Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People (2017)

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xXabsintheXx_feane
34 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
May 16, 2017
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 8.5
After finishing Rebel, it feels a little difficult to organize my thoughts and write a review that truly honors this wonderful drama.

I went into this, not knowing what to expect. There are many sageuks that sound promising but disappoint you utterly. And then there are those who start slow but grow to be one of your dearest gems. Rebel definitely belongs to the latter. (At this point I also have to read more admit that I still haven't watched Six Flying Dragons. But I will definitely catch up with that one soon.)

Many people know of the story about Hong Gil Dong and there's already another drama addressing this character. But I had no idea. That's why it's even more funny that while I was watching this, it constantly reminded me of Robin Hood. Thanks to my comparison someone told me that it's indeed based on that legend - or rather it's basically the Korean version.

So, why did I like this drama so much?

1. First of all the story combined with its characters. I always have to mention that together because one part doesn't work without the other. I do think the story is pure gold. Well, nothing new, of course, but the way it's written and the way its characters are acting and growing, left me speechless so many times while following every new turn of events.

What I also really loved was that you will never be left in too much agony. Of course, this drama has its sad, its heartbreaking moments, too. But despite their misery, I never felt uncomfortable or frustrated about it. Why? Because every event had its reasoning. It was such a well thought-out net of actions and inevitable consequences that made me unable to be angry at somebody or something. I did hate a bunch of people, but the writing managed to make even those bastards palpable and well-founded.

The best part though was the close follow-up of injustice and justice. You might feel angry at some point but right the next minute you feel relieved and satisfied. It's rewarding (for you and its characters equally).

2. Camera. The way it was shot. Cinematography.
There are so many beautiful scenes, not only of the people but also of landscapes and important scenes that just underline the impression of each and every moment.

3. Love for details.
That's one point I cherish deeply because many dramas don't care about those things. If I find a show that does, it immediately rises alot in my favor. Rebel does those beautiful details. And what I'm talking about are not those things that are pointed out by the camera to be sure the viewers get the meaning. No, I'm talking about those things that are not pointed out and that you only notice if you pay enough attention to the story.

4. Acting.
Magnificent through and through. From leads to supports to guest appearances.
The first one to mention here is Kim Sang Joong. His portrayal of Ah Mo Gae is perfection. You see him loyal, you see him weak, you see him angry, you see him desperate and you see him loving. And! You see him strong and determined, rising from the bottom. He's smart, he knows how to talk to the people and being a leader. KSJ's Ah Mo Gae paves a large path for this drama and is the first step to be sucked into this story and not being able to leave again.

After him, of course, Yoon Gyun Sang who plays Hong Gil Dong. As I said before I haven't watched SFD yet, so I didn't know what his acting is like. But man, this guy can act! It is such a pleasure to see a well written character and an actor who can pull off such a role. Showing the character's different stages, his struggles and growing of mind. What amazed me the most was how he was able to make me believe that Hong Gil Dong is indeed Ah Mo Gae's son. There's this special thing he does with his voice (again one of those details)... The way he starts talking after awhile - like father like son.

Kim Ji Suk. Maybe his best role so far. Playing such a complex character as the king and doing such a stunning job with that task, is definitely something not everybody can manage.

Shim Hee Seop aka Gil Dong's hyung. The hidden treasure and such a surprise. Haven't seen him before but he nailed this performance. Never loved a side character more.

Chae Soo Bin, Lee Ha Nui... Two great actresses playing two completely different yet marvelous women. I don't want to let out any actor/actress, but it would be too boring to list them all. I still have to mention how visible their efforts were and how they added to a more perfect overall picture.

5. The romance.
Slowly, slowly................................. and then deeply satisfying and vigorous.

5. Music.
Isn't it rewarding to watch something interesting and then the music starts and within seconds captures you and never lets you go again? Rebel has such a haunting score and soundtrack. It fits in every scene, strengthens or lessens every respective moment and mood.

If you want to enjoy a well written drama with outstanding actors and characters, you should definitely go for this one. Highly recommended.
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MiraiArtx
14 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
May 17, 2017
  • Overall 10
  • Story 9.5
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 9.5
  • Rewatch Value 9.0
It's not blood that tells you who your family is. Family is the people who will fight alongside you, care for you even more so than for themselves and will put everything at stake for you. That is what this heart wrenching, sometimes tragic, beautiful drama teaches us. It's a deeply satisfying watch that shows you what loyalty truly is.

