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An Honest Review Of 'One Step' By A Sandara Park Fan

Sandara has come so far since Star Circle Quest.
PHOTO: One Step/VIVA Films

The Long Plot, Sans Spoilers

A tragic accident befalls Si-hyun (Sandara Park), which results in her memory loss. Luckily, she meets Ji-won (Hong Ah-reum) in the hospital, and Ji-won kindly asks Si-hyun to move in with her and her brother, Woo-hyuk (Cho Dong-in). The only clue to Si-hyun's past is a melody she keeps humming in her sleep, so Woo-hyuk writes it down as a score and gives it to Si-hyun.

Si-hyun then looks for whoever will recognize the melody, and she ends up meeting Jee-il (Han Jae-suk), a composer who's talented but hasn't written anything for a while. Jee-il offers to help Si-hyun regain her memory through his expertise in music in hopes of also finding inspiration for a new song.

The Honest Plot

Si-hyun and Jee-il connect with each other through music and find themselves in a win-win situation—where Si-hyun gets the chance to recover her memories and enjoy music again while Jee-il gets to recover his image as a songwriter.

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The Main Actors And Where You Last Saw Them

Sandara Park as Si-hyun

Of course, you know she made it big as part of the internationally known female K-pop group 2NE1, which disbanded in April 2016. She then made appearances in various Korean variety shows and hosted Get It Beauty (Korean) and ABS-CBN's Pinoy Boyband Superstar. The last series she starred in was a web drama called We Broke Up, and the last film she appeared in before top billing One Step was Super Noypi, a Pinoy action superhero fantasy film back in 2006 (she played a superhero named Michie alongside Jennylyn Mercado, Mark Herras, John Prats, Polo Ravales, and Katrina Halili among others).

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Han Jae-suk as Jee-il

If you're a hardcore K-drama fan, you've probably seen Han Jae-suk in All About Eve (2000) and A Witch's Romance (2014). You might have also seen him as a guest in Episode 345 of the Korean variety show Running Man (alongside Dara, of course).

Hong Ah-reum as Ji-won

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If you're a hardcore K-drama fan, you've probably seen Hong Ah-reum in Tears of Heaven and My Precious You. Her most recent projects before this was a K-drama on tvn called A Bird That Doesn't Sing and a movie entitled Makgeolli Girls.

Cho Dong-in as Woo-hyuk

If you're a hardcore K-drama fan, you've probably seen Cho Dong-in The Stone and One on One. He's a fairly new actor (who debuted in 2012) and hasn't starred in many shows.

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Did you know?

1. One Step was dubbed the Korean version of the Hollywood movie, Begin Again, which did extremely well in Korea. You'll notice how the story is loosely based on the film starring Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo.

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2. The production of the film wouldn't have sailed without successful crowdfunding efforts. The team planned to raise 100 million KRW, and it was achieved in just one day, thanks to the fans of Dara and the supporters of the production team. The film is distributed by indie company Finecut abroad and by Viva Films locally.

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3. The movie was expected to be a box office hit because of its director Juhn Jai-hong. He's known for his debut feature film, Beautiful, which premiered at the 58th Berlin International Film Festival, and won the Grand Prix at the 2008 Fukuoka Asian Film Festival.

4. MCC Entertainment, which is mentioned in the movie, is not fictional! They have successfully produced soundtracks for television before, such as the OST for Jewel in the Palace.

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5. It's Dara's first lead role in a Korean movie, and she was showered with compliments from the director and other movie crew members. She was such a pro, and she said she owed it all to her experience filming movies (she did four in total) in the Philippines. Awww!

6. Han Jae-suk is married and has two adorable daughters with his beautiful wife, Park Sol Mi (who's also an actress and is known for her roles on Winter Sonata and All In).

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7. One Step premiered in Korea on April 6, 2017, and its VVIP premiere was such a star-studded event with several of Dara's YG Entertainment family in attendance (think 2NE1 bandmates CL and Park Bom, plus idols like Ailee, Eric Nam, and Shinee's Minho). People made a fuss about G-Dragon (whom Dara is being linked to) and Minzy (another 2NE1 band member) not being present, but no nega vibes there, according to Dara.

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8. Dara's filming her next moviealready! She takes on a supporting role in the movie remake of the TV series and webcomic Cheese in the Trap. 

What Fans Of Sandara Think:

"The character of Sandara Park (Si Hyun) is very different from what she is in real life, and I think she did a good job portraying her role. When you first watch the movie, you'll get curious about what will happen next or if there is a twist, because Si-hyun had amnesia and the composer tried to help her regain her memory by finishing the song that Si-hyun remembers. But the end is soooooo bitin! I wish they added something. But overall the movie is good."—Patrice Clare Maralit

"The movie is really different—'yun ang una kong napansin. It's my first time watching a movie with that genre and sobrang nakaka-inspire si Si-hyun 'cause even though she had amnesia and it's not simple amnesia 'cause she experienced colored hearing, too, she still fights to remember her past and she succeeds with the help of her friends and of course Mr. Kim, the leading man. Overall it's reeeally bitiiin. I EXPECTED A KISSING SCENE! Anyway, for me, IT WAS STILL A GREAT MOVIE."—Hannah Rio Alegre Gallenero

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 What I Think:

I've only watched two Korean movies aside from this one (Beauty Inside and Train to Busan; yes, I haven't seen Miracle in Cell No.7 yet), and they're very different from each other. Both have really been memorable for me because the former was such a tearjerker and the latter, a frickin' thriller. I didn't really know what to expect from this movie—I haven't even seen the trailer prior.

It was, again, very different from the Korean movies I've seen, and this one was just very entertaining when it comes to its OST. For me, the songs throughout the musical film were more memorable than the lines that the actors delivered, and they might already be part of a new playlist someone's already obsessing about.

As a K-drama fan, I was so bitin with the #feels, too. I was waiting for romance, LOL-worthy comedy, or a heart-wrenching scene, but none ever came. The ending made it also feel like there would be a sequel—and hopefully, that gets more entertaining plotlines if it ever gets a green light. But again, the songs were so pleasant to the ears, and the cinematography was great. There were scenes that were sooo trippy, too.

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Let me also just say that it's refreshing to see Sandara act without being all cute (as what her roles in her Pinoy movies from way back entailed). She definitely has come far from her Pambansang Krung-Krung days. She did Si-hyun justice, and I'm betting she also delivers (maybe even shines more) in her next movie role (so psyched for Cheese in the Trap, BTW). I LOVED her songs in the movie. When is that solo album coming out, Dara?! And, okay, I loved Han Jae-suk's voice, too—so, so sexy.

I'd Recommend It To:

Blackjacks or 2NE1 fans! See your unni transform and belt out like a total [alternative] rock star! It's also a nice feel-good movie for anyone who's passionate about music.

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