As Suzy‘s movie debut, I’d say her role here is one which challenges not the acting skills but the singing skills. It totally helps that Suzy is adorable as she is, and she plays the role of Jin Chae-seon with earnest, the first female pansori singer in late Joseon.
Pansori has always been the singing art of males, and the law then was to heavily punish anyone who lets a female sing pansori. Chae-seon was attracted to the art when she was young and just sold to a gibang as slave, and ever since then she’s secretly peeped over the walls of the pansori school learning about pansori whenever there were lessons. Ryu Seung-ryeong plays the school master Shin Jae Hyo who’s passionate about his art and has no choice but to reject Chae-seon when she bugged him to accept her as a student.
Burning with the desire to learn pansori, Chae-seon decides to disguise herself and enrolls into the pansori school. She gets accepted during audition and begins her journey as a pansori singer. The process is tough, as Jae Hyo brings her, an assistant and another two students (played by Lee Dong-hwi and Ahn Jae Hong) to the mountains for a secret rigorous training, in hopes for an audition held by Heungseon Daewongun (King Gojong’s father, played by Kim Nam-gil).
The movie chooses to portray Daewongun in an unfavorable light which I will not spoil here, and some political and social issues of that period were highlighted as well. That said, while Chae-seon suffered for mastering the art, Jae-hyo was punished heavily for allowing a girl to take stage performing pansori. There’s also ambiguity of the feelings between Chae-seon and Jae-hyo, because it seems to hint that she likes him more than a teacher. I wouldn’t say it’s a must watch, it’s kinda bland with a whole load of scenes on Chae-seon learning to sing pansori and not much else, though it IS well, the whole essence of the movie. It’s not all that bad either, because I thought Suzy really put in a lot of efforts and there’s some great pansori singing scenes. Watch this only if you’re free, or a Suzy fan.