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Completed
Vanishing Time: A Boy Who Returned
6 people found this review helpful
Sep 9, 2017
Completed 1
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 10
Riveting. Grandiose. Impeccable.

Riveting in terms of story.

Grandiose in terms of cinematography.

Impeccable in terms of acting.

These three powerful features made Vanishing Time an absolute pleasure to watch. It’s in one word an ENIGMATIC JOURNEY.

The story was adapted from a book written by a child psychiatrist. Children are always imaginative and their mind is full of mischief, fantasy and limitless curiosity. The truism of Soo Rin’s story is questionable but even if it is purely based on her imagination, how amazing it is to see that her own world of fantasy is capable of creating such wonder. There was like a whole unknown planet inside her mind. When she interacted with another likeminded child of her age, Seong Min, both their imagination collided to create something magnificent.

Child psychology blended with fantasy is now my new penchant which I discovered after watching this movie. I have seen many fantasy movies but Vanishing time is just unparalleled with others. Getting confounded with the story is quite easy, nevertheless, the well maintained proper balance of quaint romantic emotions among the protagonists never let only the fantasy part fogging our brain. I could easily connect with their emotions. The magnanimity shown by the male protagonist till the end was simply endearing and the lapsed time would never allow their relationship to coincide which left a slight poignant feeling.

On another note, the cinematography of the movie is magical, dreamy and colourful suiting the tone of the movie. Acting was on par especially by the child actors. Always I prefer to see the children more than their adult version and what can I say ‘bout Kang Dong Wan. Any adjective to describe his acting ability would be an understatement. So I should refrain from that. I just want to say he’s a top notch classy actor. He knows what he’s doing and pour out his soul into his performance.

It is a well-directed, well scripted and well-acted movie though a bit equivocal in nature. I have few questions which are left unanswered. So instead of a full 10 I would give 9.

Don’t think twice about whether you should watch this movie or not. Just watch it if you’re a fantasy lover. Guaranteed you’ve never seen anything like this before.

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Completed
Strongest Deliveryman
10 people found this review helpful
Sep 29, 2017
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 10
Rewatch Value 4.5
Strongest Deliveryman focused on the depiction of the struggle of the youths who are hardheaded in building a better future for themselves. Through the four protagonists Choi Kang Soo, Lee Dan Ah, Oh Jin Gyu and Lee Ji Yoon a macro view of the condition of youth has been displayed which was quite endearing and enjoyable. Not always the life of young people are full of rainbows and spring flowers blooming everywhere. Life is full of trials and tribulations and this particular period of youth in one’s life when a person experiences sudden exposure of difficulties in love, work, family and establishing a good future, it can be overwhelming. Being undeterred in one’s resolution with strong confidence of moving forward can only bring positive results in the long run.

In human lifespan, the period of early adulthood considered to be the most crucial time in shaping up a person’s entire future. Either they can destroy it by their own hand or can flourish it with good deeds and extreme diligence. Choi Kang Soo was represented as a young adult who despite of having difficult familial and financial situation remained unfazed throughout. He had been shown as an epitome of magnanimity and a valiant character. No amount of pain or sufferings could reduce his self-respect, determination and devotion towards achieving his dreams. The character portrayed by him is simply a person with tenacity of doing well to others, spreading wellness and reciprocating them. As they say, what goes around comes around. This world always revolves with this simple logic. Kang Soo was a simple guy who firmly believed that if he helps people, if he wants the good in people or bring out the good characteristics from the people one day or the other he would definitely get the result. He neither fed his inner greed nor tried to meet his own selfish needs. Along with all his friends, he unitedly delved into an endeavor which faces turbulences though for a short moment of time he was frazzled of fighting with the imposters but he again rose and shone. He was always thoughtful of his nearer and dearer ones around him which subsequently brought glad tidings for all combined.

Secondly, Lee Dan Ah. Another strong character. A sagacious, salubrious and undaunted character. When she puts her heart and soul to something, she made sure to stick to it till the end. Her devotion towards achieving her dream was laudable.

Oh Jin Gyu and Lee Ji Yoon on the contrary are not the kids from humble background rather born with the silver spoon in their mouth. The former was being excruciatingly tortured and slandered by his own father tried to take his own life but was saved. He understood the worth of life, independence and standing on one’s own feet. He understood contentment lies when a person owns and earns all by himself. The starting can be insignificant but at the end of the day self-worth comes from one’s own hard work and sincerity. Besides Ji Yoon rebelled from being forced or directed her life by her mother. She broke free her comfortable shackle and fled from the castle to become independent and achieving her own dreams.

From another view point the story was also a sort of tribute to the delivery people who were in many ways or the other pretty much neglected by the society.
I like the perspective of the story tellers. They have shown young people from both affluent and destitute social strata. Having being born in a privilege class doesn’t necessarily bring happiness. The affluent young people can also fight for making a life of their own individual choices.
Keeping “delivery service” as a base two factors are highlighted: a) life of youth b) life of deliverymen. The integration or the interconnectedness of both the subject was intelligent. However, the dramatization was a lackluster.

Acting by the ensembles are absolutely remarkable. Go Kyung Pyu and Chae Soon Bin was perfect for their individual role. Nobody could have done better than them. Also Kim Sun Ho, though played his first main role but he did full justice to it. Lastly Go Won Hee was quite natural playing out Ji Yoon’s eccentricity. The group of young lads of the delivery team also gave excellent performance.

