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The acting was great and, in my opinion, The Lover is one of the best acted drama out there. My biggest problem with the show was how a lot of scenes were stretched to the point they lost all the fun and made me feel like "okay, I get it. Just move on already". And some couples were given waaay more screen time than the others. There were definitely the main couples and the side character couples, which took a bit away from the show. I would have liked it if all couples had the equal standing.
The Lover has a high re-watch value because it's honestly fun and heartwarming. There are only 12 episodes and that¨s great, the show doesn't get any time to get draggy.
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The beginning scene and the ending scene are both too long and repetitive, to the point that they have no desired impact. This movie is about a rise and fall of an actor, so it makes a lot of sense to have these almost identical scenes to complete the message. But that theater scene is just way too vague and boring and it barely makes any sense. How I understood it was that Oh Young was talking to himself not the woman. In the beginning the director of the play told him that if he doesn't want to acknowledge his co actress then he should go talk to a mannequin doll that is... to himself.
He talks to the doll, imagines it to be the actress, he wants to go to the beginning and start over on a better note. "I wish we could go to how we were." He is talking to himself, he wants to go back to being himself and get free from the role he had been trapped into. The actress says in the beginning "If we get a chance, I hope we could do it again." So in his imagination he looks for her because he believes that she can help him. She also fell from her position and ended up on the stage of that theater. She was starting over and he was only starting. That's what Oh Young realizes only at the end of the movie when he mentally goes back to that stage. The script is about love, but Oh Young doesn't talk about love, he talks about himself and his own desires. "Getting back together and loving someone" is all about getting himself back to reality and learning to love himself. He finally sees himself in that woman. "I'm not that bad, see?" he tries to convince himself. That's why in the end he finally gets his role right, he finally understands what acting is all about. Not losing yourself but being what you are.
Oh Young is a narcissist and he has no control of himself whatsoever, when he gets into a role he really gets into it for good. After he leaves the theater he gets to play gangsters on the big screens and he becomes that gangster because he gets too immersed into his roles. His only role models were the cocky actors, show business gangsters, and his manager who tries to whore him around. Oh Young gets out of control and lives his life like there are no consequences of anything he does, he rapes women and hangs out with questionable people. He is bad yet I was left wishing that his character would have been darker. His only link to reality is his mother but since he Lee Joon doesn't get deep enough into the darkness the contrast between Oh Young who talks to his mother on Oh Young who has turned bad, that contrast is not strong enough.
At some point, Oh Young meets the gangster who almost makes him sell his life for something scary, Oh Young's cousin saves him, but apparently that was not enough for him to grasp the reality. By the way, notice that the gangster man was the only one who actually respected Oh Young, he is the only one who acknowledges the boy after his fall.
No matter what, Oh Young loves acting and even after falling down he gets up and starts over, even if that means becoming a punching bag again. But now we see that other new actor has become cocky too, immersed in his own fame. Everyone falls in this movie, everyone goes up and down except those on the top, the gangsters and the directors, they stay at their respective places. Actors are just tools to them.
For sensitive viewers, this movie might be too hard of a nut to crack. A lot of people were shocked that Lee Joon's character actually raped someone. Get a grip people, this is a movie about those kind of issues. Pay attention to the summary and warnings. Overall, I fount the script too messy. This film tried to be very artistic but tried too much thus failed miserably. The message was displayed too vaguely but not vaguely enough and at the same time too blatantly but too vaguely to be gritty in a cool way, there was no sensibility whatsoever. So instead of being cool the movie turned out lame. Nothing had an impact and everything just melted into a dull draggy boredom.
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The characters are consistent. I like how they are classified into certain types with certain typical character traits. The acting is really superb but the only one who disappointed me was Jung Chae Yeon. I understand her character was special but her acting was way too stiff.
I know that I will miss the characters of this drama the most. The show was not turbulent or dramatic and I will miss that calm atmosphere a lot. It was still interesting enough to watch episode by episode and I didn't really feel bored while watching.
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This is a story about a man and only about him, strictly from his perspective. It's as if the movie was written for So Ji Sub and if you are his fan this is a must see. But then again, if the main actor was someone else I would say the same thing. There is nothing special about the plot, but it's well thought with no holes or loose ends, the script and directing are flawless, acting is great too. There are no over the top bloody fighting scenes, no gore, no bloodbaths. Alongside the action there is a wonderful love story, it brings a certain balance.
