“Beyond Evil” is a type of uncommon masterpieces that sticks lengthy after its finish. Tightly-plotted, enthralling, and altogether addictive, this present could have you on the sting of your seat, lined in goosebumps. It begins, as most tales do, within the sleepy city of Manyang the place evil first bloomed 20 years in the past. Women went lacking, with nothing discovered however their fingertips. When a well-liked, well-liked girl joins the vanished, her brother, Lee Dong Sik (Shin Ha Kyun), is accused of killing her. 20 years later, within the current, Lee Dong Sik has been lengthy acquitted of the homicide. A policeman in Manyang, he endures the suspicion and dislike of the locals there who nonetheless haven’t forgotten the previous.
But change involves Manyang within the type of Han Joo Won (Yeo Jin Goo), an up-and-coming star who can be the son of the longer term Police Commissioner. Assigned as Dong Sik’s boss, the 2 type a reluctant partnership. But Joo Won is preserving secrets and techniques. When the disappearances of 20 years in the past start once more, the 2 males are pressured to query every thing they know, particularly one another.
At 16 episodes, “Beyond Evil” is a straightforward binge and straightforward to suit right into a wet weekend. If this isn’t sufficient to persuade you to look at the present, learn on for extra causes!
1. The chemistry
It goes with out saying that actors like Shin Ha Kyun and Yeo Jin Goo are going to ship powerhouse performances. They don’t disappoint right here. While that is definitely no romance, there’s such a spark in the best way the actors play off the characters that it could’t be known as something however chemistry. We’ve received drawn out stares, deep gazes, heartfelt pleas, and a hate-to-love dynamic that’s nothing wanting electrical.
80 p.c of this present revolves round their characters. In the fingers of much less expert actors, this might crumble on the seams, however each Shin Ha Kyun and Yeo Jin Goo anchor the present with nuanced, vivid performances that go above and past. “Beyond Evil” thrives on subtext. Many scenes have few strains and people strains typically include a number of miniature dialog inside. Yet the actors convey all that hidden which means via their eyes and minute adjustments in their expressions and physique language whereas by no means revealing every thing the character is considering. It’s a tightrope they stroll between displaying too little and displaying an excessive amount of, and it’s accomplished so so nicely! It’s no surprise the present scored 4 nominations on the 57th Baeksang Arts Awards.
2. The folks of Manyang
For a present that depends closely on its two essential stars to hold the plot, one may assume that the remaining characters could be paper skinny, however this isn’t the case in any respect. From Manyang police chief Nam Sang Bae (Chun Ho Jin) to shaky, timid Park Jeong Je (Choi Dae Hoon), fiery Yoo Jae Yi (Choi Sung Eun), beginner Oh Ji Hoon (Nam Yoon Su), and all the best way right down to flamboyant, Russian-speaking Lee Chang Jin (Heo Sung Tae), the folks of Manyang are vivid and life like with flaws, insecurities, and goals of their personal. This looks as if a male-dominated present, and there’s no denying that it’s in some methods. But the ladies are the center and core of this story.
Every element right down to their professions aren’t afterthoughts. Jae Yi is a butcher, a hands-on laborious job, which is never seen on-screen and sometimes performed by males. Oh Ji Hwa (Kim Shin Rok) is certainly one of Dong Sik’s finest mates and is an extremely profitable cop with nary a loveline in sight. And Councilwoman Do Hae Won (Gil Hae Yeon) is working for mayor, unchecked by any man. Even the ahjummas who secretly gamble within the city’s magnificence salon outwit the police at occasions. The ladies maintain the ability in Manyang, and the present doesn’t neglect these characters or deal with them as periphery to Dong Sik and Joo Won’s story. They’re integral to the plot, to one another, and to Manyang as a complete. This makes it all of the extra attention-grabbing as a result of all of those characters are hiding one thing.
3. The thriller
Too typically thrillers start by giving every thing away and telling viewers who the killer is. It makes for a considerably irritating watch as we’re within the possession of data that the characters aren’t, and we’ve got to look at them wrestle to comprehend what we all know goes to occur. But the actually nice mysteries are those that go away you guessing till the very finish. That’s precisely what this present does, however not with a collection of unrealistic twist after twist after twist. “Beyond Evil” is aware of precisely when to drag the rug out from beneath its characters and when to carry again. We know solely what the characters know, and generally even lower than that. Like Dong Sik and Joo Won, we additionally play detective, making an attempt to determine who’s abducting ladies and why they’ve began once more after 20 years.
This multitude of characters is particularly necessary as a result of they all have secrets and techniques. This drama typically circles again to its title as every secret is revealed, but it surely doesn’t ask what “evil” actually is – a trite query. Instead it reveals us that evil isn’t glamorous or over-the-top, however typically quiet, peculiar, and all too simple. The directing actually shines right here. It’s actually top-notch. Tight close-ups, gradual pans, and monitoring pictures get viewers into the sense of claustrophobia in small cities, and the way trapped the characters really feel in their personal heads. The director, Sim Na Yeon, beforehand directed “Moments At Eighteen,” which couldn’t be extra completely different from this present. It’s evident that she’s extremely proficient and her ability actually elevates this present to a masterpiece of performing, writing, and directing.
4. The OST
A drama like this requires atmospheric music. Nothing too cheery or overtly sinister however one thing that manages to straddle the road between tense and solemn. That’s precisely what the OST for “Beyond Evil” manages to do. There’s critically such a fantastic crew behind this drama. It hits it out of the park even with the background music.
The finest track from the album is Choi Baek Ho’s “That Night” which additionally performs on the finish of each episode. It’s a surprising piece that someway conveys loneliness, weariness, and worry, and it’s so extremely addictive.
The old-timey really feel of the track matches completely with the small city setting, and with the concept of time standing nonetheless for its residents like Dong Sik. The track’s lyrics converse of the narrator trying to find somebody, seeing their traces in all places, and questioning in the event that they’ll ever discover them. This message ties into the story in so some ways and intersects profoundly with every character’s life. And the remainder of the album is simply as wonderful.
To say extra would give away an excessive amount of of this wonderful present, but it surely’s suffice to say that it’s value all of the accolades and adore it has been receiving. “Beyond Evil” isn’t flashy or the type of present that one can watch and overlook. It’s a gradual ache that’ll stick lengthy after the ending, a weary protest to the banality of evil, and a love letter to small cities and unlikely mates.
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Shalini_A is a very long time Asian-drama addict. When not watching dramas, she works as a lawyer, fangirls over Ji Sung, and makes an attempt to jot down the best fantasy romance of all time. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, and be happy to ask her something!
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