Having said so much, the main theme of the story is excellent but there was some problem with the portrayal. The first few episodes were riveting but gradually it was losing its luster and became boring. The story kind of revolved in one business idea, eventually, along the line losing the dynamic essence as the episodes progressed. Definitely this was a huge disappointment for me. With outstanding ensemble cast and such great story, it could have been marvelous. Something was lacking of great deal which I could not pinpoint perfectly.

In deduction a good story with an uninteresting dramatization resulting into my lower ratings.

My recommendation whether to watch it or not would be …..you can try it’s not that bad.

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Completed
Beautiful World
5 people found this review helpful
May 29, 2019
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 9.0
Beautiful World emanated full of bodacious feelings from the start. What started with a mere bullying scenario for which a 16 years old had to pay a heavy price ended up with completely different case. Young adolescents were involved in despicable act ostracizing their peers, instigating wrong doings, fawning, wheedling and so on. Often the mixed emotions the people of this age feel make them indulge in many activities which they mainly do out of impulse. Knowingly/unknowingly they go through so many changes that can be overwhelming to deal with. Although through dramas, movies or social awareness related programs in schools, parents are always reminded to be extra careful with the adolescent children; however, they are the ones remain in oblivion most of the time. Teenagers are on the otherhand constantly reminded of not getting afraid or to seek adult’s help are often times refrain from doing it since in many cases adults seem blasé or mordant to their problems. The story focuses on the root causes of the problems. Mainly the children who have feeble familial bondage, suffer from lack of appreciation, reared in an ostentatious environment, continuously taught about social stratification are most likely cause violence in their academic life. Sprouting from extreme abomination they have for themselves gradually being passed on to their seemingly weaker peers out of jealousy. When their formidable act goes out of control then interferes the adult (teachers, parents and the authorities) creating foment and coercion instead of bolstering them positively for their won betterment. Eventually they fall into doldrums; either destroys themselves or their supposed same aged victim.

Keeping this the main theme, which I suppose the writer got inspired from the book Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, the dramatization took place with some usual dramatic formula. Although it ended with a little unexpected twist but still it maintained to retain its main essence till the end. As the very name of this drama, the makers also ended it in a positive note rather than making it into a heart wrenching one, signaled from the first episode. The story dynamics and the pace of progress per episode was interesting all through.

Also liked the little optimistic message it delivered in the end – to always keep our hopes up and only move forward in order to make everything beautiful around us.

Bullying is a sensitive topic and is a wide social problem in South Korea. No wonder they always try to highlight this issue through visual media to indirectly create awareness. The mood of this drama and story writing is commendable by Kim Ji Woo. She has a certain style of writing which I really love. It exudes somewhat similar feel like the drama Memory and later found out she is the screenwriter of both of them. I just did not like the camera work - the peeping style camera angle or the extreme close shot of every face - which actually gave me a headache. Directions, OSTs, acting by the ensembles all were praiseworthy. All the child actors were excellent, mainly Nam Da Reum and Seo Dong Hyun. Seo Dong Hyun was remarkable in playing the negative role. Unimaginable, how he could manage to pull the skill so maturely at such a young age. He was phenomenal in portraying the evil expressions. Nam Da Reum is always exceptional. They both have the brightest future ahead. The actors in their parents’ role all gave their best performance.

All in all it’s a well - written, directed and acted- drama no one should miss.

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Completed
Circle
6 people found this review helpful
Jun 28, 2017
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 10
This review may contain spoilers
Posing a trite question: Whether invention of new technology is a bliss or a curse of mankind? With the conjecture of an exclusive scientific research work started in 2017, which fortunately or unfortunately followed a trajectory of quandary took a proper shape in 2037. The whole concept of the story is extremely new where the dramatization involved a fraternal twin and all the incomprehensible incidents they were surrounded by. Like a web of mystery the more they were trying to solve it, the more they were getting tangled with mishaps. Gradually facing series of tribulations and by using their own intellect they tried to overcome their problems though not succeeded fully. According to my understanding (I can be wrong), this drama tried to portray that progressive technology is acceptable which should be free of manipulation, deceit and identity theft. In the process of gifting human race with something phenomenal, the human race by themselves subject to self-destruction. They fall prey to their own greed and take a wrong detour to satisfy their own selfishness.

The whole story is like a big board of puzzle pieces cut randomly into different shapes without any connection but as the story development progresses bit by bit all the pieces have been fallen into their correct places. It exudes the suspenseful feel of American sci-fi genre series, nonetheless, the writers maintained originality which is beyond interesting.

 From the very beginning till the end it was riveting, breathtaking and fast-paced. No amount of time is wasted on idiosyncratic character development. Each and every characters were necessary and sufficient; none seemed out of place or redundant for the development of the story. The writers tried their best to convincingly elucidate a completely new concept of a non-existent theory on which the pillar of the whole plot was standing. They expressed erudition through their meticulous writing ability. Hats off to the scriptwriters. It may seem frazzling to keep up with the pace since each episode shows two stories of two different years but it is highly engrossing and enjoyable. The ending of every episode left me at the edge of my sit. Thank goodness I binge watched it rather than waiting every week. I would have died out of anxiety and curiosity. The cliffhangers are deadly.