The ending reminds me of a computer game, that's when I realized that this movie is soulless. It didn't stir any emotions in me, the plot is predictable and if you have watched enough Korean gangster movies you will guess the plot twist too. But as mentioned before, acting and scenery are superb so it's still worth watching just for the fun.
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The beginning was slow and boring, the show picked up around ep 5 (that's when it was actually really good) and the excitement lasted until ep. 10 or so, then the show turned flat like a pancake and only kept flattening towards the ending. The two last episodes were completely ridiculous, the writer had no idea about DID whatsoever! The chemistry between main characters died somewhere along the way. This is weird because Seo Jin and Hana had chemistry, but Robin and Hana didn't; they were like two children playing together.
I didn't have much expectations, but for Hyun Bin this was a failure. I think he did great job with Seo Jin but perhaps two personalities were too much for him to handle. Robin turned out to be weird (with overacted expressions) and boring, an extremely dull character with no chemistry with the camera or any other characters. Han Ji Min was quirky at first but soon lost her charm and transformed into a woman of one face. Sung Joon had enough charisma and a powerful aura, but unfortunately he didn't have enough space to shine and suffered from repetitive lines and scenes (and bad directing). What a waste of talent. He is worth so much more than this.
Han Sang Jin pulled it through the whole drama with guaranteed brilliance. His character was interesting, he felt and looked like a man who worked in an amusement park. Sang Jin was the only one who truly brought his warmingly silly character to life and he really shone. Shin Eun Jung had the same dull face throughout the drama and her character, despite being smart and having potential, was ruined with poor script.
All side characters except the secretary Know were completely meaningless and the pathetic little love triangle on the side was purely a filler. Okay, I admit that Detective Na vs Seung Yeon was quite a fun ride and there were not enough scenes of them together. But the cops in general were way too stupid.
Yeah, what should I say? The whole implementation of hypnosis and all that, it was a refreshing idea but failed because it was taken too far. The whole DID issue had potential but at some point the DID turned into Robin. I understand where the writer was going with this. She tried to create a conflict between the real man and the illusion, with the illusion being way better than the real deal. However, the writer failed miserably because instead of concentrating on the conflict and bringing out the whole heart-wrenching reality of it all, she concentrated on a ridiculous love relationship instead. This drama could have been brilliant, a struggle between real and imaginary, two realities crashing together and confusing everyone around to the point of madness. This whole idea went down the drains when DID became Robin and Seo Jin was sort of abandoned to deal with his problems alone. I am sure that by writing the ending as it was, the screenwriter tried to go for a fresh image. But the point of the whole show was not love to begin with. It was the conflict, which was forgotten, and the show lost its standing. Hana was one of the dumbest and maddening characters I have ever seen.
The first part of the story concentrated a lot on the problems of Seo Jin and his past. It was interesting until several repetitive flashbacks clogged the episodes. I also wished there were more quirky scenes with Seo Jin and Hana to back up the last episode. The silly grudge of children was taken on a complete new level. The trauma of that grudge was never explored fully and in the end it was pushed aside in a hastly manner. The whole idea of that hatred was that it stemmed from pain and loneliness, but the bad guy remained flat, his character was trapped in a superficial shell and never explored to the depths of his soul. I'm saying that the darker moments could have been way darker and with much more impact had the writer concentrated on the right things. Like the battle within, not what was going on outside.
All in all, this show was either a mess with its characters running around out of control or then flavorless snail-paced boredom wrapped in pink, fluff and all cute with some glitter on the top. There were some loopholes, which could have been avoided easily. And the worst thing of it all: despite being a slow run the ending was still rushed. How? Just how is that possible? You had two freaking hours!
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The acting was good and bad. As usual, the female cast was extremely weak and their characters lacking. I liked Mi Joo's story but Na Ra was really boring. She didn't have enough screen time either. From male cast, my favorite was Park Won Sang as Jong Goo, definitely my favorite character, he came alive on the screen and his story was the most interesting. Lee Bum Soo was great too but his character Heung Sam could have been more neurotic and special. He was kind of too ordinary. What comes to the main character Tae Ho, Joon Kye Sang was okay but Tae Ho was not that well written as a character. At first, he definitely was the main charter but later became dimmed by Heung Sam and Joon Go to the point I kind of stopped caring about him. He was too vague and at some point I wondered if he was working on a plan or if he was just turning bad and thinking about betraying everyone. I wish he was explained better in the story. He definitely changed and grew as a person, I enjoyed watching all the stages he went through but I really wish his character had been stronger.
