This particular K-Drama is certainly worthy of praise, just for the different impressions it leaves on the audiences. Set during the Gwanju Uprising in the 1980’s it coagulates the history books and carefully embeds a love story to its core. In many ways, it catches you off-guard as you can sense a budding story to its edges that purposely increases its relevance with the subsequent success of the nature of events. The problem with most love dramas has always been the lack of substance besides the romance, however, this was not the case here, as it presents the audiences with potentially three perspective situations unfolding with each complexity remaining congruent to the rest of the pack, all while sparking the relationship among the two-lead pair.
I never really felt that much irrelevancy of the space when it comes to the short detours the story takes. Each action seemed to have a purpose and wasn’t there just for the sake of it. The variability of the characters certainly helps the cause for that to happen. The show switches very well between the melancholy somber moments and the light-hearted touching gestures.
I was afraid the romance might come off as cringy, but thankfully that was not the case as Lee Do-Hyun (Hwang Hee Tae) and Go Min-Si (Kim Myeong Hee) form healthy chemistry. Lee Do Hyun is refreshing and delivers a powerful performance. He stays in the character when expressing different emotions, and I think that just defines why he was so good here. Go Min-Si’s (Kim Myeong Hee) contribution shouldn’t go unnoticed as well. I think she does well in establishing an identity beyond the relationship paradigm is very essential. The chemistry she forms with Lee Do-Hyun hits the right chords due to this very reason as we can understand why he loves her, which formed the foundation of their relationship. I also appreciated the fact that Keum Sae-Rok (Lee Soo-Ryeon) entered the fold making things more than complicated among the two, yet never really coming off as annoying. Her character weakens as the story becomes more and more centered on Hwang Hee-Tae and Lee Soo-Ryeon, which I believe should have been better used as she ends up lacking purpose in the story by the time show draws closer to an end.
But what surprised me the most was the history books coming to life as they collide with the lives of the pair and everyone else around them. The brutality and the violence are just enough for helping in the understanding of the event and its magnitude. We never really go through the consequences, as it remains committed within the event itself.
My main problem with the show as it shifts between the timelines and the location set-pieces, there aren’t many cues for clarification which sometimes can lead to confusion. The vast characters the show consists of, end up being double-edged as the audience is at times flooded with information. The show also isn’t consistent enough in backing up its building as it can be a suspect too providing unfinished details.
I think it does very well in mixing the different components that ultimately lead to exposure of genres such as family drama, suspense, and the classic romantic fundaments all embedded in the time frame of the ’80s, more specifically during the Gwangju Uprising. It can get heavy at times, yet you would like to see how the story goes.
Final Score – [7/10]
Reviewed by - Devyansh Anand
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