Lawless Lawyer: A Powerful Exploration of Nature vs. Nurture in a World of Justice- K-Drama Review
The South Korean legal drama and crime thriller series Lawless Lawyer caught my attention, and I decided to watch all 16 episodes. Since I have a predilection for legal suspense stories, it didn’t take much to pique my interest in this one when it was first mentioned. My initial thoughts after watching the pilot were very positive, and I was full of zealous anticipation for what was to come. After seeing the whole thing, I can say without hesitation that it lived up to every expectation I had going in.
A Powerful Exploration of Nature vs. Nurture
In Lawless Lawyer, the story is about a man named Bong Sang Pil. After his mother dies, his maternal uncle takes him in and raises him as a gangster. He vows revenge for her death by studying hard to follow in her footsteps and become a lawyer. He has a stellar record of success thanks to his exceptional fighting skills, knowledge of the law, and quick wit. One day, however, he receives a mysterious package containing a gift that lures him back to his hometown and presents him with the perfect opportunity to take his revenge.
There are countless aspects of Lawless Lawyer that I could discuss at length. Even technical aspects like angles, lighting, and focus can be discussed at length due to their significance and invite deep thought. It appears that no detail was overlooked when developing the story behind it. Instead, I’ll just quickly mention a few of my favorite aspects, some of my favorite parts of the story and characters, and the embracing theme that most resonated with me.
The most prominent is Bong Sang Pil, of course. He’s a young man of exceptional good looks and brains. His witty, clever sense of humor is one of his best qualities. I find intelligence to be one of the most endearing and alluring qualities in a person, and he was like a breath of fresh air. Then again, you wouldn’t expect anything less from a legal thriller, would you? His tragic past and his cherished memories of his childhood with the woman he admired most give him a fiery intensity.
The evocative quality of Lawless Lawyer, especially in terms of the emotions it evoked, was another area in which it excelled. This series depicts a number of complex tragedies, so the emotional responses, including anger and frustration, can be quite robust.
The car chases were the cherry on top. I’m not usually a fan of car chases because I feel like they’re often overused or used as unnecessary padding to extend a film or TV show. However, the thrilling car chases in Lawless Lawyer more than made up for any shortcomings. What makes Bong Sang Pil so funny is his arrogance and refusal to back down. The carnage and the terror one feels when staring down the barrel of a car barreling toward one’s head (or even just sitting in the backseat of one) are both spot-on, which is something I really appreciate.
The plot moved at a breathtaking rate. At its heart, it’s a simple tale of revenge. From my knowledge, most stories about revenge begin with the protagonist seeking revenge on the person who wronged them, but the plot quickly shifts to something else that has little to do with revenge. However, that is not the case here. Retribution to Bong Sang Pil is a central theme from the first episode to the sixteenth. He always keeps it in mind and comes up with ingenious solutions when things don’t go as planned. When plot twists do occur, they happen naturally and are timed perfectly, including cliffhangers between episodes.
The plot twists are also instrumental in developing the characters in interesting ways. There are a few cardboard cutouts in the cast, but overall, the major players all bring more to the table than their stereotypes. If there’s a main character with a lot of screen time who I wish had a little more depth, it’s Ahn Oh Joo. A little more time with him, as we get with Bong Sang Pil, Cha Moon Sook, and Ha Jae Yi, and I know I’d love him even more than I do now.
Finally, I’d like to discuss the central theme of Lawless Lawyer, which is the debate between a child’s genetic component and the influence of his or her upbringing. Some people think that bad people have a genetic disposition to act badly. Nonetheless, that is not the case. Unhealthy habits are more often than not learned.
To begin, let’s look at Bong Sang Pil as an example. His mother was an extremely loving and nurturing person. He witnessed her putting in long hours to provide for their family and help those less fortunate than themselves as he was growing up. Through this, and through witnessing something so terrible, he develops empathy and the same kind of compassion that she does. Care for others and a commitment to doing what is right are among the lessons he takes away from the experience.
— KDrama Fan (@KDramaAddict_11) October 11, 2022
The second is Kang Yeon Hee, the daughter of one of the villain’s goons, Nam Soon Ja. Her mother has always instilled in her the drive to excel, regardless of the personal sacrifices that may be required. Kang Yeon Hee grew up witnessing her mother bully those who were better than her into submission so that she could help her daughter surpass them, even if Kang Yeon Hee did not deserve their accomplishments. Like her mother, Kang Yeon Hee becomes so preoccupied with achieving fame and pleasing her mother that she begins to lose touch with her humanity.
The show’s central premise, that children’s environments shape who they become as adults, blew my mind and kept me glued to my iPad for all 16 episodes. And this is just one of many possible meanings. However, I think it’s the one I like best because of how subtle it can be depending on the setting.
Overall, Lawless Lawyer is a fantastic show that I cannot praise highly enough. Everything a person could want in a fantastic story and character-driven series is present here. Don’t worry if you prefer your thrillers with a bit more action. The martial arts and behind-the-back kicking sequences are also top-notch and sure to please any adrenaline junkie.
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