Well I thought I prepared my heart for the ending of Heartless City, but apparently I thought wrong. Gosh. Why do I love this drama so much? Well apart from the fact that I find pleasure in watching things with heroes being skilled fighters, intelligent, and fighting the baddies, this was also a story about loyalty and vengeance. Put all of that together and you’ve got yourself something worth looking at. Watching the relationships between the good and the bad unfold between the gangsters and the justice seekers got me thinking what unfathomable things might be going on in our real justice system. Evil and good in this drama coexisted in the most shadiest way that I’ve decided to not typecast anyone as purely good or bad like I did when I first talked about Heartless City. Everyone is just out to survive. And they will go to far extents to make sure that the one life they live was something worth fighting for.
Heartless City stripped down human nature to it’s most rawest form. Like Shi Hyun, we cannot devoid ourselves completely from emotion because boiling it up inside will only take us so far. Like Safari, we can succumb to temptation and lose part of ourselves, but somewhere deep inside we do not forget where we came from. Like Soo Min, we love others even when we know it might hurt us. Like Jin Sook, we regret our past and try our best to move on and become the best individual we can be. Like Hyung Min we naturally go out of our way to protect things that are important to us. And like Min, we may lose sight of what we were originally fighting for.
As many dramas as i’ve seen, Doctor’s Son will forever have a place in my heart.
So I didn’t particularly like the ending because it left so many loose ends undone, but I also liked it because it finished what was most important. I don’t care if Doctor’s Son is still alive or not because it doesn’t matter anymore. He completed his mission. He brought down who was really causing all the ruckus and he knows the truth. And even if he is still alive, he’s not a police officer anymore because Hyung Min still has his job which means the blame is on Doctor’s Son, and it didn’t look like he was frolicking around with Soo Min. I’m just going to ignore the fact that he could have stayed alive if he beckoned to Min to not just remove his hands, but throw his weapon on the ground while he held him at gun point. This drama liked to mention and show scenes where it seems the characters were taking on the whole world. But it just consisted of a group of people interconnected in ways they themselves didn’t even know existed. Fate brought them together, and before they could try to fight the world, or anyone else, they needed to battle the evil inside of them.
At first I labeled Soo and Jin Sook as “unknowns” because we really didn’t know what side they were on. In the end, we know even when they found out Shi Hyun’s true identity, they owe it to him for his sincerity towards them. I was a bit on the edge concerning Soo, especially since Doctor’s Son saved him sooo manyyyy timesss, was he really going to sell him out? I got super emotional when I saw him going back for Busan. He’s a reckless fighter (lol) and he probably knew that he wouldn’t be able to overthrow Busan, but the very act of sacrificing his life for Shi Hyun is something he was willing to leave the world doing. Safari also settled his debts and finally told Shi Hyun the truth. Safari to me was never a bad character, yes he would annoyingly bother our Doctor’s Son, but just like Jin Sook, both of them are an oppa and unnie looking out for their dongsaengs to make sure they don’t make the same mistake they did.
I still think this drama did not do justice with Soo Min’s character. Goodness gracious she sucks as a cop. How can you rummage around leaving traces that you’ve been rummaging around. Ever heard of being discrete? But on the other hand, she provided a short escape emotionally for Shi Hyun. I love that Jin Sook still acknowledges her even till the very end. Safari, Jin Sook, and Shi Hyun do not take the close relationships they have built lightly which is what I love about them. They believe in real friendship even in a world where loyalty is something thrown around all the time.
[Ok I know we won’t get a 2nd season…but I have this CRAZY idea. What if we coin the name Doctor’s Daughter, and in actuality, Doc did live. He also met with Soo Min once, she ends up pregnant and bares a daughter. Then the child grows up with her father absent from her life and comes to find that the story of her parents is shady. She then seeks to find revenge on her father for abandoning her and Soo Min..and lots of other stuff happens. Ok, this sounds like a typical revenge thriller, and I’m actually laughing to myself while writing this.]
-Contrast Shots: Light vs. Dark:
Before I said that the light and darkness that coexisted in this drama signified evil vs. good in the world, it does, but it also reveals the smaller picture, which is the two entities that reside inside of us. There were soooo many contrast shots across Shi hyun’s face because he has two identities. Doctor’s Son was always fighting Shi Hyun from the day he took on this mission.
-Viewer becomes an outsider looking in:
It goes without saying that these shots are reserved for suspense but i’m more interested in when it is not used for that purpose. We were always as viewers treated as outsiders intruding into the world of every single character. And we will always be treated that way in Heartless City because if anything, we represent the world Shi Hyun keeps mentioning. We smile when we see characters doing the things we want them too, but when they tick us off, we may curse at them. So as an outsider, we are not given the ultimate power of fully knowing what exactly is going in each character’s head.
As always these shots were giving us a chance to know which characters were most important and which were connected emotionally. Also, non-verbal movements say a lot about a person. Just think about how much we found out about Min’s true nature when he furrowed his brow, or opened his eyes really wide, or twisted his mouth. Singling out those facial expressions were really beneficial.
-Backed turned on camera shot:
I’m so happy to see that Shi Hyun and Hyung Min finally got their shot on the roof. Those were reserved for those with close relationships. It was to show that whoever appeared together both shared some type of understanding between one another. We also got one of Doc, Jin Sook, and Soo which is always nice 🙂
-Birds eye view + ones that are slightly tilted:
This was just fate doing what it does best.
-Impending Doom shot:
Ahhh look what we have here, I knew once I saw this shot that Min was going to die. I was happy. But what I didn’t know was that it revealed something even more complicated. The bodyguard was another of Min’s undercover minions (lol) and he was also going to die too because of Min.
* In my previous post about Heartless City, I talked about the camera doing a close up shot on a lotus flower between Jin Sook and Doctor’s Son. I went on and on about what the lotus flower means in different cultures…and basically it means death and rebirth. Initially I thought that flower was for Jin Sook…but actually it was meant for Shi Hyun. Gahhh, the team on this drama is so slick.
*Links to previous Heartless City posts:
Goodbye Heartless City. You did super duper well.