Friend, Our Legend is a drama adaptation of the 2001 gangster classic film "Friend" both by the same director, Kwak Kyung Taek. This drama is a gritty, brilliant, star-studded tale of four childhood friends who grow up to become enemies and bitter rivals. Hyun Bin plays a hardened mobster; a role legendized by Jang Dong Gun in the film.
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This is the first time ever I drop a drama because it is too good. It sounds like a paradox, so I'll do my best to clarify my reasons.
- Overall 9
- Story 8
- Acting/Cast 10
- Music 10
- Rewatch Value 9
As I said, this is an amazing drama. It's based upon a true story, which explains why I find it hard to rate the plot. The way it is narrated is quite unique: it uses the technique of flash forwards, making the viewer aware from the very beginning of the destiny of basically each character. This style can be very confusing at the beginning, to the point viewers may think they are watching the wrong episode; once established, though, it becomes highly intriguing, and one of the strong points of this drama.
of depriving the viewer of the thrill to know what's going to happen, this method excite the curiosity to find out HOW it happened, and why.
If there were a separate rate for direction and editing, I would give them both a 10 without hesitation.
The acting is stellar. I'd go as far as to say that it's more suitable to an essay movie than a television drama. As a matter of fact, this is by the same director of the 2001 movie.
The cast is so convincing and the acting so intense, one truly believes to be watching the real story, instead of a screen revisitation of it. Characters' changes are portrayed subtly and slowly, giving the viewer time to understand and empathize.
I found myself talking to the screen more than once, praying one or the other of the characters would not make that choice which, I knew, would change the course of their lives forever.
The music is poignant and moving. Combined with the beautiful photography and the outstanding acting, it brought me more than once to the brink of tears - and I don't cry easily, if ever.
So why did I drop it?
Because I was empathizing too much, and it pained me. By the middle I was so involved in this story I would feel restless and anxious. Mind you, the show has got many sweet, touching and funny moments. I just couldn't take all the emotions anymore.
It is my intention to go back to this drama in future, maybe after a strong dose of surreal/hilarious/ridiculous shows, like a camel storing water before a long journey.
Hence the very high re-watch value.
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