It's Okay to Not Be Okay
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – 2020 drama “It’s Okay To Not Be Okay” is all about overcoming your fear as the above beautiful quote states and it surely makes you feel that if you can’t let go of the past ,then you will be never free to experience new things and embrace new life challenges.
2020, scary pandemic year that was full of difficulties, challenges, crisis moments and difficult decisions, has given us so many rules to follow like “Quarantine”, “Lockdown”, “Self-Isolation”, ”Social-Distance” and of course “wearing mask”.
Like many of us, I was also worrying about future, how we will continue our battle against COVID. OTT platform surely gives some mind distraction and I got introduced with Korean Culture and KDRAMA. “It’s okay to not be okay “trailer was instantly eye catchy and bliss to watch, no doubt, I decided to put it in my watch list.
This Rom-Com, mystery dark themed drama is definitely one of the best shows that focus on “Mental Health” and a clear message to overcome life difficulties. Yes, “If you can’t overcome it, you will always be a kid whose soul never grows”, you need the courage to face it and overcome it or you will be never free, you will always be a kid with limitations and restrictions.
Story and screenplay
The story focuses on Moon Gang-Tae (Kim Soo-hyun) who works as a psychiatric ward boy, his job is to write down patients conditions and to deal with unexpected situations like, if the patient is not willing to corporate or fight or run away, his older brother Moon Sang-Tae (Oh Jung-se) who has autism and he is illustrator of a famous children book writer Ko Moon-Young (Seo Yea-Ji) who is rumored to have antisocial personality disorder.
The drama is about how their life paths are connected, how they got traumatized by a murder case, how they dealt with it individually and finally healed themselves. It’s interesting as well as suspenseful. The well written drama with its amazing cast specially all officials of “Ok psychiatric Hospital” and patients, are a treat to watch.
The lead pair chemistry is amazing. I just loved how they complement each other’s needs, vulnerabilities and emotions. The relationship that started with dangerous and unrealistic aspect, as the story progresses, smoothly turned out a beautiful fairytale match. Facing your vulnerabilities is hard; the stubborn yet vulnerable character Ko Moon-Young has its own charm. The way she developed feelings for Moon Gang-Tae, is terrific.
Moon Gang-Tae is the most understanding one out of these 3, who shields himself from all his desires. I admire his bond with his only friend Kang Ki-doong (Jo Jae-so), who follows him and moves wherever Gange –Tae,Sang-Tae brothers move.
Gang-Tae, a caregiver by profession, always feels from childhood that his life purpose is to take care for his mentally challenged brother only. He always faces dilemma to choose himself, he curses himself for thinking about his own freedom, happiness. His journey towards his self discovery is a thumb up from my side. I love the way how the drama shows that unless you are happy within yourself, you cannot give happiness to anyone.
A special mention to Moon Sang-Tae (Oh Jung-se), such an outstanding performer he is. The way he flawlessly portrays the character, different colors he put to show the blissful relationship with his brother, his jealousy towards Moon-Young that triggers hilarious fight, as a soul witness of his mother’s murder, his fear that turned into nightmares every spring and “Butterfly Phobia”, is beautiful and heart wrenching.
Dialogue, OST, Styling and Direction
Park Shin-Woo directed, IOTNBO, has its own charm. To direct such a sensitive plot with lots of twist and murder mystery was tough and I think that he nailed it.
The beautiful fairy tale with its gorgeous set, specially cursed caste is eye candy. Part of the set is made of CGI but this advanced technology and different color palettes to show each character’s emotional depth is award-winning definitely.
The way of this unique plot unfolding incorporated with dark themed illustrations, is mind-blowing. Animation and cinematography is really creative and for me it’s something now. You will love IOTNBO’s animations and illustration, trust me.
Did I mention how much I love its OST’s? They are beautiful and properly placed with its plotline. My favorite is “Wake up” by Elaine.
Lastly, Costume plays a different role in this drama. I loved how each characters are styled flawlessly specially Ko Moon-Young, fairytale author’s stunning outfits.
All of her dresses are truly fashionable, be it puff-sleeved dress or body hugging floral dress, business skirts or quirky formals are outstanding. I just loved how she is styled of different looks with perfect hats and designer clutches. Seo Yea ji’s fashion statement, the way she carried each outfit is definitely awesome.
It’s a binge watch from my end and honestly it helped me a lot to grow internally. This KDRAMA is exceptional piece in many ways. Its iconic dark fairytale theme, mysterious plot, beautiful lead pairs, amazing actors, great direction and strong message on social issues, you will definitely love it.
It’s currently available in Netflix , dubbed in Hindi also .
Disclaimer: The above review solely illustrates the views of the writer.