The Korean dorama Memories of the Alhambra is the kind of production designed and executed to delight all ages. The mix of genres it provides – there’s a lot of action, but there’s also romance and room for comedy – can be great for reaching out to wider audiences (watch here).
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Of course, with a script that covers so many things at once, there may be some slips here and there that make the main story – an action plot that involves high technology – take a long time to unfold. When that happens, the fun is guaranteed. The problem of Memories of the Alhambra is this: the whole story seems to take false steps, waiting for the moments in which the technological action arises, which can irritate some people. However, it can’t be said that this production doesn’t have its merits.
Korea in Spain
One of the coolest things about Memories of the Alhambra, being a totally Korean production, is that is sets all its action in Spain. Alhambra is in Granada, which in turn is part of the province of Andalusia, Spanish territory. With this, there is a strangeness in perceiving a dorama spoken in Korean happening in totally different places than they usually are. After the shock of the first moment, in a little time we are already used to it and we come to think it’s natural that everyone in the series speaks Korean, with the exception of few supporting roles necessary to situate the locality where the characters are.
The plot has its reasons for taking place in Alhambra. In fact, it talks about a young director of a company that produces technology with virtual reality that arrives in the Spanish province to find a teenager who has created a game that uses these artifacts to be played. They set up a meeting at a place called Hostel Bonita, a crumbling piece of land. What marks the beginning of this story is that the teenager does not reach the hostel, disappearing in the middle of the way. The technology he developed, if falling into the wrong hands, can serve other less noble purposes.
So, Yoo Jin-woo – that’s the name of the director of the company – starts to search for the boy to find out what happened to him, at the same time that he gets involved with the hostel owner who has some kind of connection with the missing person. In addition, he discovers what the revolutionary game the kid has produced and begins to play it – at the same time he needs to fight against his rivals in business, so they do not take possession of this new technology.
A little hitch doesn’t hurt anyone
There is no doubt that Memories of the Alhambra is a very ambitious dorama. The special effects, in particular, are quite convincing, revealing the investment that production has made to make the story more credible. So, following the first few episodes, when Yoo Jin-woo is learning to play the most realistic game he has ever seen, which even uses the whole city as pieces on a war board, it’s quite exciting.
The problem is when he begins to get involved with the owner of the hostel, which yields some scenes that may be considered slow-paced, or that even don’t develop the story in a satisfactory way. This sub-plot could be removed from the script without major problems, but as they are there, they can break the adventure climate that Memories of the Alhambra delivers at its best. But let’s not forget that we are talking about a Korean production: if you do not have a plot with a novel that seems impossible, preferably coupled with some comedy scenes, then it is not a Korean production.
Still, the first season of Memories of the Alhambra has a positive balance. Although it is tiring at times to solve the problems that it proposes, the project has, in its main story, a great force to hold the audience to the end. And after a while, who watches even sympathize with the novel that is gradually being created. In the end, it makes a leap of quality and establishes itself as a very nice drama and undoubtedly is one of the best Korean productions to reach Netflix, in every way.
Trailer and additional information about Memories of the Alhambra Netflix
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Synopsis 1: While looking for the cryptic creator of an innovative augmented-reality game, an investment firm executive meets a woman who runs a hostel in Spain.
Synopsis 2: While looking for the cryptic creator of an innovative augmented-reality game, an investment firm executive meets a woman who runs a hostel in Spain.
Age rating: 14;