Review: Heartless City [Cruel City[Cruel City]
Are you aware of what they mean when they say that fine wine takes time to make?
Although it was difficult for me to grasp Heartless City, it took me a while. It took me some time to get caught up.
Many dramaland friends fell instantly in love with the show, but others were unable to connect. However, I realized that I could not dislike it and not be awed by it.
Show then corrected that by creeping closer to me and placing a firm grip on my heart in the later episodes, so much to the point that once I was at the conclusion I went back to the beginning to do a partial re-watch. A bit odd, but totally real.
Is my appreciation similar to how fine wine is?
TOP 3 PICKS
1. It demonstrates the general handling
Cinematography, music, tone, vibe
When I think of the tone, presentation and the content, the words dark and beautiful are constantly popping into my head. The film’s crisp, polished cinematography looks dark and beautiful. The music is beautiful and dark. In general, any scene has a dark and beautiful style.
The thing I find to be dissonant and very intriguing, is how although things may change quickly in the world but there is a distinct sense of languidness that is a part of it.
That sensuous and sardonic flavor is a way of life that transcends the pace of the world and the juxtaposition of the sombre overlaying the speed-y, is I believe, among the big things contributing to Show’s coolness factor.
The OST is also languid in tone. The songs usually contain a hint of sadness in them, yet, always possess a bit of edge.
The rhythm is steady and slow but it is a pounding one. It has a trance-like quality that is often amplified. It’s hypnotic, atmospheric, perfect for this drama’s cryptic universe.
The narrative in this show is assured, yet completely unreliable, in a manner of speaking.
Watching this show feels like trying to put together the pieces of a puzzle made up of constantly shifting pieces.
It’s like you’re constantly trying to keep your balance while moving on quickly shifting sand. It’s fascinating and challenging but also exhausting.
The narrative point-of-view shifts a lot, from the point-of-view of the cops as well as the members of the shady and secretive drug gang that the police are trying to break into, and back again.
We feel as if we are being used as an audience.
The world of writer-nim depicts is one in which there isn’t any black or white. Every thing is many shades of gray. This drama world seems to be transforming, and to reveal hidden depths and the scale we could never have imagined.
Show appears to believe that the writer-nim is more interested in tinkering with our minds. And I must say, Show does this very well.
Turning things on their head
Show is known for turning things upside down.
When we get important information, it alters everything around us. It’s like the kaleidoscope spinning. As our brains frantically work on each new informational occurrence and information, our brains spin. It is possible to discard old connections and create new ones.
Like in episode 4, when it was disclosed that Baksa (Jung Kyung Ho) is actually an undercover agent, everything about the story, as I knew it changed:
Baksa is determined not only to get his power but also to complete his goal.
What was the reason he put his phone away to ensure Kyung Mi, Go Na Eun couldn’t contact the man: It was not because it was illegal, but rather to make way for Hyung min (Lee Jae Yoon).
Show does this twisty thing a lot, as Safari (Choi Moo Sung) appears to be an undercover officer in the episode 10.
While twistiness can be an excellent thing however, I think the Show went overboard with this, so much that the shock totally wore off in the final stretch.
Show kept pulling out surprises like this throughout the course of the game. We weren’t surprised when Show exposed a character as dirty cop or undercover agent.
I mean, seriously, it got rather ridiculous by the end; it felt as if the entire drug gang was made up of undercover police was, ha.
Note to writer NIM: there an aspect that seems too good to be true.
However, that huge-scale twistiness is one of the major reasons why I returned to the beginning again when I reached the conclusion, therefore, there’s that.
After I found out the identities of the secret agents as well as dirty cops, I was eager to see how the whole thing was portrayed. It felt like I was viewing a totally different series.
2. Jung Kyung Ho as Shi Hyun/Baksa
This show features Jung Kyung Ho, who is in a word perfection.
Jung Kyung Ho returned from MS with an entirely new level of charisma and magnetism that I find utterly captivating.
Jung Kyung Ho, Baksa appears to be intense complex, multi-layered, and mysterious. His sharp suit and well-coiffed hair don’t make him look like an infamous Gangster. However, his quiet dangerous aura is evident and it’s quite chilling.
Jung Kyung Ho has it all. From channeling the cold criminal boss, as-ice, to unleashing his swift as-the-wind-spinning badassery, and expose Baksa’s weaknesses to the maximum extent possible,
Perfection. What do you think?