On another note, I never trusted Korean dramas of science fiction genre since never found any solid story so far. Either they make it extremely confusing and superfluous or greatly preposterous. However, Circle is an exception. Every occurrences are given a proper explanation. I feel a strange empathy towards the production team and feel like giving a deep bow for presenting us the show so intriguingly despite having minimal budget. It's perfectly fine of not using extraordinarily top-notch visual graphics as many were complaining, I could feel their urge of showing some CG effect which are common in any sci-fi movies/series but they couldn't and it's beyond ok. At the end of the day I count on story, if the story is good and acting is on par it's intensely satisfying for me.

Acting by the ensemble is praise worthy, especially performances given by Yeo Jin Goo and Kim Kang Woo are commendable as they always are. My words will fall short to describe their charisma. Lee Ki Kwang is also good but sometimes felt like he was forcing too much to draw out his emotions. I appreciate the girls as well. Gong Seung Yeon is one of a kind gorgeous actress, she looks serious with her character display and works hard. She surely has long way to go and I believe she would perform better and better in course of time. That day is not far away when Ahn Woo Yeon & Jung In Sun will be flooded with main roles in dramas/movies. Both of them has utmost potential of rising stars.

Background score is perfectly fitted with the thrilling feel of the drama. OSTs are ear-catching as well.

One thing I have noticed in all these currently airing dramas that female protagonists are given powerful roles rather than being treated as a mere trophy only there to depict love interest of the male protagonist. The roles which were normally given out to male protagonists are now given out to the females which is a very commendable new trend.

I would love to detail out my analysis on every scenes but I’m afraid I’m too conscious on giving out spoilers. Hence, I want to stop and request all the sci-fi/suspense genre lovers out there to watch Circle. You will definitely love it because of - a refreshingly new story, the group of beautiful young and energetic casts and their laudable acting skills.

On the other hand, fingers are crossed this ephemeral drama has left us uninformed ‘bout one thing at the last episode. So we can hope for a second season. ;) ;)

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Completed
Because This is My First Life
5 people found this review helpful
Dec 2, 2017
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.5
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 9.5
Undoubtedly, Because This Is My First Life is one of the best romcoms till date. The story, screenwriting, depiction, characters, direction and acting all factors make this drama a sublime one, near to being flawless.

Basically I received two kinds of depiction from this drama. On the first half, it was portrayed (may be I’m wrong but it’s totally my perception) love is important but living life is far too important. Love comes gradually. Not necessarily it always have to be “love” at first then “marriage” between two persons, however, “marriage” can happen before as a natural response of fulfilling basic needs between two people and then love can be discovered in the process. Conversely, on the second half, it was portrayed, realizing a person is in love is most important and marriage will come naturally as a result. Love and marriage are two completely different subject. If love fails between a couple, marriages is not possible. Marriage comes with a huge baggage which is not a game, it needs sacrifice, commitment and perseverance. Two different arguable school of thoughts. Former quite old-fashioned and latter quite contemporary. What I think no matter which era we live in or what people say about living in 21st century, marriage-a holy institution- should not be abolished completely. It is imperative for any society and I’m happy at the end the drama focused on marriage.

The story was based on romantic relationship of three couples. Main highlight was three women characters. One was in a living relationship for seven years, who typically like many other girls wants a family of her own by getting married and having a kid. She was all into settled life. Another girl who was smart, beautiful and brave doesn’t believe in love or marriage rather believe more in casual physical relationship. She was audacious, careerist and hardheaded woman. And the third one is the struggling one who was in her 30s but was fighting to make her own way of becoming a screenwriter. She was never into dating or any relationship but falls victim of a contract marriage and ended up falling for the person she married. These were three individual romantic set up. Through the romantic lenses of these three different relationships, different contemporary societal facts and issues of modern world have been highlighted. A crude realistic vision of modern society was embedded in the dialogues and monologues.

Three couples had their own hardships both from personal level and also as a couple. Through the romance of Ho Rang-Won Seok couple a newfangled reality of romance has been executed. They were into living relation for more than seven years when they gradually realized they both are way different than each other. When it comes to marriage various issues forced them to part their ways. Through Sang Goo-Su Ji couple, a more independent and casual romance have been executed. The couple transitioned from friends-with-benefits to a more serious relationship. Su Ji was shown as the epitome of modern careerist women who in the journey of building her own place in the corporate world constantly faced despicable adversities. Where surviving in a harsh patriarchal society in itself difficult, love, marriage, relationship and a settled family were always secondary to her. The tensions created between these two couples, their falling apart from each other and coming back are quite evident in real life couples as well. Nonetheless, in reality not all couples goes back together.

The third and the main romantic couple of the drama was Ji Ho-Se Hee couple. They were due to some circumstances bounded by contract marriage. The concept of contract marriage can be unrealistic but the story depicted through their relationship by emphasizing on multifarious sides of a wedded life is simply marvelous. In love only two people are involved and in marriage number of people are involved. Responsibilities to run a family, responsibilities towards in-law family and to compromise in almost any situation despite against one’s will is what marriage is. The couple realized that they are not only entitled to solely think about their happiness and contentment. Instead they realized, it’s more about fulfilling other people’s (mainly in-laws) needs and wishes rather than their own. Mostly the sufferer is the bride. Ji Ho wanted to break the stereotype. Through her character it was portrayed, love is crucial than marriage. Being married not necessarily means to fulfill other people’s expectations. If they keep on doing that when will they be able to fulfill their own desire? To fall in love, to discover each other, to respect each other, to understand each other should be comprised 90% of marriage. Completing family rituals, doing regular household chores, giving birth, to maintain a good bond with the in-laws are not the essentials in a married life. Those are indeed good things which will come gradually along the course of running the family life. When these extraneous factors become more important, love dies between the couple which shouldn’t be the case.

