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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Revenge Note" Episodes 8-10

2017/12/12 | 5642 views | Permalink

So it turns out that Goo-joon does serve at least one important role in "Revenge Note"- he's the best friend of Cha Eun-woo. Who's Cha Eun-woo? Why, he's a singer in the boy band Astro, which happens to be the same boy band that Deok-hee and her mom (played by Park Kyung-rim) are totally obsessed with. So Deok-hee is naturally a little miffed to learn that apparently Goo-hee has pretty much always been on a first name basis with Cha Eun-woo, inspiring a fairly dramatic split.

In contrast to the previous cases of revenge, where Goo-hee had an obvious firsthand connection, this storyline is fairly abstract. The villain is just a typical anti-fan who posts mean things about celebrities online. That he ended up being someone who even lives in the same general neighborhood as Goo-hee is an astonishing coincidence, the only apparent purpose of which is to briefly allow for a certain character to require physical rescue for the duration of episode ten.

The charitable screenwriting explanation for this is that we are seeing how the "Revenge Note" is a bit of a double-edged sword. Yes, it does allow for revenge eventually, but in the meantime further innocent people are put in danger. I'm still thinking back to the third victim, who may well have not actually done anything at all. Although really, considering how all the "Revenge Note" victims (or villains, if you'd rather call them that) simply disappear from the story once the application has done its magic, maybe I'm just overthinking this.

Which leads me to the less charitable screenwriting explanation. The reason for the convoluted storyline is solely to set up the ending with the cameo by Astro, which is a real-life South Korean boy band. I can stomach a fair amount of product placement in a drama although that really did go a tad too far. Although I suppose as far as Deok-hee's character is concerned, it might as well be a real boy  band instead of an imaginary one.

That's the core element I'd really like to see more of- just better character interplay. There's way more dramatic tension over Goo-hee and Deok-hee's falling out than there is over one of the girls falling into physical danger, because I'm reasonably invested in their teen girl friendship, which could plausibly turn antagonistic. Whereas a generic anti-fan bogeyman? That barely warrants anything more than a shrug of the shoulders.

Review by William Schwartz

"Revenge Note" is directed by Seo Won-tae, written by  Han Sang-im, Kim Jong-seon-I and features Kim Hyang-gi, Park Solomon, Park Kyung-rim and Kim Hwan-hee.

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