Another one who really impressed me was Kim Hyung Kyu, he truly was a ruthless killing machine yet somewhere under all that cold surface he actually had a soul. I loved to watch him slightly change thanks to Tae Ho's influence. Somehow his character was really fascinating and also really well acted, I applause. Lee Chul Min made a good gangster too, he always looked like he had something on his mind and really stood out from all the rest. In the end, it seemed like he had learned something after all. I enjoyed watching his facial expressions.
I feel a bit conflicted about this drama. It was well executed and the plot was really polished. There was almost no repetition and everything was perfectly planned to the smallest detail. There were many interesting fighting scenes, the cinematography was good and the flashbacks were mostly different, they were like sneak peaks to the past displayed here and there to intrigue the viewer's interest. I was really amazed that for once they didn't display those same damn flashbacks again and again and again. The story was interesting even if there were slow moments, there wasn't much romance but I didn't miss it. Truthfully speaking, the chemistry was close to zero and I was glad there was more of plotting/gangster stuff. I guess, Last would have been a lot better if it was shorter and more compact, anyhow, it still became one of my favorite dramas.
I wish Tae Ho had been a better written character, I wish there had been more comradeship between him and his group of friends. I wish there had been some episodes about them bonding and I wish he had spent more time with them. I was left missing the friendship part, that part that I usually love about these kind of dramas. I also thing that Heung Sam trusted Tae Ho way too soon and too easy, but perhaps he was just too blinded by greed. After all, others warned him but he ignored.
But okay, this drama was a bit of distant, mellow, and somehow just really hard to approach. It's entertaining if you happen to love gangster stuff, plotting and scheming. And definitely this drama has a soul, it's very deep. There were no simply bad or good characters everyone had a reason to be what they were and that's what I really liked about Last. It makes you wonder about many things on a philosophical level. In fact, I guess the whole plot was not about Tae Ho but he was sort of thrown into a bigger picture and he was the driving force between the other characters like Heung Sam, Jong Goo and Mi Joo, their story was bittersweet and beautiful + it had that feel of the old dramas from 90's and early 2000, that bittersweet atmosphere which actually has the power to pull at your heartstrings. The title Last makes sense and I think it fits this drama PERFECTLY. Because when everyone else had numbers Tae Ho didn't. Why? He was the last one.
And the thing I liked the most about this show was that it didn't try to moralize or show what is right or what is wrong. Both Heung Sam and Te Ho only wanted to have their revenge but the point of the show was not to show that revenge is a bad thing, it only showed us how greed can destroy people. Who was once a good person could turn into a monster because of greed and one who was greedy in the beginning could turn into a human after abandoning that greed. Revenge, well that's all about the goal I guess. If greed is the driving force it could swallow and destroy you, if the goal is to save something precious then revenge could be the only thing that's worth to fight for.
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Like in many dramas of this writer (and ahem, director) there are so many details which are kind of ridiculous, at some point the show becomes a bit boring but there is this magical feeling which makes you to come back to finish.
This is a typical drama about gambling, revenge and first love which never dies. There is a lot of plotting and action but the romance is left on the backseat, I wish there was less of it because the romance part is also the most boring. But anyway, if you are sick of all the romantic stuff and want to entertain yourself with action give this show a chance.
The beginning is slow, the whole drama is kind of slow but it doesn't matter much. I really like the feeling, the atmosphere of this drama, it is very addicting. Even if I don't understand why some Koreans were hired as hitmen and sent to Africa to save a prince of some tribe. What? Yeah... The ridiculousness is part of the charm.
Acting is okay, I mean Ji Sung is in this show, what else do you need more? Well, except Sung Yu Ri, I totally hate her because whatever character she plays becomes really annoying and she can't really act. Then So Yi Hyun, Lee Wan, Jun Kwang Ryul and Ma Dong Suk. I freaking love Ma Dong Suk! The cast is just wow and they do a great job!
