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'Radio Star' Tries to Live up to Past
Lee Jun-ik's latest film suffers in comparison to previous hit
Mirja Maletzki (jane0815)     Print Article 
Published 2007-02-19 13:12 (KST)   
©2007 Achim Pictures
Having to live up to your own fame is never easy. The elderly rock star Choi Gon (Park Joong-hoon) finds out the hard way in Lee Jun-ik's 2006 movie "Radio Star."

Gon had a big hit in 1988 with his song "The Rain and You" but did not handle the fame very well. He quickly spent most of his money, started getting into fights and started drinking. In 2006, the only thing Gon has left is his manager, Park Min-soo (Ahn Sung-ki), who has stood by him since the peak of his career. Park still manages to find Gon small gigs in little coffee shops on the outskirts of Seoul and continues to look after him.

One day Gon gets in a fight with a customer during a coffee shop gig and ends up in jail. Since Gon has been in trouble before, the bail is set so high that his manager Park sees no way to deal with it on his own, so he goes to a major radio station to call in old favors. The only thing he turns up is a job at a local radio station in a far away town in the country called Yong-wol.

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Arriving in Yong-wol, nothing seems to suit Gon, despite all the efforts Park makes to make his life there as comfortable as possible. Gon pretty much sabotages everything by being pessimistic and negative -- even when he is on the air. But to everyone's surprise, his daily show becomes a big hit in the small town. When his newfound fan club begins to put the recordings of his show on the Internet, soon the big bosses in Seoul become aware of his fame and want him back -- but without his manager.

After Lee Jun-ik's smash-hit "The King and the Clown" in early 2006, hopes were high for "Radio Star." The cast is colorful. Ahn Sung-ki, who plays Park, made his debut in 1957 at the age of five and has won many national and international acting awards since. He is one of Korea's big-name actors, pulling people to the theatres. Park Joong-hoon, who plays Gon, is also a popular actor. He has won 13 awards since his debut in 1986, his most recent being the Blue Dragon award for his role in "Radio Star." The cast was rounded out with the popular Korean punk band NoBrain, playing a local band that worships Gon.

Although "Radio Star" turned out to be a very good movie, the Korean audience was waiting for another smash-hit to top even "The King and the Clown," which contained a high level of social criticism mixed with a story about friendship, happiness and success. The movie -- standing on its own -- might have received much more praise, but it still managed to get a longer-than-expected run in the theatres.
©2007 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Mirja Maletzki

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