K-Drama Review: “Beautiful World” Shines With Brilliant Cast and Excellent Narrative
The children suffered from the sins of the adults, but in the end, they get the closure they all deserve.
Beautiful World is definitely one of this year’s most touching dramas. It bravely depicted the harsh environment today’s youths are subjected to. It also did not shy away on showing how parents can impact the lives of their children. The series highlighted the lengths they will go to be able to protect them.
Title: Beautiful World
Themes: Drama, Family, School Violence
Length: 16 Episodes
Broadcast Date: 05 April 2019 – 25 May 2019
Main Leads: Choo Ja Hyun, Park Hee Seon, Nam Da Reum, Cho Yeo Jeong
Highlights: Great Cast, Excellent Writing
Related Dramas: Sky Castle, School 2013
The incident that led to Park Sun Ho’s hospitalization was just scratching the surface of a far more serious crime committed. It unearthed several issues that had been going on inside the school, which the higher ups did everything within their power to keep hidden. Friendships have been damaged but lessons were definitely learned. There are characters who had discovered their worth and that despite the hardships, they discovered it is a still beautiful world to live in.
Beautiful World managed to cast the perfect actors for each role. From the parents to the children, the actors were all able to deliver. The characters made the drama so engaging as viewers became hooked and eager to find out what happened next to them. The actors definitely became one with their respective characters that I couldn’t help but root for them. The adults in this drama, especially the parents, represent the different ways people raise their children and keep their families together. The confrontation between mothers evoked intense emotions and I felt every bit of it. Eun Joo’s guilt, her honesty about her state of mind that fateful night and her sincere request for forgiveness were all palpable. Meanwhile, In Ha’s anger was also understandable and she has every reason not to forgive Eun Joo. That scene was one of the standout moments for me.
The young actors keep up with their seniors in terms of acting as they all shine in their own way. Nam Da Reum who played Park Sun Ho is already a given. His character was in a hospital bed for most of the series and appeared more on the flashbacks. But he was still able to give out a stellar performance. He could stay still and let his eyes talk as it brimmed with all the right emotions. I am looking forward to this young actor’s future projects. Seo Dong Hyun’s take on Oh Joon Seok is also commendable. I was angry at his character at first because he came off as an arrogant and spoiled rich kid. But as the story progressed, it became easy for me to understand his character.
Sun Ho’s sister, Park Soo Ho (Kim Hwan Hee) and Han Dong Hee (Lee Jae In) are also a delight to watch. The young actors who played Park Sun Ho and Oh Joon Seok’s friends also did justice to their characters. I just love how each get their redemption and punishment, those who deserved it anyway.
The central mood of Beautiful World is serious and a bit dark. It focused its attention on bullying, assault, thoughts of suicide, lost of childhood innocence and adults fighting to keep their reputation. This would have been a turn off and quite burdensome for other people. However, writer Kim Jin Woo managed to write an engaging story which revolve around these themes. The drama tells an eye-opening story, that is over-dramatized or romanticized . The realistic take on these sensitive subjects, apart from its great actors, is what makes the drama engaging.
It was easy to follow the connection of each plot points and see its importance in the story’s progression. The characters’ developments are done well that each became memorable and easily understood. I like how the drama is able to show that our actions can truly impact those around us, and this drama, how the adults influence the children. The writer created characters you can’t hate and a story we all could relate.
Beautiful World, despite its dark themes, teaches us that we could never go wrong with kindness. It also reiterates that change is the only thing constant. No matter how much we despise the harsh realities we experience in life, we have no other choice but to go through it and learn from it.
Moo Jin and In Ha (Sun Ho’s parents) taught both of their children nothing but kindness. This reflected on how they treat others. Even though there was a time when Sun Ho questioned his father’s reason for not fighting back, he continues to live through his father’s words.
I first read The Catcher in the Rye when I was a teenager and honestly, I could not relate to the main character at the time. I may have lived a sheltered life back then, hence the lack of connection and understanding. Fast forward to a few years later, I reread the book, this after “getting out” of the bubble I was in, and somehow, I was siding with the main character. From time to time I also look back to my childhood, when everything seemed uncomplicated and worry-free. Especially when times get tough and I read the news or browsed through my social media accounts about crimes and violence committed against humans (and sentient beings). The desire to go back and preserve that time in my life is always strong whenever I feel down. Or when I get disappointed with the current situation.
Even though we go through hardships and sufferings, this drama emphasized that good things outweigh the bad ones. We may face people who could take advantage of us, but we also would get to encounter someone who is willing to help. I also love the how the ones previously treated harshly, paid forward the kindness they received. Dong Hee learned to stand up for herself. She realized that there are people who cared for her, not just her brother. She was the first to approach the person who often bullied her and showed him empathy.
Dong Hee’s brother realized that his teacher only wanted what is best for him. That even though they were abandoned, there are still those who wished the best for the both of them. Because of this he changed his ways and even helped Joon Seok.
The truth eventually came out and it was painful for all. The things that happened changed all the families. Relationships are altered and the children matured earlier than expected, but the characters learned and some even forgive.
Life can be unforgiving sometimes, but we could not ignore the fact that, despite all the bad things we received from people, it is also humans who could show it is a blessing to be alive and how truly beautiful our world is.
Photos retrieved from jTBC.