That Winter, The Wind Blows is about a conman (Jo In Sung) who impersonates the late brother of a blind heiress in order to work his way into the family and make some much needed money.
I had been craving a good melodrama, and That Winter, The Wind Blows perfectly fit the bill. Everything about it looks and feels like a classic romance melodrama. An angsty love story, secrets galore, dramatic music, and beautiful cinematography. What more could I ask for?
Jo In Sung plays our conman Oh Soo. He’s had a difficult life that gets him mixed up with some shady people and deep in debt. And when a golden opportunity to make some money arises, he jumps at the chance. But he soon finds himself deeply conflicted as he falls in love with his target.
Would you believe that despite having watched kdramas for years that this was my first Jo In Sung drama? I know, pretty crazy. I’ve long heard about his charms and was definitely curious to see what all the excitement was about. And I have to say, I completely understand!
He has such a charm about him with this permanent smoldering look on his face. And his acting talents are impressive. He was able to portray Soo as such a multidimensional character. He’s confident and brash yet at the same time very lonely and vulnerable. He communicated so much emotion through his face, and I easily felt every bit of his pain and confliction.
This is a character that could have been difficult to bond with initially because of his manipulation, but a combination of the writing and Jo In Sung made Soo a very likable character. We were always able to see that he truly loved Young despite his deception. And eventually even that deception becomes a way to help her. Wonderful performance!
We then have Song Hye Kyo as Oh Young. Having been blind for years, she’s very dependent on those around her. But she doesn’t trust them and is incredibly lonely. Song Hye Kyo was great at depicting both Young’s coldness and and her vulnerability. She was a character that needed to grow, but in order to do that she needed to trust and love. It was a nice journey to watch.
Secretary Wang (Bae Jong Ok) is Young’s main caregiver and handles most of the company matters. She is an intimidating and no nonsense kind of woman. She’s really the main villain of the drama because of her very complicated and disturbing relationship with Young. There’s definitely more to her than meets the eye.
Kim Bum! I have a definite soft spot for him, and I completely loved him as Jin Sung. Of course, he looks as cool as can be! I mean, look at that awesome hair! Jin Sung is a loyal friend of Soo’s and is right there with him to help with his big con. Jin Sung is impulsive and quick tempered, but he is also cheerful with an infectious smile. Another great job by Kim Bum!
Moon Hee Sung (Jung Eun Ji) is also close with Soo and Jin Sung. She’s tough and in your face, but she has a good heart. While she does harbor some feelings for Soo, her connection with Jin Sung is undeniable.
I enjoyed the pairing of Jin Sung and Hee Sung. They had a comfortable rapport with each other right from the beginning. They add some levity to the drama, and I loved their bickering as well as their sweet moments. They are a very feisty couple that was both refreshing and fun.
I ended up thoroughly enjoying That Winter, The Wind Blows. It’s beautiful and dramatic in the best kind of way. There’s also nothing like a little fake brother and sister love to bring on the angst! Soo and Young have quite a few swoony and adorable couple moments throughout the drama as well as a very wonderful rapport.
Of course, you have to keep in mind that for the most part Soo is the one experiencing romantic love while Young is experiencing familial love for who she believes to be her brother. So all of those lovely romantic moments may or may not give you feels depending on which angle you look at if from. It’s a strange mix of being exciting yet disturbing.
I mostly enjoyed the bond that grew between the two. They were both lonely and needed someone. For him, he grew to love her and wanted to protect her. She was lonely and didn’t trust anyone and finally had the brother she longed for back in her life. So while they were each experiencing a different kind of love, their feelings were still very genuine.
I’m also a sucker for stories where the conman falls for his target. At first he plans to simply use her and move on, but once feelings develop, he finds himself conflicted and riddled with guilt as he becomes trapped between his wants and needs.
This also frequently lands him a very dangerous position as he begins to put her needs above his own. And of course, as the secrets begin to come out, the now very much loved target sees betrayal. What a terrible situation!
I love watching the character go through all of these stages, and Jo In Sung was fantastic at portraying Soo’s conflicted feelings and growing love. It really is a beautiful relationship that is full of complexity and growth.
I also really liked the wintery feel of the drama. It’s one of those dramas set right in the middle of the cold winter with everyone sporting cozy sweaters and long coats. There is snow everywhere throughout the drama, and many scenes utilize the beautiful winter scenery.
The drama is very lovely to look at throughout. This particular director really knows how to shoot beautiful scenes. But his one big negative is his fondness for lots of extreme close ups of the actors. There are so many of them! All of his dramas are like this (see Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Goryeo). At least everything else he does is wonderful so it mostly makes up for it. And the actors themselves are pretty nice to look at even in extreme close ups. So it’s not like it’s all that bad.
That Winter, The Wind Blows gave me such a beautiful and heart wrenching story. It’s exactly the kind of melo romance that I enjoy, and it delivered so many feels. With complex characters and incredibly difficult situations, we go on a journey of growth, tears, and joy. It’s a romance that I will definitely remember.
My Rating: 8/10
Click here for more Kdrama Reviews.
Sign Up to receive email updates of kdrama reviews, casting news, trailers, and more.