Another of my fav summer show with a strong heroine — the other is Cha Ji-an in I Remember You, a policewoman of some calibre whom Cha Yoon-mi of Bride should learn from.
Technically though, the female lead of Ghostess isn’t anywhere near “strong”. Unless when she is possessed. Ironically, having some yin energy (a ghost) within her makes her nearly burst at the seams with yang energy. The interplay of polarities within and between characters is what makes Ghostess interesting for me. It’s like a mirror — your image is supposed to be your reflection, a shadow — but what happens if it goes the other way around? When your reflection is stronger than you?
1. Ghost and Human
We are constantly reminded of what Soon-ae can’t do. She doesn’t have a corporeal body; lifting a page from a book to reveal a hidden money stash takes her a whole night of practice and concentration. No one sees her (except the select unfortunate few) and no one hears her…not even her dearest Ah-pa. But saddest of all is her loss of memory. She can’t remember why she died, who killed her and where in the world is her dead body. (am assuming that her family doesn’t know for sure she is dead…since her mobile phone “disappeared” with her)
Then again, the human female lead, Bong-sun, seems…almost non-human. Given that she cowers over everything (i think even sunlight may kill her), snoozes off constantly in a daze , and makes herself as tiny and inconspicuous as possible every other second. Bong-sun is rather quite near to being an ethereal being herself.
Soon-ae, who possesses her body, brings more life into it than Bong-sun could probably amass in her twenty-something years. Suddenly, the renewed Bong-sun isn’t afraid of speaking up for herself, indulging in the simple pleasures of eating — and cooking, and more importantly, having the capacity to love. But in Soon-ae’s case, her idea of “love” is hilariously synonymous with “sex”.
So while Bong-sun should learn how to enjoy Life from Soon-ae, maybe she can teach Soon-ae some form of self-restraint, perhaps?
2. Chef and Bong-sun
Interestingly, our OTP share more similarities than they know about. The Sun-woo today is bossy, arrogant, and demanding. But that wasn’t the case at all when Sun-woo was a high schooler. He was the male version of Bong-sun then, afraid of speaking up for himself, and allowing himself to be bullied and taken as a doormat by his classmates.
Which explains why he is drawn to and yet hates Bong-sun at the same time. He sees in her the Sun-woo he has been desperately trying to hide and squish, and he dislikes her reminding him of young Sun-woo. But we can see that the simpering, cowardly Sun-woo isn’t totally eradicated. His over the top demonstration of his current success in front of his ex-classmates (and ex-bullies) reveals his deep seated insecurity and inferiority complex.
We are not too sure (as of now) what led Sun-woo to become who he is today, but we do recognise that his attraction to the possessed Bong-sun may stem from some form of admiration, and affirmation that yes, he’s been through “that stage” too. Am waiting to see how he will take it when he realises that Bong-sun’s “bipolar mood swings” is due to a female ghost. (heh)