No Breathing Review (2013) - Survival Instinct

No Breathing review

The film is quite bearable, relying on two charismatic and well-known actors who are also skilled in their craft.

We're familiar with Lee Jong Suk from "Pinocchio" and Seo In Gook (you might remember him).

The storyline is straightforward, delving into the athletes' long journeys, highlighting the harsh realities of sports, and the pressure parents feel in seeking fulfillment through their children's success. The narrative emphasizes the unpredictability of life once these athletes reach the top.

However, the film consistently emphasizes the value of friendship as a positive message.

It primarily thrives on its visual aspects, allowing viewers to immerse themselves in the scenic beauty, with the actors being the focal point. Regarding the romantic element, Yuri contributes by playing some truly beautiful romantic songs, showcasing her talents as a singer, actor, and dancer.



Title: 노브레싱 / Nobeulesing
Release Date: October- 30-2013
Country: South Korea
Genre: Drama, Sport
Duration: 118 min

The Plot

Woo Sang is a dedicated national swimmer perpetually chasing first place, while Won Il, a swimming prodigy turned retiree, aspires for a comeback. Not only do they become fierce rivals in the world of sports, but they also find themselves entangled in a love triangle with Jung Eun, an aspiring musician and their childhood friend.

The Cast

Seo In Guk as Won Il
Yoo Seung Yong as Young Won Il
Lee Jong Suk as Woo Sang
Nam Da Reum as Young Woo Sang
Kwon Yu Ri as Jung Eun
Kim Bo Min as Young Jung Eun


Lee Jong-suk, renowned for his role in "I Hear Your Voice," brings Woo-sang to life as a talented and fiery-tempered swimmer. After a confrontation with an Australian competitor, he enrolls in a prestigious sports school in Seoul. With a strong sense of pride in his athletic abilities, Woo-sang is dedicated to perfecting his skills and feels challenged if outperformed by others. Despite his wealthy background, his strained relationship with his father, who emphasizes always being first, contributes to his distant demeanor. Yet, his longstanding infatuation with Jeong-eun reveals a tender, affectionate side beneath his tough exterior.

Seo In-gook, known for his role in "Reply 1997," embodies Won-il, a swimmer with a unique ability to hold his breath underwater, enhancing his swimming prowess. Despite his natural aptitude and love for swimming, Won-il harbors resentment toward the sport due to his neglectful national swimmer father. His father's unfortunate demise during a swim meet, potentially from overexertion, compounded with his mother's passing, leads to his upbringing by his father's former coach-turned-cab driver. While harboring feelings for Jeong-eun, Won-il realizes the depth of his emotions when faced with competition from Woo-sang, whom he had previously bested in an elementary school swimming competition.

Kwon Yuri, recognized for her role in "Fashion King," portrays Jeong-eun, Jae-suk's daughter and an aspiring singer. Caught in a romantic triangle involving both boys, signs indicate her preference for the quirky and endearing Won-il over the affectionate Woo-sang.

No Breathing Trailer

In Conclusion

While "No Breathing" doesn't introduce groundbreaking elements, it comfortably follows a familiar path, blending youthful themes like earnestness, angst, school life, friendship, and family issues. This amalgamation weaves adolescent struggles, friendship conflicts, and familial tensions into a somewhat foreseeable yet engaging storyline, serving as a launchpad for budding actors and actresses. For Lee Jong-suk, this movie marks his official debut in the film industry after a smaller role in "The Face Reader."

Lee Jong-suk and Seo In-gook, known for their roles as students in various dramas like "School 2013" and "Answer Me 1997," effortlessly embody the roles of high school athletes, exuding rebellion and humor. However, Kwon Yuri's performance as Jeong-eun feels somewhat limited due to her character's underdevelopment. Jeong-eun's role primarily revolves around being an aspiring singer and the shared love interest of the male leads, lacking in depth and complexity.

Secondary characters like Dae-chan and Jeong-dong serve more as narrative tools than fully fleshed-out personalities. While Jeong-dong's family conflicts are briefly touched upon, his character primarily functions to nurture the friendship between Won-il and Woo-sang, aiding Won-il's reconciliation regarding his deceased father. Unfortunately, Jeong-dong's background remains unexplored, despite representing the everyday individual striving for success without the privileges enjoyed by Won-il and Woo-sang.

Overall, "No Breathing" condenses familiar K-drama elements into a concise two-hour feature, offering drama, humor, and a foreseeable storyline, all packaged neatly with visually appealing scenes.

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