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

2017/01/21 | Permalink

And so "Goblin" ends on a mostly pleasant note. Once Kim Sin went and died without actually dying it was pretty impossible to take any stated conflict in this drama seriously anymore, so the ensuing contortions necessary to get us the happy engaged couple of Kim Sin and Eun-tak don't bother me so much. Even the as-usual railroaded nature of the not-romance between the Grim Reaper and Sunny isn't much of an issue anymore. Nor, for that matter, do I care all that much about the rules regarding magical memory attention being rewritten yet again.

No, I think it's safe to write I don't mind much of "Goblin"'s nonsense at all anymore. An apparent tragic accident designed for the explicit purpose of wringing out viewer tears? Eh, not even that high on the improbability department. A reunification with absolutely no explanation whatsoever? OK, well, I wouldn't have liked the explanation anyway. A flash forward to thirty years in the future that doesn't even make an effort to look like thirty years in the future, with a thinly contrived meet cute to boot?

Oh what difference does it make anymore? "Goblin" can't even make me angry now, assuming it ever did in the first place, because the rules were never well-established enough for breaking them to have any meaning. When the Goblin and the Grim Reaper use their magical powers to terrorize oblivious normal people, the purpose is always to make a joke. Putting any thought into the worldbuilding is all it takes to cause a swift, baffling logical collapse.

You know what's one part of "Goblin" I liked that I never really discussed? The music. It's eccentric and weird, frequently making use of odd, out of place musical instruments that are always conducted in a way reminiscent of a jolly jig. It's the kind of music I would expect from the magical land of Quebec, which I suspect was only ever in "Goblin" in the first place because they offered a nice deal on film tax credits.

The inherently bizarre plot was some sort of weird compromise intended to allow director Lee Eung-bok to have the freedom to make "Goblin" look as weird as possible while still being an easily identifiable mainstream commercial product. It's less a trainwreck so much as it is a train disguised as a pneumatic tube. No, that analogy does not make any sense but if you've been watching "Goblin" this long you should be used to it.

Review by William Schwartz

"Goblin" is directed by Lee Eung-bok, written by Kim Eun-sook and features Gong Yoo, Lee Dong-wook, Kim Go-eun, Yoo In-na, Yook Sung-jae, Lee El,..


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