The Korea Herald


'The Whirlwind' embraces timeless appeal of well-made classics

By Lee Yoon-seo

Published : June 25, 2024 - 15:37

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"The Whirlwind," starring Kim Hee-ae (left) and Sul Kyung-gu (Netflix)

Netflix's "The Whirlwind" will honor classic storytelling by remaining faithful to the script of a seasoned screenwriter, said the director, Tuesday.

"The Whirlwind" is a 12-part series that tells the story of Park Dong-ho (played by Sul Kyung-gu), the prime minister of South Korea who, believing the president to be unfit to lead the country, kills him. Finance Minister Jung Soo-jin (played by Kim Hee-ae) tries to stop Park as he seeks to grab power after the president's death.

The series, written by Park Kyung-su, marks Park's return after a seven-year hiatus. Park, a renowned screenwriter, won best screenplay awards at the Baeksang Arts Awards for his hit crime series "The Chaser" (2012) and "Punch" (2014).

Park explained that he created "The Whirlwind" with the hope of seeing an individual transform a stifling reality.

"I felt that the reality I was living in was too suffocating. I thought (we are living in a) reality burdened by an outdated past. ...Even I was longing for a hero on a white horse in reality, so I wanted to create one, at least in a drama," said Park, during a press conference held in Jongno-gu, Seoul, Tuesday.

Series director Kim Yong-wan emphasized his commitment to honoring Park's writing over employing various techniques to enhance the visual appeal.

"Like everyone else, I decided to join the project after being moved by Park's script. I believe Park's works have literary value. So, I focused more on (visualizing) the essence of the work rather than employing visual techniques," said Kim, adding that his team aimed for a classic feel. "We took inspiration from long-celebrated masterpieces. ... I aimed to create something timeless," said Kim.

Actor Kim Hee-ae stars in Actor Kim Hee-ae stars in "The Whirlwind." (Netflix)

Meanwhile, "The Whirlwind" marks the reunion of veteran actors Kim Hee-ae, known for her role in the hit series "The World of the Married" (2020), and Sul Kyung-gu. They worked together on the sci-fi flick "The Moon" (2023) and thriller flick "A Normal Family," set to hit theaters later this year.

The first episode of "The Whirlwind" will be released Friday on Netflix.