Review: Antique Bakery (Korean Movie)

Posted on: April 5, 2009

I am not a fan of yaoi or what they call a boy-boy manga for women. I am not even a fan of manga in general. I learn about them from watching j-doramas or the adoptations made by Koreans and Chinese dramas. And I must say, when I find a certain drama interesting, I am intrigued by its manga version and it makes me want to read it. My sister has a collection of some like Wallflower and the overrated but still my most favorite Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers). I browse but I don’t read.

Bored through my wits this afternoon, I found myself browsing through for some movies I could watch. I don’t know what’s with my periodical cravings for Korean movies (or sometimes dramas); all I know is that I am learning quite a lot of Hangul because of it. I came across ‘Antique Bakery’ (Antique) and without a clue whatesoever of what it’s about, I just clicked the link. I decided to watch it because it has Joo Ji Hoon (Princess Hours) and the tall and lanky Kim Jae Wook (Coffee Prince) in it. So, despite the very slow downloading because of my feeble internet connection, I desperately watched the movie amidst on and off buffering and the urge to shut my laptop. And I’m glad I did ‘coz this is one heck of a movie. I am not gonna criticize it and compare it to the Japanese Live Action and even the manga which was created by Fumi Yoshinaga because I haven’t seen both.

Antique Bakery (the Korean movie) tells the story of Kim Jin Hyeok (Ji Hoon), a cake shop owner who ironically hates sweets but has a dark past that holds the answer to this mystery; Min Seon Woo (Jae Wook) a gay patissier who’s known for his ‘demonic charm’ and fancies Jin Hyeok since highschool; Yang Ki Beom (Yo Ah In), Seon Woo’s apprentice who used to be a street punk and a boxer; and the klutzy Nam Soo Yeong (Choi Ji Ho).

At first, you’d think it’s like Coffee Prince, with the owners (Ji Hoon and Gong Yoo in CP) being both serious, hot-tempered, have sad past that they’re trying to overcome, have three ‘side-kicks’ and most importantly, gorgeous. =) But it’s way different. Jin Hyeok was kidnapped when he was little and had very little memory of his abductor. All he remembers was that the kidnapper has a sweet tooth and fed him cakes every single day of his captivity. And this was what actually led him to open up a cake shop – to lure this person and eventually catch him. All the three others have issues of their own but the story centered on Jin Hyeok.

This is not your typical yaoi (because technically it isn’t) and it has a lot of funny scenes (amid the heavy ones and all the drama) which made me laugh hard while rolling on my sides. And it showed the quirky and funny side of Ji Hoon – totally the opposite of what we saw in Princess Hours. Jae Wook, on the other hand, fits the role very well – a little bit different yet somehow similar to that ‘Waffle Guy’ that he portrayed in CP… cool, always composed and well, a bit ‘gayish’.

What I love about the movie is its ability to make you laugh while thinking hard about the possibilities it could offer. Unlike the typical story line most korean movies have, this wouldn’t make you cry in the end; it would make you want to dictate the ending and keep the story going.

I’ll probably watch the jdrama version next. =)


6 Responses to "Review: Antique Bakery (Korean Movie)"

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I would have to say that it is the worst adaptation I've ever seen of any anime or manga. Although they did do a fair representation of each of the major events within the orginal plot, I felt that they got all the characters wrong. The way the actors portrayed each character or just the way it was interpreted in Korea made it completely and utterly out of character. They made Ono look like an insensitive jerk, and like wise with Tachibana. Chikage was probably the only decent character as his original personality stayed very much the same. Eiji was very much misinterpreted as he kept on beating on Chikage which clearly wasn't done. The whole sence of friendship and their connection made thoughout the time all 4 of them started to work together was lost with this movie. I personally did not enjoy it at all. Not recommended.(I'm sorry, I didn't refer to their Korean screen names as I'm only fimiliar with the Japanese characters)

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