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Comedy film ‘Idol Recipe’ may be too maverick for its own good

From left: Former B.A.P member Jongup, Noir member Ryu Ho-yeon, former Dal Shabet Bae member Woohee, former Sonamoo member Nahyun and JBJ95 member Kenta pose after a press conference held on Thursday at CGV Yongsan in Seoul. (DreamFact Entertainment)
From left: Former B.A.P member Jongup, Noir member Ryu Ho-yeon, former Dal Shabet Bae member Woohee, former Sonamoo member Nahyun and JBJ95 member Kenta pose after a press conference held on Thursday at CGV Yongsan in Seoul. (DreamFact Entertainment)


Featuring many current and former K-pop bandmates, such as Woohee from Dal Shabet Bae, Jongup of B.A.P and Ryu Ho-yeon of Noir, upcoming comedy “Idol Recipe” is chock-full of musical performances.

What the film does not have are such things as the five elements of a coherent plot: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution. Instead, it tells its story shuttling back and forth between scenes of the present and the past based on characters’ seemingly random and incomplete memories.

During a press conference Thursday at CGV Yongsan, the film’s director Lee Ho-sung explained that the movie took on its new format to target younger millennials and Generation Z.

“(Conventional) Korean films usually tell a story by following the set plot. Instead of focusing on showing that flow, I tried to create a movie that features the emotions and vibes of the characters and their music. I am not sure how the audience will take it,” the director said.

This maverick and unorganized way of telling a story, however, makes it hard for the audience to figure out what is going on.

Lee’s film depicts the journey of co-ed K-pop band Bella, which is struggling to become famous. To make matters worse, the band’s agency shows no interest in promoting them. The group’s manager Bae Jae-sung (Lee Ji-hoon), who has mounting personal debt, tries to sell the artists to another agency operated by a rival artist. Jae-sung’s plan seems to have succeeded -- until he loses all the money from the deal and wakes up without any memory of the previous night.

The director also talked about why he selected former and present K-pop singers to play the Bella members during the press conference.

“I wanted Bella’s performances in the movie to meet the standards of audiences worldwide,” Lee said. “We could not take time out to film music scenes like they do for music videos. Therefore, we spent a lot of time during preproduction on how to capture the best moment.”

Woohee added that the cast’s first meeting was memorable because they met in a dance practice room, which reflected the hard work they put into the music scenes.
 
“Idol Recipe,” directed by Lee Ho-sung (DreamFact Entertainment)
“Idol Recipe,” directed by Lee Ho-sung (DreamFact Entertainment)

“Actors usually meet for the first time to read scripts together. But it was different for this movie,” Woohee said.

Despite all the hard work by the director and the actors in the singing and dancing, the quality of the music performances is unlikely to impress K-pop fans used to high-quality performances on big-budget sets.

One of the stars, Lee Ji-hoon could not be present at the press conference Thursday, as he had tested positive for COVID-19.

The film hits local theaters in March.

By Song Seung-hyun (ssh@heraldcorp.com)
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