The story is deeply moving and will affect you in more ways read more than you thought possible. It begins while Hong Gil Dong is a child, and moves along through the trials he faces throughout both his childhood and his adult life. The writers really know how to inflict an emotional response on their audience whether it be standing up and cheering for the good guys or ugly sobbing into a blanket. This drama is strongly written, with many impactful and symbolic scenes. It is story of the revolt against the rich that makes you pour (no pun intended) your heart and soul into rooting for Hong Gil Dong and his group of rebels. The bond between the rebels is thicker than even blood, and their loyalty towards one another is without a doubt one of the most intensely heartwarming things I've seen. It begins with backstory that may seem very slow, but if you stick with it, it will make the story that much more powerful later on. That said, I've taken half a point off (9.5/10) because a handful of episodes do have a slower pace, but it definitely did not drag or become uninteresting.

The acting in this drama was phenomenal. This drama made me believe, and I think that's the most crucial part of it. The casting was absolutely perfect. The child actors looked very much like their adult counterparts and had acting abilities that were well beyond their age. Kim Sang Joong gave such a raw performance as Ah Mo Gae and perfectly captured the essence of his character. I had watched Yoon Gyun Sang in multiple other roles, but this role is where he truly shines. I believed in his motives, his emotions, and as another reviewer mentioned, the fact that he is Ah Mo Gae's son. I would also like to mention Kim Ji Suk who did wonderfully as the tyrannical king and brought a lot more substance to this role than any of his previous works.

The music in this drama is very special to me. The OSTs are not the typical kdrama OST, rather the songs sound very traditional. They add so much emotion to the scenes, and truly captured the spirit of the rebels.

The romance, I will talk about as a separate topic. It starts off slow, and the chemistry between them is minimal, but as it progresses it will hit you like an arrow (a reference). It is so intense and pure and overflowing in believability. Not going to lie, their romance has made me shed tears.

It is definitely a drama to rewatch and will remain as one of the most memorable ones. This has been a powerful and emotional journey that will stay with me for a long time. I think it's very underrated, and if you're wondering whether to watch this, I wholeheartedly recommend that you do!
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wonhwa
7 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
27 days ago
  • Overall 7.0
  • Story 6.5
  • Acting/Cast 8.0
  • Music 9.0
  • Rewatch Value 4.0
Rebel, as its title suggests, seethes with righteous indignation at the Joseon era’s brutal caste system, and it does a better job than most dramas of showing the ways that people internalize and reinforce their own oppression. Caught up in the way things are, characters are often believably slow to grasp the way things could be and to fight back against the structures that constrain them. The show also features a strong read more ensemble cast, with exceptional performances by Kim Ji Suk as the unstable King Yeonsangun and Honey Lee as Jang Nok Su, and stirring recreations of traditional Korean music and dance. Viewed as a cultural celebration and social manifesto, it’s compelling.

The plot mechanics, on the other hand, are less effective. There are tons of intriguing set-ups that never pay off in meaningful ways, and the story takes an awfully long time to build to anything approaching actual rebellion. It also introduces a supernatural element that’s too literal to be read as symbolic but too underdeveloped to serve as a unifying mythology. It ends up feeling like a distraction from the very real issues that the characters confront – an easy way to get the characters out of trouble (hey look, super powers!) without serving any broader thematic purpose. In the end, the show is solid, but I wish its dramatic revelations were as engaging as its revolutionary ideas.
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Ryena11
3 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
5 days ago
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 10
I would say what a beautiful story. The story did move me, not too emotional or dramatic. Every casts carried a wonderful role. The storyline was amazing. I love the problem-solutions scenes.

I love all the leading roles & supporting roles. They have shown an amazing talent.

What I love the most was the relationship between the Hongs family. I would love to have that kind of relationship; how they take care read more of each other & being a loyal brothers-sisters. A wonderful drama thus I gave a perfect 10.

If you kinda hesitate to watch this. Please DON'T! you would love it. Highly recommended.
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Aspa
2 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
10 days ago
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 9.5
  • Music 9.5
  • Rewatch Value 6.0
Let me start of by saying that historical dramas are NOT my cup of tea. It's a hit or miss for me and most of the times I end up dropping them. Why? Well, its filled with hanboks and same palace locations, except the scenery scenes it can become pretty dull in my eyes. So, I focus more on the story and acting in historical dramas and if that's not enough to read more captivate me nothing else will. I was glad rebel Hong was one of these exceptions.

