Navillera: The Webcomic That Inspired The Netflix Series Is On Tapas
Navillera is a high-concept Korean drama now streaming on Netflix. As it happens, it was adapted from a webcomic as an increasing number of Korean dramas are. The webcomic serial is now available on Tapas. This one is a weepie about a 70-year-old retired postman who decides to pursue his life-long dream: ballet.
As the official synopsis for Navillera goes: "After the funeral of an old friend, Dukchul Shim resolves to pursue something he had always wanted to try: ballet. Much to the surprise (and maybe horror) of his wife, children, and other acquaintances, this 70-year-old throws himself into following his heart and his passion. With the help of his young instructor Chaerok and others hoping for their own ambitions to take flight, Dukchul shows the importance and joy of pursuing one's dream… even in the face of hardships and our own mortality."
That's right, it's time to get out your handkerchiefs. This is like the type of high-concept melodrama pitch that Hollywood keeps saying it wants: unique with an emotional hook right off the bat. Dukchul Shim, played by Park In-Hwan in maximum Lovable Dad Mode, knows his days are numbered: he's been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and he wants to be able to dance ballet before his dementia completely wipes him out. He has to convince 23-year-old instructor Chaerok (Song Kang, who also stars in another Netflix K-Drama adapted from a webcomic, Sweet Home) to take him seriously. He has to get past his wife and grown kids' shock and resistance since they're worried about him. "Navillera" is actually a Korean word that means "like a butterfly". That is the name of the performance Dukchul wants to dance when he and Chaerok take to the stage to perform Swan Lake.
Navillera is certainly a unique series. You can't accuse it of ripping off some other, more popular story. You can read the original webcomic on Tapas and watch the live action TV version on Netflix. They complement each other in an interesting way. It's the type of story that might be a movie that went to Sundance and get hyped up as a major indie story.
Navillera is now streaming on Netflix.