THE SOUND OF MAGIC. I believe in magic. I live in a world where people sing and dance spontaneously, and cherry blossom petals fall from the trees at the most opportune times. Because of this scandalous fortune, the world of The sound of magic, the new K-Drama series streaming on Netflix is immediately enticing. An underdog student (Choi Sung-Eun) with far too many secrets weighing her down and the son of a successful lawyer (Hwang In-Yeop) facing all the pressures of success, are serenaded in spectacular style by an enigmatic magician and evil (Ji Chang-Wook) living in an abandoned amusement park. The recipe for the music, drama, rom-com, and thriller series may seem like thumbs up from the writers vying for control of the play’s direction, however, the flow, character development, and plot twists do. function.
In true K-Drama style, the show plays out like an extended miniseries telling a completed story. The episodes feel nearly complete with a few cliff-hangers as frustrating bait. It’s healthier to digest it slowly, and the respite between episodes contributes to the success of the aforementioned menu of styles. In fact, the ebb and flow of each segment’s tones could be hampered by gluttonous viewing. For example, the show’s exposition of A-yi’s misery and her willingness to take care of herself and her sister Yoo-Yi (very kindly played by Hong Jung-min) nicely turns into the suspense of meeting the mysterious magician Ri-Eul. Yet when juxtaposed with the near-Disney-level magic and song of later episodes, the change seems shocking. The gritty reality of A-Yi is necessary to establish and is just as appealing to watch as the whimsical cutscene created by the magician’s plot and both are explored in different episodes. This allows for a deeper exploration of the series’ unifying theme: when does fantasy and wonder get in the way of success rooted in this capitalist world?
In the high school that A-yi attends, this question is embodied in Na Il-Deung’s career. Pushed to become a lawyer by his parents (Yoo Jae-Myung and Kim Hye-Eun), he strives to be the top student in all subjects through sometimes nefarious means. As his mother metaphorically cracks the whip in an archetypal depiction of the matriarch’s domineering conduct, his father’s affection is refreshing until his son’s disrespect for his mother leads to a quick closure. Propelled by his pent-up feelings for A-yi, Na Il-Deung’s escape into the free world the magician offers him leads him to wonder about taboo paths for Korean men to explore. Why do we need respect, power and money if we are doing something we love? Blasphemy!
The series also includes next level naughty girl bullying. Ji Hye-Won plays the role of Baek Ha-Na well – cunning and devious, his only motivation is the destruction of the clumsy A-Yi. Specifically, it’s “for a little fun,” as she tells Kim So-hee (Kim Bo-yoon), the typical hesitant sidekick, uneasy but tacitly approving of her friend’s antics. popular. Incorporating a vlog, cyberbullying, manipulative trappings, and fake affection, Baek Ha-Na is the main villain of the story. Maybe it’s clever camera angles or the actor’s facial exercises that pay off, but the physicality of her characters’ expressions can make one wonder if she’s still the same person. It’s especially unsettling when she plays with care and concern while putting on an innocent face until her duplicity reveals a sinister, under-illuminated horror movie antagonist.
Director Kim Seong-Yoon’s use of every second of an episode’s 62-minute runtime to tell a complete and in-depth story is a testament to his ability to honor writer Kim Min-Jeong’s adaptation of the strip. Korean digital cartoon. Annarasumanara. Even if a director of lesser stature may hesitate before the ambitious fusion of styles, Seong-Yoon rises to the challenge with flying colors. The series can feel bloated at times, but the way it breaks up the story and refocuses episodes allows for more thematic meaning and deeper character reveals.
Music director Park Seong-Il mixes the catchiness and energy of K-Pop with the lavish dramatic flair of musical theatre. Although it’s a little sweet for my taste (think Disney princess singing bubblegum pop), the handful of numbers feel well spaced out and barely prevent nausea or rolling eyes.
A musical love story, a detective drama and a rabbit in the hat. Don’t let the deeply misleading trailer fool you; it’s not a children’s story or a romantic comedy, and some episodes should come with a trigger warning for the most abusive and graphically violent segments. However, once the disappointment of a bait and switch trailer wears off, the wrong direction may fit the theme. If you take your time, the beauty of the end of the arc is worth it.
Tiggerbouncer Custodio (he/she/they) is a queer indigenous Filipino artist whose works have been seen on Humboldt stages and elsewhere.
READING IN PROGRESS
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS. Animated animal adventure based on the tale by Jules Vernes, voiced by Aida Rodriguez, Madi Monroe and Raphael Alejandro. PG. 82M. FORTUNA,
THE VILLAINS. Sam Rockwell, Craig Robinson, Awkwafina and Marc Maron perform an animated adventure/comedy about reformed animal criminals. PG. 100M. BROADWAY, FORTUNA, MILL CREEK.
DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Benedict Cumberbatch dons his cape for another Marvel puzzler. PG. 126M. BROADWAY, FORTUNA, MILL CREEK, MINOR.
EVERYWHERE AT THE SAME TIME. Reality crumbles and the multiverse Michelle Yeoh comes to the rescue. With Ke Huy Quan, Jamie Lee Curtis and the legendary James Hong. A.146M. MILL CREEK, MINOR.
FANTASTIC BEASTS: SECRETS OF DUMBLEDORE. Hey, that can’t be worse than his Tweets. PG13. 143M. BROADWAY.
FIRE STARTER. Zac Efron and Ryan Kiera Armstrong star in a remake of the Stephen King story of a girl whose emotions caught fire. Girl, the same. Drinks ? A. 94M. BROADWAY, FORTUNA, MILL CREEK.
THE LOST CITY. Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum star as a romance novelist and her cover model is immersed in a jungle adventure. With Daniel Radcliffe. PG13. 112M. BROADWAY.
THE NORTHERN MAN. Viking epic with Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman and muddy, bloody Hamlet vibes. R. 140M. BROADWAY, MILL CREEK.
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2. Animated video game sequel about a very fast hedgehog. PG. 122M. BROADWAY, FORTUNA, MILL CREEK.
THE UNPORTABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT. Nicholas Cage as Nicholas Cage and Pedro Pascal as a drug lord who hires him for a birthday party that turns into a CIA operation. A. 107M. MINOR.
For showtimes, call: Broadway Cinema 443-3456; Fortuna Theater 725-2121; Mill Creek Cinema 839-3456; Minor Theater 822-3456.