Ha Ji Won, dubbed as ‘Box Office Queen’, ‘Queen of Chemistry’, ‘Korean Angelina Jolie’ as well as recognized as One of The Most Beautiful Korean Actresses by her fans. She has impressive resume in both films and dramas, ranging from historical, action, romantic comedy, and melodrama genres. She never failed to impress both fans and critics and her hard-working character just highlighted what fans call her “amazing yeoja” or amazing woman.
According to her profile in mydramalist, Ha Ji Won has acted in no less than 12 dramas and 21 movies. Many of her projects, if not all, are memorable and leaving deep impression to the viewers.
Here I reviewed some of her projects that I watch:
1. Secret Garden (drama, 2010)
Probably the most famous project that done by Ha Ji Won until now. “Secret Garden” is very popular both domestically and internationally, even inspired some gags and parodies in Korea and beyond. Her chemistry with Hyun Bin is very palpable and sizzling. Her character, Gil Ra Im is a strong, independent stuntwoman makes it even more interesting. As a trademark from the writer, this drama is littered by skinships and unforgettable romantic scenes, like push up and foam kiss. Forget some illogical plots, just watch it for the chemistry between Ha Ji Won and Hyun Bin will leave you satisfied. Many fans become shippers for the two and called the couple HyunWon Couple, JB or Amazing Couple.
2. King 2 Hearts (drama, 2012)
Ha Ji Won played as Kim Hang Ah here, special service agent from North Korea that end up marrying South Korean prince, played by Lee Seung Gi. As always, Ha Ji Won showed her feistiness, badassery, amazing action skills that will wowed the viewers. Her North Korean accent is quite funny and cute but as the story progressed she was no longer the badass woman, she needed to remind her position and become damsel in distress in the second half of the drama. Still, the drama itself is pretty good and received good reviews although it’s not doing well in terms of ratings in South Korean because of the sensitive issue.
3. As One (movie, 2012)
A movie about sport, table tennis in particular, and this movie is what make me a fan of HJW. A very good movie based on true story about United Korean team in Table Tennis World Championship 1991. I really love her hard work that makes the movie believable eventhough she never plays table tennis before. Besides, I also love her chemistry with co-star Bae Doo Na. Together, they set fire on this movie and I was glued to my screen watching two actresses acting. She really embodied athlete Hyun Jung Hwa, her character in the movie as I imagine she’s the real athlete herself.
4. Hwang Jin Yi (drama, 2006)
If As One made me love Ha Ji Won, this drama made me hate her and her character. Actually, objectively Hwang Jin Yi is a good drama. It has great directing, cinematography, acting, and the clothes are so beautiful. But personally, I hate the drama. I hate the plot and the characters. I hate the writer for making male lead Kim Jae Won that played Kim Jung Han character so pathetic and pitiful. Ha Ji Won’s character is also really difficult to relate to. Most of the time, she acted as cryptic character that I basically can’t understand her actions because I don’t know what she feel and what she think. Although I hate the drama, I really love to talk about this drama because there are so many interesting aspects. It touches arts, gender, and feminism in Joseon era.
|Ha Ji Won as Hwang Jin Yi|
To wash away my disappointment with “Hwang Jin Yi”, I watched this movie right away finished the drama. It also starred Ha Ji Won and Kim Jae Won as in Hwang Jin Yi. For me this movie is like reincarnated story of Hwang Jin Yi and Kim Jung Han. Thanks God, it’s romcom, light and funny. Although Ha Ji Won’s character, Kang Ha Young sometimes irritating and stupid, it’s no different than many heroines in Asian dramas so I can stand her. Played as highschooler when she’s 26 in real life, requires suspension of disbelief from viewers. At least, Ha Ji Won makes it work with her childish and innocent character. The ending doesn’t disappoint me either for the reincarnated story of Hwang Jin Yi.
6. Empress Ki (drama, 2013-2014)
Ha Ji Won’s latest drama, a romance action political sageuk that become hit and makes it one of the highest rated dramas in year 2013 and 2014. With 51 episodes, Empress Ki is pretty solid from the beginning although the plots become murky and shaky in the second half of the drama. Ha Ji Won is commanding as Ki Seung Nyang, a Goryeo-born woman who becomes concubine and eventually empress in Yuan Dynasty. Her chemistry with co-stars, Ji Chang Wook and Joo Jin Mo is nothing short of amazing. In the last few episodes, even Jin Yi Han that played Tal Tal character got the chance to showcase his chemistry with Ha Ji Won. Empress Ki also showed acting ranges of Ha Ji Won, from boyish girl, to fearless servant, to the mother of two sons and Emperor’s wife.
|Ha Ji Won in Empress Ki|
That’s a few dramas and movies that I select to review Ha Ji Won’s career and acting. Having starred in many hit dramas and movies, Ha Ji Won received many acting and numerous other recognitions. Not only that, Ha Ji Won also starred in numerous MVs, CFs, act as cultural ambassador, and many other activities.
As an actress, Ha Ji Won displays very rare ability in an actor. She shines in all genres, whether it’s period or melodramas, whether it’s action or comedy. It’s quite surprising she never do a medical drama until now considering she has acted in every genre. She also makes her co-star shines alongside her. It’s the case of Hyun Bin in Secret Garden, Lee Seung Gi in King 2 Hearts, and Ji Chang Wook in Empress Ki. Her co-stars tend to perform better and have adequate and sometimes explosive chemistry with her. On the other hand, Ha Ji Won’s acting still lacks something. She tends to play cold-hearted woman and cryptic characters. Her characters in Hwang Jin Yi and Empress Ki are the best example. It’s really hard to connect to the character and follow her logic if we don’t know what she’s actually thinking and feeling. Acting needs subtlety and expressions changes, but Ha Ji Won’s acting is still less subtle and when she plays poker face, we know almost nothing because her expressions not tell us anything. It sometimes leaves me cold to her character. However, it’s just her characters in dramas or movies that troubled me. I really love her in variety shows and from the glimpses of her real life via interviews, etc she’s really a funny woman that always makes me laugh. She literally just laughs at anything every time. That’s what makes me love her. Ha Ji Won, amazing woman!