I fell in love with the concept of the story. Marriage is a wonderful and a very strong institution which is not denied here. Preferably the foreground was to respect each other’s space, to respect each other’s dreams and aspiration and to help let each other’s other half grow as per their wish, as a result a jovial conjugal life is possible. Marriage shouldn’t be strangled with the wishes and dreams of the nearer ones but it should be more about substituting each other’s weakness with each other’s strength.

Acting by the casts were excellent. Decades later I could see Lee Min Ki on small screen which in itself pretty overwhelming. Jung So Min is one of my favourite actresses and my girl crush. She is beautiful and an utterly talented actress. I thoroughly enjoy all her work. The other actors did laudable job. Not even once I felt they were acting. They all felt real and natural.

The OSTs are really nice. With some scenes few OSTs are played accordingly which suited the mood of the scenes perfectly.

Few of the scenes are there in the drama which are my favourites. One was the conversation between Se Hee and his mother-in-law during Se Hee-Ji Ho’s wedding, another between Ji Ho and her mother during the very day and also at their house when they were conversing about Se Hee and some scenes from flashbacks of 80s which were consisted of only Ji Ho’s monologue. Also the comic reliefs of this drama are extraordinary. One moment it will engross you into something grave then immediately it will give you a good amount of laughter dose. Some of those comical moments are also my favourites.

On the whole, it is a great drama which executed the difficult, sensitive and complicated issues of relationship from various perspectives: relationship within marriage, relationship without marriage, living relationship and casual relationship. The concept was not an easy one to write. Full credit should go to the writers for their wonderful creativity of lucidly showing all kinds of romantic relations in one drama. Never seen such realistic and meaningful romcom ever before.

Guys go watch it. No regrets guaranteed.

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Completed
Queen for Seven Days
5 people found this review helpful
Aug 5, 2017
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
Although based on a true story but due to entertainment purpose the history was presented distortedly in this drama, which is perfectly acceptable otherwise it would be immensely boring. The main theme was kept same like the tyrannical king and his atrocious reign, his utter jealousy towards his half-brother, his love towards Chae Gyun which he tried to express yet not properly expressed along with intricate politics surrounding the whole monarchy system. Everything was shown properly. Everything was done properly. Still I found something missing in this drama. There was some haunted empty feeling which trudged into my mind after I finished watching the drama. I asked myself: why is that? Is it because the plot was intensely tragic or is it that there was some gap in story representation. We all sageuk lovers have seen quite a number of sageuks which were obviously full of tragedies but this drama lacked a bit of depth I believe.

Firstly, the prelude showed the glimpse of some ending scenes that in itself enough to grab attention of the viewers and enhance their curiosity upon what may happen leading to such odious fate of the beloved royal couple. Once one starts watching, certainly s/he would be pulled with the story since the initial episodes were truly marvelous. The teenage couple acted amazingly which can make anyone fall for their cute love-hatred realtionship portrayed so well that they might end up receiving awards for good performances. Their sweet gesture, arguments, fights, playfulness and amicability was capable of winning a lot of hearts and I’m sure many viewers loved them. However, once they started growing up and as everything was going against their relationship, the story seemed playing back and forth. Now an episode seemed gripping and the next episode turned out very monotonous. From 15-18 episodes it was extremely hard to go along with the story. The tragedy, the emotional outburst, the murders and the meaningless sacrifices everything to me seemed exaggerated to the point of annoyance. I just could not cry in few many scenes because I found few death totally out of nowhere unnecessary. The makers could have toned down the death parts of some important characters whose death was imposed forcefully. Many a times it felt like suddenly the writers couldn’t figure out what to do or how to extend a particular character’s story so the only supposed solution was to kill that character making a good story pretty shallow. The last two episodes were rather nicely closed. Though the plot itself was remorseful but the couple could make it through all odds and adversities was satisfying to watch.

Most interesting to watch was the despicable king who was submerged under innumerable complexities. He yearned for admiration, acknowledgement, recognition and love; at the same time, he was blinded by envy, mishandled his power and pushed his confidantes away from him. The pressure of ruling a nation who was constantly surrounded by imposters, deceitful people and shrewd opportunists; the poor judgment of making a clear distinction between his enemies and his dearer ones; the struggle to understand whom he loves doesn’t love him back was eventually crippling his fair mind, clouded his judgement and weakening his thoughts. Eventually he let his mind eaten by evil maggots. He was having an utter hard time which he expressed through brutality towards his innocent subjects. Ultimately he himself inflicted ruination upon himself, an obvious end result of any tyranny. Therefore, the king was the most powerful character in this drama exuding multiple personalities through one mind and soul was simply a pleasure to watch.

Secondly, as long as the acting comes into concern, I pretty much liked the ensembles. Nevertheless, the role of a despotic king played by Lee Dong Gun was to some extent aggrandized by him which appeared as if he was playing the character in a theatre drama rather than in a televised drama. Both platforms are different and the acting changes according to theatre, small screen and big screen but our dear Dong Gun relatively overdid his performance. The performances displayed by Park Min Young and Yeon Woo Jin was splendid to watch. Their depiction of romance was too heart fluttering and they have an endearing chemistry. The teenager kids did super exceptional job. I loved them so much I did not want to watch their adult version.

This is the first time I’ve seen Chungsung of 2 p.m. in any drama and his work was quite commendable. I wish he improvise his acting ability diligently for better and more important roles in the future.

