Jung Se Ro is a hardworking young man who works multiple part-time jobs while studying for the foreign civil service exam. His father is a petty criminal and a con man, and their family lives a transient life because of his deals, currently staying in Thailand.
Despite wanting an honest life for himself, Se Ro's dreams are shattered on the night of a glamorous jewel exhibition opening in Bangkok. His father dies in an incident involving stolen diamonds, and because Se Ro was at the scene when another man was shot, he is accused and arrested for murder. After spending five years in a Thai prison, upon his release he takes up a new identity and becomes a con man just like his father. He joins a ring of jewel smugglers led by Park Kang Jae, with whom he shares a brotherly bond. Kang Jae was raised like a son by Se Ro's father, who taught him all the tricks of the trade. But Kang Jae has harbored a lifelong jealousy towards the real son, which is stoked further when the woman he loves, smuggling accomplice Seo Jae In also falls for Se Ro.
Then Se Ro meets Han Young Won, the cold-hearted heiress to a jewelry brand. She was madly in love with her fiancé Gong Woo Jin, and had closed herself off after his death. But Se Ro draws her out into the world, while Young-won gives him a reason to live when he had all but given up. They fall in love, not knowing that the man Se Ro was accused of killing had been Young Won's fiance. His love for her becomes his punishment, but also his salvation.
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And so it goes with Beyond the Clouds, whose central theme is just this. Don’t mistake the drama for a common revenge yarn; though payback might be a driving force for many characters, it’s hard to call it “The Point.” Viewers should instead expect a classy, fatalistic romance, complete with slow-burning melodrama. Will these two deeply traumatized people fall in love despite their cruel circumstances? If they do, will a romantic connection hurt even more—or heal both, becoming their silver lining? That’s more “The Point,” and also the element that works most beautifully.
As to the revenge aspect, it’s fine if sometimes messy. I never fully believed or enjoyed the con-man angle. The “big bad” felt one-dimensional, as did his motivations, while other early villains were the same or even slightly unnecessary. That said, the dangerous atmosphere and situations created by their influence was excellent. It’s an odd combination, but it works.
Yoon Kye Sang stars as Jung Se Ro, a gentle man whose experiences have left him unpredictable and angry. This actor shines in Beyond the Clouds, handsome and magnetic. He grabbed my attention as if grabbing my head with both hands, so striking was his performance. Together with leading lady Han Ji Hye, he shared sparkling chemistry. Ji Hye enchants as Han Young Won, playing emotional and romantic scenes well. However, I often noticed her eyes open too wide too often, or glued firmly to the floor. The character can be meek on occasion, but these mannerisms were not strong choices at all.
Though I wasn't crazy about the whole con-man thing, Jo Jin Woong presents well as complicated Park Kang Jae. He’s the most believable and human of the seedy bunch, even the best connected to the main story. Tearful scenes seem to be his forte; he’s fantastic at them. A special mention is reserved for Kim Young Ok, probably the best “grandmother” actress ever. She made me cry so many times it isn’t funny.
Both cinematography and music embrace an elegant, almost classic feel. Early scenes in Thailand are a feast for the eyes, though the rest of the drama delights as well. Songs were well-chosen and interspersed to optimize emotional effect. Unlike in other melodramas, I never grew bored of any of it. Some great vocals include “Whale” (Zitten), “Sin,” (V.O.S), and “The Full Sun,” (Yang Pa).
It's a revenge story and while watching I really felt the angst of the characters and it was quite clear why they were holding on to their feelings and what motivation there was for their actions. This also showed how in life there is never a simple love or hate and how the human character is so complex you can never predict how a person is goinig to act on what he is presented with.
The acting was point on without anyone overacting. Everyone was so natural in portraying their characters. I really enjoyed getting to know the characters and getting involved in their lives.
The music was very good and was fit for the different scenarios.
I am not sure whether I will be able to re-watch this at once because it was quite a tear jerker. However I know that in the future it is one I would not hesitate to watch again.