Jung Kyung Ho, who has a tattoo on her back that is full-back Slim and mean.
Wowza. Dangerously stunning, you think?
I love the fact that Baksa is calm and unflappable all the time, except for unexpected bursts that require violence. Baksa is just that dangerous because you don’t know when he’ll unleash his inner Ninja.
The Ninja’s inner hawk-eyed ninja is always in the loop, observing and analyzing the situation and discerning the need for intervention. It’s scary-cool.
I also like the fact that Baksa is a hands-on yet mysterious sort of crime lord. It’s a mix that I find fascinating and very compelling.
One would expect someone who is well-dressed and coiffed to just issue the commands and let the assistant do the lifting. Not so Baksa.
It gives me a bit of a thrill, that Baksa’s name is so popular with a lot of people, but his appearance is well-known to only a few. This allows him to wander around the crowd in order to conduct an investigation of his own (as the episode 6), and no one is aware that he is Baksa.
He has conversations with Attorney Ahn, Kim Jung Hak, numerous times, referring to them as “President Jung” and I find it ironic as well as humorous that Attorney Ahn does not know who he’s actually talking to.
The scary badassery
Baksa is almost scholarly looking when he’s in a suit and tie. Baksa’s fierce fighting skills are what makes him stand out. He is quick and deadly, and can defeat anyone in a matter of minutes.
I love the unpredictability to his badassery; the contrast between his inner scholar and inner ninja is one of my most favorite things.
It’s quite surprising, considering Jung Kyung Ho is more wiry than brute, and it’s always satisfying to see Baksa’s gang leave behind a slew of bigger buffer men.
Baksa in episode 7 looks refreshingly . He’s not wearing a suit however he is wearing a sleeveless shirt that is shiny and sinewy. This is a very sad episode.
Yet, there’s nothing like seeing Baksa in laser-sharp, cold and efficient action. This is why I’m including this quick clip from the first episode. It’s amazing to see Baksa kill numerous armed comrades by himself.
Now This is what I would call a terrifying cool badass.
Baksa is simply stunning. Baksa is quiet and calm but also precise, quick and brutal. Talk about taking your bad boy a step further.
The tender heart hidden
Baksa is a brutal man but strong, very real emotions towards his close family members and friends.
His constant efforts to encourage Jin Soo (Yoon Hyun Min) and Jin Sook (Kim Yoo Mi) to leave the business is a sign that he truly is concerned about them, not as business connections as such, but as individuals and as relatives.
He also gifted Director Min a briefcase because Director Min had already made the film before. He was very sweet. (The present of the new briefcase was not the shooting part, just to make sure, heh.
Baksa’s tenderheart traits can be very discreet as his true affection. Baksa’s personality is so human in comparison with the cold and calculated manner Baksa is throughout the day.
Jung Kyung Ho’s amazing delivery
Jung Kyung Ho’s Baksa performance is engaging, captivating and absolutely captivating. He has reached every stage in his career.
Innocent Shi Hyun and Jaded Baksa both have convincing stories. Baksa is considered to be a real living person.
There are so many incredible moments Jung Kyung Ho can perform as Baska. But I am going to focus my attention on episode 8 where Safari is able to hit Baksa in the neck with an iron rod.
The crippling pain brings Baksa down to the floor, and Jung Kyung Ho kills it in a manner I didn’t even think was feasible. You can tell that he was completely committed to the action and it’s nearly painful to watch him struggle in pain.
In the moment, Baksa’s physical pain and despair are palpable and, as his thoughts go back to happier times with Safari, the sense of loss and sorrow, that it had to get to this point is evident.
Augh. This was a wonderful scene, even though it was hard to see.
3. The bromance
Baksa, Soo and their bromance are the stuff of sageuks. Both are so passionate about each and each other that they literally regularly – lay down all their lives to help each other. It’s difficult to find an affair that’s more attractive than the decision to sacrifice your life for your partner.
Baksa Asks Safari his final question regarding Soo’s safety near the close of the episode. Baksa wants Soo to live for hislove, and it’s love at its best on a grand scale.
Baksa rescued Soo from the authorities who stopped Safari’s plans of killing Soo. Love and loyalty are in abundance and I cannot help but feel overwhelmed by.
STuff I TRIED WITH – AGAIN. THE TOP 3
1. This drama world is truly dark
People who know me well will know that I’m not usually a fan of dark things. I love a well-told story regardless of the context. However, in the event of a choice between happy and light or dark and disturbing, my preference would be to go with light and happy.