The plot is entertaining and complicated even though some things become pretty obvious as episodes pass and then you just wish for them to be revealed sooner.
Give this show a try, it's not like all the other dramas out there. But if you must choose, All In is better.
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The drama is generic yet fresh and different. There are slow and boring moments but mostly the show keeps a nice pace and has good dynamics, the balance between comedy and seriousness is really good. The acting, well... at first it seemed like the worst acting ever but the characters grew on me quite a lot and after finishing the drama I missed it right away. Some of the characters were ridiculous to the point it was actually hilarious and I guess, it's better not to take this drama too seriously. There is a certain brilliance to this whole drama if you ca get past the fact that it's completely ridiculous. All in all, the plot and everything in it was pretty realistic too.
Ah, and the chemistry! The chemistry! The chemistry between miss Kim and Moo Yeol is great, actually near the perfection. When they are together they are whole and when they are apart something is missing. Though, from the very beginning, they were a bit too comfortable with each other considering they had just met. And I'm surprised there is not contract dating and such, I was sure there will be one but actually, the dating thing wasn't important at all.
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The plot is very simple: take a looser guy throw in a few misunderstandings and he somehow becomes a special agent, everyone thinks he is genius but it's all just a misunderstanding. The basic elements are very similar to Super Rookie and it's hard to say which drama was better. The main female character in this drama was better at least!
There are slow moments but overall the episodes pass swiftly and I rarely found myself bored, towards the end there is a bit angsting but all the comedy makes up for the boring moments.
If you want to watch an Eric Mun drama I suggest this (or Super Rookie), forget about crappy Myung Wol The Spy.
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If you can get past the woman hating in the beginning you will be awarded in the end. Good wins and bad gets to learn the lesson + a chance to redeem itself. No matter how I hated the baddies they were often the most interesting to watch and they were the ones who drove the plot forward. But God did I hate them, they made my blood boil and one of the reasons why I finished this drama was to see them suffer. The show gets boring at some point but there is always something refreshing happening all the time, never mind it's unrealistic and stupid. Just don't take this show too seriously.
Even though there was enough time to tie all loose ends some things were not explained properly. Anyway, the ending was decent no less. Personally I was a bit disappointed with the pairing, probably I am the only one who wished Hana to end up with that other guy.
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Jae Min feels like In Wook is taking all his women.
In Wook feels like Jae Min is getting his women.
Young Joo feels like Soo Jung is taking all her men.
Soo Jung? She just has to choose but is having a hard time.
But choose between what?
And so the show goes on in small circles, again and again and again. The force what drives life and moves the world is money and it dictates the laws of darkness. There is no love, no happiness, nothing meaningful in money but everyone needs it. One doesn't have it, second has too much and third experienced both situations. No one became happy. That's life folks.
The whole drama is boring and drags on like your feet after walking 100 miles but... BUT! The beauty of the show comes to light after you have finished it! This dark show is not to be taken too lightly, you have to analyze everything and you will understand the beauty within!
The cast is wonderful and acting super good. The main girl, of course, super annoying. She is miserable but at the same time hateful. Then there is Young-joo the nasty girl. I liked her pretty much. She is bad and desperate but well... everything makes sense in the end.
I am sure many people will find this drama hard to like and easy to loathe but give it a chance and dive into it as deep as possible. This one show is deep and needs devotion, you won't get anything out of it without analyzing the psychology behind every action. It's going to be a depressing and miserable ride but that's what life is about sometimes.
What happened in Bali?
Complaints? Well, backgrounds of some characters could have been explained better and there were some questions left unanswered. And there could have been less episodes. And it's a bit unsatisfying that instead of getting over their problems these people... well... yeah.
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I was really surprised after watching this movie because I didn't expect much. I thought I would just skim through it and be like meh but ended up watching the whole thing and even liking it!
First of all, acting is pretty good, these people know what they are doing. All characters are well written, lovable and hateful in their own ways. But I am a little bit disappointed with the screenwriting in general. I didn't expect this movie to be so black and white about the moral codes.
