Out of the super intense melodramas and historical dramas that I’ve seen, I’ll say that Road No. 1 is in my top three favorite along with Chuno and Tree with Deep Roots.
Road No. 1 can be very uncomfortable at times since the story takes place in the first year of the Korean war which began on June 25, 1950. Although the characters and stories are fictional, there’s an underlining discomfort watching knowing that people did actually suffer through turmoil as illustrated. There’s an uneasiness as you watch and it’s a reminder that such horrid events do occur and nothing in this world is ever certain.
There is however hope in this drama, and not all is lost in sadness. Here are some of the powerful themes which really made me want to keep watching:
Bonds of Friendship
These men that fought in the war together experienced so many things unimaginable to the rest of us. They starved together, lacked sleep together, saw each other get hurt, in some cases died in front of each other, experienced loneliness together, fear, underwent many challenges together and in the end became family because they were all that they had. Even if not everyone always got along, one weak link and the whole platoon would suffer. They were forced to work together as a unit and their experience bound them together forever in a way that know one could truly comprehend. In truth, their experience was traumatizing, life changing… something that could never be erased and should never be forgotten.
Bonds of Love
There’s a very wonderfully powerful love story portrayed in this drama; a hopeful love that endures separation and the fear of death. Lee Jang-Woo (So Ji Sub) and Kim Su-Yeon (Kim Ha-Neul) have known each other since they were very young. They grew up together and know everything about each other. Their love only grows stronger despite the war. This romance is an everlasting friendship that can get quite steamy. It really shows the selflessness in true love.
The acting was amazing. Not only did the main characters impress me, but the secondary characters did as well. Everything felt so real. The production value was very good also. I do have to put a special plug in here for So Ji Sub, Kim Ha-Neul and Yoon Kye-Sang. This is one of my favorite roles for So Ji Sub. His acting is really amazing in this drama. He shows us love, leadership, pain, torment, insanity, determination, adrenaline and so much more. Him and Kim Ha-Neul have very good chemistry together. Yoon Kye-Sang really blew me away. His character could be a little abrasive at times, but it develops in such away that you cannot deny his talent. Yon Kye-Sang and So Ji Sub’s energy bounce off each other so well. They undergo so much together and their relationship changes drastically over the course of the drama into something very intriguing.
I was entrenched in this drama. The events may not be 100% accurate, but it effected me emotionally. I cried a lot, but in the end feel uplifted and am very grateful for having watched it.