It’s true, that’s what has brought me to the my place in dramaland. To be happy and light-hearted in order to get away from the grim realities of Real Life.
This means that I could appreciate the dark beauty of Heartless City, but deep down, there was an unease at the heart level for me. Even though I was becoming more enamored of the characters and being enthralled by the drama, it was still disturbing my heart.
In the world today, there’s no clearly good or bad. Everyone is a shade of gray. Everyone’s messing up. and their relationships too have been damaged. Many people aren’t sure about their relationships and very few people mean what they statements are. A
nd, on top of all that the fact that all things are commodities in the world. Position. Power. Drugs. Money. Sex. Life. Everything is hazy.
Show’s intoxicating, murky nature is a twitching experience that makes it hard to determine the direction in which you’re going. Many viewers enjoyed that show’s dark and intoxicating character but I.. didn’t.
It was very fundamentally unsettling to me. It was hard to reconcile my discomfort with this dark and disturbing story.
Here’s one example of a person who is too disturbed for me.
Episode 4 sees Hyung Min force Soo Min to become an untrained undercover agent. This unsettling behavior was apparent at several level.
1. She is going to be in a very risky situation and isn’t equipped to protect herself.
2. Soo Min will have to perform prostitutes to cover her expenses. Kyung Mi isn’t going to allow her to do it.
3 Hyung Min can’t give her any choice.
4, He explains that this is how he could help Soo Min. It’s so bizarre, I’m shocked.
Hyung Min Do have the evidence to prove the innocence of Soo Min. He withheld evidence to oblige Soo Min to go undercover.
OMG. All of this all of it made me mad at Hyung Min that I began to begin to dislike him. In addition, Hyung Min has treated Soo Min with complete disregard and treats her as a source for information.
Hyung Min’s actions in this instance could be attributed to his anger, sadness, and loss. But, seriously it’s evident by his actions that he is not the is the kind of person Hyung Min is. I believe that his behavior in this instance is a sign of his lack of understanding.
Instead of protecting Soo Min as Kyung Mi would want, he makes Soo Min suffer in a risky and humiliating situation, and then withholds all emotional support. Blech.
2. The concept of power
It’s a theme that runs throughout the entire series that is accompanied by power and a struggle for it. It’s a constant theme in the show, as we observe it within the “kill-or-be killed” reality that our characters reside in. In this society it’s completely acceptable to kill someone when it will help you increase your strength.
This is the aspect of the concept of power I want you to focus on. This is the power women have in our drama world.
I was struck by the effusive remarks of viewers watching the program. They were raving about how powerful women felt in the show.
The problem is that despite my best efforts I can’t think of the women I love as powerful. find them to be sad. I could not help but feel. They’re actually committing self-defence, even though they believe that they’re in control and have the power.
Jin Sook, in her words to Soo Min in episode 7, put it most clearly.
“You have to make money in order to survive But there are no alternatives. There’s no place that will accept you. Your body is all you have, so you can make your own decision. There’s still a little pride left. Even though you’d love for to stop crying, it’s okay not to.
You want to curse, shout. Since people might believe you’re crazy, you won’t be capable of. This is the same for all the business fetuses. Nobody does this because she likes it.
It would be insane if somebody did this only because they loved it. You might think that you’ll get used to it in time. It will be like that for a long time. .”
Jin Sook expresses a profound emotion of sadness through her words. She is clearly feeling this way even after every day she has been in the business. Jin Sook is a victim of a vicious system even though she seems to have control.
This is a connection to my previous aspect. It’s about my struggles with this particular series. Everyone is sick, delusional and is a victim of the greed of others, crimes, and deceit. no one’s tough.
3. It’s hard to keep on top of everything that’s going through your head
Although the name of this segment is quite explicit, I’d like to emphasize that it’s difficult to watch.
There are so many characters that don’t have the same name that it can be difficult to figure out who’s the person and what their relationship is to. Show can also give crucial information regularly.
I have already said this It is crucial to be able to pinpoint the aspects of your knowledge about the characters or stories that you have retained, each and every time Show gives some of these pieces of information.
Writer-nim weaves an intricate web of interconnected dots and threads.
At least, that was true for me. I personally found it really difficult to keep everything straight in my head at any time in the show.