One of the messages is that love is timeless. I like that message the most. An old man wishing he was young again so he could love freely. It's pretty sad if you ask me, that just because he is old it's wrong to have those beautiful feelings. So he pours those feelings into a beautiful poem which, unfortunately, gets stolen by his student. It's as if his feelings got stolen and sold, disgraced. And as if that wasn't enough the student also steals the purity of EunGyo. He pretty much tramples Juk Yo's heart, smashes it into a miserable paddle. I don't know, what he does is like peeing on his teacher's face after receiving all the teaching and then stealing the rest what he could. He gets totally swallowed by greed. No wonder Juk Yo retaliates in the end, I'm not sure if he really hoped for such a thing happen in the end or if he just wanted to scare Ji Woo a bit. I don't know, but I kind of feel for him. I mean he got old, lost his glory (to Ji Woo), lost everything and then he realized that he wasn't even allowed to love because that would be simply wrong. If I was him I would wonder about it too. I mean, it's love. And well, Juk Yo wasn't even asking for much, he just enjoyed her presence and the innocence. He was probably reminded of his own youth and all that...
I actually enjoyed Ji Woo's and EunGyo's interactions. I liked it how Ji Woo was annoyed by how easily EunGyo managed get on Juk Yo's good side. He constantly listened to her and allowed he to do whatever she wanted while being extremely strict with Ji Woo. As I watched Ji Woo and Eun Gyo together I was waiting for some kind of atonement for JI Woo's character. That maybe her innocence would touch his heart too and make him view things in different light. But instead, she only turned these two men against each other. Love can be ugly too. It was clear why Ji Woo couldn't write as beautifully as Juk Yo, because his spirit was confined within the society's norms and he wasn't able to break free. Too many superficial things mattered to him while Juk Yo, well he was just a poet who loved writing, that's all.
In a way, I think Ji Woo was a really sad character too, completely trapped. He struggled to get free but he was too petty and close-minded, ambitious without the talent. Juk Yo was trapped too but, at least, he had an open mind. I don't think Ji Woo cared about EunGyo on the emotional level, he might have been lonely, he definitely was and probably smitten by the poem too. He tried to live it but... how can you live the beauty of timeless love without feeling it? Maybe Juk Yo knew it, that what he write could never be lived because once the purity is lost it's lost forever.
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I liked the beginning and the settings of the story. Simply put, Doctor's Son stole my heart since the first time he appeared, he was way too cool. Later on Safari took his place, he was an amazing character with twisted past and heavy regrets on his shoulders. Soo and Jin Sook, wow. Just wow. For the first time, I actually fell in love with a female character, Jin Sook was a badass and she ruled. The friendship between Soo & Doctor's son was touching and deep, it was entertaining and brought so much warmth to the show. I loved every single bit of the underworld, even Scale (even though Kim Byung Ok is as good at acting as a block of wood). Chairman Jo and his son, they were twisted and insane while managing to look quite normal. Great acting, no, awesome acting here.
What brings this show down a great deal are the police. While a lot seemed to be going on in the underworld the police were useless. All they ever did was mistakes, one after another. I got the point that the line between the good and bad was extremely blurred in the show and that the police was also controlled by the underworld people as if they were pawns in a game, but they were way too useless, to the point that every time it was just boring to watch them. Prosecutor An was brilliant though, he was stupid and useless and had no idea what was going on, but he was so driven by his greed that he kept struggling to hang onto whatever he could grab, until he felt the whole gravity of it all crushing him.
What ruined a great deal of the show for me were Nam Gyu Ri and Lee Jae Yoon. Compared to the other cast they both lacked in acting department so much. Especially Nam Gyu Ri, she was fake and stiff throughout the show and every time she appeared on the screen it literally annoyed the hell out of me. Not to mention her 10cm make up layer which made her look like a Japanese sex doll, no offense but that' what I felt through the show and it was extremely distracting.
Lee Jae Yoon? He is not a good actor and it showed, his character was also pretty hateful. Though, I must admit that towards the ending his character became more likable and his acting also got better, at least after we got over the angst! Unlike other characters in the drama, Hyung Min actually grew and changed, he matured and became more human. Even though Hyung Min's character was hateful, and it probably was supposed to be like that, it was a well-written character, one of the best in drama history. But Lee Jae Yoon lacked the charisma and had difficulties bringing Hyung Min to life, so a lot of that brilliance was lost. He was a man who had the cold and the warm side and those two sides constantly clashed within him, confusing him and driving him to the edge. Jae Yoon was better with the good act than the bad act, which turned out sort of pathetic.
