A fantasy K-drama which presents a blurred line between real life and virtual reality game. A Korean Drama which closing 2018 and started my 2019 with an adventurous spirit! A Korean Drama which (the writer told the public) inspired by tech mogul Ellon Musk and the Pokemon Go game.
Memories of Alhambra is a mystery drama about an augmented reality game set largely in Granada. This drama tells the story about Yoo Jin-Woo (Hyun Bin) a CEO of a highly successful investment company that specializes in optical devices. After receiving an email regarding a groundbreaking AR game, Jin-Woo travels to Granada, Spain to meet the creator of the game, Jung Se-Joo (Park Chan-Yeol). However, Se-Joo is missing, and there Jin-Woo meets his sister Jung Hee-Joo (Park Shin-Hye). Then, Jin-Woo involved in a mysterious incident after staying in an old hostel run by Jung Hee-Joo.
Memories of Alhambra filming took place in several cities in Spain, such as Granada, Barcelona, and Girona, and also filming in Budapest, Hungary, and Slovenia. THE LOCATIONS ARE PRETTY AMAZING! The drama set mostly in Granada, and the setting is stunning. I love the historical thing and that is one of many reasons I love this drama. I mean, Granada itself has a rich story for the culture. Granada is famous as “The Moorish Jewel”; one of the Muslim legacies, like the Alhambra Palace; known as the best example of medieval architecture, and many more. So, I don’t have any reasons to not like this drama.
Since the first publication about this drama, I’ve been alert and keep my eyes and ears about the latest update. I was excited all the time! And when Netflix finally aired the first episode … I fell in love! I still remember what I was thinking while watching this drama, especially the scene of Yoo Jin-Woo (Hyun Bin) tried the game for the first time. I thought this drama has an element of magic?! LOL. Later, it turned out he was playing a game, a virtual reality game with massive technology. Well, he uses a contact lens for playing a game (or maybe I lack of update about AR technology, hmm?) How incredible is it?
Okay. Remember, this is my opinion and I’m not an expert, just the usual audience. ^^
Aside from the amazing locations, why I highly recommended this drama is because of the fresh story. I’ve never seen a K-Drama like this in all the years I’ve been watching Korean dramas. This drama is creating a unique story about the blur lines of medieval virtual reality game and the real life itself. I mean, gaming as a main genre or even as a subsect has never been portrayed in K-Drama before. And the AR aspect of this drama brings so much action to the screen. It felt very realistic.
All the actors of this drama are worth to be praised. I don’t want to focus only with Hyun Bin or Park Shin-Hye acting, but Park Hoon, Chanyeol, Min Jin-Woong, or others must also be praised. Especially Park Hoon and Min Jin-Woong, they have to act as a bug of the game?! I still can imagine how realistic and blur between the AR game and real life. It was tense. This drama is tense.
Another thing is the cinematography. It is stunning. I’m not an expert but I love the tone and setting. It’s just good. Well, the drama is directed by Ahn-Gil-Ho, the award-winning drama thriller Stranger, and written by Song Jae-Jung, the famous screenwriter of another famous fantasy drama W and Queen and I. And I’m not surprised of another factor why the production of this drama is succeeded. Any guess? Yup. It because Memories of the Alhambra is produced by Studio Dragon, which was behind Stranger, Mr. Sunshine and Legend of the Blue Sea.
Okay. And back to the story again. Actually, this drama labeled as a romance genre too but I don’t really feel it and actually glad about that. I like the romance elements of this drama, it is very Song Jae-Jung typical (watch W if you want to know). But I’m glad because the main focus is not about the love story between Jin-Woo and Hee-Joo. So, it’s refreshing for me. Different than others K-Drama which still input much romance elements, this drama is a real fantasy, focus on showing the lead character (Jin-Woo) to finish his mission.