Many factors can be attributed to "Doctor Prisoner"'s impressive rise in the ratings. Fashion sense is one of them. In addition to hairstyles, Namgoong Min's choice of suits has also come under scrutiny and is a popular Internet search term.
The comparison is most obvious when Namgoong Min's character, the suave, ambitious Yi-je, is contrasted with that of his fellow doctor, Min-sik. Played by Kim Byung-chul, we can see how the older man's outfit also implies ambition - but unlike Yi-je's, not quite so neatly.
Observe how Min-sik's more complex suit is often loose fitting, and suffers from wrinkles. Such details are only obvious upon closer inspection, but then that's the idea. People who seem strong are never as powerful they want us to think. Yi-je excels at finding weaknesses like this. It's a large part of what makes him a good doctor.
Yi-je's suit is, by contrast, very basic. It's only a two piece suit. But it's always painstakingly neat and well-pressed. If at times Yi-je seems like he's getting in over his head, the suit is a reminder that even Yi-je knows he has limits, and prioritizes doing one simple task extremely well over doing multiple tasks haphazardly, even at the cost of glory.
Indeed, this same concept is at work for the entire drama. Yi-je's rather counterintuitive plan to prove himself involves working in a prison, after all, which is not exactly a high prestige position, even if it is a dangerous one.
Written by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's News] Namgoong Min Well-suited for Role on "Doctor Prisoner""
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