Twenty Five Twenty One

Twenty Five Twenty One
Twenty Five Twenty One
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“Twenty Five Twenty One” is a warm-hearted South Korean drama that stars Nam Joo-Hyuk as Baek Yi-Jin, Na Hee-Do Kim Tae-Ri’s impoverished son and an aspiring fencer young.

It happens in the late 90s with flashbacks as Kim Min-Chae (Myung-Bin Choi) Na Hee-do’s daughter finds her mother’s dairy after leaving ballet and running away to her grandma house.

Na was once a fencing prodigy who tried to get back on track after her school’s fencing team was disbanded due to the Asian financial crisis of 1997.

Na ignores advice from her mom and trainer that she should never practice fencing again, instead she moves forward to prove them wrong while making them doubt themselves about her wacky character.

The story revolves around naïve but determined Na who does everything possible by all means becoming the rival of Ko Yu-Rim (Bona), a South Korean gold medalist champion. It is through this same recklessness that Na reaches such an extent that she can do anything illegal for the sake of being expelled from school so as transfer to Ko’s school. People have always wondered why she couldn’t make it as a fencer; her imprudence has been one major course.

Her father got bankrupt because of Asian economic crisis, so Baek became poor too. The first time he sees Na is when he gets a job delivering newspapers in his town.

Baek is also very young and comes off as cold and uninteresting unlike Na who seems empty headed but deep down believes that he has been sent here to build his family name again.

On the face, this drama is just about love story between Na and Baek who always keep meeting each other on every occasion they happen across one another yet they cannot be together without fighting at first because she still behaves like silly child while he had no choice but to grow up quickly and shoulder his family’s burden.

It is a different type of young love story that comes along only once in a life time. Not planning to end up in a meet-cute way between the two protagonists as they usually do in the other Korean dramas, it focuses on character development.

By starting with Na and Baek obviously not ending up together, the series jumps from present to past because viewers can tell straight away.

This also made it possible for the story to go even deeper into Na and Baek relationship as opposed to happy ending by letting us know early on that there will be a sad realistic one like this where it is not supposed to last forever.

When Baek lands a job as a news reporter, couple breaks up. In the beginning he naïvely tries to make things work out with Na, but he soon gets an ethical dilemma when he realizes being an athlete dating a journalist might look odd.

However, despite all their efforts to save their relationship that they knew very well would crumble due to Baek’s career, they are given many warnings beforehand.

Just like most Korean dramas, parallel tales assist in connecting the dots between each character’s story. In the present day, Na’s daughter goes through a hard time as she is uncertain if there is any motivation left for her to continue with ballet, which is exactly what we saw at the beginning when Na tries to prove that she has full potential. Also, Na’s relationship with Baek has got similarities with that of his mother who was also a news anchor.

The growth of both main characters throughout their relationship is apparent. It is only after Na grows up that she gets closer to achieving her goal of defeating more than once her idol fencer. When he sent out to cover 9/11 attacks in New York City, it was indeed a turning point for Baek in his career. Eventually, he becomes the news anchor who took over from Na’s mother.

They are showing us how brief these moments spent together are and how we should just accept whatever comes out of them and move on.

On the whole, it is an excellent show that makes a really nice coming-of-age story. Unlike other Korean dramas whose plots tend to be melodramatic and overwrought – this drama actually provides viewers something they can swoon over but ultimately reality slaps them in the face really hard.

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