REVIEW: Dream High (2011)

I recently re-watched Dream High and it turned out to be just as good as I did the first time. It’s exactly what the title suggests: chase your dreams. It’s about the victory of an underdog to achieve his dream. This drama isn’t unique and has a predictable premise, but when the characters win your heart and you back them to win, that’s all that matters. Fame and talent can be very different from each other, and this drama stars all the popular idols. But they together make for a charming watch, even if they aren’t actors with perfection.

Dream High is the story of six individuals who want to achieve success in the field of music and everyone has a different goal to fulfill. The story then develops with them as they struggle through adversity on their way. They are assisted by an idealistic teacher, who guides and inspires them on their journey.

One of the most amazing things about this drama is that it really feels good and upbeat. It is touted as a romance, comedy, musical performance; but for me it is inspiration more than anything. I love that the show portrays each of our characters as different people and none of them have a bed of roses in their life. At one point or another, they have to face a difficult reality or problem. Thus, this drama deftly addresses many serious issues, which are related to the field of entertainment and the world of show.

I really liked the touching and inspiring dialogue in the show, which was impressive. The heart of any drama lies in its characters and your ability to empathize with them. Here, we see them growing and rising from the bottom. How could you not support the underdog team of talented singers who were laughed at by the whole school, ridiculed by the association that gave them permission? How can you not cheer for a man who is slowly losing his hearing, or for the people who are being blamed even if they are the victim?

Yes, this drama has cliches but they are not very offensive because they are full of affection. Dream High is all about music and so we have a lot of dance and music shows, and they are wonderfully filmed. Romance is not highlighted here like friendship. I love how individuals start off on the wrong note but then develop a strong bond with each other.

Dream High has many beautiful moments. Such as when the group performed Jeannie’s song for Jin Guk’s friend, or when they did a flash mob dance for publicity, or how a loan shark turned into a good person, the group that learned wave dance under the guidance of a funny teacher, Hye Mi’s expressionless attitude, Redemption Baek Hee, the cute lovey-dovey scene between Jason and Pil Suk, and of course every moment the students have with their teacher, Kang, is amazing.

I love the title track Dream High and feel great every time it plays on screen. The other songs are also good, if not really great.

Eom Ki Joon gave an outstanding performance as a persistent teacher. It is a combination of hopeful, funny, emotional, strong and vulnerable.

Suzy is the center of the whole story. Even though she doesn’t give a stunning acting performance, she is definitely trustworthy in her role. Kim Soo Hyun is outstanding in his role as a talented composer, who comes from the countryside and completely falls in love with a girl.

Among the idol stars, it is Ham Eun Jung who does an amazing job and has a great reach as her roles shift through different nuances. Taecyeon promises but he fails to convey an expression at certain points. IU has done a great job, and Wooyoung is doing well in his acting roles. But even with the flaws, the idols together become very likable and charming. They have brilliant chemistry with each other.

Lee Yoon Ji gave a genuine appearance as a teacher who changed from a strict person to an understanding person. JYP and Ahn Kil Kang have delivered a great comic moment.

Overall, a great drama about chasing your dreams, full of feeling good.

About Kalika Ayuna

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