Navillera tells the story of a 70 year old man (Park In Hwan) and a young man (Song Kang) in his twenties who become friends through ballet and pursuing their dreams.
Park In Hwan plays Shim Deok Chul. He had dreams of being a ballet dancer, but life got in the way, and he never got to pursue that dream. Now that he is 70, he decides to finally pursue ballet no matter what obstacles he faces.
Song Kang is Lee Chae Rok. He is at the start of his ballet career, but he has lost some of his spark. Things slowly begin to change though after he meets Deok Chul and becomes his ballet coach.
Navillera is such a heartfelt drama. It’s an inspirational story of two people at very different points in their lives that are pursuing their dreams. It’s also the kind of drama that requires tissues on hand for the many heartwarming as well as heart-wrenching moments.
The series is more thoughtful and contemplative with a slower pace. It takes its time to tell the story and makes sure to focus on the characters and what they are experiencing. It does really well at bringing out the many emotions they go through from triumph to despair.
Navillera is the kind of show that constantly tugs at the heartstrings. There are moments that leave you teared up from both joy and sadness. It’s a very moving journey. It also touches on so many important topics that really give you a lot to think about concerning aging, family, friendship, careers, dreams, and much more. There are lots of great nuggets of wisdom throughout the show.
Park In Hwan was exceptional in his role as Deok Chul. He plays the sweetest grandpa type figure you could get. He is so pure and genuine. His desire to finally realize his dream of dancing ballet was so touching.
He has to overcome a lot of adversity from his aging body to unsupportive members of his family. It can feel very lonely to be ridiculed for your passion and have to find the strength to continue on. I was rooting for him hard and completely felt for him.
Song Kang was also great as Chae Rok. He is a bit of an icy character, but enough vulnerability shows through to help soften him up. He has a lot of his own issues concerning ballet as well as a rocky past involving his father and friend.
Chae Rok is quite cold towards Deok Chul at first, and he is less than thrilled at having to be his coach. I definitely felt bad for Deok Chul during this time as he had so much genuine excitement, but it was not reciprocated. But Chae Rok slowly comes around, and it was great watching him slowly open up to Deok Chul. These two end up having a truly special bond that was such a joy to see.
Deok Chul also has to deal with unsupportive family members. At first, it’s hard to like many of his family, but that changes as the drama progresses. We get to see some nice growth from all of them, and I grew to like most of them. I especially enjoyed the husband and wife relationship between Deok Chul and Hae Nam (Na Moon Hee).
Now, this is your heads up that the second half of the drama is where you really need the tissues. Deok Chul has some serious obstacles to face that were very sad to watch. He’s a real trooper though and is about as inspirational as it gets. Thankfully, there are still many joyful moments during this time period.
All in all, Navillera was such a moving story. This really isn’t my preferred genre with its more low-key and slice of life type quality (I would say it’s actually even better than my rating reflects), but even then it won me over, and I quite enjoyed it. The underdog story was so inspiring with so much heart. It’s the kind of story that makes you want to go out and achieve your dreams, and that’s certainly the mark of a quality drama.
My Rating: 7.5/10
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