Though it is very rare now that this kind of movies have super stories, I have special liking in dance films since I dance. Those inspire me to dance again at least for exercise and to shed my stress. In Korean film Innocent Steps (2005) that is top billed by Moon Geun Young (MGY) and Park Geon-hyeong (PGH), you’ll not get only powerful dance but touching plot.
Na Young-sae (PGY) is excellent dancer–instructor before he goes hiatus because of bad experience with his dance partner and competitor. A new light comes to him when his manager brought him a girl from China to be his dance partner. He is forced to have fake marriage arrangement with her so she can stay in Korea longer. Then it turns out that Jang Chae-rin (MGY) is an impostor of her sister and she doesn’t know how to dance at all.
Since I first saw My Little Bride (together with Kim Rae Won) plus Marry Me Mary (with Jang Geun-Seok) of MGY, I can’t help but to think that it seems that she marries so many times on small & big screen on a very young age. In a way, that’s a typecast but the difference here in Innocent Steps she’s very fragile and was hit by a man (manager of Young-sae).
Acting-wise there’s no big leap for MGY but her prowess still there and she proves that she can dance so well. I like when she shakes her hips and performing her footsteps. You know that she’s not pretentious dancer. My favourite part when she joins in the dance contest and the last footage when she dances with PGH wearing jumpsuit.
PGH on the other hand also proves that he can dance and act. I already saw his Mr Wacky which is comedy so this is something different for him. And he’s better in this project because he shows real acting and dancing in one. I can’t stop smiling whenever he also smiles when he tries to help Jang Cher-Rin.
Physically, I don’t think they fit to each other. It is not about the age gap or the height but their features. It is hard to believe if they fall in love at once so good thing it didn’t happen so fast. You can grind the thought that they develop their feelings little by little, which is understandable.
Then it is heart-breaking for Young-sae that he has to experience again to lose partner because of politics in dancing. Then he was betrayed by someone he trusts. Chae-rin also has to bear the pain of dancing with someone and to leave Young-sae. The only problem with this is the character Jung Hyun-soo (played by Yun Chang). The actor fits to his role but I can’t believe that he’s character has to get Chae-rin from Young-sae to win in national dance competition and train her that fast with heavy emotion. So it’s like he just wants to have partner trained by Young-sae? Maybe it is reasonable if he falls in love with Chae-rin or his anger with Young-sae has background history.
The manager (played by Park Won-Sang) has also unacceptable character. He pushes young-sae to dance, he bring him new dance partner, he’s apologetic when they find out that she’s impostor and then he sells Chae-rin to Hyun-soo. So this character has no balls at all? In the end, he says he does betray Young-sae for money when in fact it seems he’s the one giving money to him and he will gain fame and fortune when Young-sae and Chae-rin win in the competition. However, I believe the actor and his character is effective, it just that his motive is too shallow.
Though there are loopholes in characters build up the movie has smooth sailing flow of story that not only inspires you to dance with MGY and PGH. I also knock to your senses that love and trust should be there in dancing with your partner.