After I finished watching Revolutionary Love, I kept contemplating my decision to stay together with this show until the end. What kept me sitting through 18 hours of a story that couldn?t decide what it wanted to tell, that resulted in giving 1120 minutes of my life to this utterly underwhelming tale, remains a puzzle to me.
It could be because I was waiting for the show to shed some light to why Kwon Jae Hoon (Gong Myung wasted in a role that asks him to maintain a poker face throughout) was enduring his demeaning job, which involved physical beating as well, when he is talented and skilled enough to take up another one; or it could be because I was for waiting for an exciting face-off between Byun Hyuk (Siwon, trying his best, to do over and above his wafer-thin characterization) and his father, when Hyuk finally decides to stand up to him, or it majorly could have been the pain of watching Kang So Ra (as Baek Joon), navigate through these average dramas, till she finds something worthy of what she showcased in Misaeng.
Korean Rom-Coms are a huge genre of their own, and you need to make your peace with some cliches, and some outlandish situations, but with a fun and interesting premise, you can look past them, and enjoy them. Revolutionary Love is never able to find that premise and fumbles a lot through a major part of the show.
Is it about Hyuk learning the importance of wealth and the influence it wields on people? Is it about employee rights, unfair dismissal in particular, that makes Baek Joon work multiple part-time jobs? Is it about corruption in business dealings? Is it about Hyuk falling head over heels with Baek Joon, and at the same time Jae Hoon trying to finally open up to Baek Joon, thereby creating a love triangle? Is it about friendships or the relationship shared between a father and son? Everything is present in a handful, but never wholly addressed and the fuzzy screenplay and the overall indecisive tone of the show doesn?t help either.
For instance, when Hyuk is getting beaten black and blue by his own father, in front of all the company?s shareholders, and no one gets up to help him, it is an appalling situation, but what we get instead is Hyuk reciting a poem, (which he had narrated when he met Baek Joon for the first time) in the background. In a similar scene, when Min Sang Ho (Song Young Kyu), and Baek Joon are having a heated argument, at the construction site where she works, for an unnecessary moment, we cut to Hyuk blowing dandelions in the air. Another of these occurrences is when a robber is entering Jae Hoon?s house, and instead of just focusing on him and building up the moment, we cut multiple times to Jae Hoon, Hyuk, Cheol Min (Kang Young Seok) and the others, which breaks the whole momentum of the thrill.
At times, you have Hyuk breaking the fourth wall too, and some text graphics pop up at some situations, but after the initial episodes, these techniques are never applied again. Also, the inexhaustible number of cuts to the character?s hands during any sort of dialogue is just irritating. With a talented cast, you don?t need to rely on gestures to convey their emotions.
The show meanders a lot for the most part of it?s run, and by the time something concrete starts happening, it?s too late. The closest thing that comes to a revolution in this show is how Hyuk?s mother is all ready to accept a cleaner as her daughter-in-law. Unlike the usual rich mothers in other dramas, who are ready to pay the girls to leave their son alone, this was definitely a step up.