The Osts are beautifully soothing to hear and I personally loved “Junggigo - Miss You In My Heart”. It’s on loop since I finished watching the drama for few hours. The singer sung this ost pouring out all his emotions. Simply wonderful.

In deduction, this drama again proved to be one of those dramas which started of exceptionally good then gradually not so good. This particular one has gone back and forth and I found the scriptwriter kind of lazy who applied their brain less in thinking about the story. Sometimes it was enthralling and then again it directly went down the hill again it picked and again it went down the hill which persisted till the last.

Few things I like about this drama and many things are there which I seriously disliked. Watch it of your own accord.

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Completed
Frozen Love
5 people found this review helpful
May 29, 2017
2 of 2 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 7.0
Story 6.5
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
Just finished watching this short drama and here I'm flustered with the fact of not clearly understanding it. I mean if it's too difficult to elaborate a story within two episodes, then the writer shouldn't have written for a special drama. For a short drama competency in portraying the story line properly within 1-2 hours is where the potentiality of a scriptwriter lies.

I'm left with few questions. Definitely romance is the main basis but this time traveling fact hasn't been elucidated which is sort of baffling. The protagonist's froze for some significant number of years but why it happened and why he has to meet a girl in the future for whom his heart never pounded in the past? How come he suddenly become so healthy? Why he has to vanish while hanging out with the girl? Nothing has been explained.

The romance between the leads are even inadequate. They have interesting chemistry, if exuded sufficiently, it would have been exceptionally gorgeous but it was also a failure. I was eagerly waiting for more romance to take place and suddenly it ended. For sure I loved the couple since there are very few couple who can exhibit profound chemistry.

About the pace of the drama, well, it was alright yet not necessary. Although all actors displayed good acting skill, none of them got the chance to show their best because all through it felt like different branches of the story was about to get elongated but was trimmed immediately due to shortage of time.

Had great expectations but turned out to be a disappointment. There were few dynamics of the story if well portrayed or explained then it would have been quite enjoyable to watch.

Watch it at your own risk.

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Completed
The Guardians
4 people found this review helpful
Jul 14, 2017
32 of 32 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 7.5
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 1.0
The story of lookout was weak with rather weaker depiction. It seemed disarrayed and unscrupulous from the get go. First ten episodes were somewhat enjoyable but as the episodes proceed it gradually becomes monotonous then after twentieth episode it picked and again the last two episodes were unusually over dramatic.

The main theme of the story is thriller based on four to six different characters holding different occupation, came from different background who were vigilantes by heart and by action but were in disguise under protectors of law to avenge the injustice which had befallen on their beloved ones. In the process they tried to save some other innocent lives as well. Their fight was against the corrupt judicial system, depravity and avarices of the protectors of laws. All sounds clichéd which is right. It is clichéd. Overall plot looked promising but the scriptwriters failed to give each story shown, a concrete background. Most of the time I couldn’t feel attached to them because it seemed like just to show a man evil, they forcefully made him act like an evil and took all the cases to an extreme dramatic turn which was completely unnecessary. The reasons shown for the demises of individual protagonists’ dearer ones are quite baseless and fragile. The reasons for which the prosecutor convicted the innocents or tortured them were not at all intense or logical enough. Even the young teen kid’s character who played a monstrous role is somewhat obfuscated. Just for a mere thrill he was inclined to do such heinous crimes? It was understandable he lacked emotions however it was still full of ambiguity that why he particularly hated Jo Soo Ji? Therefore, in one word the antagonists’ roles are not written immaculately. Everyone’s story was relatable to one another yet there were some major loopholes which resulted into incoherence. The ending was unpredictable but was quite nonsensically exaggerated. As a result the actual essence of the drama had eventually lost.

Acting of the ensemble was good though not excellent. I always have high expectations from Kim Young Kwan. He could have done better. Few times his emotions seemed unnatural. It is again good to see two female characters playing strong roles which typically portrayed by men. Although Lee Shi Young pulled of the fervid and brave role as a detective, nonetheless, she should work on her facial expression as well. All through she mostly maintained a stoic expression which didn’t match with the courageous character portrayal. Key and Kim Seul Gi looked sweet as a couple and pulled their characters well. They showed reasonable amount of emotions through their good acting skills. I have to specially mention teenage actor Park Solomon who left me wowed with his negative performance. He truly is a gem who has extremely bright future ahead of him. He did a commendable job in this drama.

The background score was alright along with the OSTs. None of the songs are found to be exceptional.

In conclusion, there’s no harm in trying this drama. As many people already liked it, you may like it as well but Lookout has failed big time to keep me allured.

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Completed
I Can Speak
3 people found this review helpful
Jun 29, 2018
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 9.0
How is it humanly possible to make such a brilliant cinema? I’m still awestruck after finishing the movie. The depiction of the main story would come in such a roundabout but in a meaningful way that it was incredible.

I CAN SPEAK – this name is used symbolically, is what came into my mind while watching the movie. It is actually a pseudonym for the main story. Surprisingly viewers cannot speculate what kind of seriousness the story holds at the beginning of the movie. The starting is more or less about the introduction of the characters, their characteristics and their individual lifestyles. It was filled with joviality, frustration, lawlessness, boredom and grouch.

