D-Day ~ Last Impressions ~ Dramajjang
“Do we need to change too if the world changes?
If the buildings collapse because of an earthquake,
Do our feelings collapse as well?”
D-Day; once you start watching there’s no turning back. It was a brave and refreshing attempt in our South Korean universe of addiction to witness a drama dealing with a natural disaster and everything which derives from it and i have to admit that it was a successful one! It passed my personal test and i was grateful i didn’t regret the journey even though the destination could had been partially better. I will explain myself in the process.
Post-midway through we found ourselves in a torrent of excessive pain, i was hating the drama (in a good manner of speaking) for all the devastation it was infusing in the overall ambiance, but it was worth the feels! I mean, how dare you D-Day put in a row of events the hospital president’s son’s death along with Joo Ran’s son lying wounded on a hospital bed and the firefighter squad leader’s daughter being in critical condition while having lost one leg? It was more than i could handle at that point, but the dramasochism effect was making me float in oceans of woeful delight due to the excessive feel-slaps.
If this wasn’t enough, the subhuman and shameless director found yet another chance to accuse Hae Sung in his ongoing Hae Sung witch hunt. If Park Gun was a hospital director then i am the synonym of unconditional love and soon enough you’re going to see pictures of me in the dictionaries next to the word “unconditional.” Even though i hated his character to the point of no return, Park Gun was essential to that exaggerating extent to show that such urgent circumstances don’t only restore all the lost faith in humanity somewhere between sense of duty and sacrifice. There will always be ambitions and personal gain out of the overall and devastating scenery where many people’s demise will make someone else’s star shine no matter how bloodstained its light may be.
However, Park Gun and Ja Hyuk were stellar in their own ambitious crescendos! I couldn’t stop laughing at Lee Kyung Young and Cha In Pyo’s self-centered evocations of everlasting grandeur! An architect of chaos and reconstruction and a maestro of disharmony and discipline! These were the only moments i enjoyed Park Gun, but Ja Hyuk was a different part of the story despite being in a like-minded wavelength. Corrupted and slick politician roles suit Cha In Pyo damn fine, he puts to use his reassuring face along with his convincing voice and everything he says falls like honey from the sky! However, thanks to Joo Ran’s righteous and humanitarian nature he wasn’t condemned to my eyes, he did save many people with his “efforts” even though he was staring at Seoul through his construction company’s prism! It was their very own megalomania that brought them to their ruin.
D-Day was one of these rare occasions where a battleship sailed in the first half of the drama. I have to admit that i was shipping Hae Sung with Ddol Mi, Ji Na and So Yul at the same time for various reasons throughout their interactions, but as the storyline was progressing a part of the battleship got detached and set sail on its own. Of course, i am referring to Ddol Mi and Hae Sung, the ship which avoided reefs and rocks and went through the roughest of seas until it found its very own isle of bliss. The chemistry was all over the place through Hae Sung’s demanding medical skills and Ddol Mi’s elegantly explosive temperament with the first one becoming a caring mentor and the second one an anchor concealing his concerns. I adored the way their love blossomed inside a hostile environment where lives could get lost in a blink of an eye.
However, i have to admit that Ddol Mi was nerve-shaking the moment she wanted Hae Sung to save her father’s life while the other patient could pass away anytime soon. I could understand that it was her father and she couldn’t afford to lose him, but Hae Sung would never leave him had his condition been more urgent regardless of the fact that doctor Yoo was a useless piece of astral dust. What pissed me off was the aftermath when Ddol Mi was acting as if she was a 5 years old intransigent girl.
