Vincenzo Review

Vincenzo Review

Synopsis. Vincenzo is a 2021 kdrama about Mafia lawyer, Vincenzo Cassano, that returns to Korea after a change in family patriarchs in Italy merits an expedient exodus.  As young boy, sent to the orphanage by his mother, Park Hoo Hyung (Vincenzo) was adopted by an Italian couple and went to live in Italy at age 9. As an adult, Vincenzo became the Cassano Family adviser (aka consigliere – trusted confidant, advisor to the boss in a Mafia crime family). When the Cassano patriarch passes, his son assumes power. He’s not a fan of Vincenzo and tries to kill him. Vincenzo kills the trio of assassins and returns to Korea. Vincenzo has a plan and it involves the Geumga Plaza building. But there’s a competing party, the powerful Babel Group who also wants the building. Vincenzo meets Mr. Hong, of Jipuragi Law Firm, located in the Geumga Plaza. Mr. Hong fights for the common man against the Babel Group in court. The fights are never fair due to the bribery, influence and cheating tactics Babel Group wields. Mr. Hong asks Vincenzo to help him fight dirty and win. He tells Vincenzo it takes a devil to beat a devil and asks Vincenzo to be the devil beat Babel Group, legally or illegally. Never shy about eliminating an enemy, Babel Group arranges a truck to bash into the eatery where Mr. Hong and Vincenzo are. Mr. Hong is killed. Mr. Hong’s daughter, Hong Cha Young, a lawyer who works for Babel Group, leaves the Babel Group and takes over her father’s practice to fight against Babel Group. Vincenzo joins the practice. They work together to beat Babel Group. It gets messy fast as Babel Group plays dirty and kills without regard. Vincenzo exercises his abilities and fights fire with fire. The building tenants, Lawyer Hong, and Vincenzo become the unit to fight Babel Group. There is a pull between Lawyer Hong and Vincenzo. Babel’s Team Evil has no ethics crushing those that stand in its way. Can Vincenzo defeat them?

What I liked about Vincenzo

Writing. Writer Park Jae Bum embedded this series with key themes – violence can be justified – evil must stamp out evil – teamwork for good or evil is effective.  Writer Park created a leading man that was ruthless and charming, a leading lady that was tough and an effective lawyer, a group of initially wacky tenants that evolved into a unit that supported Vincenzo’s tactics, and a Team Evil that was truly evil. This was good versus evil, but Team Good didn’t shy away from confronting Team Evil with the same level of attack.

Vincenzo Cassano (Song Joong Ki) was the lynchpin. Vincenzo was a master strategist and ruthless, never doubting that he must fight fire with fire. Often kdrama male leads reject violence to fight fair and find honor in that method. Vincenzo had no compulsion to change. He was smart, tactical, and violent in his pursuit of evil, an atypical Kdrama male lead. He did not denounce who he was to become a good man. And yet, he grew and evolved. He found a second family in the building tenants. He found a connection with Lawyer Hong though romance wasn’t the focus. I respected Vincenzo’s brains and tactical skills. He didn’t win every battle with Team Evil, but he never gave up. Song Joong Ki was masterful in this role. His handsome countenance and suave demeanor, made Vincenzo someone women wanted and men wanted to be like. Whoever cast Song Joong Ki in this role deserves a big bonus.

Team Good – Lawyer Hong, the tenants, et all – accepted and encouraged Vincenzo’s tactics. Each of them had experience with the ruthless ways of Team Evil. They were willing to get dirty to defend their building and their future. There was no censure. Vincenzo did the heavy lifting, but Team Good each played their part in the battle. Lawyer Hong Cha Young (Jeon Yeo Bin) was pragmatic, strategic, and never backed down from the fight. She wanted revenge against Babel Group for her father’s murder. She was willing to do what it took to achieve it. Vincenzo was her ace. Jeon Yeo Bin and Song Joong Ki had chemistry that simmered at times but the priority was always beating Team Evil.

Team Evil – Jang Joon Woo, Lawyer Choi Myung Hee, et all – was evil incarnate. There was nothing that was off limits. Winning was everything. There was nothing redeeming about Joon Woo, a man who enjoyed pain and power. Lawyer Choi sold her soul to Joon Woo and did anything to further his goals. Her tactics were ruthless too. They were a formidable frightening amoral pair.

What I didn’t like about Vincenzo

Glorification of violence. When evil cruelly crushes good, we all feel outrage and bloodlust for revenge. But sometimes in this series I shrank from the violence. Team Evil had no capacity for reform, so the direct blunt force path had to be taken. Even so, there were times when the violent choices were unsavory.

Bit of a slow start. The initial episodes were a bit slow and the building tenants seemed wacky not endearing. Thankfully, they grew into a cohesive unit that enhanced rather than annoyed.

Did I enjoy the OST?


This is unusual OST with a mix of a few kpop vocal tunes, opera pieces, jazzy tunes, and a strong orchestra instrumental portion of the album.

Would I recommend Vincenzo?


Yes
. Song Joon Ki was superb as the handsome, cunning, strategic, driven mafia lawyer that guarded his heart yet found a support network he never expected nor did he look for while engaged in a gripping battle with a truly evil Team Evil.  Writer Park Jae Bum penned episodes with heart, humor, that embraced fighting evil with similar tactics. The series draws you in. You accept violence is the only way defeat the irredeemable ruthless Team Evil. Highs and lows abound for both Team Evil and Team Good. There were gripping moments, tender moments, cat-and-mouse moments, hard to watch moments, all embedded in a chain of episodes that were enjoyable, watchable and never boring.

 

Asian drama fan. I watch and blog dramas on https://kjtamusings.wordpress.com/.

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3 comments on “Vincenzo Review
  1. Jane Tilly says:

    The writing and acting of this drama were very good.

    I had a difficult time coming to terms with the glorification of violence in this series. While I’m generally on board with evil taking on evil, there were several things I took umbrage with:
    🔸️ involvement of the Geumga Plaza tenants in dangerous activities
    🔸️ the amount of innocent collateral damage, especially of the lethal variety
    🔸️ the level of cruelty in the violence from both Team Evil AND Vincenzo
    🔸️ designating the perpetrator of mafioso-style evil to fight evil, namely Vincenzo as a hero. While Vincenzo eliminated much evil, in my paradigm murderer ≠ hero (-Justice Jane).

    Viewer beware of the high level of cruel, mafioso-style violence and high body count of this drama. If you cannot tolerate violence, this drama is not for you.

    Like

    • there were several things I took umbrage with:
      🔸️ involvement of the Geumga Plaza tenants in dangerous activities
      🔸️ the amount of innocent collateral damage, especially of the lethal variety
      🔸️ the level of cruelty in the violence from both Team Evil AND Vincenzo
      🔸️ designating the perpetrator of mafioso-style evil to fight evil, namely Vincenzo as a hero. While Vincenzo eliminated much evil, in my paradigm murderer ≠ hero (-Justice Jane).

      All fair points JT. No one blinked at the eye for an eye approach, even the honorable Mr. Hong, who initially asks Vincenzo to engage in whatever manner works. He was never shamed for his tactics. On the flip side, Vincenzo did emotionally evolve to a point. Song Joon Ki was suave and very watchable while straddling the line between harsh actions and moments of heart.

      Liked by 1 person

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