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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Fantastic" Episode 16 Final

2016/10/22 | 2346 views | Permalink

So-hye continues to be sick. While "Fantastic" is fairly ambivalent about So-hye's exact fate for some time, it's the same basic holding pattern the drama has had ever since So-hye had to be hospitalized. All there really is to do anymore is look at the various relationships between the main characters, and admire the depth and strength of their social bonds. Even when it leads to somewhat humorous scenes like So-hye and Hae-seong one-upping each other in the prior sacrifice department.

This then begs the question- has So-hye done enough in life? By finishing the checklist of life goals, can So-hye move on to the next world? Actually the afterlife of "Fantastic" is fairly nihilistic. Joon-gi explicitly states that So-hye won't have any memories, if she even exists at all. So how can she be talking to Joon-gi? Probably because he's a hallucination, based off of her own memories of him, which is further to the point. So-hye can remember who Joon-gi is because she's still alive.

...Yes, this isn't exactly the most profound of analyses, but then "Fantastic" appears to have decided it's satisfied dealing with the same philosophical ideas it has always dealt with. More importantly the production team has dealt with these themes consistently and effectively enough, I'm willing to forgive a basic refresher course. Love is good. Lovers and friends can be amusing even when they're not really all that funny. The second part, naturally, being a matter of subjective taste.

Consider, for example, how the final sequence is largely a callback to prior jokes about Hae-seong's bad acting. While I didn't find this all that funny, I could still appreciate the basic point. Love cannot and should not fundamentally change who you are as a person. But it can and should encourage the best parts of your personality to shine through, which is how everyone is able to be so cheerful at the end.

Aside from the in-laws anyway. Their schemes are scuttled here without even any real intentional action by the protagonists at this point, because surprise surprise, no one really likes cooperating with people whose only apparent personality traits are selfishness and meanness. As a morality tale, "Fantastic" never gets much farther than "be like the good people our heroes, not the naughty villains", but it does get decently high marks for at least making those heroes likable, sympathetic, and above all not malicious. In the end, that's enough.

Review by William Schwartz

"Fantastic" is directed by Jo Nam-gook, written by Lee Seong-eun and features Kim Hyun-joo, Joo Sang-wook, Park Si-yeon and Ji Soo.


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