Thankfully, but also more than sadly, under the burden of the flow of events everything between them was resolved with more pain due to Woo Sung’s death which was one of the drama’s most heartrending aspects. The way he bade farewell everyone he cared about was already preparing us of what would happen, but there was still hope. The moment their family picture fell on the ground, along with the glass, something shattered deep inside and the video of Woo Sung uttering underwater his last words towards his mother and brother came to complete the scenery of loss. The exceptional firefighter squad leader Il Sub erupting upon his colleagues while being unable to withstand the amount of pain deriving from Woo Sung’s loss since his heart couldn’t conceive what had happened was heartbreaking. The mother’s awakening and the realization that her son had departed before her, but also the family meeting at Woo Sung’s memorial and the way she translated her deceased son’s state of non-being as if he was sleeping just like she’d been doing through all these years would penetrate anytime my feel-proof vest.
At this point i have to admit that Lee Young Eun as Na Ri was one of the drama’s highlights, her silence was elevating the amount of feels with her facial expressions and the way she was interpreting her role amid a wide variety of events. I foresee a bright future, but all the child actresses and actors were wonderful!
During the 4th quarter of the drama Woo Jin found redemption and i was finally able to forget, but also partially understand, his irritating attitude especially after he recognized how wrong he was in some aspects. Returning to his good old self wasn’t only pleasing to my eyes, i was truly glad Ji Na could witness his change as well and she didn’t give up on him once she found out his health issue. Hae Sung could also understand that, despite the malpractice, his mother would have died had Woo Jin not operated on her.
At the end of the day, it was the director the one who kept the truth in the shadows while Woo Jin wanted to reveal everything back then. That decision played its own part in the way he developed as a character, but the more he was witnessing Hae Sung’s purity of character in front of his patients and the director’s boiling injustice made him recall what made him a doctor in the first place. The meeting with his mother was heartrending but also heartwarming at the same time. My only issue was at the end of the drama, i mean, seriously? Should the drama go to that extent and present him as a blind medical theorist and surgical coordinator?
I am not discriminating against people who can’t see, being a doctor is a matter of life and death and even though he possessed tremendous amounts of knowledge it doesn’t mean that he can go through each and every incident with 100% accuracy depending only on his knowledge, physical contact with the patient and information he receives from other doctors. It was way too idealist, but it didn’t bother me that much since doctor Yoo and the hospital director were in the eye of my personal cyclone.
Hae Sung’s pounding soul was an exceptional aspect of the drama even though he had way too much burden upon his shoulders having to constantly fight back the hospital director while taking into consideration his own mother and the patients he could save. He was highly representative of a doctor’s essence and a profound example of humanity during a nation’s darkest hour. Even the post-traumatic stress disorder wasn’t enough to prevent him from saving lives despite becoming yet another weapon in the hospital director’s hands.
D-Day was almost perfect to my eyes and i say almost because some aspects during the last 30 minutes left a negative impact upon me. Too much idealism smells like poop in front of the gates of heaven. Suddenly doctor Yoo became a responsible and accurate doctor while his medical gown used to be nothing more than a cloth, he should at least get fired and lose his medical license after his ongoing denial to offer medical treatment and due to his medical malpractice in the operating room.
The hospital director got only fired, okay. What about facing justice for presenting obstacles one after the other in times like these? Instead, he met his wife anew after everything she had to go through because of his incompetence as a human being, his relationship with his daughter progressed and he found himself by the sea like a retired sailor and newborn poet. This turn of events wasn’t satisfying at all, there wasn’t enough punishment. He could have just died by the truck of doom in a moment of divine intervention since he was disrespectful towards life. A truck of doom never looked so photogenic before, but it wasn’t as accurate as it should; sadly.
Setting aside the fact that he didn’t receive enough punishment and he returned back to normality and the life he’d been missing while he was in his personal prison of ambition, the surgery on the hospital director depicted Hae Sung’s splendor and integrity even though he had to face his own demons in order to proceed. Saving the life of a “man” who was disrespectful towards his mother, his brother’s death and himself as a doctor was a crucial moment, but Hae Sung was able to see him the way he should, as a patient he had to save despite the fact that he should die based on his own hospital rules and regulations, especially after the people around him turned their backs on him for the same reasons! Everyone’s equal in front of death’s doorstep and he could only plea for Hae Sung to save his shameless life since he was the only one who could do so at that point.
