K-Drama Review: A Poor Girl Gets to Live in a Fancy House with Four Handsome Guys in ‘Cinderella and Four Knights’

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Cinderella Reboot Mixed with Comedy

Just because of the title, ‘Cinderella and Four Knights’, many people started to get curious about and really anticipate this drama. The buzz around the series only increased after the main and supporting leads were revealed one by one. The cast included well known names like Park So-dam, Jung Il-woo, Ahn Jae-hyun, Lee Jung-shin, Choi Min and Son Na-eun.

This drama is based on the popular novel with the same title, published in 2011, and was about four men and one woman who happen to live together during their 20s and aired on tvN from August 12 to October 1, 2016.

Cinderella and Four Knights: Review

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Eun Ha-won (Park So-dam) is a bright college student who dreams of becoming a teacher. Unfortunately, she loses her mother in a tragic accident, moves in with a cruel stepmother, and has to really work hard to earn her own money for her college tuition. One day, she helps an old man who turned out to be a billionaire, who would immediately appoint his main heir from among is three grandchildren, the rebel-minded loner, Kang Ji-woon (Jung Il-woo), playboy money machine, Kang Hyun-min (Ahn Jae-hyun), and the super-sweet singer Kang Seo-woo (Lee Jung-shin). As fate would have it, she moves into a gorgeous mansion with the three, equally gorgeous, men to change them and help the old man to determine the person who deserves to be the main heir of Kang family fortune.

Eun Ha Won finds herself in the middle of the hottest love quadrangle to ever befall a modern fairy tale princess. Rounding out the mansion’s chaebol lifestyle are Lee Yoon-sung (Choi Min), who serves as the cousins’ handsome bodyguard, and Park Hye-ji (Son Na-eun), a gorgeous girl who has her own interests in the Kang family and is not above manipulating one cousin to get closer to another.

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In the first episode, there is a scene where Kang Hyun-min asked Ha-won to act as his fiancee for three hours at his grandfather’s fifth wedding.  While there, Hyun-min announces to Grandpa that he brought his fiancee as his wedding present.

Seeing the situation, Ha-won sincerely apologizes for ruining Grandpa’s special day. She insists that he apologize immediately. He refuses, so Ha-won feels she has no choice but to twist his arm and force him to his knees. She pushes his head down and whips out her fist again to make him bow.

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The  scene above show the moment when Ha-won finally meets the four knights at the same time, after they’ve all found out that they will live together as their grandfather commands. From that day on, Ha-won started to live in the sky house with the four knights, and her first mission was to have all three of the cousins eat together.

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Ha-won wants to take her school outfit from Hyu-min, who’s joking around with her, and finds herself in Hyu-min’s arms. Hyu-min slowly lowers his head and kisses her, and suddenly he wakes up to reality and realized that it’s only his imagination.

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Ha-won is pausing for a moment when someone comes up behind her and gives her a half-hug from behind. She thought it was Hyu-min, then realized it was vreally Ji-woon. Ji-woon asked her why she belongs to Kang Hyun-min, of all people, and Ha-won is frozen in shock when Ji-woon turns her around to see Hyun-min staring at the two of them.

Hyu-min asked what Ji-woon was doing to his fiancée, and Ji-woon answered that he was trying to steal her. Hearing that, Hyun-min angrily grabs Ji-woon by his shirt, yanking him away from Ha-won.

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In another scene, everyone is outside and start a drinking game which comes to an end only Ha-won and Ji-woon leave, but both of them really get drunk in the meantime. Ji-woon is still trying to complete the “I Love You” game and makes a heart sign in many ways to Ha-won while saying “I Love You”, at first Ha-won responded by telling him to get lost, but after Ji-woon repeats it several times, Ha-won finally said “really?”, and they stared at each other for a moment, then kissed.

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Ji-woon takes Ha-won for a tractor ride and gives her a white day gift. When she opened it, there was nothing inside and Ji-woon tells her, “Can’t you see it? They’re my feelings for you.” Ji-woon looked her and declared that she was the one inside his heart, not Hye-ji and then he walked ftoward to her, and kissed her deeply.

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After they realized that they were childhood friends, in the middle of stairs, Ji-woon opens his hand to reveal young Ha-won’s mourning hair ribbon, and Ha-won holds out young Ji-woon’s mourning band. They smile at each other, then Ji-woon reaches out and pulls Ha-won in for a deep kiss.

in the end, they all became really close to each other. The three cousins who hated and didn’t care about each other don’t hate each other anymore and find their own happiness/

tHere is the official poster for ‘Cinderella and Four Knight’

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Cinderella and Four Knights: The Cast

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Cinderella

 

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Park So-dam as Eun Ha-won

A smart, athletic high school student, whose dream becomes a teacher. Since her mother died, she’s had a terrible home life because of ill-treatment from her stepmother and stepsister. In order to pay for her college tuition, she accepts an invitation to the Sky House and becomes entangled with the Kang cousins. She met Kang Ji-woon at their mother’s funerals, giving him her white ribbon hairpin and he gave her his white armband. Their friendship was a brief one, so they didn’t recognize each other when they were reunited 10 years later.