Hyung Min was a tragic character who got his life and dreams crashed in the very beginning of the show, his heart broke and he turned into a robot. But then, he met Safari and something changed "Undercover cops are human too". The change in him was well written, it became obvious how much those words had affected him and ever since hearing them you could tell that he had finally found peace. He was whole again and he was ready to face the crime in a calm and collected way. I am sure that his meeting with Safari also changed his attitude towards Doctor's Son. And later, it was Hyung Min who gave Doc what he needed, support, trust, freedom and courage to face Director Jo and later, himself. Hyung Min was there, somewhere between crime and justice, brooding from one side to the other, unable to find his place. In the end, Doc put him on his rightful place and gave him a new chance, taking all "evil" on his own shoulders. Hence, the ending and the feeling of him being able to start over on a better note. I believe him and Doc would have made a great team.
Doctor's son was a cool character, muted and distant but also very lovable. His relationship with the underworld circle was touching. Even though sometimes friends turned into enemies and enemies turned into friends, his feelings always remained the same. Unlike Hyung Min he had found his place and he only lost everything precious to him towards the ending. His story was the opposite from Hyung Min's, it was one about loss while Hyung Min's was about gaining. Doc was strong even though he had his vulnerable moments, you could see how the crime had hardened him but not to the point of numbing, just enough to survive. He also had support of Soo and Jin Sook and even Safari. He strived to protect them "I will go alone", he often said, always trying to avoid clashes and deaths. Even though it didn't seem so, he stayed true to his beliefs and never forgot who he was, hence his fallout with boss Min. His last meeting with Director Jo was remarkable "Nothing will change", but something will end. I would like to underline that 'something will end' part. "Ahjussi, finish what you started." Because change is not possible you have to end it. Someone else will try to continue but then you just have to end it again and again until you manage to put a stop to it.
I am actually a bit confused about the "bad guys". It was obvious where the face-off happened, one of them died the other learned from his mistakes, took responsibility and stepped down from his position. Here is the core of good and the bad, and finally the line in between becomes very clear. The good is the one who is able to change and the bad one has to be erased for the good to thrive. What I like about the whole story is that the good and bad actually changed places in the end, that is pretty amazing. But even so, I am still confused as to what was the whole point of their conflict. Was it that one strayed from his path while the other struggled to find his? Hence, Doc's role in the conflict, he was the one who stirred things up so much that a change had to happen eventually, nothing could remain 'the same' anymore. There actually was a change even though it had seemed so impossible for anything to change at all. Doc had a goal throughout the drama and even though he sometimes strayed and was fooled into doing things against his own will, he always came back to what he stood for. Justice.
In the end, when he cried in Jin Sook's arms like a child, that was one of the most touching scenes in the whole drama. For once, he dropped the cool guy act and showed his true feelings, the hurt, disappointment and sadness, everything spilled out. He had sacrificed himself and it was unfair, everything was so unfair when it came to him. Even though, his illusions crumbled down one by one when the lies unwrapped, he never once lost himself unlike Hyung Min. Doc was strong and admirable in that sense. He was honestly cool and he managed to be that way thanks to love and support he found in the underworld, in a world that he was supposed to despise because it took away his mother.
Doc too went through a battle, the good world and the bad world mixed inside of him into confusing mess and he tried to protect them both because he was unable to choose. But in the end, the underworld was what protected him, not the good world he had believed in, that good world stopped existing once the he found out about the truth and then he was able to finally chose his path. He knew what he had to do and he did it, because that's just how awesome he was. Because he had sunk so deep into the darkness that was what eventually saved his mentality. He tried to balance but always steered towards his friends and "family", he was loyal. And the most beautiful thing about him was that he was loyal to himself above all. He believed in himself, that belief might have faltered at some point but in the end, he kept faithful to his principles. He was admirable and Hyung Min admired him too, it was Safari who managed to change Hyung Min but it was Doc who saved him.
