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Last Updated 19.05.2024 | 2:41 PM IST



Blood Free Review: Han Hyo Joo and Ju Ji Hoon starrer thriller K-drama abounds with suspense, ethical dilemmas and corporate conspiracy

en Bollywood News Blood Free Review: Han Hyo Joo and Ju Ji Hoon starrer thriller K-drama abounds with suspense, ethical dilemmas and corporate conspiracy

A suspense thriller drama, premiered on April 9, 2024 on Disney+ Hotstar, also stars Lee Hee Joon, Lee Moo Saeng, and Park Ji Yeon.

The K-drama landscape thrives on narratives that are as thrilling as a Seoul street race. Disney+ Hotstar is a haven for such gems, boasting titles like Flex x Cop, A Shop for Killers, and Moving. Big Mouth and Vigilante captivated audiences, and now, Blood Free promises to be the next addictive fix. This series isn't your average boardroom drama.

Blood Free Review: Han Hyo Joo and Ju Ji Hoon starrer thriller K-drama abounds with suspense, ethical dilemmas and corporate conspiracy

Blood Free Review: Han Hyo Joo and Ju Ji Hoon starrer thriller K-drama abounds with suspense, ethical dilemmas and corporate conspiracy

It centres on Yoon Ja Yu (played by the ever-magnetic Han Hyo Joo), the CEO of Blood Free. Her company revolutionized the food industry with genetically engineered cultured meat, dominating the market. But beneath the shiny veneer of "ethical consumption" lies a simmering pot of controversy. Public opinion is a double-edged sword – while Blood Free boasts market share, it lacks public adoration.

In the first two episodes of Blood Free, we are introduced to the lead and supporting characters in the drama. Each character has an agenda of their own. The story first starts off on a slow pace with Yoon Ja Yu hosting a press meet to talk about the company’s latest and future developments. But on the same day, the laboratories are hacked and Ja Yu and her team race against time to find a solution. Amidst this drama, we are introduced to another branch in the plot. When someone rises as high as Ja Yu has, there are bound to be run-ins with the government to cut a deal favouring their interests.

Han Hyo Joo inhabits suspense dramas like a second skin. Take Happiness, Moving, and now Blood Free – each role is a master class in controlled intensity. Yoon Ja Yu, the CEO of Blood Free, isn't just a cold, calculating machine. She's a woman of few words, yes, but each one carries the weight of a calculated decision. There's a steely glint in her eyes that betrays the storm of ambition and vulnerability churning beneath the surface.

While she navigates boardrooms and presentations with an impassive facade, a flicker of doubt or a hint of fear might cross her features for a fleeting moment, only to be replaced by an iron mask. This carefully constructed poker face isn't just a shield; it's a weapon. The robotic efficiency with which she operates only amplifies the sense of danger she exudes. Yoon Ja Yu is a woman who commands respect, not just for her power, but for the enigmatic depths hidden just beneath the surface.

Ju Ji Hun plays Woo Chae Woon, a former military soldier turned personal bodyguard. He is seen keeping tabs on Ja Yu before enlisting himself as her personal bodyguard. He has an agenda of his own - find the culprit behind the terror attack on his former military unit. He is in cahoots with the former President and they think that perhaps Ja Yu was instrumental in the terror attack.

Woo Chae Woon’s character is rightly described by Ja Yu’s right-hand man and the co-founder of Blood Free, On San (played by Lee Moo Saeng). Woo Chae Woon is loyal but not obedient. He is loyal towards his duty of protecting Ja Yu but he is not obedient to anything and everything that she asks of him. Woo Chae Woon has a simple agenda but his methods are seemingly dangerous.

In just two episodes, which covered events happening in just over 48 hours, we are introduced to a mind-blowing complicated web of power, politics and greed. This fast-paced narrative only goes to show how intense the remaining episodes would be. Writer Lee Soo Yeon, who has delivered hits like Stanger and Grid, comes back with a story that compels the audience to re-evaluate their values too.

Ja Yu is all about creating cultured meat and cultured food, but her real agenda seems to be hidden. Blood Free, the company, is not without any blood on its hands. For now, it might just seem like a race against time for Ja Yu to secure herself, and her company and take the next big leap and for Chae Woon to find the culprit, but the involvement of the Prime Minister and the former President is a clear signal that things are not what they seem on the surface.

As episode two comes to a conclusion, we see that the ones that Ja Yu considered loyal and trustworthy, no longer fit the bill. Everyone is under suspicion. It remains to be seen how Ja Yu navigates the path ahead. Ja Yu treads in a world that is muddled with wonky loyalties, and highly saturated forms of greed.

Meat consumption, cultured meat, and consuming animal produce - these have been long-standing topics of debates between various rungs of society. One can expect a glimpse or a take on these ideas in the forthcoming episodes as the very foundation of the show lies in a company producing genetically engineered cultured meat.

Speaking of the visual aspects of the show, the editing of the show is not so seamless. The scenes feel abruptly cut and the choppy transition shakes the viewer’s attention. A few seconds more into the transition would keep the viewers thoroughly engaged as the drama packs quite the nail-biting experience. The panels are dark most of the time, reflecting the murky activities in the story.

Blood Free has the potential to be a thought-provoking thriller. The ethical quandaries surrounding lab-grown meat hinted at in the first two episodes, are sure to spark conversation.  It's interesting to see a K-drama tackle such a complex, real-world issue. While the suspense and edge-of-your-seat moments are promising, it will be interesting to see if the show can maintain its depth beyond the initial intrigue. Here's hoping the moral and ethical debates don't get overshadowed by the fast-paced plot as the series progresses.

Overall, Blood Free is a K-drama to keep an eye on, especially if you enjoy a show that challenges your thinking alongside its thrills. With its weekly double-episode release keeping you engaged, be sure to join the conversation and share your thoughts on this developing drama!

Watch the trailer for Blood Free here:

ALSO READ: From Yoo Ah In starrer Goodbye Earth to Han Hyo Joo-led Blood Free – 7 K-dramas to watch in April 2024


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