I've to say this black comedy drama between prisoners and the correction officers will either be a hit or a miss to viewers. For starters, it isn't your typical prisoners stories with lots of chaos and fights. Sure, there are still some scenes about those (after all, it's set in a prison and some bullying and fighting are inevitable) but basically it is focused more on the emotional connection between inmates and inmates, inmates and officers, and even officers and wardens (hope this make sense). To be exact, this story depicts the friendship and connections within a group of inmates locked together in a cell and at its heart of the story is about the downfall of a popular baseball pitcher, Je Hyeok (starring Park Hae Soo) and how he survives in prison and get his groove back through the help of his inmates and a few officers. So if you are expecting lots of fighting scenes and actions in this drama, probably this drama isn't for you. 

To begin with, Kim Je Hyeok (starring Park Hae Soo) committed a crime out of justice for his younger sister. He managed to save her virtue, but unfortunately by doing so he had assaulted and injured the man. As a result, he receives a 1-year sentence in jail. His best friend, Lee Joon Ho (starring Jung Kyoung Ho) is a correction officer in prison and you could say Je Hyeok is lucky to have him on his side. 

But that is not all, what also makes this story interesting is the other inmates who share the same cell as Je Hyeok. Each of them has a past and a story to tell - there are a few who are serving time for the crimes they did, but there are also some who are wrongfully convicted and are awaiting for a chance for retrial (their interactions are one of the highlights to watch - some are amusing while some are touching but nevertheless they show their bond and the things they will do for one another). And, you would probably think that a correction officer would be cold and oblivious to the welfare of the prisoners but not so in this story. One may argue that they are not following protocols (no matter whatever the reason is), but who can really judge when compassion and humanity are concerned? 

Prison Playbook (aka Wise Prison Life) may be a slow-burn at the beginning and not much of an action film but I liked it that it was inspiring and heartwarming in some ways. I'd recommend it if you prefer something different out of this genre. 

(Watch trailer here.)

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10 Responses
  1. jenclair Says:

    I may give it a try. I usually dismiss anything set in a prison, but this certainly sounds different. Glad you enjoyed it, Melody!

  2. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - I'd expected more action from this drama initially and was in for a surprise after watching a few episodes. It was different from those prison dramas/movies I watched and it was kinda refreshing seeing something different and with more humanity. :)

  3. Jenny Says:

    I think I’d be perfectly happy watching the interaction between characters.

  4. Iliana Says:

    Unfortunately this is probably not one for me as prison stories make me tense and nervous. I think it's all that simmering violence that you just know will break out soon. Granted, this from a crime/thriller book lover! haha.. Glad you enjoyed it!

  5. Melody Says:

    Jenny - Yep, me too. Too much actions would be a cliché for such a theme. Just kidding.

  6. Melody Says:

    Iliana - I'm surprised this one didn't have too many fighting scenes as compared to others. In fact, I liked the emotional aspect of this and it shows the vulnerable and compassionate side of the few lead characters there.

  7. Stories set in prisons can be very interesting. They often show the more human side of the people involved, which I like. It sounds like this movie does a good job of doing that.

  8. Melody Says:

    Wendy - I totally agree with you on that, Wendy.

  9. Nina Says:

    oooh, another one to watch! I see you're watching Black, me too! I love that one! I like that it's funny and serious. :)

  10. Melody Says:

    Nina - I enjoyed watching Black! I think it has a great premise.

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