Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Flower of Evil

Flower of Evil" (2020) is one of my best recallable psychological criminal stories ever.  With two romances intertwined it is emotionally draining.  Trust is really put to a test (a few times). 

It is quickly established the focus will be on a loving couple with a three year old daughter.  In the first episode you are made aware that the wife is not aware of lots of things about her husband.  We also realize she is a very capable police detective who discerns details that escape others.  

The childhood of the main protagonist included a murder and accusations of psychopathic behavior.  One more detail, he has since changed his identity fooling even his wife.  Cha Ji Won's police job brings her in touch with some puzzling cases that eventually lead her to suspect her husband. 

An old acquaintance of the protagonist is a reporter who interacts with Ji Won is interested in something she shows him from her husband's work which is metal ornaments.   Kim Moo Jin, the reporter, who wrote about the earlier crisis visits the protagonist who I will give his original name Do Hyun Su.  They recognize each other right away and Hyun Su decides to turn Kim Moo Jin into a prisoner and hides him in his basement workshop.  There is fear and distrust on both sides, but eventually, spoiler alert, they end up working together.  Apparently Moo Jin had been going out with Hyun Su's sister Hae Sue, but had broken up at the time of a crisis.

There are many layers to the crisis that involve how Hyun Su took on another identity with another family whose son became under critical secret care.  Everyone has secrets and revelations come out with every one of the 16 episodes.  Psychology plays a major role with Hyun Su who we learn was considered a psychopath in his youth and he himself will describe himself as feeling no real emotions.  At one point he loses part of his memory and hurts his devoted wife who had learned his history.  Does love conquer all?   Read below for one clue, but I would add there are some unresolved issues at the end.

The crisis in his past involved more people than we originally thought and the family that accepted Hyun Su is not what we think.  Trying to avoid spoilers I would just add there are more complications than hinted so far.  All and all the ending is satisfying and each episode is very engaging.

A lot of talent went into the emotional engagement this film offers.

 Chel-gyu Kim, the director won an award for this television series.

Jung Hee Yoo, the writer in only her third series.  She commented the title came from a collection of poems by Charles Bodler, "Where evil has been buried flowers can still bloom."  It is a gut wrenching plot.

 Enjoyable music was provided by Kim Jun seok whose film credits include "The Chaser" (2008) and composer Jung Se-rin.

 Lee Joon Gi plays the double identity protagonist.  He career started to grow after a role in "The King and the Clown" (2005).  He has won numerous regional awards including for this film.

Moon Chae-Won  played the detective wife, Cha Ji Won.  Her film career started in 2007 and included "Criminal Minds" (2017) with Lee Joon Gi.

Seo Hyun-woo plays Kim Mo  Jin who is at first antagonistic, but later is supportive and provides a secondary romance.  His film career includes "Tunnel" (2016).

Choi Young-joon plays a fellow detective to Ji Won, Choi Jae Sub and sometimes is just as sharp.  He is sometimes supportive and sometimes difficult.  He has appeared in "Vincenzo" (2021) and "Our Blues" (2022).

Choi Dae-hoon plays another detective.  His film career includes "Crash Landing on You" (2019-20) and "Extraordinary Attorney Woo" (2022).  Check two of my favorites:  http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2020/02/crash-landing-on-you-very-addicting.html and  http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2022/08/extraordinary-attorney-woo.html

Jang-hiepjin plays Hae-Su, the sister who was central to the original crisis.  Despite her youthful appearance she has been in films since 2006.

 This film has already been remade in Philippines and Bollywood.

If you like complicated mysteries spiced with psychology and romance this is a not to be missed series.  Check out IMDB and don't just note the high rating, but also the reader comments that seem like they are written by an advertising firm, but seem appropriate to me.

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