The character of Na Ok Boon aka Goblin Granny is dreaded by everyone. Her main task is to pinpoint her neighbours about the wrongdoings, seditious behavior and illegal practices which disrupt the smooth social order. She is nonchalant and valiant. No amount of scorn or condescend towards her can back her down. She would be always ready to file a complaint against any atom amount of illegal doings to the district office. Apart from this which is her regular work, she is highly eager to earnestly learn English for a special reason. Thus the revelation of her main reason for learning English Language on the second half of the film makes it simply wonderful.

Besides, Na Ok Boon another main character called Park Min Jae, a 33 year old civil servant, is a regular office worker. He had dreamt of being into another profession but somehow ended up as a govt. official for familial reason. Fortunately or unfortunately the fates of Ok Boon and Min Jae are intertwined and with much hesitation at first, eventually Min Jae gives up and starts to teach English to Goblin Granny. He becomes his English teacher and along with his younger brother becomes family of the granny.

As the story progressed, through dramatization of few incidents, it is gradually unraveled why the granny is so enthusiastic and adamant about learning the language. It becomes intelligible that why she wants her past predicaments to be hidden from everyone and what importance this language holds in her life.

The movie is made about a sensitive issue which is heart rendering and capable of making the viewers’ hearts warm with reverence.

Both Na Moon Hee and Lee Je Hoon portrayed exceptional performance of their character. Not even a single moment it feels like they are acting. Their performance was natural especially Na Moon Hee being a veteran actress knows the exact thing to do with her role. They were utterly impressive.

Reviews should be written with critical analyses of important scenes and about the story line by line. However, in MDL it is difficult because we need to maintain caution for not spoiling the story for other viewers. Therefore, I’m forced to keep it short otherwise I had galore of good things to write about this movie.

This is the kind of movie I’ll always cherish and would encourage others to watch. “I Can Speak” is a genuine representation of real cinema – a real art and a true masterpiece.

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The Great Seducer
3 people found this review helpful
May 2, 2018
32 of 32 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.5
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 3.5
The writers are solely responsible for flubbing with this drama. It had great potential but they rummaged the plot with meaningless portrayal of emotions of four main characters.

Initially it started with planning inane revenge of three cosseted children, who had so much idle time that they couldn’t come up with anything better to do. When people are struggling with responsibilities and hardships in their lives, these people were feeding their inner frustrations with some childish game.

As they say, “An idle brain is the devil’s workshop”. People who have nothing worthwhile to think about will usually think of something bad to do. Apparently they got entangled in their own little play and everything comes as a real bash. Each of them started to realize their true feelings for one another, one of them fell in love with the person they tried to victimize which in turn tore apart the friendship among three mollycoddled rich brats.

This is the main theme along with some besmirched parental stories as a backup. Already disarrayed family life of these four young people exacerbated by one of the rich girl’s depraved mind.

Dwindling familial relationship, despicable friendship, betrayed romance and hence dismayed social life of all the characters depicted in this drama are apparently made it runty. What I thought would be a great drama which would show the web of complex emotions among human being ended up completely being meaningless commotion among pampered rich kids. Dealing with their own emotions, both interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships, interactions with their surroundings, apparently what I thought would be the main highlight. There’s no such thing and no character growth whatsoever.

Alas! Such high thought I had for this drama. Utter disappointment.

Well to be very honest, the only thing that keeps me going with this drama without dropping it midway is the four beautiful faces and their charming smiles, especially, Woo Do Hwan and Moon Ga Young. Woo Do Hwan’s sexy, alluring smile which makes his eyes crescent shaped, his handsomeness and his hypnotic husky voice are irresistible and Moon Ga Young’s gracefulness, elegance, beauty and ingenuous smile just took my breath away.

Thoughts on four actors who played main roles:
1. Woo Do Hwan – good actor, more suited or can show his skill more in negative roles. Any sort of intense role would suit him more.
2. Moon Ga Young – has good acting skill and will be grabbing more challenging roles in the future I hope. She has grace and pure beauty.
3. Kim Min Jae – very good actor and has promising future ahead. He already has many on his plates.
4. Joy – still needs to study a lot on acting. She has long way to go. Only the idol tag and pretty face won’t do much justice to her acting career in the long run. The competition is savage in the drama industry.

The veteran actors and the other young people on the supporting role displayed satisfactorily much better performances.

All said this drama like many other dramas had good potential but turned up to be a huge failure at least for me. Mainly the last four episodes were ultra disappointing.

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Just Between Lovers
3 people found this review helpful
Feb 2, 2018
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
Just Between Lovers is actually a tribute to the victims who died tragic death due to collapse of Sampoong Departmental store in Seoul in June 29, 1995. It is marked as one of the nation’s biggest peacetime disaster, killing 501 people. This kind of accident is not only brutally tragic but also leaves traumatic experiences for the victims’ loved ones. The victims who survive such horrifying incidents also live in constant apprehension for the rest of their life or need to undergo various therapies to remain fine.

Buskin styled story of this drama has the vibe of subtle serenity along with exuding melancholy since each character presented here is deeply associated with the one catastrophe took place in their lives. The longing pain, despondency and deliriousness brought the protagonists of this drama closer and deeply fell in love with one another. They had a common ground to relate with each other immensely. Their gesticulation, their shrieking cry out of tremendous pain of losing someone dearer imbued through their profound acting skills. Both Lee Jun Ho and Won Jin Ah made perfect justice to their individual role by showing exact hurting spirit. Moreover their chemistry is gullible as a reality. They were the show stealer. It is difficult to focus on the side stories when they had their astoundingly beautiful romance to portray.

On the other hand, to be very frank, I personally found building one memorial for the entire sixteen episodes were just over the top mundane and exhaustingly boring. There was no development with this part of the story whatsoever. Only interesting part, apart from romance were Gang Doo’s intense friendship with the elderly lady and an autistic young man. Despite a significant age gap between Na Moon Hee and Jun Ho, their chemistry was enchanting and the playful brotherly relationship between Kang Hyun and Jun Ho was also enjoyable to watch.

I only have praises for Jun Ho and Jin Ah. Without them this drama wouldn’t have been so better. The story seemed quite flat otherwise. However, these two characters Gang Doo and Moon Soo pulled off the show with their melting romance which was utterly rejoicing to watch. The rest were distinctively overshadowed by these two. Nevertheless all the casts did good job in playing their roles. Their acting skills were natural and commendable.

I’m thankful that the main character did not met the tragic end. A particular scene at the end episode made my heart skipped million beats. Later I was relieved. For me I just continued and finished this drama just for Gang Doo and Moon Soo. They were the main gem.

Also the OSTs are in perfect cahoots with the mood of the drama.

Overall this is a good romantic drama if skipped the side stories.

If you want to enjoy a great romance with great acting skill from the protagonists then this is definitely for you.

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Completed
Chicago Typewriter
8 people found this review helpful
Jun 4, 2017
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 9.0
This review may contain spoilers
“No matter which era you live in, life is an agony. There’s no such thing as perfect world”. Indeed life is inevitably a trajectory of agony. So “seize the day!!!” – Carpe Diem. That’s what these hot-blooded youth of ‘30s have done. During the period of convulsion under Japanese colonialism, forgetting everything they jumped into the lion’s den without thinking twice. Revolution is only possible by the youth. This drama is indirectly a wonderful tribute to the martyrs in general. I could feel the selfless strive of these rebellious young people through the depiction of their gallantness. It helped me honour our own national martyrs who sacrificed their precious lives to gift us an independent nation, free of oppression, subjugation and despondency. Chicago Typewriter ignited my ignorant heart to have some realization for those, who gave us this worry free future, for those, we’re breathing free air under this open sky since the country I belong to was under another country’s rule just 45 years ago. I’m utterly grateful towards those brave hearted freedom fighters.

These whole 16 episodes did not seem like any drama. It was like an epic elegy which I finished reading with complete satisfaction. I was in a daze for the entire time. The background score and correct blend of beautiful OSTs along with the story gave me a feel of reading an ode. An ode can be classified into three segments: strophe, antistrophe and epode. If CT can be divided into these three segments: strophe (1-5 episodes) produced an excellent feeling; antistrophe (6-11 episodes) produced a neutral feeling and lastly epode (12-16 episodes) produced the most resonant experiences.

The story is nothing new. I remember once Daesung (a member of BigBang band) said in an interview that there’s nothing new under the sky in this era of globalization. We remake it, reproduce it or at best represent in a completely different way with our creativity. Each and every word this singer said is applicable for this exceptional drama. Although story is nothing new but the representation is entirely new. Both 1930 and 2017 scenarios are well construed for the viewers. Having the discernible feature, no confusion is created with the plot.

For instance, if we taste a piece of red velvet cheese cake it might happen that initially the delicate taste doesn’t hit immediately but once swallowed the heavenly taste lingers for long. So, my point is the whole story has an enigmatic texture leaving a palpable aura which may haunt for a longer period of time.

Many attributes of this drama is top-notch, especially acting by the trio ensemble: Yoon Ah In, Im Soo Jung and Go Kyung Po. Their portrayal of every emotion is mesmerizing, especially YAI, this man never seizes to amaze me. Day by day he keeps getting better and better. As a leader he was charismatic and as a modern day writer he was smart, dashing, talented and elegant. ISJ, this lady what can I say ‘bout her? Words fall short to describe her mighty acting skill. Thanks to the writer team who again wrote a valiant woman character. I think no one could live up to the expectation of Jeon Seol character like ISJ did. And GKP, I’m shocked, literally shocked by his power packed performances. He seemed like a cute, lost, adorable and innocent ghost like Casper and at the same time he managed to pull the passionate hot-blooded young rebel, an elegant chaebol of 30s and also a compassionate comrade. Again salute to the casting director who selected these young actors for such roles meticulously. I laughed and cried with the trio’s struggles, happiness and sadness. Kwak Shi Yang did a tremendous job as well as a villain. I pitied his modern antagonist character but had zero tolerance for his character portrayal as “chinilpa” (Korean for traitor). I abominate any traitors in general.

About the technicalities of the drama, cinematography was similar to Goblin which means its extremely wonderful giving a feel of watching cinema. Ambience was on point, based on the necessity of the scene and stories proper lighting and filter has been used. Direction is commendable otherwise CT wouldn't be loved by so many. None of the scenes seemed out of place or just appeared out of nowhere, all of them were well connected. So editing was also good.

On another note, I think CT has also brought out a message on increasing our interests in reading books also. Because of too many distractions in our daily lives, many people are destroying their habit of reading books. So it can be a small showcase to raise our enthusiasm towards reading real pages rather than reading mere virtual pages.

Among the many good points of this drama, I loved the warm friendship, dauntless comradeship and beguiling romanticism among the trio. The relief comedy displayed through the bromance of YAI and GKP is another most amazing thing.

In conclusion, it is an utter satisfaction that their past tragedy did not continue to follow them in the modern time. A small surprising revelation at the end episode was also quite interesting.