The Four Knights

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Jung Il-woo as Kang Ji-woon

The middle cousin, who went from an orphan living in poverty to being royalty overnight. Although he seems to be wild and rebellious on the outside, he is soft-hearted, extremely lonely, and sensitive on the inside. At first, he tries to get closer to Ha-won in order to protect Hye-ji, who likes Hyun-min. However, as he gets to know Ha-won, he gradually falls in love with her. He originally met Ha-won at his mother’s double funeral with Ha-won’s mother, and gave young Ha-won words of comfort and his white armband, while she gave him her white ribbon hairpin. The show implies that their friendship was a brief one, as they didn’t recognize each other when they were reunited 10 years later.

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Ahn Jae-hyun as Kang Hyun-min

The eldest cousin, an arrogant playboy, and a smooth-talker who’s used to getting whatever he wants in life. He firmly believes he can win any woman. At first, he appears to take an interest in Ha-won and pretends to be Ha-won’s fiance. However, he is still in love with Hye-ji, his childhood friend and his dead best friend’s sister, but he hides the fact and chose to push her away due to childhood trauma. As time goes on, he realizes his foolishness for pushing Hye-ji away and apologizes for what he did, returning to his first, true love. He has a troubled relationship with his mother due to her constantly pushing him to be the Haneul Group’s successor and for abandoning him when he was younger, only coming back to ask about his position.

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Lee Jung-shin as Kang Seo-woo

The youngest cousin, a popular singer-songwriter and top star. He is a really sweet, playful guy who is affectionate towards Ha-won, whom he starts developing feelings for. He gives up his first love as he gets to know about Ha-won and Ji-woon’s relationship. In the finale, it is hinted that he possibly ended up with Ja Young.

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Choi Min as Lee Yoon-sung

He is the son of Ji Hwa-ja, Chairman Kang’s fifth wife, but that doesn’t come out until the middle of the drama. He’s Chairman Kang’s secretary, and acts as bodyguard to the three Kang cousins and Ha-won. He treats Ha-won really well and helps her settle into her new environment at Sky House. He protects the Haneul Group by voting against the removal of Chairman Kang, going against his mother’s wishes.

Supporting Cast

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Son Na-eun as Park Hye-ji

She is a childhood friend of Hyun-min and has liked him since they were kids. A university student majoring in fashion design, she tried using Ji-woon’s crush on her to get closer to Hyun-min. She has a genuine and pure heart but is constantly at battle with it because of Hyun-min constantly pushing her away.

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Kim Yong-gun as Chairman Kang Jong-du

Chairman of Kang Group and the Kang cousins’ grandfather. He was the reason behind Ji-woon not having his father present in his life, because he forcibly ended their relationship, citing that people from different social classes should not be together. He almost does the same to Ji-woon and Ha-won, but relents and lets the couple be happy, not wanting history to repeat itself.

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Kim Hye-ri as Ji Hwa-ja

Chairman Kang’s fifth wife, and the mother of Yoon-sung. She schemed to take over the Haneul Group by taking advantage of Chairman Kang being in a coma, and briefly installed her son as the organization’s CEO. Her efforts were foiled by Kang Hyun-min convincing 52% of the board to vote against removing his grandfather, and also secretly by her own son. Chairman Kang divorces her, but relents and possibly remarries her again.

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Seo Hyun-chul as Eun Gi-sang

Ha-won’s father. He works as dump-truck driver at a construction site. He originally thought Eun Ha-won wasn’t really his daughter, and hated not only her but her deceased mother as well, thus kicking her out. His theory was disproved by Kang Young-jin, and he tried to make amends with his daughter again. He also moves his second wife and step-daughter into the same small room that Eun Ha-won slept in at the beginning of the series, as punishment for their cruel treatment of his daughter

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Choi Eun-kyung as Park Soo-kyung

Ha-won’s stepmother. She works at a spa and dreams of making her daughter rich and famous. She is eventually fired from her job for trying to offer her services as a spy to Madam Kang, in a vain and ill thought-out plan to have her daughter marry one of the Kang cousins and make her famous.

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Ko Bo-gyeol as Choi Yoo-na

Ha-won’s stepsister. She aims to be a top star one day and marry Kang Hyun-min. Her grades in school were poor, seeing as how she couldn’t get into University and is lazy and unemployed. She tries to switch her advances to Kang Seo-woo, but he rebuffs her by writing in her autograph book to “be nice to Eun Ha-won”. She’s childish and immature because her mother constantly spoils her and never made her lift a finger to work in her life, thus having to rely on her mother for everything.

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Cho Hye-jung as Hong Ja-young

Ha-won’s best friend, who works part-time at the cafe. She met Eun Ha-won when she couldn’t afford food. Ha won shared some of her own, almost-expired food and have been best friends ever since. She has a mother who works full time and a father who can’t work because he’s recovering from cancer treatment. She is a fan of Kang Seo-woo, and possibly becomes his girlfriend in the series finale.