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Superpowered "Item" debuts with eye-pleasing visual effects



What if ordinary people discover special items like a bracelet that gives them psychokinetic powers or a future-seeing Polaroid camera? What would they try to do with them?

MBC's sci-fi blockbuster "Item" starring Ju Ji-hoon starts with these questions. The webcomic-based fantasy drama tells the story of a prosecutor and criminal profiler duo who track down a conspiracy revolving around items that enable ordinary people to gain "superpowers."

The much-anticipated Monday-Tuesday drama premiered Feb. 11 with a good start, debuting with 4.9 percent viewership.

The first episode started with a strange dream of Kang Gon, played by Ju, of panicked passengers trapped in a runaway train. Kang wearing a mysterious bracelet with a blue aura jumps down onto the train tracks, wields enormous power and stops the disaster. Also in his dream, he sees a woman jumping from a building.

Later, Kang, a prosecutor, confronts a criminal wearing a bracelet similar to the one from his dream. The criminal breaks a wall with his fist and brags that he is a "special being." As they grapple, the bracelet falls off and falls into the sea.

Actor Kim Kang-woo takes on the role of a villain, a sociopathic heir of a conglomerate who collects the items giving supernatural powers using his power and wealth. He shows his madness after finding out his bracelet was stolen. As the future-showing Polaroid kept in a safe produces a photo of Kang's niece with the bracelet, the drama signals a tragedy in the next episode.

Although the drama takes those superpower items as the subject of storytelling and makes ravish use of computer graphics, its producer Kim Seong-wook says the main focus is not about demonstrating extraordinary powers only applied to certain superheroes such as the Avengers or X-Men.

"Special items appear in films like Doctor Strange and The Lord of the Rings. What I wanted to show in the drama is what would happen when ordinary Koreans who live today come into contact with such enchanted objects," the producer said.

With well-made computer graphics and quality acting, the drama also boasts great film-like cinematography.

Actor Ju, who had one of the most prolific years last year with hit films such as the "Along with the Gods" series, "The Spy Gone North" and "Dark Figure of Crime," says he decided to join this project out of curiosity as to how the story could be featured in a drama format. "This drama uses blockbuster-like visual effects as a side dish, but its main dish is about people's lives. It is eye-pleasing but at the same time has a strong story that anyone living today can symphonize with," Ju said.

Actress Jin Se-yeon plays criminal profiler Shin So-young, who decided to "read" criminals' minds after her mother is murdered. Veteran actor Kim Kang-woo plays sociopath Cho Se-hwang who murders anyone who gets in his way. "In the past, a sociopath was a rare character. But now so many dramas and films feature such characters and they serve as stereotypical characters," Kim said telling of the difficulty in acting his character. "As anyone can have an evil side in them, I try to pick up on those elements and focus on them."




source: The Korea Times
Tags: drama, joo ji hoon, mbc
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