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[Review] ‘Flower of Evil’: Lee Joon Ki & Moon Chae Won’s Tense Two-Faced Performances

Edited by Hwang Hong Sun

Translated by Kim Hoyeun

What if your beloved husband is a murderer? Flower of Evil tells the story of a husband who hides the past connected to a serial murder case and a wife who doubts him. Lee Joon Ki and Moon Chae Won, who worked on Criminal Minds together three years ago, show off their sweet but bitter couple’s chemistry and raise the anticipation every episode with unexpected developments.

Credit: tvN

Flower of Evil intensifies the thriller-like tension through situations where the two have to deceive or doubt their own family they should trust and rely on the most. Do Hyun Soo, who now has formed his own happy family, erases his dark past and lives a fake life under the name of Baek Hee Sung and acts his parts as a good husband and good father to his wife and daughter. But the problem is that his wife Cha Ji Won is a detective. No matter how good he is at acting, Ji Won notices the gap whenever he shows his “real” side. The drama clearly reveals the rift between the couple as faith and doubt are repeated, heralding a shock ahead.

It is also interesting to see Flower of Evil tensely displaying the path to the truth by going back and forth between the past and the present. Do Hyun Soo, who now lives as Baek Hee Sung, is the son of a serial killer who made headlines a long time ago, and the drama raises suspicions that he may be an accomplice in helping his father commit murder. In the meantime, more and more people find out about his real identity, heightening the sense of crisis. That moment, Hyun Soo’s past moves are reflected in a flashback, revealing his innocence and further adding to the mystery of the story by suggesting that the real accomplice is actually someone else.

Credit: tvN

Lee Joon Ki and Moon Chae Won’s delicate performances also add strength to the drama. Lee Joon Ki, who is actually playing a dual role, perfectly acts Hee Sung who is kind to his family and Hyun Soo who is dark and cruel to those who know his secrets and brilliantly portrays a person with two faces with his delicate expressions. Lee Joon Ki’s performance, which perfectly crosses the extreme emotions in every episode, increases the level of immersion.

Moon Chae Won, playing the role of Ji Won who learns the truth about her husband, is presenting richer emotional performances as the story continues. In fact, Ji Won did not show much presence up to the 6th episode, but she begins to take the lead in the story as she finds out who Hyun Soo really is. Moon Chae Won carefully describes the confused mind of Ji Won, who has to put on a mask of a lovely wife but has to dig into her husband’s past, drawing keen attention. In particular, she drew out overwhelming emotions in the scene where she shed tears as she realizes that she cannot hate her husband because of all their times together, even when she knows Hyun Soo’s lies.

Credit: tvN

Flower of Evil adds interest to every episode with the tension of the thriller genre and “truth-finding” element that goes back and forth between the past and the present, but some parts could have been better. First, Do Hyun Soo, who was suspected of being an accomplice to a serial killer at the beginning, becomes “too nice” as the story progresses. Even if he looks like he’s about to kill those who interfere with his plan, he makes the so-called “good choices” and drags the plot.

Another flaw is that the drama focuses on Hyun Soo and Ji Won’s “love and hatred” conflicts in the process of approaching the truth of the serial murder case. Especially, the 9th and 10th episodes, there are a ton of mysteries that needs to be solved, but the story drags, and the developments are devoted to the psychological changes of the two characters. Lee Joon Ki and Moon Chae Won’s outstanding emotional performances do stand out, but at some point, it feels like I’m watching a melodrama, not a thriller.

Of course, these downsides are nothing too serious considering the charm of the drama that raises expectations every episode with the shocking twists. Since the clues to the identity of an accomplice in the mysterious serial murder case were discovered in the latest episode, I hope that the current tension will continue till the very end.

 

Verdict: “Truth or Dare” played by Lee Joon Ki and Moon Chae Won adds to the dignity of the thriller genre (8/10)

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