Are you a fan of dance, or more specifically ballet? Do you have a dream for your life that remains unfulfilled? Do you enjoy works with older characters? If so, the Korean dance drama NAVILLERA will delight.
Based on a graphic novel, NAVILLERA centers on Mr. Shim (In-Hwan Park), a retired postman whose father forbid him to dance. As the Netflix series begins, he is turning 70 and looking to reconnect to his dream he was never allowed to pursue - dancing in a ballet. When he spots the beautiful Chae Rok (Song Kang) practicing alone in a gorgeously lit dance studio, his dream is reignited.
Chae Rok is having trouble achieving his own dream, as his mother has died, and his father has been imprisoned for an attack on one of the young man’s teammates. The cast of characters – including Mr. Sims wife and children – are terrific, including the over-achieving son who does not understand his father or the other siblings who cannot live up to his standards.
The characters of the studio are just as interesting, with his divorced teachers strategizing on if – and how – they should encourage Chae Rok to reach his full potential.
The series is beautifully filmed, and the acting is top notch. It is a great look the drama within two vastly different families – with Chae Rok on his own, and Mr. Sim overwhelmed with relatives. You only see short snippets of dance, but they are well done.
This is also an insightful beautiful glimpse into the soul of this very driven country. And it is a great reminder that indeed we only live once.