Friday, July 6, 2012

Good Morning President Review (2009)

Drama Rating: ****
Personal Rating: All time favourite!!

Good Morning President tells of three different fictional South Korean Presidents faced with some non-political life dilemmas. The first must decide whether or not to report a winning lottery ticket, the second faces the issue of organ donation while the third has to deal with marital issues. Although maintaining its seriousness throughout, the movie pokes fun at the three leaders and examines the human side of the presidency.

*Spoiler warning*

When it comes to political humor, several dramas come to mind: Souri to Yobanaide, Change, Dae Mul and City Hall. While this movie certain differs in the sense that it is much shorter than those dramas, it definitely carries some of the same humanism and approachability that was evident in Change and certainly outdoes the rest in its wittiness and cleverness. Politics aside, this drama delves nicely into the ethical dilemmas the characters each face and handles them in a very classy manner. It was a shame this movie was so short as it didn't quite cover all the side arcs as well as I would've liked and I'm glad they tried to keep some of the more ridiculous silliness at a minimum.

Veteran Lee Soon Jae played a remarkably amusing President Kim Jeong Ho triggering many a laugh from me throughout the series. His lengthy acting resume playing various kings and presidents gave him the perfect chops from which to pull off this comedic character. Jang Dong Gun plays his successor President Cha Ji Wook. While he doesn't quite have the same gravitas as his predecessor, he certainly exudes his own charm and intellect to portray a sympathetic president. Go Doo Shim plays Han Gyeong Ja, the first female President of South Korea, and she comes with a firm toughness a la Hilary Clinton or Margaret Thatcher. Her portrayal was quite realistic and certainly rounded off a strong lead cast. There were also numerous guest appearances by many familiar faces throughout the movie forming a solid supporting cast to the lead actors.

The music for this movie was a nice mix of regal pomp and more subtle tones that complemented various scenes in the movie. The soundtrack was not at all intrusive and the judicious use of sound effects seemed to be very effective in a movie of this nature.

Rarely has political drama been this humorous and endearing! This movie puts a very human face on the struggles and dilemmas of the presidency all while keeping everything rather light and fun. For those who dislike politics, this movie isn't so much a political movie as it is a human interest movie. Political topics are broached only to create the situations and dilemmas but remain more or less a sideshow throughout. Kudos on a remarkably witty script and a bang on performance by the three 'Presidents'.

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