This review comes a little too late. Truthfully, I have finished watching this drama right when it ended, almost a month ago, but I always post-poned my fully review because I had already written a first impressions one. If you recall, I wrote that I liked it but there were some things that should be improved. Well, they were improved. I am so happy to have started this.
To recap for those who still haven’t watched this, Falling for Innocence or Falling for Soon Jung is a kdrama about healing and moving on. Kang Min Ho (played by Jung Kyung Ho) is a wicked man who “kills” companies and factories for a living. He is what they call a corporate killer, and he wants to destroy his uncle’s company as well. But there’s a catch. Even though he is barely in his thirties, Min Ho is dying because of a heart disease that he inherited from his father. This pushes him to make the “killing” process faster than expected, leading him to be in need of a heart transplant to survive and see his project finally be completed.
By Min Ho’s side there will be Kim Soon Jung (played by Kim So Yeon), his uncle’s secretary and the daughter of a man who he claims has betrayed his father when he died 25 years before. The relationship between her and Min Ho starts off bad and under threats. He wants the woman to pay for her father’s betrayal and so he tries to put her in a bad position with her current boss; he even requests him to get her as his personal secretary while he is in the process of bankruptcying the company. The woman will not only see the worst of him, but also the weakest. Soon Jung in fact witnesses a lot of moments where Min Ho passes out because of his heart, and this slowly eases her previously image of him in her mind.
Thanks to Soon Jung’s boyfriend who is one the main plot twists on this in the drama, Min Ho receives surgery after one of his last attacks, and he is able to keep on living. When he wakes up afterwards, he feels completely changed and he starts doing good deeds and see the whole situation in a different way: from the need of killing his uncle’s company, he now wants to save it because of Soon Jung. The capable secretary shows him what would happen if he were to destroy that business, and the importance of everything in life, since he hadn’t had the time to enjoy it much because he only had one thing in mind. With the help of Soon Jung, Min Ho will also discover what love is. It’s like her dead boyfriend’s heart is influencing his new behavior, but the doctor reminds him that it is also the mind to makes decisions, therefore even if his heart feels different, he is the one deciding on something in the end, and he finishes to love and court Soon Jung sweetly, like a high school boy.
Many told me that they do not like this kind of drama where the lead gets a heart transplant and starts liking the person who the previous owner of the heart loved. Here this issue is addressed many times by the male protagonist and the female protagonist. Like I wrote above, he concludes that he fell in love with Soon Jung because he also came to fall for her, and not for her bf’s heart. In the end, we make the choice. Of course this is a drama (with some kind of magic included) but this looks like a good explanation about this “problem”. It was executed well here, because Kang Min Ho often wonders about this and destroys the kdrama stereotypes one by one by doing so, opposed to many kdramas where the character just accepts this and even sees it as a ‘gift’ from the loved ones they had to lost who donated the heart to another person. Even Soon Jung, who is the direct receiver of the love from both her dead boyfriend and Min Ho, in the end realizes that she loves him because of who he is and not for the heart he has in his chest. Sure, Min Ho is lead to do some things that Dong Wook would have done like buying the house he and KSJ liked, or put his favorite song as his ringtone, but Min Ho was FREE to choose if he wanted to love this woman or not! And in the end he really fell head over heels for her and who she is. The heart transplant was what made his true self come out and turn back on the revenge he wanted to pursue. KSJ helped him reason and change his mind for the better, and this is also why it was easier for him to love her. It was the first time a woman probably cared for him and showed him another way of life, now that he got blessed with a second chance at living.
Besides for the heart thing, I am sure everyone would love Kang Min Ho. He is evil and blind at first, his only goal is destroying everything in order to gain power to destroy his own family’s fortune. The new heart sure helped him heal himself and reconsider his goals. He realized that the company he wanted to destroy so much was still his father’s legacy, and he should protect it, not throw it away. JKH beautifully played this funny wealthy man with a sense of humor of a kind and who dressed like one of those runway models. To quote the words of an halmeoni who appears on an episode “an anchovy who looks a bit effeminate”. I completely loved him! This is the kind of character I love to no end because I am happy and enthralled to see his changes. He slowly opens up to a new world where friendship and love are important, and they become the center of his life besides saving his company and finding why he has nightmares about Dong Wook’s death (KSJ boyfriend). This actor is daebak. I wasn’t mesmerized like this since I saw a Jo In Sung drama or So Ji Sub’s drama for the first time. He gives me a ‘JIS’ feel a little, but in his own particular way. Hope he will do other dramas like this because he was totally adorable here.
Soon Jung is a character that would be hard to love entirely for some. She is a strong woman with strong values who keeps her feelings to herself and mourns alone. Thanks to the bubbly male lead, she is able to let it go and move on. Kim So Yeon is especially good at playing these kind of characters. I called her ‘iron lady’, because she is fierce and doesn’t let bad things hurt her too much, even though she silently suffers. She decides what she wants to decide without being influenced by the male characters. Even though Min Ho bothers her, she decides what she wants and goes on. I found myself too much into her, that is why I probably liked her too. I usually am annoyed at times when they make female characters too dumb that they need the male lead by their side all the time.
The second male lead, Lee Joon Hee (played by Yoon Hyun Min) was the perfect example of the social climber I also love to hate. He came from a poor family and could only become the layer of the company thanks to benefits Min Ho’s uncle gave him. He is a double player, because of course he doesn’t want to lose his position of prestige and he wants to climb up higher. As you may imagine, he also loves Soon Jung but he is willing to do wrong deeds to get to her. He is blinded by his greed, and ends up doing the unthinkable – for real – to destroy Min Ho’s company and his persona. This is probably the first drama where I see many legal things being done to prevent this company to survive, I am surprised. I think the writer was either good with this kind of topic, or she was helped by a legal who suggested her what could be done in this case. Naturally these road blocks were put not only to slow down this process, but also to make things harder between KSJ and KMH, because they couldn’t love each other properly in this time of ‘war’. Compared to other evil characters, he literally created big damage in order to get what he wanted, and in the end fate didn’t give him any mercy…
The side characters were awesome as well. Min Ho’s secretary Woo Sik and Soon Jung’s best friend Ok Hyun. They caused me a lot of laughs and I thank them for it because they gave a big comical relief to some situations. This was not a melodrama, but almost. It had melo elements but also romantic comedy elements. You could say it was a good mix that came out veeeeery good, in my opinion. The writer was good not to fall into usual plot twists like amnesia (haha I still laugh at the way that was handled) or other stuff I quoted above.
The music was also daebak, I loved the theme song “Paradise” by Davink. I posted it above at the beginning of the post, if you want to listen.
I would definitely rewatch this several times for sure. If you love a romantic drama with some dark elements in it and with good actors and a good ending even though there are a lot of road blocks, you should definitely watch this. There are also a lot of cute moments between the lead couple, and if you like romances you should check them out. My favorite drama so far in 2015.