“The Glory” marks an impressive transformation of Song Hye Kyo.
Currently, after 4 days of release, Part 1 of Netflix’s original series “The Glory” has recorded many outstanding achievements, such as entering the Top 5 of Netflix Worldwide (as of the morning of January 2). Here is what makes this revenge drama a must-watch.
Song Hye Kyo’s bold transformation
Since “Descendants of the Sun”, Song Hye Kyo has received divided opinions for sticking to the same character image in melodramas, which explains why “Encounter” and “Now, We Are Breaking Up” failed to become hits. However, with “The Glory”, Song Hye Kyo took on a completely new challenge by playing a vengeful female lead spending her entire youth plotting a revenge.
Cutting her hair short, no longer dressed in fancy clothes from expensive brands, transforming into Dong Eun, Song Hye Kyo brings out her most rustic and simple image. Viewers can see a colder and fiercer Song Hye Kyo, whose eyes have become sharper and scarier in “The Glory”. Although there are still some mixed reactions to her acting, Song Hye Kyo has succeeded in making viewers feel the rage of her character as well as her own efforts to change.
Great character building, convincing acting by the whole cast
A big plus point of “The Glory” is a well-written story with convincing character developments. Every character, from the bullies to the victims, has their own hidden secrets. Dong Eun goes from a poor girl with a dream to enter an architecture school to a woman betting her own life on revenge. Her horrific past, the brutal violence she suffered from has deprived Dong Eun of everything, including the thought of allowing herself to live like a normal person. Even so, Dong Eun’s dream of living a normal life is still recognizable through the way she tries to avoid the attention and “human” smiles from her companion Hyun Nam.
The villains are also meticulously built. The main antagonist Park Yeon Jin was born with a huge pressure from her mother, a religious woman who always forces her child to follow her monstrous beliefs. This has made Yeon Jin reckless and cruel.
Accompanying Yeon Jin is Jae Joon, a rich man who is arrogant on the outside but actually self-deprecating because he is colorblind. The madness of finding people weaker than him is a negative way for him to hide his inferiority and prove himself. Lee Sa Ra, who comes from a well-to-do family with a religious father, frantically searches for ways to resist her family’s arrangements. The other two, Hye Jeong and Myeong Oh, are both from poor backgrounds, so they volunteer to become the henchmen of Yeon Jin and Jae Joon to avoid being bullied and have a better life. Each character has their own backstory, but of course, that cannot justify their misdeeds. Most of all, they are still psychologically distorted and unstable human beings, using the pain of others to compensate for their own issues.
The acting of the cast is excellent. Although Song Hye Kyo is the female lead, the actors who play the antagonists are outstanding, showing off a synchronization of acting between two generations of actors.
Haunting story of school violence, hinting at a bloody revenge in Part 2
School violence is the cause of all the revenge plots and tragedies of “The Glory”. Although this plotline has been used too much on the Korean screen, “The Glory” still manages to shed a separately dark and haunting color on its story. The flashback scenes set in high school are the highlights of season 1. The times Dong Eun was brutally abused and how she struggled both mentally and physically tore viewers’ hearts apart.
In part 1, viewers somewhat understand Dong Eun’s revenge plot, how she finds each of her penetrator’s weaknesses to gradually make them lose everything. Without blood and violence, Dong Eun wants them to endure the feeling of losing everything they treasure most. Part 1 ends when the secret has been partly revealed, promising that Part 2 will be a nerve-wracking and bloody story when Dong Eun’s rage has reached its climax. And most of all, beside her, there is Joo Yeo Jung, the “executioner” who is willing to dip his hand in blood for Dong Eun’s sake.
Part 2 of “The Glory” will be released in March.