"Blade Man" continues to be highly entertaining, very touching, and full of juicy character stuffs. Heroine Se-dong does not disappoint with her spunk and vulnerability that is guided by good sense and intelligence. Not-quite-hero Hong-bin has shown the smallest of changes in reaction to Se-dong's strength and his backstory is compelling. Little Chang is hard not to love, and the side characters are quirky and fun.
What makes "Blade Man" stand out is the wonderful trappings: cleverly scored music, creative scene transitions, and pointed camera storytelling. The music contains a childrens choir, keys playing what sounds very much like French film music, and an overall impressionistic sound that adds to the whimsy of the drama. Director Kim transitions through scenes riding on the mood of the musical scoring and tying scenes together by keeping an element of one scene and using it to transition into another. The camera is very well-used in not only showing the plot, but helping to move it along. A drop of rain on a window warns Secretary Go of impending danger. Focus on a tear brings the emotions into stark relief. These techniques are used all the time, but "Blade Man" unifies them into wonderful entertainment.
The chemistry between the cast is also stellar. Shin Se-kyung is, like her character Se-dong, a person who relates to everyone. She has marvelous chemistry with the child actor Jeong Yoo-geun and her co-star Lee Dong-wook. The tenderness she shares with the child is palpable and Lee reacts to it very well as the prickly (pun intended) Hong-bin. Se-dong as a character is a wonderful variant of the poor Candy stereotype. She works hard, but she also isn't afraid to be cranky, scold her boys when they need scolding, and use her brains. She is no wilting flower and she gives without harming herself, a trait often found in K-drama heroines.
Hong-bin is a juvenile character with severe daddy issues. His fascination with Se-dong and his mystical transformations make him engaging. That, and he is completely ridiculous. He is a caricature of a damaged soul that will gradually become grounded as he is healed by Se-dong and his son, Chang. At least that's what I hope will happen. Lee Dong-wook's over-the-top acting still fits his comic-book like character. It is the quiet moments where Lee truly excels, though. When he watches his son sleep, or Se-dong talk with passion and fire in her eyes, the way he reacts is spot on.
Where this show is going is still unclear. How does Hong-bin's magical transformation work? Why is Secretary Go (the wonderfully hysterical sidekick) keeping the transformations a secret? And, is Hong-bin's backstory powerful enough to match his horrible emotional damage?
Journalist, drama lover, and foodie, Lisa enjoys exploring Korea, speaking the language, and soaking in all that dramaland has to offer. Her Korean husband laughs that she knows more than he ever will about dramas and K-pop. Lisa Espinosa can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blade Man" Episode 3"
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