I wanted to watch Navillera since the first time I read its synopsis. I’m happy to report that it’s as heartwarming as I expected. The story is fresh as mint with a 70 year old man (Park In Hwan as Shim Duk Chul) trying to fulfill his lifelong dream of learning and performing ballet. He gets help from a young expert ballet dancer (Song Kang as Lee Chae Rok) who is going through a slump.
The drama has aired 4 episodes and this first impression post is based on that. The realistic and low-key treatment is always welcome in my book and Navillera does that beautifully. I also love the cinematography, capturing every little detail like a painting. The show is full of touching moments — be it the showcase of Shim Duk Chul’s wistfulness of letting go of his dream all these years, or the love he has for ballet, or Chae Rok’s relationship with his father and struggle with his lack of motivation, the lovely moments between the two protagonists. The dialogues are really well written and many lines just touch your heart with their realness.
I love how gradually Chae Rok is shedding his broodiness with Duk Chul. This dynamics is something that we don’t usually see as the main one in a drama. Another character that I’m loving is Ki Seung Joo (Kim Tae Hoon). He is such a natural character, with a normal balance of emotions. I also find his candid relationship with his ex-wife quite interesting.
I also find the side story of Chae Rok and Shim Eun Ho (Hong Seung Hee) cute. It was expected that Duk Chul’s family would oppose his decision to learn ballet but I’m happy that there are a few thoughtful family members too. And it was so satisfying to see his wife finally coming around after creating such a huge argument when she found out about his ballet. I’m also glad that this revelation happened so early on, without dragging it to the last to create tension. This helps in not knowing what we will be seeing going forward.
Navillera surely checks all the emotional boxes. I hope it remains good throughout its run.