I want to keep on writing but it may create disruption as I might give you spoilers unknowingly. So go and watch it without any single doubt. You may not love it like us but you may not regret watching it.

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Midnight Runners
2 people found this review helpful
Dec 9, 2017
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
The story unravels when two puckish and youthful students from the police academy failed gaining interest of any girls in one night at a fancy club and ended up ambling on the street during midnight. While they were guffawing with one another, something striking caught their attention and from then onwards they went deeper and deeper into ultimately solving a heinous crime. It was though not any “never-seen-before” story but how these two young students with discernment jumped into the lions’ den without caring about getting admonished from their higher-ups or getting expelled from their academy, is quite an interesting adventure to enjoy.

Friendship between Ki Joon-Hee Yeol was the most interesting thing to enjoy in this movie. Undoubtedly Ha Neul and Seo Joon were two best choices for playing their designated roles. As per the interviews of these gorgeous young men, they were presented in their most natural look without any make up and sometimes they ended up adlibbing to make their characters more profound. Both of them did tremendous job. Highly commendable. They complemented each other pretty well.

The main charm of the movie is though it focused on one of today’s gruesome crime but it would not totally engross the viewers into its hideousness since the story is actually moulded with light-hearted comedy and fantastic friendship. There were hilarious moments which would make one crack up insanely time to time. Mainly the determination, devotion, diligence and sincerity of youth to move forward with full honesty no matter what hurdles block their path or whatever calamities befall on them was amplified through Ki Joon-He Yeol characters.

Not a single moment of boredom felt. All in all a swashbuckling movie.
For me it’s a relishing one.

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Girls' Generation 1979
2 people found this review helpful
Dec 4, 2017
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 10
Rewatch Value 8.0
Too much depth in story or character development can’t be expected from this drama. It is short, sweet and simple. Set in the year 1979, the story, as the very name suggests itself, depicted the adolescent lives of a group of high school girls. Almost all the characters here seemed like bounded within a chain of unrequited love until the last episode, where the protagonists realized their love for each other. As many said, truly it exudes the vibe of “Reply” series which is purely due to cinematography and the scene set up during early 80s but it’s different. This one is refreshing with a very simplistic plot. Emphasize was given more on unconditional amiability, love, understanding and wisdom among all the characters about one another. All the fluffy teen romances and heartwarming friendships drenched my heart with fondness for all the characters. I especially like the character of the mother who seemed pretty cantankerous in her everyday life but she had deeper understanding, wisdom and high emotional intelligence to run her family. Portraying a typical character, she wasn’t that typical as a matter of fact.

One thing I found interesting is that, each character was pretty aware about their individual attitude. None of them were obnoxious rather each of them knew about what they were doing right and when they are doing wrong. If they realized they were doing something wrong, they were immediately snapped out of it without being too selfish to satisfy their own greed. This fact is pretty likable about this drama.

The background score here is another exceptionally wonderful thing. All the phenomenal English pop songs of early 80s would produce a sensational nostalgia. Although I wasn’t born that time but I grew up listening to those songs on radio with my father. Brought back so many fond memories of my father and me dancing together. Moreover, the OSTs are also beautiful and soothing to listen to.

This drama has its own charm to revitalize ones mood. Fresh young actors playing their roles diligently adds another pleasure of watching. If critically judged, lots of flaws can be identified. However, sometimes no judgment is better. We can keep our life simple just by watching some simple, rejuvenating stuffs after a long day of boring work or in any lazy weekend evening, seeping through a cup of warm coffee.

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The Hymn of Death
2 people found this review helpful
Dec 28, 2018
6 of 6 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 10
Rewatch Value 9.5
What an astoundingly mesmerizing portrayal of a ravishing tragedy!

Given its factual back story, the entire dramatization was elegantly made without incorporating exaggeration of any sort. For the whole three hours my heart was drenched with intense emotions, establishing deeper connections with the main protagonists. The screen writers and directors basically ameliorated the somber mood of the drama including various features such as correctly choosing the filter, season, particular day for every scene, especially when both the protagonists meet which enunciated the feel accentuated from the story profoundly.

The scintillating sound of raindrops when Kim Woo Jin was immersed into his melancholic thoughts, the rustling sound of leaves into the bamboo forest while the lovers were gradually approaching towards each other are some extraordinary effects combined with perfect acting skills of the ensembles.

Although a forbidden love but the aestheticism of the romance between the couple was pure resplendence to enjoy. Both of them from different social status and having different occupation and dreams were gradually becoming susceptible due to their finicky surroundings. Inured by their circumstances, the misfortune was creeping in where they left with an only indelible option.

Exudation of such poignancy through a dramatization of a saturnine historical fact takes a lot of creative intelligence. The makers should be lauded and awarded for this. Both Lee Jong Suk and Shin Hye Sun left us with no tears in our tear gland with their riveting chemistry and effusive emotional interaction. Their gesture, posture, every facial expressions and dialogue delivery were unbearably doleful yet enamoured and submerged me deeper into their romance.

Moreover, the wonderful piano and flute music as background score aligned with right kind of OSTs seeped out all the pain I could possible feel from my heart and mind. I was enchanted and fell in love with such grandeur; even their chic style and appearance drawn out the sufficient essence of the romance. This is the perfect depiction of a tragic romance.

In one word this drama is ethereal. I am still at awe. I can’t do justice eulogizing this paean of death.

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