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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People" Episode 6

2017/02/14 | 1125 views | Permalink

As Gil-dong goes about his happy-go-lucky merchant life, Amogae soon finds himself on the wrong end of the deal. Which seemed sort of inevitable. Amogae is, after all, a con artist who has enemies, and really failed to appreciate the extent to which his act of mercy could backfire. Honestly, it was kind of a dumb move for Amogae to let the poor woman wander about on her own when only a single mistake on her completely amateurish part was necessary to bring about disaster.

In general these kinds of continuity errors don't bother me so much in introductions, because you have to allow for a certain amount of contrived plotting to get to the premise most of the time. It's just...we're at the sixth episode now, and the origin story only just seems to be wrapping up. We get that whole classic "hero submerged by water" shot that symbolizes rebirth from apparent total defeat, and I couldn't help but notice that this trope usually shows up way earlier than this.

Even Amogae going to jail doesn't have the power it should, simply because we've already seen it happen once. There is, granted, some ambiguity about whether Amogae is actually going to die or whether Gil-dong's first act as a genuine rebel leader will be to break dear old dad out of prison. But this all really only calls attention to the fact that Gil-dong hasn't really done very much except act as a plot token ever since he was a kid.

Shifting Gil-dong's status as child in need of defending to Eorini does make a slight difference, although I'm unsure how well this will work in the long term. If Gil-dong is actually going to be "Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People", he's going to have to be in stark opposition to the system much more than Amogae was. And this is going to be inherently awkward, since Amogae already beat the system while facing a much stiffer charge than the one he has now with far fewer allies.

Some more character complexity would be nice. I was sort of expecting that Amogae's tendency to compromise with evil would be his downfall rather than his inherent goodness. Amogae's death seems preordained if only because he's a kind of martyr figure intended to inspire Gil-dong rather than a character in his own right. Which again, not a big deal for an origin story, but this is just taking way too long.

Review by William Schwartz

"Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People" is directed by Jin Chang-gyoo (진창규), Kim Jin-man, written by Hwang Jin-yeong and features Kim Sang-joong, Yoon Kyun-sang, Kim Ji-suk, Lee Honey and Chae Soo-bin.

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