D.P. stands for Deserter Pursuit. DP K-Drama is based on mandatory military service that happens in South Korea and touches upon grave issues regarding it. Starring Jung Hae In, Koo Kyo Hwan, Kim Sung Kyun, and Son Seok Koo this drama only with 6 episodes takes us on a heart-wrenching journey. It has all the elements in it, be it comedy, action, or suspense. It is different from the K-Dramas we usually watch. So it’s worth to dive into it.
Ahn Joon Ho is undergoing military service as a Private Soldier. Events occur in such a way that he ends up being part of the Deserter Pursuit team. Along with his partner Corporal Han Ho Yul, they are tasked to locate the soldiers who run away from the military service without taking any official leave. In the pursuit of such soldiers, they both encounter different situations that make them question the existence of a Deserter Pursuit team. It makes them question why in the first place the soldiers run away.
Ahn Joon Ho – Private Soldier
Ahn Joon Ho is tough to withstand situations that are beyond his control. He had a rough childhood and we see him struggling to connect with his mother. It makes us feel like he is almost grateful to be in the military service away from his family. He comes off as a cool collected man who can get through uncomfortable situations without losing. But by the end of the first episode itself, we see how much he feels. As part of the Deserter Pursuit team, he takes his job seriously and gives his all.
Han Ho Yul – Corporal
Han Ho Yul gives us the comedic aspect of the drama. The introduction to his character makes you realize he is going to be a fun character who will make you smile and lighten the atmosphere. At first, it feels like he is there to just do his job but as we move on in the story we see how he does care about what he is doing. The situations they have to undergo do weigh on him, he is just better at handling it with a comical attitude.
Park Bum Goo- Sergeant First Class
Park Bum Goo is the head of the Deserter Pursuit team. At first, we see him as someone who wants his team to succeed so that means he will get a positive outcome out of it- promotion. But as we move forward in the story it is surprising to see how dedicated his character is. He only wants the soldiers to be brought back so that they are safe. He realizes things are not easy for the soldiers who leave their service but he wants to save as many lives as possible and that is his team’s motto. It was good to see how he was ready to put himself on the line to save people because it mattered.
Im Ji Sup – Captain
Im Ji Sup is an unexpected character. From the get-go itself, it feels like he is there to make things right and let them happen correctly. Eventually, we realise that is not the case. It was interesting to see that he had morals but he also felt compelled to follow his superiors to keep his job safe. Throughout the story, the character development that takes place with Im Ji Sup feels nice to watch. By the end, he does surprise you in a good way.
Ahn Joon Ho and Han Ho Yul do a really good job as partners. Ahn Joon Ho follows Han Ho Yul’s lead in the start but then when emotions come into play Ahn Joon Ho does his own thing. He is fearless and just goes for it without thinking about the consequences. Han Ho Yul does not fall back or get in the way, he rather helps Ahn Joon Ho because he can understand some things cannot be left as it is. With Ahn Joon Ho being more subdued and thoughtful and Han Ho Yul being lively and in an excited state, their characters complement each other well.
What did I like about this drama?
I liked the pacing of the story and the way the director took us through a complete journey in just 6 episodes. When we start the drama, it starts at a melancholy note. And the first episode ends with a shocking scene. Just when we feel the drama has a heavy tone to it, new characters are introduced. And we experience things in a lighter form. There are only small doses of heaviness but in all, it feels good to watch it. Just two guys on a quest to bring back the soldiers who ran away.
As we start feeling there is a pattern and it feels good to see Ahn Joon Ho and Han Ho Yul succeed, the heavy undertone comes back in full force. It gets intense and things get way serious as you reach the end of the drama. This is what makes it a full packaged story, where you experience different emotions as you go on. And the director has been preparing you for the ending part of the drama.
You should avoid any spoilers before you go into DP K-Drama. Because the way things will fall into place will surprise you. The way certain things happen and it feels like you have two stories going on in the same drama. But at the end, they both are merged into one and become so powerful. It is beautiful the way everything connects makes the watching experience more gratifying.
The last episode of DP K-Drama is still fresh in my mind even after watching it long ago. The direction is terrific and the acting is commendable because you feel the emotions the characters are going through. You feel the anxiety, the helplessness, and the struggle to make a tough choice. It is daunting but the way it has been filmed and the way the actors have portrayed their characters leaves a strong impact on you.
Also, the opening theme of the episodes is so aesthetic, it is like a film video of people and a song that makes you feel warm just looking at the clips.
There is a post-credit scene and it makes you feel the goosebumps.
There is nothing to dislike here in DP K-Drama. It is so compelling and gripping to binge-watch the drama because you feel a series of different emotions while watching and it hits you strongly. At end of it, you are left with no words because you just need time to process everything.
There are some trigger warnings though – Bullying, Sexual Assault, Suicide. So if these things are not something you are comfortable watching then you need to take a step back.
The ending is quite open in the sense that there could be a season 2 but even without it you just know what happens. Honestly if you are okay with the trigger warnings then just go and binge-watch this, you will not regret it!
The soundtrack plays an important role where it just calls out to you and makes you think about the characters and the situations they are facing. Two songs especially connected with me when I heard them for the first time.
Crazy by Kevin Oh, Primary – This one is the opening theme song and I am partial to aesthetics a lot. So when this song came up along with film reel clips it made me like it a lot.
Goodbye by Meego, Renee, Primary – I love songs with sad vibes that mean a lot and just tug at your heartstrings. This is one of them. There is a quote from the drama that is stuck in my head – ‘ I should at least do something.’ I think this quote sums up the feelings this song brings out.
DP K-Drama does take up a serious issue – the culture of hazing during military service. That does not mean it has a heavy undertone throughout the drama. It is directed tactfully enough that you are taken through the issue in a contained manner. So do not shy away from this drama thinking it is going to make you feel sad. Give it a chance and go binge-watch it!
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DP K-Drama is available on Netflix