matter how happy I-Gyeong is, I-Soo is dead and he still has to leave her. He asked her to l
et him go and be happy so that he could also be happy in his next life. He threw the rings in the water so that she could finally move on. "Go and find someone who will love you, and instead of me, give that person your love." That was what he told her and that was really sad. I have experienced being left by the person I love, but I have not experienced death of a person I love yet, and I am sure that is 100x the pai n.This was one of the best scenes in the ending part and I really loved it.
I cried endlessly in the hospital scenario when Ji Hyun came back from her date with Kang and told her parents how happy she was. She grabbed her father's arm then whispered that she is happy being born as his daughter. She also hugged her mom and told her how happy she is being born as her daughter. She walked away smiling then...... COLLAPSED! It was totally heart-breaking! She still died......after the hardships and effort that she had given in the last 49 days, she still died.
What I didn't like about the ending was when they found out that I-Gyeong was not really abandoned by her mom rather she got lost in the station. I think that part was irrelevant. I mean, after her 28 years of hardship and pain being alone, she found out that she wasn't really abandoned but she actually got lost because of a careless mom. I would got gotten more mad if I was here. Or if they really wanted to make that twist then they could have revealed that earlier in the story.
Ji Hyun still died and I Soo still left I-Gyeong.. Some people detest about how the story ended but I liked it.
Two years had passed and the last scene was Kang and I-Gyeong standing in front of Ji Hyun and I-Soo's tombs. It was really sad and I was crying. They both said they were happy that they met a person like them and because of the 49 days journey that they had with them, they will live their life as if it's their last and treasure them.

Though this drama didn't get high rating in South Korea, I think people should really watch it. It will make you realize how important your life really is.
I recommend this drama to people who like heavy drama and tear-jerker TV shows.
I also recommend this to people who are over the romantic-comedy genre and would like to go for something deeper and more sensible.

This drama made me realize how short and important life is. You may have all the good things in life but those things are all worthless if you are DEAD. Money, business, a big house, cars... they are not important in this life. What's important is you live a good life so when you move on to the next stage, you will not say that you lived for nothing. Life is short. Don't live your life in guilt, pain and unhappiness. Rather, spend it with the people that you love and treasure the most. We will never know when our time will come and just like what Han Kang said, "Treasure your life and live each day as if it's your last so when you go, you can go peacefully without having regrets."
In brief, I give this drama 4.5/5 rating.

How about you? Have you watched this drama? What do you think about it?

I hope you liked this review and please comment below and let me know what you think.