The director invested a lot into cinematography and most of the scenes were beautiful, but he failed to bring life to his beautiful scenes. Every time a new scene begun, there was a setting which looked good as a picture but it didn't come to life, the actors found themselves trapped and the atmosphere became stiff. I blame the director for a lot of things, especially how he handled Gyu Ri. I am sure he must have noticed that her acting is just not up to par with others and when I think about the settings and the way she reacted to some things, it's so damn stiff, theatrical and forced. He gave her advices but she failed to bring those advices to life and he failed to help her with that.
Soo Min, oh boy how much I hated her. She had no chemistry with anyone, at all. Her inability to embrace her role ruined a lot of things like her relationship with Jin Sook. It was a strong bond which evolved from something forced into a beautiful story of a lasting friendship. They connected and Soo Min found the unni she had lost in Jin Sook. She brought the human out in Jin Sook, the good and warm side. And thanks to Soo Min, Jin Sook was able to accept Doc when the revelation hit her. "You knew and you still loved him?" That's what touched her deeply and made her reflect on her past mistakes. Without Soo Min, Jin Sook would have turned out to be different and the whole plot would have changed drastically.
Then Soo Min's relationship with Doc, I still don't know what to think about it. I like how it was written but since Gyu Ri couldn't bring it to life I feel like there are a lot of missing puzzle pieces. Doc's part was better played but it was impossible to say what the whole relationship meant to the story because Gyu Ri ruined it. She completely destroyed this part and I hate her for doing so. I am sure her feelings for Doc were supposed to bring out the "normal guy" in him, not the underworld him, but just a guy, a man who also yearned to be loved and accepted. She gave him all that and even more, she touched him on a deeper level and he treasured her but... I believe that there is a much deeper meaning to their relationship, but I failed to see it. I failed to see love between them and I blame Gyu Ri for everything. She didn't fit her role and she ruined a great deal of the story for me. I hate her, sorry about that, but I downright despise her and I blame the director.
Jin Sook and Safari were conflicted characters, they affected Doc but he also affected them. When they weren't together they were not human but when they were together they were just normal people trying to live their lives the best they could. Their bond was unbreakable until the very end, their feelings for each other never faltered. I pity Safari, he was the most tragic character of them all, a good example what the battle between good and bad does to it's pawns, destroys them from inside out. He went through a lot of emotional torture and I appreciate it, that he did it all for the sake of his loved ones. Hands down, one of my most favorite characters of all times.
Jin Sook, she was the mother, a sister, a woman. She was the one who helped Doc to stay on his path because he wanted to protect her, but she was also the one who threw him in the pits of deepest hell because he loved her. I never stopped to wonder about what type of love they had, it seemed to border between platonic and romantic, but neither of them ever decided on it. They were connected and that's how I like to view it, they had a strong undefined bond and even Soo Mi couldn't break it, she just made it stronger. Jin Sook's fallout with Safari was unfortunate, but she never stopped believing in her "ahjussi". Doc and Safari, I believe that they never hated each other, there were things they didn't agree on, but they always protected each other despite everything. I am sure Jin Sook was jealous of what Doc and Safari had but Safari was also jealous of what she and Doc had, in the end Doc was what kept them together.
All in all, this drama is very entertaining because, indeed, a lot happens all the time. The first two episodes just swallow you and grip you hard but then something happens and ep 6-12 are rather bland, too much angsting and crying. 20 episodes is too many and the drama feels dragged, ever since the beginning. But surprisingly, for once the middle is boring and then the show picks up. I often found myself wishing there were less emotional things and more action. Soo's and Doc's friendship was beautiful and fun and I wish there were more scenes about it. In the end, Soo is pushed in the background and becomes sort of useless until his final mission. I hate the writer for this. She should have concentrated less on Soo Mi x Doc and more on Soo x Doc.
There are small annoying matters when it comes to the police, like SWAT force should always go in first to stabilize the situation and the detectives are not some freaking action heroes. I could have forgiven this if it wasn't used as plot device. Like, the police running in before the swat team and ruining the whole mission. Or Hyung Min going to arrest gangsters without any backup and surprisingly he fails... Also, Hyung Min used his cell phone as a flashlight, seriously... And the handguns they used, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? They are the police and they use freaking toys? Bring in the Glocks dammit!! Also, Hyung Min torturing his suspects in the beginning was rather crazy, I mean yeah... sure just go and shoot the woman's leg with the sniper. That's what cops do to each other. I know it was supposed to emphasize the extent he was willing to go to just for the sake of uncovering the murderer but give me a break. And when a person is stabbed in the stomach it hurts, like a lot. So I was annoyed when people kept walking around with injuries that, in real life, would have sent them to the ER. I laughed when Soo Mi gave Doc band aids when he had been stabbed. Okay, she didn't know and in the end that band-aid turned out to be rather symbolic but still. This all annoys me because otherwise the drama managed to suck me in but these little matters threw me out all the time.
