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K-pop idols lackluster on big screen

A growing number of K-pop idols are taking up the challenge of appearing on the silver screen, but their transitions are having to weather harsh evaluations.

Red Velvet leader Irene's film debut in "Double Patty," which hit theaters Feb. 17, drew criticism for her unnatural acting. The feature attracted 4,450 people over the Friday-Sunday period, raising its total admissions to 11,268, according to box office data from the Korean Film Council.

But the star, who previously had a lead role in the 2016 web drama "Game Development Girls," reacted humbly, saying she "learned a lot" from her first movie role.

Park Jeong-hwa of girl group EXID hit the silver screen in "Dragon Inn Part 2: The Night of the Gods," which was released Feb. 10. The sequel to the movie "Dragon Inn Part 1: The City of Sadness," which hit screens last year, again sees her in the lead role.

The film is a sequel, set in a Chinese restaurant called Dragon Inn, where problem solvers get together to defeat villains. The first installment amassed only 3,038 ticket sales while the second installment has garnered about 1,700 so far.

The singer-turned-actress expressed regret about her own acting, saying "There are so many things I'm regretful about. Although I put a lot of effort into it, I'm not satisfied with what's shown."

Rainbow's leader Kim Jae-kyung, and Kim Dong-jun, a member of the now defunct boy band ZE:A, starred in the melodrama "A Way Station," which hit theaters Feb. 18. The overarching plot involves a romance between a man named Seung-hyun who loses his memory due to Alzheimer's disease and his girlfriend Ji-ah. It saw less than 1,000 ticket sales as of Monday.

Idols' failure to shine on the silver screen is not only attributed to their poor acting skills. The changing landscape of the media industry is also playing a part, according to industry officials.

Nowadays, viewers watch drama series through over-the-top (OTT) platforms, regardless of time and place. When people watch dramas on their phones, tablets or computers, they can somehow overlook acting errors or flaws as long as they don't seriously hinder the storyline.

Unlike TV series that are able to respond to viewer feedback as they are shot using Korea's "live-shoot" system, movies are evaluated once production is completed. This means that idols-turned-actors could only show their improved acting skills in future projects. If they fail to be cast in more projects, they won't be able to shed their negative image.

"Most idols start acting in low-budget or independent films because they want to establish their filmography from scratch and build an actors' image. Their attempts are good as long as they have good acting skills," a production company official said on condition of anonymity.






source: The Korea Times
Tags: movie
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