Monday, October 26, 2015

Review: The Pirates (해적: 바다로 간 산적)

I don’t think it’s possible for anyone not to love The Pirates. It’s that good. Not that good in term of getting raving reviews from the pundits, but that good in a lay man term. The movie gives us the little people all that we could hope for when we watch a movie.

I’m not a fan of Kim Nam Gil (김남길) and I don’t have any particular feeling for Son Ye Jin (손예진손예진) but they both are such a joy to watch.

Jang Sa Jung (Kim Nam Gil) makes us laugh and giggle not because he is one of those stupid characters who does stupid things to make audience laugh (because his character is actually quite clever) but things happen and they make him look silly.  

It’s hard not to love a hero who has to face embarrassing things on regular basis. It’s hard not to love a hero who is heroic enough to take a band of losers under his wings.

It’s hard not to love a hero who unabashedly tries to utilize the bad deal to his advantage. How could we keep our face straight after that scene of him scratching his crotch?

Kim Nam Gil might not have the blinding looks of so many other Korean actors but there is no denying that he is a magnificent actor. I personally think that Bidam is one of the best things in Queen Soen Doek (and the reason why I couldn’t bring myself to finish that drama).

Kim Nam Gil as Jang Sa Jung is a delight to watch. I can’t stop laughing when I remember him dangling on a rope in front of a large number of King’s soldiers.

And I love the scene when he finally saw a real whale then started beating Chul Bong for misleading him into making a very wrong decision. I also love the scene when he cheekily complimented the warm sea water. How could you not love Jang Sa Jung?
Although I don’t love Yeo Wol (Son Ye Jin) as much as Jang Sa Jung but as a heroine she doesn’t disappoint. I have nothing but admiration on how her character is being written. She is a perfect bad ass.

Yoe Wol might be a woman, the only woman in the ship full of pirates but she stands out not because of her gender. She stands out because it’s obvious that she’s the alpha there.

I love how she held back and loyally followed the other alpha dog Soe Ma (their leader) despite his unfair treatment until he crossed the line by selling their own people to the government official.  

Yoe Wol looks cool and tough but this time it’s not just her appearance. I love that she could make a tough decision without being hampered by the sentimentality that plagues so many heroines in dramaland.

I love that despite showing us her tough façade the movie has cleverly shown her softer side through her relationship with the other major character in this movie. The giant whale.
When I watched that giant whale approached her I was half convinced that she would be eaten, when she was not, I wondered at the randomness of its appearance and her benevolence towards Yoe Wol. But that arch turns out to be the most beautiful arch in the movie.

Is it possible to turn this movie into a drama so that we could  enjoy this story and its leads a lot longer?
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