Film fans recognize Cha Tae Hyun as the lead of romantic favorites like My Sassy Girl and My Girl and I, but the popular actor has also dabbled in music and has two albums under his belt. Merging his acting and singing careers, Cha Tae Hyun gives his vocal cords a stretch in Highway Star, and in the most unlikely of ways – trot! Considered pop music for the middle-aged, trot is a melodramatic folk-style music genre akin to Japanese enka or country music. The genre has been making a popular resurgence in recent years with the crossover success of younger trot singers like Jang Yoon Jeong and boy band Super Junior jumping into the fray, and now it’s even getting the big screen treatment – complete with flashy suits, slicked-down hair, and dramatic stage postures. Based on a Saito Hiroshi novel, the film is co-directed by first-timers Kim Hyun Soo and Kim Sang Chan, who fill the movie with just enough humor and zest. With Cha Tae Hyun starring as a rocker-turned-trotter and support from comic veteran Lim Chae Moo and actress Lee So Yeon (Untold Scandal), Highway Star makes for a hilarious, foot-tapping journey.
Stuck in a small town, aspiring rocker Dal Ho (Cha Tae Hyun) makes a living reluctantly playing trot at local clubs. When small-time recording company head Jang (Lim Chae Moo) offers Dal Ho a contract, he eagerly grabs the opportunity, believing that his time has finally come. After he signs, however, Dal Ho discovers that he won’t be rocking after all. Instead, he will be singing trot. Unable to back out of his contract, Dal Ho takes to the stage behind a mask to hide his embarrassment, and ends up an overnight sensation. The wannabe rocker seems to have found his true calling, but doing music he dislikes. With the help of Jang and a certain cute trot singer (Lee So Yeon), maybe he’ll actually learn the passion of trot.
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