It’s been some time since I watched a Korean Drama. For me, Korean dramas are like books whose plot needs proper burial before you can move to the next one. I am new to this world but I have been fortunate to watch some really good K series such as Secret and I Remember You.
At the moment, I am indulging myself in W (Two Worlds) starring Lee and Han. If I have to rank the series I have had a chance to watch till now, I would rank W to be the number one series.
When I watched Secret, I thought can there be more painful love story than the one this series had? Also, I felt like I have come to the world where I will see women who are destined to succumb to the patriarchy.
I thank god that I got a series that did not follow the suit. It’s not that Yeon Joo is some extraordinary character who defied the odds to stand up for herself but she is definitely one of the characters who cannot be easily fit into stock female protagonists of Kdrama. It is no wonder then why Han was chosen to play the role.
Yeon Joo does not mind meddling with her reality to save Kang Chul in webtoon because of her belief. She does not mind taking risks to stand up for what is right as per her ideology. No matter if it includes going against her father.
Every thriller has some loopholes. So does W but this won’t stop me from saying that the level of execution of plot and the production is quite impressive.
As a viewer, I will say that every passing episode gave me a heart attack. There is a pain in this series that seeps into reality like Kang who travels back and forth into reality and his webtoon world. He is human but he cannot live as one. He cannot explore his options because his purpose of existence has been pre-defined.
How painful is that? His existence is controlled by the narrator. Everytime, Chul tries to disrupt the structure and defy the limitation, the plot changes and he is trapped in the structure once again.
It’s like he is the signifier whose signified has already been set. To set himself free, he will have to search for a new world, a new structure that would give him a new purpose.
This happens when he stops being the lead character. The loophole lies in the way his freedom is depicted. If he could not do anything by his will till his revival, how come he is able to free himself from the role of main protagonist? I feel perplexed.
Even the soundtracks of this series scream pain. “In The Illusion” is by far my favorite and every time, I listen to it, Chul’s dilemma of his existence comes in front of my face and I can’t help but sympathize with him.
You see Chul suffering and helpless and as a human, you feel his pain. Lee’s acting has impressed me so much. His smile and his tears are effective. I’ve become his fan. The same goes for Han. When she cries on hospital floor over the fact that Kang Chul has forgotten her, you can’t help but cry with her.
This drama shows the dilemma. Had it not been for Kdrama conventions, I did not see any chances of Chul and Yeon Joo coming together. While I am not that big a fan of love stories but since the beginning of this series, I wanted both of them to come together. For the first time, I too wanted a “happy ending” for them.
In terms of plot, the concept is quite new. I felt like I am reading post-structuralist work where the narrator can no longer be believed. Here, you have to see the world from characters’ perspective and not the author’s. He might have created the work but he has no control over it. Isn’t it quite similar to “If On A Winter’s Night, A Traveller” where the story is “to be continued” after the end of a chapter but a whole new “variable” or plot emerges by the time we reach next chapter?
Sometimes, you feel a bit frustrated that the Kang Chul is not able to find a solution but isn’t this how the life is? Always ready to give you lemons! If I have to call a character an epitome of patience and strength, Kang Chul will be on the top of my list.
There are a few things that confused me but probably I have to give this series a second go to understand things more clearly. Till then, all I can say is that W is worth watching and needs to be more popular among Kdrama fans.
*image credits goes to the creators and editors.
*image source: Google Images