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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Flower of Evil Review: An Assured Edge-of-Your-Seat Melodrama Thriller

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A well-plotted, solid story from start to finish, “Flower of Evil” offers an emotional rollercoaster of a ride that should keep you on the edge of your seat.

2020 sucks but it’s a good year for K-dramas and “Flower of Evil” is definitely one of this year’s best.

The story follows metal craftsman Baek Hee Sung (Lee Joon Gi), a seemingly perfect husband and father living with an assumed identity to hide a terrible past and his detective wife Cha Ji Won (Moon Chae Won) who begins to suspect her husband may be a serial killer and tries to uncover the truth.

After an unexpected meeting with his childhood friend, Kim Moo Jin (Seo Hyun Woo), who happens to be a journalist, Hee Sung’s forced to do the unthinkable to protect his past and his present.

The interesting plot was enough for me to add this to my K-drama watchlist. I was intrigued by the trailer and felt that the male lead’s (Lee Joon Gi) extra sharp jawline and phoenix eyes made his character even more enthralling. Plus, I do have a slight obsession with crime thrillers so I was fully on-board way before its premiere. (You can watch the trailer here.)

Shows are at their best when they cause us to feel things we didn’t see coming. Having watched more than a hundred K-dramas, I thought I knew what I was getting into. But the show, filled with extreme twists and turns and its unpredictable characters, took me on a hell of a thrill-ride. Just when you thought all secrets have been revealed, more surfaces. Each episode draws you deeper into the story and the cliffhangers heighten the suspense even more.

“Flower of Evil” is highly engaging and it stays that way throughout its 16 episodes. Props to the director for creating impactful scenes and for maintaining its momentum until the very end. Writing felt well thought-through as the sub-plots were all cohesively connected, making the events of the larger story.

The show keeps a suspenseful pace for much of its run, but it has its heartwarming moments, which are utterly moving. It’s impressive how the writers were able to serve up its viewers with thrill and tension one minute and then hit with poignant feels, the next.  The father-daughter scenes had me completely by the heart! The use of flashbacks at the beginning of every episode was nicely done which made the chemistry between the leads truly shines. The writers also peppered tiny dashes of humor for a little breather.

The two leads were excellent and capable all around. Lee Joon Gi and Moon Chae Won both delivered stellar performances and showed their ability to portray heavy and complex emotions.They shared an undeniable chemistry, whether they’re being playful, sharing a sweet kiss or at each other’s throat (literally). With committed deliveries from both actors, I can’t help but rootfor a happy ending for them despite their unfortunate circumstances.

Everyone did a great job, even the ones playing the bad guys (one villain stands out but I don’t want to spoil it for you).But it’s really Lee Joon Gi’s nuanced and believableportrayal of a man with psychopathicleanings that knocks it out of the ballpark for me. He imbued his gaze with so much expression, you can feel his pain, rage or sorrow from across the screen. Watch him pull off a creepyside to perfection. His heart-wrenching scenes in the later episodes will blow you away.

This drama features only 3 tracks in its OST (usually K-dramas have more) but it felt immersiveand astutely applied adding to the overall emotion of the show.

“Flower of Evil” has received both critical acclaim and positive response from Korea and international viewers. It’s the perfect mix of melodrama, mystery and suspense.It’s a keenly directed, well-narrated show, with the actors portraying their characters exceptionally well, making for a solid and satisfying watch.

Rating: Cannot. Recommend. Enough.

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