I love these posters of Lee Je-Hoon (이제훈) as Park Yeol (박열). I mean, I barely recognized him, talk about a transformation! Park Yeol is the true story of the bastard of Joseon (Park Yeol) who faced Japanese imperialists, who attempted to conceal the massacre of 6,000 Koreans in Tokyo in 1923. It will also depict his comrade and lover, Rumiko, who was a large part of his life. The top right of the poster reads “I am the bastard of Joseon,” the bottom right reads “The real story that shook Japanese imperialism.”
I was first introduced to Lee Jae-Hoon through the short film Just Friends? which was a story of two men (Lee Je-Hoon and Yeon Woo-Jin) going on a date during Yeon Woo-Jin’s military leave. It was a hilarious movie because Yeon Woo-Jin’s mother showed up and spoiled the weekend. Neither of the boys was “out” so they had to find little ways to show affection with each other without the mother knowing about it.
Lee Je-Hoon gained further critical acclaim with the movies Bleak Night and Introduction to Architecture proving he was a talented new star on the rise. He had some falters with his dramas, but he was able to rebound in 2016 with Signal. I haven’t seen Signal yet (it is on my watch list!) but I did hear good things about it. Dramabeans said Lee Je-Hoon showed some weaknesses in it, but that it may be because he was acting next to two masters of the game. I did enjoy him in the little bit of Tomorrow With You that I watched, though that drama ended up being a bit too slow for me at the time. It was a really cool idea and I loved all the actors in it, I just wasn’t grabbed by it, you know?
So we know Lee Je-Hoon is talented, but the one thing that may hold him back is his look. He has this sweet innocent persona that is a touch feminine. It probably helped him get his break out role in Just Friends?, but I can see it holding him back in the long haul in a similar way that having a baby face is holding Song Joong Ki (송중기) back a little. Song Joon-Ki is managing to break away from that in his recent manly roles in Descended From the Sun and Battleship Island though. I think Lee Je-Hoon is trying to do the same with this movie Park Yeol. If his acting gives me as many feels as these posters, then I think he will have succeeded.
Park Yeol is directed by Lee Jun-Ik (a 10 million ticket sales director behind pictures such as King and the Clown, Sato, and Dongju) and will premier in June.