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The story will develop in each chapter showing the thrilling story in which a mysterious organization, creates a game called RUN and has people running for their lives as they are being watched through cameras and phones.
Cast & Credits
Which means I’ve watched the drama raw, and since my knowledge of Japanese is not fluent enough to be remarkable, my judgment is based upon cinematography, acting and what I comprehended of the dialogues. It also means that if you understand some basic Japanese (and Korean, here and there) you may do the same and enjoy the drama – as I did – despite the lack of subtitles.
The main idea is that of a group of people who have to run and reach a destination in a given time. Not completing the task means death. While the running game makes for the general plot of the 9 episodes, the characters and arcs involved are three. So we can say this is a drama made of 3 separate chapters of 3 episodes each. There is no real need to review them separately, since the thrill to know how the dangerous game goes on is well balances in all three chapters.
I am, however, very partial to Renn Kiriyama, no need for me to deny it. He’s so ridiculously handsome in this, he could have delivered the white pages and I’d have been besotted anyway.
This isn't the only reason why the 1st chapter is my favourite, though. The first three episodes move at a faster pace than the others and being the introductory ones they also set the mood. While I loved the drama for the first half, I thought some performances by the end weren't exceptional and even the solution of the quiz was a little too predictable to be completely satisfactory.
This is why I have lowered the score for both story and acting by a point.
The idea of random people recruited by some grey eminence to play a deadly game is obviously reminiscent of Liar Game, but I’d say all similarities end here.
While Liar Game was made great by the general theatrical touch, including acting, music and costumes, RUN60 is pervaded with a sense of reality which is brilliant and yet quite disquieting. There is no super clever hero who wins all battles, just a group of people who do their best to survive. The run is also the occasion for their personality to unfold and for their unsolved business to be somehow concluded. In a sense, the act of running is a metaphor of those people making a brief journey into themselves.
The villains are known from the very beginning, at least that's what the viewer is lead to believe. The "Pied Piper" behind it all remains unknown until the very last chapter (but hints to the culprit are scattered throughout the whole show, if you're attentive enough).
The music is terrific, with just the right intensity at the right moment.
The very high re-watch value is due to my hope I will be able to watch this drama with subs one day – possibly in this century. I know I should wait for them before facing the movie, but I’m afraid patience is not my strongest trait and if you’ll excuse me I’m now going to watch RUN60 – Game Over.
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