No matter how old we grow, there will always be a soft spot for fantasy deep inside us all. Maybe it’s because fantasy is like the alter ego of reality that we innately prefer; imagine an entire genre set in an imaginary universe, instead of cold, harsh truths dished at us all day long. Anything is possible in that world, and no one can tell you what’s right or wrong because creativity is all it takes for things to come to life. It is also okay to screw up real bad in there because there will always be a hero to save the day.
In more relatable terms, fantasy’s like binging on all the cakes, macarons, waffles and ice-cream your heart desires without gaining a single pound. Instead, you’ll pack on toned abs and an aesthetic physique of the perfect size, shape and symmetry and get on the shortest route to become the sexiest human ever. Now you’re lying if you disagree that this is awesome, and that it is also too good to be true.
I’m not one who has much difficulty in accepting whatever’s to come, but there are days where I wish things can be easily solved with a game of play pretend. Maybe that’s the reason why I’ve grown to adore fantasy films and dramas.
When I was introduced to Goblin, it felt like bedtime story that I’ve forgotten, except that it’s ten times darker. The tale is about a Goblin, Kim Shin (starred by Gong Yoo) who is paying for his grave sins by ‘living’ on earth for the past few centuries. His ‘eternal’ stint consists of assuming multiple identities, accumulating heaps of wealth, while watching all his acquaintances and their descendants mature from infancy to senescence. The Goblin probably knows best about having everything but absolutely nothing at all.
“I once thought considered my endless life a reward. In the end, it’s a punishment” – The Goblin
Thankfully, as per the nature of life itself, there is a way out of the Goblin’s eternal predicament, albeit ambiguous. At an appointed time and place, the Goblin’s Bride would show up in Shin’s life. She would be the only individual (apart who has the ability to put an end to his sufferings, by drawing out this sword pierced through the Goblin’s chest. This significant act would cause him to return to ashes forevermore.
900 years, said Bride finally appeared. Ji Eun Tak (starred by Kim Go Eun) is a bright, cheery and youthful high school student. She’s had it tough for nearly all her life, but most of all, her existence was the result of mercy shown by the Goblin. She possesses the ability to see spirits and also belongs to the list of missing souls that Grim Reapers are constantly hunting down.
By now you would have guessed that the plot would involve a Grim Reaper. Yes, you’re right, but Koreans often exceed our expectations in kickass manners and they did it so damn well once again. Grim Reapers are often imagined in various elements, so nothing adds a brilliant touch to said mysteriousness like getting a sexy, dandy and downright gorgeous to star as this character. Clearly, no one does a better job than Lee Dong Wook; who is truly Hotstuff No bluff.
Despite my love for fantasies, I’m not a fan of flicks that are really big on supernatural powers. For the record, I got giddy halfway through episode one of Master’s Sun and that was it for me. I guess what sealed the deal for this one was how this entire melancholic fantasy fairytale packed so much irresistible charm. The beauty of a series with a cryptic nature is that it leaves viewers guessing what happens next all the time. It’s been long since a Korean drama sent the internet into a huge frenzy with tons of fan theories, but Goblin did.
For folks who are drawn to aesthetics, it may help to know that the series has got really amazing cinematography. Credit’s probably partially due to beautiful Canada, where some scenes were filmed. But you’ve got to agree that it takes skills to make it work. With brilliantly written parallel love stories (of really hot people) thrown in the mix, they’ve basically nailed it already.
I loved how this drama presented life and it’s fragility in it’s manner. Not the nothing-escapes-death-so-we-should-just-surrender-to-fate way, but it was a sobering reminder that life is more than fleeting ambitions and possessions. What matters most is the relationships that are forged along the way.
All of us would have to face life’s greatest hurdle someday, and while we’ll never be fully ready when it comes, my hope is that I’ll live every single day I have, counting all the blessings I’ve been undeservedly bestowed with.