Woah. This is going to be an intense ride and I am here for it! (p.s this is in place of my Stuck in Dramaland post because this is all I’ve watched this week haha ^^”)
Secret Forest follows Prosecutor Hwang ShiMok (Cho SeungWoo) who does not feel emotions due to a surgery he underwent as a child. He is faced with a case that involves the corruption of his boss and peers. Together with Police Lieutenant Han YeoJin (Bae DooNa) they try to solve a murder and get rid of corruption in the Prosecutor offices.
I was expecting this to be a good drama, simply because Bae DooNa is in it! I would like to say that she is not the only reason I am thoroughly enjoying this drama so far.
The characters are very interesting. ShiMok lacks emotion and that means he comes across as cold and uninterested. He sometimes plays up his lack of emotion, especially when with his bosses. I feel that even in these two episodes, we are seeing the slight possibility of feelings from him. I would also like to point out that Cho SeungWoo is beautiful and his voice is 😍.
YeoJin is a character we haven’t really delved too much into at this point, but from her appearances you can tell that she values justice and is going to be a great asset to ShiMok and a great pairing with him.
The antagonists are very clear from the get go. Lee ChangJoon (Yoo JaeMyung) is the corrupt deputy chief and uses his position of power to try and keep ShiMok in line. He is joined by Seo DongJae (Lee JoonHyuk) who is a Prosecutor with a tendency for the dramatics in his court cases. He seems sleazy from the outset, but is still put into his place by ChangJoon quite a bit. There dynamic is rather interesting, because even though they are working together, it is very clear who is boss.
Young EunSoo (Shin HyeSun) is a new Prosecutor who is ShiMok’s hoobae. You get the impression very early on that ShiMok does not think that she is ready to be a Prosecutor and even goes as far to say that he doesn’t trust her. Her character is very much a scapegoat character for the higher-ups. I hope to see her character growth and whichever side this character choices, I’m interested to see what this drama has in store for her.
I really enjoy Prosecutor dramas, especially when linked with the police (even if they are always shown as incompetent, bar one police officer!) The dynamic is always really interesting and Secret Forest is no different. There is a sort of sophistication to the Prosecutors which pairs well with the down to earth, roughened character of the police officer.
The murder, which is mixed with the intrigue of how far the corruption goes is a tense situation, especially combined with what happens with the suspect. My only qualm about the ‘intensity’ is the music… the music gets so intense. Too intense. It can be a little jarring when the music is so dramatic and what is happening on screen doesn’t fit together.
The production of this drama is wonderful. I really enjoyed the scene where ShiMok is figuring out how the victim could be killed in a certain amount of time and the way he “enters” the scene. The lighting for this was done so well, especially when YeoJin brings him out of his reverie (which by the way he was fully enacting in the murder victims living room, knife in hand) and the light seamlessly changes from the brightness of day to the true darkness they are in. This whole scene really adds to the character of who ShiMok is and how his mind works.
Of course we can’t not talk about the murder. This is South Korea and there are a lot of regulations for what can be shown, especially concerning ‘Violence’ and what can be shown in certain time spots (think watershed). If you are looking for a realistic murder scene, you get it. You just have to contend with blurriness. Even the edges of knives have been blurred. Now, this isn’t my first time seeing this, so I don’t mind. I just wanted to give a little warning to those who may be confused as to why the blurriness is present.
Overall, I’m really looking forward to watching more of this drama and delving further into the corruption of the Prosecutor Office and getting to know these characters more. ShiMok is most definitely the one I’m watching for the most, simply because his premise is so intriguing. And the fact that he is getting what looks to be painful headaches/intense ringing in his ears (it’s not clear at this point or I’m too dumb… ^^”) at the moment could be interesting to see how they effect his behaviour later on.
What do you think of Secret Forest so far? Or do you plan on watching it? 🙂
Thank you for reading~