Story: The flow of this drama is just perfectly right. Not slow-paced not fast-paced. It's enough to make you sympathize with the characters root for them, understand them, hate them, love them. It allows you to feel all these spectrum of emotions: sad, laugh, getting angry, excited, smile, tear up, cry, make your heart tighten and all with the right speed.

Acting: I will mention a few actors here but almost everyone delivered and made their character feel alive. Yoon Gyun Sang our protagonist, knew him from playing the older brother in pinocchio, I'm happy he got this role he did amazing! I must admit his height made some of the fighting scenes seem a bit awkward : he really seems like a big bear compare to everyone else xD But at the same time I think his height fitted his role perfectly. Kim Ji Suk aka the king, oh man you could just tell from his eyes if he felt disgusted, twisted, betrayed, satisfied and his voice was such a king's voice; deep and trembling. I recognized that he played a funny comical character in 'Another miss oh' after a few episodes that's how good his transforming was. Kim Sang Joong our hero's dad: if you've ever watched a drama casting this actor it's hard to forget his presence or character. He's captivating and roots in your soul in everything that he does simply breathtaking acting abilities. Chae Soo Bin our female protagonist, she was good, her character wasn't that special at the beginning but she made me like her and not find her annoying (I usually find female leads annoying they cry and whine a lot, I'm happy she had a strong vibe and wasn't a weakling). A small mention to the bad old lady, a character whom I despised the moment she appeared on screen. I wanted to get inside my monitor and kill, she made me hate her so much I cant even begin to describe, good job there xD

OST: Havent heard such music before. It felt like traditional korean songs travelling from a thousand years ago. And that's how it should be right? A historical drama needs historical music not sounds that feel out of the ordinary or their surroundings. Meaningful music, it was like this show was created for this music and not the other way around.

This show is not a masterpiece, which drama is? But has a solid story with great actors that will draw you in. Give it a chance^^
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Linky
2 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
May 19, 2017
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 8.5
If you like historical dramas, this one won't disappoint you. It's well paced, the writing is solid and the story doesn't let you down for 30 episodes. There is a heartwarming romance, rousing action and heroes that you can really route for. It's about family ties and loyalty, camaraderie and standing up to fight for what's right - no matter the cost and no matter how bleak your chances.

Yoon Gyun Sang read more is really good as the Gil Dong. He is believable as the Mighty Child with superhuman strength that evolves into a rebel, but is equally believable when his character is beaten down and vulnerable. Kim Sang Joong is commanding as Amogae - Gil Dong's father- who lived most his life as a slave but realizes his strength and spirit. Watching him at times gave me goosebumps. I particularly loved the father-son relationship between him and both the adult Gil Dong and the young Gil Dong.
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Serendipity92x
1 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
May 19, 2017
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 9.0
  • Rewatch Value 7.0
Introduction:

When I heard this drama was first being made I need to be honest but I really didn't care. Why? I've never been the biggest fan of Robin Hood/ Hong Gil Dong. I couldn't even finish the first episode of the Hong Drama's version. It wasn't my cup of tea. Then the drama was finally being aired and again I'm going to be honest I didn't even think to give it read more a chance. A part of me wanted to because of the leading actor Yoon Gyun Sang. I have quite the crush on the man and I hope with the success this drama brings it will lead him into many future leading roles. Weeks go by and the drama is coming to an end but it wasn't until I watched two videos on YouTube for the leading couple (Gil Dong/Ga Ryeong) and they seriously made me see another side of this drama. A part of me thought it would be Robin Hood type action, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor etc. What I saw was a beautiful romance blossoming and I had to at least try it and see how it goes.

Story:

What I expected from the story was completely different to what the story actually was and it was so much better. I liked how it wasn't just stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. This drama wasn't just about a gang of thieves stealing riches and giving them to the less unfortunate. This was about a group of people who wanted a better world for their nation and fellow citizens. They were tired of people being trampled on because of their social status and when you add in a mad king it makes the story even more interesting. This drama featured a lot of themes and all of the themes blended in perfectly to make an awesome drama. Not only was it action packed but it was funny, heartwarming, heart wrenching, romantic and overall and very memorable story with a fantastic group of characters.

