The Korean summer movie “Pirates” comes out this week, starring Kim Nam Gil and Son Ye Jin. Does this pairing sound familiar? “Shark,” one of the dramas nominated for the Seoul International Drama Awards, was the previous collaboration of these actors, which aired from May to July of last year. It was also part of a revenge trilogy directed by Park Chan Hong partnered with screenwriter Kim Ji Woo, the brilliant minds behind “Resurrection” (2005) and “The Devil” (2007).
“Shark” is probably one of many dramas that is underrated domestically but gains a reasonable fandom internationally. The leading character, Han Yi Soo comes from the middle class and struggles to help his father make a living while taking care of his younger sister. After his family settles a high profile agreement with the Gaya Hotel Group, also the family of his first love Jo Hae Woo, Yi Soo’s father is mysteriously murdered. Narrowly escaping death, Yi Soo disappears – only to return some years later to avenge his father.
This show is filled with numerous symbolistic elements. It is essentially the retold story of a character from ancient Greek mythology, Orpheus. The latter grieves over his wife’s death, Eurydice, and travels to the Underworld to retrieve her only to lose her again in the end. With this legend in mind, it is interesting to see the entire cast in “Shark” portraying their respective characters in a living hell.
Detailed and brutal murder scenes, hidden identities, facial reconstruction, mafia, dirty policemen – this drama has it all and almost every element implemented in this show carries important ties to the show’s premise. The soundtrack is quite pleasant but may feel repetitive in some episodes.
For those living in the US and Canada, this series is also available under its alternate title, “Don’t Look Back: The Legend of Orpheus,” on Soompi’s sister site KDrama!
Kim Nam Gil and Son Ye Jin’s new movie, “Pirates,” will be released on August 6th in South Korea and has already been sold to an additional 15 countries at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.
Watch the trailer below: