Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Review: Fantastic (판타스틱)

Fantastic is simply fantastic and it’s not because I love both of its main leads to death – although to be honest seeing my beloved Joo Sang Wook (주상욱) together with Kim Hyon Joo (김현주) who is my number one female crush is enough to please me no matter what. But, Fantastic refuses to fulfil that very low requirement of mine.

It knows that a drama needs a good story to stand out. Having your favourite actors and actresses in it would not be enough to make you sing it praises no matter how much you love them. Admittedly, the storyline in Fantastic is far from original, nevertheless, it has managed to successfully deliver the depressing story about death in an uplifting and entertaining way.

Fantastic makes you cry and laugh in a blink of an eye. You won’t be trapped in an episode that tries to squeeze tears out of you. The drama tone is a perfect balance between heavy and light moments. You’ll fall in love with characters that are warm, vulnerable, yet strong enough to shoulder their heavy loads. When Fantastic finishes you’ll want to have your very own BFF. 

The friendship between the three high school best friends Lee So Hye, Baek Sul (Park Shi Yoen / 박시연) and Jo Su Min stays strong despite years of no communication, which is how a true friendship should be.

Lee So Hye (Kim Hyon Joo) who becomes a famous writer is being forced to accept the famous star Ryu Hae Song (Joo Sang Wook) who is an even bigger star in China as the male lead in her latest drama. She tries her hardest to reject him by pointing out that despite his good looks and big name Ryu Hae Song can’t act.

Unfortunately for Lee So Hye all the big shots want Ryu Hae Song. And despite protesting that he doesn’t want to work with Lee So Hye either, Ryu Hae Song wants nothing more than a chance to be close to Lee So Hye.

I find it funny how the incredibly good actor Joo Sang Wook acts as the can’t act Ryu Hae Song. My lovable man becomes more lovable because of Ryu Hae Song. How could you not love an actor who realizes he is bad and genuinely tries to improve his acting skills? Moreover, Ryu Hae Song’s script reading scenes are not to be missed!

Ryu Hae Song the universal top star is an endearing cutie pie. He lovingly calls his grandma cutie pie, but without a doubt the ultimate cutie pie in this drama is Ryu Hae Song himself.

Besides having this cutie pie to entertain you, Fantastic gives you another superb man to steal and break your heart.

Kim Tae Hon (김태훈) as Hong Jun Ki is one of those second male leads that makes you want to rage against the Heaven because of the unfairness of the kdrama land. How could this incredibly wonderful man be doomed with the fate of a second male lead who never gets the girl? And I’m not even talking about death yet!

Hong Jun Ki makes me want Lee So Hye to shower him with love. I love how he always smiles and finds humours in almost every bad situation. I love how he accepts the love between Lee So Hye and Ryu Hae Song with love. It is impossible not to fall in love with Hong Jun Ki. The problem is my beloved man is the male lead and he is the universal top star cutie pie.

Fantastic fantastically avoids the jealousy traps that are so inherent in kdramas. I understand a drama needs bad guys/girls to make it more spicy. But I really hate it when a second male lead or second female lead turns evil because of love.

Hong Jun Ki’s love for Lee So Hye doesn’t turn him into an evil person. His love for Lee So Hye doesn’t make him hate Ryu Hae Song. His love for her stays beautiful till the very end. My heart aches when I see how he looks at Lee So Hye when she is not looking.

I kind of understand Ryu Hae Song’s feelings when he sees the way Hong Jun Ki looks at Lee So Hye. If only he loves Lee So Hye less I think he wouldn’t mind giving up the girl just to make Hong Jun Ki happy.

Death is scary not only because it means we are facing the unknown but most importantly because it means we would lose something really precious. Life. Life is one of the greatest gifts that we get without asking. Most of us just take it for granted. Never realizing how great it is to be alive until it’s too late.

Fantastic shows us that no matter how hard it is to be alive, we should try our best to fill it with productive things. And when we are at the very end of our ropes do not be afraid to ask for help. There are people around us who would love to help if only we let them know of our problems.

All of us are going to die. So what if we know for sure when we are going to die? In a way, isn’t that better than most people who have absolutely no idea when they are going to die, thus waste their precious time doing useless things and being in a meaningless relationship with people who don’t deserve their final precious moment.

Baek Soel is trapped in a hellish relationship of her own choice until she is pushed into a corner where she thinks that death is preferable than life. But is it really?
Let’s forget the supposed existence of Heaven and Hell and assume that after coming into a being called human, death will erase all that self-awareness and we’ll become nothing. A non-exist thing.

Do we really want that? Wouldn’t that make the lives that we had experienced utterly pointless? Why bother living at all if in the end we won’t even remember a thing about it?

When Lee So Hye is about to die Hong Jun Ki warns her that if she dies she won’t be able to remember the life that she has lived. Is that really okay with her? As it turns out, it’s not okay with her. She doesn’t want to forget all her loved ones.  Particularly, Ryu Hae Song.

I must admit that my heart stopped beating for a second in the final episode while I kept saying: No, please don’t turn it into another 49 Days! You won’t be able to live up to your title if you give me 49 Days’ ending!

The final words: Fantastic stays fantastic.
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