Unlike other dramas, I will not talk much about this drama. Firstly, it is complicated. Secondly, it is about the disagreement between Russia and Korea so I shall leave it to you to find out. With spies and also pilots coming into the picture to seize arms and power, who will be the winner in the end?
Story/Introduction on characters
1. Min Qing Bin – Lee Byung Hyun
Qing Bin's father is a general. He is a top notch pilot after his father's death. But his past-caring attitude pisses people off. Luckily his senior changes him but his world shatters when he dies. The army wants to put the blame on him but Qing Bin is determined to clear his innocence. The death is due to the plane's mechanical defects. See how daring he is to stand against many colonels with the limited evidence he has! But after exposing all the evil deeds, he must leave the flying academy.
When he is given the mission to save Anastasia, he takes up the challenge. But seeing how complicated things are, he stays behind to defy the academy's orders to protect her. He grows to love her. After knowing Tai Zhong's role as an assassin to kill his wife, he challenges him several times but gets defeated. He grows to love Anastasia but the love for his country is greater. He chooses to perish with Tai Zhong in the air to prevent him from returning to North Korea.
Byung Hyun is still raw in acting then but he has done several emotional scenes well. He looks smart in the pilot uniform so all should not miss him!
2. Li Yong Rui – Lee Jung Jae
He is a North Korean who knows 4 languages and is a computer expert. He is a jovial man who is positive towards life. But he ends up being a tour guide for the party as he can earn more US$ for them. What a change of fate when he is in love with a general's daughter. Many will be won over by his love for her. When she tries to drown herself in the sea, he risks his life to save her. Although he is badly beaten up, he refuses to give in to the general.
The general sets to break them up in vain – to give him dangerous assignments. Fate allows him to be protected by Tai Zhong instead. But alas, to protect his brother and also his belief, he jumps off a building and ends up dead. He is the best in the serial! I realize why he is so popular in movies – because he is really good! His charisma oozes throughout the serial.
3. Peter – Shin
He is Mr Zhang's bodyguard and speaks little. But he is so manly when he gets to save Anastasia from the KGB agents. He carries her out and sets the whole place on fire, killing all to death. How chivalrous is he! Too bad they don't end up as lovers. Being a filial son, he vows to seek out his father's killer. Tai Zhong also regards him as a thorn in the flesh but strangely he doesn't kill him although he has the chance.
4. Quan Tai Zhong – Choi Min Joo
He is a North Korean. His father is a general but gets killed after killing Mr Min during an attack. His mother is forced to marry his father when pregnant with him but is killed by his uncle when she tries to escape. He meets Anastasia in her teens and falls for her. To help her escape out from North Korea, he gets caught and is trained to be an agent.
He first meets Yong Rui in Iran when Yong Rui is assigned to save him. But he ends up saving Yong Rui instead when they are trapped in the desert. Yong Rui returns the favour by rescuing him from the Iran terrorists and Tai Zhong manages to kill the leader at the chest. Both return to North Korea but instead of getting a rest, both are soon assigned to kill Scientist Zhang in Russia.
This proves to be a fatal mistake. After killing him, Tai Zhong then recognizes Anastasia and regrets his act. He tries to make up to her by saving her from the other agents. However, he can't betray his country and they have to end up at the opposite sides although they still have feelings for each other.
This character looks cold but he has a burning passion underneath the exterior. Min Joo does his part well – although not as striking as Jung Jae. At certain angles, I thought I was looking at Jang Dong Gun because he also has a pair of expressive eyes like him.
5. Hong Xiu Xian – Song Hae Gyo/Chen Sil Jin
She is well versed in Russian and helps to translate the language so that Qing Bin can understand more about Russian planes. Both are an item and she stands by him despite the many setbacks he has faced. Qing Bin is totally devoted to her and decides to marry her. Both look so happy on that day. But she is killed by Tai Zhong on her wedding day to break his heart in the car before she steps into the church. Song Hae Gyo only stars as the teenage Xiu Xian. She is only passable here. Sil Jin plays the role well.
6. Anastasia Zhang - Lee Eun Joo/Shim Yun Ha
She is well versed in Russian and works as an interpreter. Her father is a scientist who often lands her in trouble. But knowing how he tries to save the world, she helps to give Russian information to the CIA but gets caught. She ends up being protected but she also learns to protect herself. You will be baffled when she becomes an expert with guns. Same as Hae Gyo, Eun Joo also stars as the teenage Anastasia but she really shines in there. Yun Ha does well in tragic roles – as always.
7. Wu Sheng Xin – Jin Hee Kyung (as Hui Yuan's aunt in ‘Sad Sonata')
She is an artist but serves as a sex slave for her general father to increase his power. She can't take it anymore and tries to drown herself. She goes to Russia to learn painting and gets to meet Yong Rui there. She tries so hard to avoid him but both can't forget each other to be together repeatedly. Her father doesn't allow them to be together but she defies his wishes and even uses death to defy him. After Yong Rui's death, she buries him in her heart and holds an exhibition for him. This actress might be unknown but her acting is convincing. All should not miss her performance.
8. Ms Zheng
She is Qing Bin's superior who has vast knowledge in planes. She supports him in whatever he does.
Even if you dislike tragedies, I will recommend you to watch this one as this shows that some people have no choice in choosing their own paths in life. They have wished to be friends with the enemy but due to different beliefs, they can't. They end up wounding or killing each other. Although the pace is slow, it gives you breathing space to realize how war can affect a person's life.
Sukting's ratings :
On acting : ***1/2 (Scale of 5)
On story : *** (Scale of 5)