tvN’s Boys Over Flowers inspired drama Cinderella and Four Knights ended on October 1st, after 16 amazing episodes.
The drama follows the story of Eun Ha Won, a hardworking aspiring-university student who occasionally (and in a very funny way) comes across the three heirs of Haneul Group. What follows is a fantasy inspired deal from the chairman of Haneul group, to move into his house to teach his grandsons to become better people. Ha Won takes up the challenge, pushed to these limits because of her financial situations, but she gets stuck in a love square involving all three of the grandsons!
Park So Dam, who plays Eun Ha Won, has quickly risen up my list of favourite and talented actresses. Though her pixie cut is just one of her charms, her ability to fit into any role makes her a versatile and unique actress. With Eun Ha Won, she brought the casual girl-next-door look to life on the silver screen, but worked extra hard to portray the struggling lives of those who aren’t born with a golden spoon in their mouth. Ha Won is a typical Cinderella. Though she has a family, she has to work hard to earn her own university tuition, so she can fulfill her dead mother’s dream of being a university student. The drama places a lot of familial values in Eun Ha Won, which is something that resonates with a majority of the audience. It is this love for family and filial duties, despite the hatred her own family shows her, that the chairman of Haneul group hands down such a huge responsibility to Ha Won.
The three heirs of Haneul group are typical dramaland characters. We have Kang Hyun Min, played by Ahn Jae Hyeon, who is a grade A playboy who only knows how to spend money and hurt girls’ feelings. Kang Ji Woon, played by Jung II Woo, takes on the role of the mysterious and permanently-angry-at-everyone guy who has been hurt sometime in the past. Lastly, but definitely not in the least, Kang Seo Woo is played by Lee Jung Shin of CNBLUE and he does a brilliant job of bringing Seo Woo’s playful and kind hearted nature to life with his sensibilities and subtle smiles.
Each of the actors have definitely tried their best to channel parts of themselves into the drama, and you can surely see that in the long run. Ahn Jae Hyeon’s typical romantic nature is seen in Hyun Min’s background-oppa style of loving Hye Ji. Jung II Woo’s aegyo couldn’t possibly hide behind Ji Woon’s tough exterior and Seo Woo and Lee Jung Shin already have their career as a singer in common.
What I loved about this drama was the personal stories of the characters. Both Hyun Min and Ji Woon had huge character developments ahead of them, and both of them needed Ha Won to be their catalyst. Though typical dramas make their female leads the reason behind the male leads growth and development, this drama let the male leads do it on their own. Yes, it is Ha Won who makes Hyun Min realise his love for Hye Ji, but he pursues that love as he sees fit (in an utterly childish and twisted hurtful manner) and Ha Won lets him. Similarly with Ji Woon, she does push him and advice him to make peace with his grandfather, but she often leaves him to seek out his grandfather on his own.
Both in KDramas and in real life, it is an important lesson that only we can help ourselves. Though soulmates may or may not exist, they cannot fix our lives, for we must do that ourselves.
Though Cinderella and Four Knights isn’t a life changing drama which will shake you awake to some mighty epiphany – it has the subtle parables that Boys Over Flowers also had.
Family, love and camaraderie among brothers – seems to be the main theme of this drama. If you’ve been hung up after some heavy plot filled dramas, this is a good idea for a break.