Another thing was that so many people were actually undercover on both sides to the point it became ridiculous already. The way the undercover agents were trained it was simply "are you kidding me" - material. "Do the stuff I want you to do and I'll make you a cop", something tells me this is not the way it should be done. Undercover missions require a lot of trust, and even though I can see why some people agreed to do these things and where that "trust" was coming from, but it wasn't convincing enough. Basically, this drama was excellent, but it was full of small poorly executed details, which could have bee fixed easily.
Overall I recommend this show and the rewatch value is high too. I can't give full points because I really dislike the director, he ruined a lot for me, plus two main characters were played by actors with no acting skills whatsoever. The beauty of fragile love, which managed to bloom despite the ugly reality and hopelessness of it all, was destroyed with the unnecessary melodrama and typical Korean forced innocence. Let's face it, we all knew what Soo Mi started once she went to work for Jin Sook, keeping her innocent was lame and stupid, it ruined a lot of authenticity for me and also damaged the brilliance of her character.
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On the positive note, the acting was good. Yoochun fit his role perfectly and Shin Se Kyung did great job, I feel like she has develped a lot in acting (she has been on my hate list forever but now I might reconsider). Nam Goong Min was god but I already knew that he is a great actor and didnt expect any less from him! Yoon Ji Seo again disappointed me. She mostly had the same dull face throughout the drama and felt more like a robot than a human being.
After a few first episodes the drama gets entertaining for a while but soon slides into the boredom. The police force is downright stupid, I have never seen as stupid cops as in this drama. Well, at least I liked it how the "seeing scents" was implemented, it was very cute.
I didn't really expect anything from this show so I can't say I am disappointed. From the beginning, I was going to skip watching it but watched anyway. But I really don't recommend this drama to anyone. It's boring.
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The plot is nothing new in Korean gangster film world, but if you happen to love this world you will also love this film. I felt like there was something more to it, more than in usual gangster flicks. There were many layers to the plot, a few stories intertwining together, so the rewatch value is pretty high. A lot was going on at all times, so in general, this movie was not boring. The ending felt rushed, though. And also, because so much was going on and there were so many characters, most of the side characters were flat. There was not enough time to go deep enough into the characters, which was a pity. I think this plot would have worked better as a mini-series.
The acting, it wasn't bad but not outstanding either. I liked Lee Min Ho and Kim Rae Won. Not only because they are hot, but also because they fit their roles. Rae Won was totally badass and Min Ho brought some sensuality into his badness. But still, I think the acting was a bit lacking. I loved Jong Dae's and Yeog Ki's friendship or should I say "brotherhood", it was touching and beautiful. Thumbs up for the bromance! These two were like innocence and twisted nature melting into something wonderful.
Like most of the times, the sex scenes were over the top. Maybe Korean directors think it's artistic but when I want to watch a gangster film I am NOT looking for porn. I know that sex is part of the badassness of gangster life, but those scenes made me laugh because heck they looked like rabbits mating. Can't say anything else to this than LoL!
The fighting scenes were artistic but honestly, I wish one of these directors finally did something new. I've seen bunch of men fighting in rain, in water, in mud, in sunshine, in grains, in *insert whatever you want* but dare I say it's getting old! Dare I say I actually fast forwarded the fighting scenes, because there were plenty and they made me numb. But at least they were well executed, I can't complain about that. The violence got so much more impact when it was exercised to someone by only one person in a form of torture. That was disturbing with an impact.
Love? You could say there was a subtle love plot somewhere in the background for both main characters, but the bromance was the main focus, that and the scheming of all these greedy people around them. I liked the idea how two guys actually dared to stand up to the corrupt wickedness, perhaps their intentions were not any better but it was still pretty cool. The ending was something most of us expected. Notice the contrast between Jong Dae and Yeong Ki! The symbolism was strong in this one.
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