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Snowdrop: A Shakespearean Love Story Entangled with History and Vicious Politics – MovieWeb

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This show received a lot of criticism nationwide for its peculiar storyline that mixed vicious politics into a complicated love story.
Snowdrop, released in 2021, has been one of the most controversial K-Dramas to ever be released. This show received a lot of criticism nationwide for its peculiar storyline that mixed vicious politics into a complicated love story. However, it does justice by smoothly gelling the two concepts as the story builds. Directed by Jo Hyun-Tak, the storyline is spread evenly over 16 episodes that bring out advances in this twisting story. Snowdrop comes with a star-studded cast; a vintage Shakespearean outlook, a thrilling story, and a classic musical score that makes it a complete package. It has gained a lot of attention internationally and keeps racking up views.
The cast includes Blackpink’s Jisoo as Eun Yeong-Ro, a graduate student in 1987. 1987 was a time of fickle relations between North and South Korea, with student-run pro-democracy protests emerging all around the country. Jung Hae-In plays the character Im Soo-Ho, another charismatic grad student who is secretly a North Korean spy. The two leads meet and fall in love at first sight. Their connection is evident from the moment their eyes meet in the drama, adding to the soap drama element in the series. However, their love story is not the perfect one, as secrets and mysteries start to unfold; Yeong-Ro finds herself in a tricky situation.
Being Jisoo’s debut drama, her acting skills were heavily criticized at first; however, fans started noticing mature instances in her acting skills. As the storyline progresses to become more complicated and serious, Yeong-Ro also becomes more intricate and emotional. Her acting reflects all emotions being portrayed perfectly with the perfect amount of depth being added into the character. Jung Hae-In (One Spring Night, D.P) plays the mysterious Im Soo-Ho. Hae-In, as an actor, has built a stellar reputation for physically demanding roles, and Im Soo-Ho counts as one of his best performances.
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The cast deserves a lot of credit for being able to blend a love story and politics together by bringing their A-games and versatility to the mix. Even though the storyline does not allow a lot of happy moments between Yeong-Ro and Soo-Ho, the ones that are present are an absolute treat to watch. Both the leads very effectively add an extra layer of depth, conveying the love present between them, even in a hostage crisis. Their chemistry attracted international audiences.
The supporting cast also does an excellent job of keeping the story going in the background. Though there are moments when the supporting cast might stand out more than the leads; their intense and elaborate characters add excitement to Snowdrop. The series provides so many political narratives and twists through these characters, which compels viewers to keep up with the story. Additionally, even though a lot of controversies existed when the drama started, and petitions were signed to stop the streaming of Snowdrop in South Korea, the series still won a lot of hearts. Controversies rose because of the humanization of North Korean spies through Soo-Ho’s character and the wrongful portrayal of history, and masking it with a love story. Despite these allegations, it cannot be refuted that Snowdrop managed to effectively portray the tense political climate of South Korea at the time, from the perspective of the average people and those involved.
The action scenes, the color palette being synchronized with the dark environment, and the classic music score aided the effective depiction of political conditions. Snowdrop constantly reiterates the main story line being the unfortunate love story between the two leads, connecting viewers emotionally. The hit series also does not provide a happy conclusion for the leads, which was very fitting according to the genre and was liked by viewers, no matter how sad it made them.
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The contentious series did bring about criticism, even by those who thoroughly enjoyed watching it; the biggest critique being the extremely fast-paced finale. Fans found it difficult to suddenly keep up with everything unraveling in the end. The pace at which the last two episodes are delivered is irksome. Although it might have been because of the running controversies against the show, the ending felt rushed and frustrated many viewers.
For the South Korean audience, the main storyline was bothersome. It is understandable why the series gained a lot of negative attention in the nation. The era of protests and the relationship between North and South Korea is a sensitive topic for them to date. The drama was deemed to be distorting history in the favor of the North and brainwashing young minds. This caused many issues regarding streaming Snowdrop internationally too, bringing hindrances in keeping up.
Lastly, according to viewers, a lot of the plots in the story were left unanswered towards the end. Considering the involvement of supporting characters in the story, many of their character developments and information about the comrade's family members were not catered to. By the end of it, it is also unclear if Yeong-Ro is reunited with her friends of not and how her character fares. Viewers found it a bit disheartening to be left in between in a story they were so heavily invested in.
However, Snowdrop is still loved and is becoming a repeat fan favorite. Being the right mixture of warmheartedness and intensity, it cannot keep away from controversy, but also cannot keep away from getting more views every day.
Fatima is an author, seamstress and English major who is enthusiastic about films, comics and cosplay. She also has an avid love for writing and writes about the latest entertainment news and trends on Movieweb.


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