Review – Shark / Don’t Look Back: The Legend of Orpheus

Review – Shark

Shark is the third (and final) installment in the Revenge Trilogy by director Park Chan-hong and writer Kim Ji-woo.  This drama varies greatly from its predecessors,  Resurrection and The Devil.  Shark is a moody, elegant revenge drama that indulges in gorgeous scenery and slow plot progression.  It’s like watching a Sofia Coppola film.  Everything is filtered down – the action, the romance, the mystery and the suspense – and yet its easy to bask comfortably in this dark emotional pool and allow yourself to sink to the bottom.

Kim Gam Nil is well suited to the careful, calculating man robbed of his father and young adulthood who returns for revenge.  Son Ye Jin does an excellent job portraying a woman who lost her first love – and in order to find him again must face the terrible secrets of her own trusted family.  Though it’s not as sexy and brooding as Bad Guy or as twisted and compelling as The Devil – Shark is an excellent series for a rainy weekend when you’d rather get lost in beautiful visuals, a slow simmer romance and a interesting mystery.

It’s a beautifully crafted drama.  Meticulously crafted, in fact.  Every shot, every detail, every lingering camera angle and detail hint at extra meaning.  Like a Hitchcock film.   Though a lot longer.  It’s long.  It’s 20 episodes.  And there’s a great deal of “sins of the father” theme going on in this show… and more than once you will find yourself thinking, “Wait… doesn’t he/she already know this/that?” and you probably won’t be able to answer your own question and it probably won’t matter cause everyone has secrets and secret identities and everyone is lying to everyone and they can’t keep their stories straight so why should we, as viewers, have to?  I absolutely LOVED this drama – and have rewatched it several times over the years (okay, okay, maybe not all of it… but probably 70%)- loving it more each time.  But of course, long convoluted crazy  romantic revenge melodramas are generally my favorites.

It also has one of the best love theme songs I’ve ever heard in drama.  Lovely, haunting and passionate – I never got tired of hearing this song.

Overall Rating:  10/10

EXTREMELY MILD SPOILERS AND MORE

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Review – Resurrection

Review – Resurrection

Resurrection.  Also known as Rebirth.  Also known as Revenge.

The series is the first installment of the “Revenge Trilogy” by director Park Chan-Hong and writer Kim Ji-Woo.  Lucifer (or The Devil) followed in 2007, one of my personal favorites.  The series ended with Shark in 2013, which I have not yet seen.

  

 

Did you ever see the movie Open Water?  For some reason, I kept thinking of that film while watching Lucifer a few months ago.  You knew something horrible was going to happen… you knew it in your bones… you were just waiting for the sun to go down and then God help us all.  Lucifer did not disappoint.  It will drown you.  Rebirth isn’t nearly as dark as Lucifer.  Instead it reminds me more of a Kubrick film, in both plot and cinematography.  More intrigue based than the dark soul-stealing  revenge and redemption epic of Lucifer.  Though Rebirth isn’t as fulfilling, it’s a definite standout in the k-drama universe.

—— SPOILERS FOLLOW ——

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