Acting/Cast:

ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC. The people who brought this drama to life did an amazing job casting their characters from major to minor ones. Everybody fit well into the story and there were many occasions I was devastated when somebody died or something bad happened to them. I was emotionally invested into these people's lives and they made me forget my own reality in the 30 hours I watched them on the screen and isn't that what dramas are there for. Yoon Gyun Sang did a tremendous job on being Hong Gil Dong and I will be very surprised if this doesn't open up many exciting opportunities for him. He was able to express a wide variety of emotions that would pull at your heartstrings. He literally showed that he is capable of pulling off many types of roles and I would love to see him be the leading man again in his next work... A melodrama or romantic comedy would be perfect. The last and only time I saw Chae Soo Bin who plays Song Ga Ryeong (Gil-dong's leading lady) was in Love in the Moonlight and I really enjoyed who presence in that drama despite her having affections for the Crown Prince. She was the type of secondary lead character who showed that you don't have to be evil and manipulative when you can't have the man of choosing. She really out shined herself in this drama and I will look forward to her future works. My other mentions goes to the Hong clan and the mad king played by Kim Ji Suk.

Music:

I found the music to be very fitting for the type of drama it was. The songs were very folk like and they belonged in that era. Yeah, we didn't receive a new song by Ali who does perfect songs for historicals but I feel like if a modern voice filled the background of this show the drama would have lost some of it's appeal. There are a few songs I will probably listen to such as the theme song for the leading couple but that's about it.

Re-watch value:

I can't say I'll watch this drama again by myself because their story has been told but if anybody around me becomes interested I would certainly recommend and introduce this drama to them. Unfortunately I doubt that'll ever happen as I'm quite the alien in my community and I don't know anybody who either knows about Asian drama or who cares about them in the slightest. I will however re-watch certain scenes again and again.

Conclusion:

This drama gets full stars from me and it has landed a place on my favourites list and it will forever remain there. I experienced so many emotions during the 30 hours I spent watching this drama and I'm thankful to the people who introduced this drama to me through their videos. If you are like me and you're not a big fan of Robin Hood/activist type stories please search on YouTube for any type of footage to give yourself an idea on the feel of the show and watch a couple of episodes before you make your verdict on the drama. It's only the start of 2017 but a part of me thinks it may be my favourite.
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Jessica
0 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
10 days ago
  • Overall 10
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 9.5
Rebel was right where it needed to be in story and plot, but it absolutely excelled in characters, acting, and OST.
To establish the perspective of this review, I'm a complete sageuk/historical junkie (scarlet heart, orange marmalade, queen inhyuns man, rooftop prince, splash splash love, the moon that embraces the sun, the princess weiyoung(c), saimdang, rebel, nirvana in fire, to name quite a few in my list) and will review this show read more both standalone and within the context of this genre.
The story isn't especially surprising, but that's what I liked about it. Modern television has been pushed to an almost ridiculous level of pursuing thrill factor that other aspects of shows lose their luster. Rebel isn't overly ambitious in its writing, but that allows it to shine as a whole. Of course, it is indeed gripping and refreshing, but that is due to the attention to detail and fleshed out characters. Rather than seeking originality through complete innovation of this genre, it finds originality in the writer's care for the story rather than pandering to an audience. Weaker points of the story would get into spoilers, but let's just say that there could have been more episodes (surprising because I usually call for less) and that while the antagonists were good, they weren't my favorite.
Now the acting- this was just phenomenal. Kim Sang Joon's Ah Mo Gae is arguably my most favorite portrayal in a historical drama. Ever. His irresistible charm pulls in viewers and his control of emotion makes him like the most human character. I'll cut the character/acting section short because I'll sound repetitive but tldr every character was unique, properly developed, and absolutely charming in their own ways.
The music. Oh my god. I just found out the OST was on spotify and have had it on repeat since. Before we start, I must say that I take OST very seriously- it's just as important as cinematography, casting, everything. Rebel has a distinct and unified sound that matches its story. It ranges from your typical heart-wrenching ballad and love song that every kdrama has, to the intriguing music of the palace. But what really takes the cake is the section of the OST that has the traditional sound more akin to what common people actually sang and still do sing. Fiery tracks like If Spring Comes are what get me excited and even sing along while watching. Definitely 10/10
Overall this drama is absolutely my top sageuk because it deals in complexity with great care. I live for nuance, and most of my favorite media involves ambiguity. No plot spoilers, but I'm going to say that Rebel somehow pulls off complexity without ambiguity and excessive nuance, which made it work as a sageuk really well. Definitely recommend, and I will be posting a spoiler-included review later on my blog!
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Unnursvana
0 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
19 days ago
  • Overall 8.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 6.5
I feel like Rebel managed to tick a lot of the boxes that I like in these sageuk dramas. Really gorgeous hanboks, great fight-scenes, scenery, and a really good soundtrack that I can add to my writing playlist. But that alone doesn’t make a good show worth the while.

