The Sound of Magic review: Inspiring musical drama with thought-provoking message

The Sound of Magic is a musical drama about two young kids who meet a strange individual who helps them reconnect with happiness in their lives through the act of magic. The series is now streaming on Netflix.

Story

Yoon Ah-yi is a young girl who has been left to fend for herself and her little sister by her parents. Her mother left when she was young and her father is on the run from his creditors which meant Ah-yi was forced to take up the burden.

Na Il-deung is a brilliant student whose father is a very prominent prosecutor. Il-deung has spent his entire life aiming to be the best but becomes disillusioned when he realises that he’s not happy in life.

Ryu Min-hyuk is a magician who practices real magic and lives his life in a very carefree manner, stationed at an abandoned amusement park with his pet parrot.

The lives of these three individuals converge as Ah-yi and Il-deung learn some major lessons in life thanks to the joyous Min-hyuk and his infectious positivity.

Performances

There is a maturity in Choi Sung-eun’s performance as Ah-yi in this series. She portrays a young kid who is bearing a huge emotional weight on her shoulders and being thrust into a position of responsibility that she’s not ready for.

Hwang In-youp is great as Na Il-deung, the young boy with a crush on the girl sitting next to him but also the boy who faces immense pressure for his parents to succeed even if it comes at the cost of his happiness.

Ji Chang-wook has approached the role of the magician very casually and with an air of calmness to it. He is very good at raising the spirits of the young ones while also appearing like he’s got no care or worries in the world.

A special mention goes to Ji Hye-won who plays Baek Ha-na, the girl that everyone loves to hate. She gets the role spot on with her superiority complex and downright nastiness when speaking to Ah-yi at times.

Positives

Most of the musical numbers in the series have meaningful lyrics and catchy tunes that the audience can enjoy. Some fast numbers are also well-choreographed making a visual spectacle.

Despite the fantasy aspect, the message given out from the series is a very real and true point about life that must relate to the average individual. The characters were extremely relatable which grounded the series in reality.

There was some truly magnificent use of special effects throughout the series. It is a constant high point in all forms of media coming from that region.

Negatives

A consistent issue with Korean series is their pacing. Every episode clocks in at close to an hour or over which means there are bound to be moments where the story drags out. It often feels like a slog getting through an episode, let alone an entire season.

Certain plot points could have been explored a little more, like why Ah-yi’s mother left or what was her eventual fate. Even the fact that Ha-na was choked by the magician is conveniently forgotten, avoiding a glaringly low point for a positive character.

Verdict

The Sound of Magic has some great musical sequences and very uplifting lessons about how one shouldn’t take life so seriously all the time but it is quite a task getting to the end of that message. This series hits the right emotional notes, even if it struggles with pacing issues.

Rating: 3/5


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