Seo Ha-eun (played by Eom Tae-woong) lost his father when he was 7 years old. He was brought up in Seo Jae-soo's house where he meets his love with Eun-ha (played by Han Ji-min), a pure, ...
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Seo Ha-eun (played by Eom Tae-woong) lost his father when he was 7 years old. He was brought up in Seo Jae-soo's house where he meets his love with Eun-ha (played by Han Ji-min), a pure, good-spirited person. Ha-eun ends up being a detective instead of a criminal. Ha-eun begins to unravel information about his dead father when he is investigating a suicide case. During the investigation, he discovers that he has a twin brother named Yoo Shin-hyuk (also portrayed by Eon Tae-woong), and meets him after 20 years. He also learns that his mother is still alive. The killers who wanted to assassinate Ha-eun accidentally murder Shin-hyuk, due to the similarities of the twins. Because of this, Ha-eun plans revenge by becoming Shin-hyuk. Written by
I'm no Korean drama aficionado. However, I know enough about them to spot the stereotypical love triangle (too many to list), the overused rich guy/poor girl love story ("My Name is Kim Sam-Soon"), or the apprentice-to-master progression ("Dae Jang Geum"). "Buwhal" (or "Revenge" as titled in the U.S. release) is riveting in that it repeatedly departs from the stereotypical K-drama framework, resulting in a story that truly keeps the viewer guessing to the very end. No one is overtly evil, no one is overtly good. Each character has his own interests at stake - it's just a question of how much he is willing to ignore the plain consequences to attain them.
The theme is revenge, but at what cost? We can see the main character, Seo Ha-Eun (Eom Tae-Woong) being plagued by the anguish that comes with losing oneself to the throes of his vindictive rage. Due to a shocking plot twist, the once jovial and gregarious man is forced to become an expressionless mask, as he secretly plots his steps while carrying on life right under the noses of his enemies. As the plan unfolds, we see that Ha-Eun's resolve will entail heavy collateral damage to innocent parties. The ending is profound and will have you thinking about human frailty and whether it is better to forgive to keep the peace or to seek justice at the cost of yourself and possibly others. I respect the writer for leaving that judgment to the viewer.
The only problem I have is the highly improbable love connection between Seo Ha-Eun and Seo Eun-Ha, a major bedrock of the series. Raised as brother and sister from an early age (although not related by blood), the two characters should have felt guilt, shame, disgust, or such feelings attributable to thoughts of incest. The Westermarck Effect, a psychoanalytic theory that has gained much traction through empirical evidence (in contrast to Freud's theories), precludes such a relationship, because brothers and sisters when raised together usually become sexually indifferent and even adverse to each other. But, that's a minor nitpick considering how well the story flows.
Seek this one out, and enjoy!
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