The tendency of the show to be repetitive in its last stretch It’s almost like it’s been addressed. Therefore, I’ll only mention the other aspect that I observed to be a flaw in the show.
While I might be in the wrong on this one, I hafta admit, I’ve never been a huge believer in OTP’s love for the game.
I found their interactions milestones were hurried and devoid of logic. Everything from their many chance encounters, to the development of deeper feelings for one another, did not feel natural or natural to me.
Sometimes it is true that a romantic relationship is not logical and just based on attraction or the chemistry. This is an instance where I wasn’t convinced by OTP’s claimed attraction or the chemistry.
I believe that a large part of it is due to Nam Gyu Ri’s delivery that I found to be uninspiring and unnatural, even though I can sense that she’s trying. While Jung Kyung Ho can sometimes convince the two of them, overall, I have never found the pair to be a success for me.
A prime example of unlogical behavior paired with awkward delivery is when Soo Min pushes Shi Hyun into her space during an earlier episode. chance meets.
Soo Min acts unnaturally friendly whenever she sees Shi Hyun. Shi Hyun’s polite expression and unwelcoming response are the only thing that she can think of to encourage her.
She was almost stabbed when she ran after him and made the mistake of touching him. However, she pushes herself to his space every when she sees him again.
It’s a bit of a stretch, is that really the case ? I’m sure she’s supposed to be thoughtless But it’s really difficult to believe someone could be acting this way, especially since Nam Gyu Ri’s performance of these scenes is dazzlingly bright.
Also, episode 9 and 10’s kiss and subsequent sex does not seem natural or natural for the plot or the characters.
I mean, I know that Shi Hyun feels lost and isolated inside. Soo Min’s casual warmth attracted him towards her and makes him want to bond with her.
The point is that it wasn’t natural to me either time I watched the shows. I had to think about the situation.
With the enormity of the problems Shi Hyun has to face, it’s difficult for Shi Hyun to be in the spirit or even desire to kiss others.
Jung Kyung Ho’s bed scene is an absolute delight and the kiss scene. It’s so sensual. Puddle.
Just to be clear I am grateful for the many efforts that writer-nim puts into afterward, to demonstrate to us the way in which Shi Hyun, Soo Min, and me more than only a one-night-stand. It’s just that it’s never quite enough, for me.
Show could have chosen either to deepen or eliminate the romance. I’d prefer to have that. If Show had chosen to go either way, it would’ve made this a more compelling drama.
THINKTS ABOUT THE SECOND
To be honest I wasn’t a fan of the end.
It’s close to the close of the show. The show is littered with undercover cops.
Baksa was the right hand man of an undercover officer all along, without realizing that Baksa also is undercover. Baksa pursued Safari all through, never realizing that Safari is undercover too. Soo Min has been undercover trying to capture Baksa, but not knowing that Baksa actually is undercover.
Oh, the tag web that we weave is so complex, and is shared by the undercover police. It’s ridiculous, really.
They all die in the end. It is tragic. Shi Hyun’s tragic death makes it look even more terrible. The ones who do not die are left behind to live with tears streaming down their faces. This is truly sad.
Show offers a glimpse of the possibility of. Shi Hyun’s voiceover, as well as the video of Shi Hyun back, in which he now wears an uncolored light-colored suit which wasn’t his prior to, are two proofs of this.
But, it really is one of those cold comfort things that dramas tend to take out, the alternate fantasy world that makes no sense in any way and has nothing to do to do with the story of the drama.
Although it’s difficult to believe that Shi Hyun is still around somewhere, still being a badass since we almost witness his death and believing that Shi Hyun is alive is more appealing than believing that he’s dead.
Show was able to capture my heart even although it was during the last few episodes. Even though I didn’t love the ending of the show, this was a truly memorable watch.
Baksa is a tragically sad, yet always likable and lovable villain that Show lingers with me long after the show’s final credits.
Show, despite its flaws has a distinct beauty that stands out, kind of like a meteorite that comes along only once in a while.
Like meteorites shine brightly through burning itself to nothingness as it journeys through the air, it seems like Show was doing the same, burning its characters to a cinder of nothingness, and displaying the beauty of flames.
THE FINAL Verdict
Darkly gorgeous Darkly beautiful, cleverly twisty and beautiful. It’s also a bit extremely confusing and disturbing. Jung Kyung Ho, who is simply incredible throughout is what makes it all worth it.