Often there is also a very specific atmosphere surrounding sageuks and other period shows. For me they tend to much more about heroism read more than modern shows, which I enjoy. But I felt like Rebel did manage to do much more than that.

The drama talks a lot about the ideology of the Joseon era, about these different social classes and some have even pointed out that it was critiquing some things that are happening in politics today. But while I did appreciate and enjoy that, that wasn’t really what I took, liked the most about the drama. I was more intrigued by these character-journeys that the drama took us on.

I really enjoyed how almost all of these characters got to be very layered individuals. They were not just the hero, or just the evil gisaeng, or the old lady that is just there to cause the hero some trouble. They got to be more than that. And Hong Gil Dong didn’t just wake up one day and decide to be the hero of the people.

Sure, a lot of the side-characters didn’t go through much personal development and kinda just went with the flow of the story, but all of the main characters, who the story revolves around, get to have some say in the story and have some meat on their bones.

Even the women, which usually get the short end of the stick in these shows, got to be ambitions and not always nice, but the drama did a very good job in explaining why they were doing the things that they did. As well as what had led to that. And they weren’t just good or just evil.

Having the bad guys in these shows sort off simple really works, sometimes. Like in Marvel movies, where the story really isn’t about them. But that wasn’t the case with Rebel. Like I mentioned before; these people have ambitions and flaws, and all sorts of things, and I feel like the shows does a good job explaining that and not really shame them for it.

Some of the characters show up and you think that they are rather nice, but then it turns out that they aren’t as nice as they seem. I really liked that in Six Flying Dragons, and I really liked that here.

Since Rebel is a very character-driven story, it can get a bit slow at times. Since the characters are moving the story along, appose to the story moving the characters along.

The first part of the story is more about Hong Gil Dong’s father and it setting up a lot of things. He was a very interesting, gray-like, character. And when the narrative shifts to the main hero, Hong Gil Dong, the show changed a bit. It became a little slow at first, before picking up the pace again.

I would say that the middle part of the drama was probably the weakest part of the show, for me. I felt like it was a bit too slow. It lost me a bit, or I wasn’t as invested as I was at the beginning. But around ep. 20 (I want to say) the story really hooked me again.

And looking back, I can appreciate the slow-build of the middle a lot more. There was a lot of great buildup going on there that just exploded in the most exciting way toward the end. It constantly kept me on my toes. It was great.
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Rule
1 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
May 23, 2017
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 9.0
  • Rewatch Value 9.0
Griped me from the first episode. Thrilling, intriguing, exciting and enjoyable.
The acting is superb, especially of the evil king, he did the best job, I've seen him in many plays but this one is defiantly his best work
The rest did a wonderful job too. All characters portrayed their work so good that you loved the good and hated the evil ones with a vengeance.
saw and then re saw with read more my husband again and enjoyed both times equally.
Sageuk lovers don't miss on this one.
Overall: highly recommended.Enjoy!
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E2012
1 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
May 17, 2017
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 9.0
  • Rewatch Value 9.0
Great drama from the beginning to the end !!!!!! The cast did a wonderful job. Tissue was needed for some of the episodes.
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Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People
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Alternative Titles

  • Native title:

    역적: 백성을 훔친 도적
  • Also Known as:

    Yeokjuk: Baeksungeul Hoomchin Dojuk; 역적 홍길동; Rebel Hong Gil Dong; Yeokjeok Honggildong; Traitor Hong Gil Dong;

Details

  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

    Drama
  • Episodes:

    30
  • Aired:

    Jan 30, 2017 to May 16, 2017
  • Aired On:

    Monday, Tuesday
  • Network:

    MBC
  • Duration:

    60 min.

Statistics

  • Score:

    8.7 (scored by 913 users)
  • Ranked:

    #71
  • Popularity:

    #299