Kim Hyun-soo Release dateFebruary 14, 2007 (2007-02-14) Based onSharan Q no enka no hanamichi
by Hiroshi Saito WriterSang-chan Kim, Seung-yeon Seon, Sun-yong Yun DirectorsKim Sang-chan, Kim Hyeon-Soo ScreenplayKim Sang-chan, Sun-yong Yun CastCha Tae-Hyun (Bong Dal-ho), Im Se-Mi (President Choi's daughter), Park Young-Seo Similar moviesMovies about South Korea, Movies about singing, Comedies
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Highway Star (Hangul: 복면달호; RR: Bokmyeon Dalho) is a 2007 South Korean musical comedy film starring Cha Tae-hyun as an aspiring rocker who achieves success as a masked trot singer.
A remake of the 1997 Japanese film Sharan Q Takes Center Stage of Enka(シャ乱Qの演歌の花道,Sharan Q no enka no hanamichi), Highway Star was a modest hit at the box office, receiving 1,611,192 admissions and earning US$11.7 million.
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Bong Dal-ho's ultimate dream is to become a famous rock star. To make a living in his small, rural town, Dal-ho's heavy metal rock band is forced to play trot (country music similar to enka, also known as bbong jjak) in tacky nightclubs. One day, Jang Joon, executive of a shabby record company, sees potential in the seemingly clueless vocalist and promises to make him a star—Dal-ho realizes too late that he's been duped into signing a contract with a label that specializes in trot music.
Jang believes that Dal-ho's talent as a trot singer is in reflecting the melodramatic sentimentality of middle-aged Koreans (the genre's target demographic), but Dal-ho persistently believes that trot music, along with the gaudy costumes and hairstyles and exaggerated stage movements associated with it, is outdated and trite.
So on his televised singing debut as a trot singer, Dal-ho wears a mask out of shame. However, the strange strategy works; his voice rocks the nation and his album sales climb the music charts. His mysterious masked face had only increased the public's curiosity about the new star, doubling his popularity.
As Jang continues to train him, Dal-ho gradually begins to see the beauty of trot, thanks to the help of his colleagues, especially Cha Seo-yeon, an attractive trot singer with a strong passion for music but little talent. Dal-ho realizes that what's important is not which genre he chooses but whether he sings with all his heart. But he also undergoes an identity crisis, wondering if he would remain a star without the mask.