The Snow Queen follows Han Tae Woong and Kim Bo Ra as they overcome personal tragedies and find comfort in each other. It aired in late 2006 and wrapped in January 2007. Here are five things that make The Snow Queen worth a watch:
1. Story - There are lots of things to love about this drama and all of them are made possible by the near perfect writing. Make no mistake: this is a mid-2000’s drama, so all of the tropes you love or love to hate are present. The Snow Queen manages to take all of these and weave them together with the plot, pacing, and character development, so it has a very natural feel that is easy to fall into.
2. Cinematography - With the recent success of shows like Goblin and Descendants of the Sun, drama fans are starting to expect sleek and beautifully shot productions. This sort of quality and attention to detail isn’t actually all that new. Filmed primarily during autumn and winter, the director uses the seasons and scenery to set a mood that is both sad and beautiful, hopeful and ominous, but most importantly subtle. You almost don’t notice it, but you certainly feel it.
3. Role reversal - The Snow Queen retains the rich, arrogant chaebol falls for poor, earnest nobody trope, but it’s rich woman/poor man, which is rare in dramaland. Rich women get a lot of play in dramas; you see them everywhere even if they aren’t the lead. Poor men, though present, don’t get explored as much, so it’s refreshing to see that. It also makes the romance all the more interesting because the leads do not end up with that familiar power imbalance.
4. Acting - Sung Yu Ri turns in one of the best performances of her career as the cold and unhappy Kim Bo Ra. As the character grows, Sung Yu Ri hits every note just as believable as the last. Her range is incredible. This character required a lot of heavy lifting and she nails it. She goes over the top without shattering the illusion. Most impressively, though, she goes subtle without being overshadowed by Hyun Bin, something that happens to his leading ladies a lot in my opinion. Not here.
5. Hyun Bin - You might be one of the fans who was disappointed in his one post-army drama to date. If you are and you haven’t seen this, it would definitely go a long way in tiding you over until City Of Stars comes out later this year. You also might be someone who’s never seen any of his older stuff and isn’t aware that he is actually a phenomenal actor. Hyun Bin’s character starts tortured and closed off and just like Sung Yu Ri, he nails it every step of the way. With this story and this character, there were moments when it would have been easy to play him completely off the rails. Hyun Bin and the director seem to know instinctively where that line is and they cross it just enough to grab you but not so much that they lose the sincerity of the emotions.
I rated The Snow Queen a 10 despite the fact that it's really not the sort of thing I usually watch and, obviously, I highly recommend it.