At the end of the day, i was glad that logic prevailed over inconsistency and Hae Sung became the ER director under Joo Ran’s lead as the new hospital director! Kim Hye Eun is a wonderful actress, she always has some sort of shattered ambition carved on her face, but in D-Day the ambition factor was transformed into an excessive sense of solidarity. Unlike Park Gun who was only fired, i was glad that Ja Hyuk took responsibility and left behind his career as a slick politician. Joo Ran accepted his proposal and his construction company started Seoul’s regrowth with less ambition, the Joo Ran medicine did the talking and Ja Hyuk gladly accepted it! I loved Ddol Mi’s development process and resembling Hae Sung at the end of the drama was simply hilarious! A kiss would had been beautiful to be honest, but “let’s do surgery” coming out of Hae Sung’s mouth was their very own kiss equivalent!
There was an excessive sense of chemistry between all the characters partaking in D-Day from the very beginning to the very end. Whether they were main, secondary or guest figures they were making the drama reach insuperable heights in terms of bonding with all the cracks and the distance in between. Even the ruins were acting in D-Day and if you could pick up a rock you’d find acting skills underneath it! Hands down, the cast came from another planet to show how it’s done.
It’s true that Kim Young Kwang was great in Plus Nine Boys, White Christmas and Pinocchio (up to the 12th episode that i have watched since i got spoiled and decided to give up), but his acting reached new heights in D-Day. The emotional diversity from being heartrending to tense, but also the heartwarming and soothing expressions accompanied by his plenteous moments of effortless coolness were characteristics of Hae Sung that were brought to life in the most representative way by Kim Young Kwang. It was the first time i witnessed Jung So Min’s acting and i was impressed, character-wise and attitude-wise Ddol Mi and Hae Sung were meant to be together. The way she worked on her figure’s development concerning Ddol Mi’s progress as a doctor in a new environment and under devastating circumstances was unerring. Jung So Min’s emotional variety was carved all over her seemingly poised face and her interactions with both Kim Young Kwang and Lee Sung Yeol were brilliant! These three were responsible for the drama’s quirkiest moments which were brightening D-Day’s gloomy horizon! Needless to say that Lee Sung Yeol and Kim Jung Hwa as Dae Gil and So Yul were a ship of their own!
Ha Suk Jin’s character’s dual world, the one of being himself and the one of becoming a shadow of who he used to be, was highly representative of Woo Jin’s journey to redefine himself in a backward course while proceeding forward at the same time. Cha In Pyo is Cha In Pyo and he doesn’t need further introductions and the same applies to Lee Kyung Young, both of them lived up to their characters’ expectations in an exemplary way! Yoon Joo Hee as Ji Na was a personal highlight, she didn’t only enlighten my world with her presence, she also captured my heart as a hostage with her emotionally fortified scenes. Kim Hye Eun’s elegance and emotional magnitude shone anew in D-Day as Joo Ran and she poured heart and soul in a humane role filled with responsibility despite her own maternal struggles.
I was glad the drama didn’t beautify the characters in terms of appearance and was presenting them as humans in the eye of the storm. It was making the overall atmosphere more realistic and spot on. The CGI were pleasing and the cinematography was more realistic and always emphasizing through angles and perspectives, but mainly with closeups, on the characters’ emotional world while taking into consideration the surrounding environment with like-minded lighting which was either evoking a warmer or clinical ambiance depending on the circumstances. The medical aspects pleased me more than expected, my medical knowledge is limited to the basics and i don’t care whether there was medical discordance or not, as long as it looked real to my eyes it was more than fine.
Through the loss of loved ones, the sense of duty, the sacrificial and unconditional vibes and the human bonds’ craftsmanship D-Day became an emotional fortress conquering my heart’s territory, one region at a time and almost epidemically.
“A person that’s just okay dying on the street; there is none.”