I Remember You
‘Hello Monster’ – Synopsis
Genius profiler Lee Hyun returns home to Korea after something from a case he’s been sent triggers a memory he thought he’d lost forever. Unbeknownst to him, one of his team members, Detective Cha Ji-an, has been investigating him for some time. She is aware that his father was murdered and his brother disappeared under mysterious circumstances involving a criminal named Lee Joon Young — whom they both want to be found and incarcerated. Each seeks to unravel the other, unaware that they’ve been drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse by a master player and that both truth and evil are closer and far more twisted than they think. – MyDramaList
Native/Alternate titles: 너를 기억해; I Remember You; Hellomonseuteo, 헬로몬스터
Country: South Korea
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Suspense
Director: Kim Jin Won
Writer: Kwon Ki Young
Cast: Jang Na Ra, Seo In Guk, Park Bo Gum, Choi Won Young, D.O. (EXO / EXO-M)
‘Hello Monster’ – Review
‘Hello Monster’ is definitely one of the best Korean psychological thrillers you can come across. My basic reason for starting this drama was the interesting storyline along with Seo In Guk and Jang Na Ra but I love so so much more about it now! Let’s just dive into the story because I am so excited to talk about this drama.
On with the story
Now I saw this drama back when it was broadcasting yet I remember the details so clearly as if it was yesterday!
The main plot of the story is that the Genius criminal profiler Lee Hyeon (Seo In Guk) returns back to Korea when he starts recalling some old forgotten/suppressed memories about a murder in his past. He had lost his father and a younger brother who were both murdered by a serial killer, Lee Joon Young (D.O. from Exo). Now that Lee Hyeon was starting to remember the missing puzzle, he wanted to come back and get revenge. In order to do so, he became associated with the police investigation team as a criminal profiler. Here, he met a woman, Cha Ji An (Jang Na Ra), who seems to know a lot of details about Lee Hyeon’s personal life. Later he finds out that this woman is his childhood friend and “stalker”. Ironically, she also seems to have a bone to pick with Lee Jong Young. So, the two team up to track down this murderer. However, along the way a surprise awaits Lee Hyeon, his younger brother whom he assumed to be dead is still alive.
This is by far one of the best psychological thrillers you will come across which will constantly keep you on the edge with the suspense and mystery.
For me, the most important factor for suggesting this drama is that unlike others, this drama stays true to its central plot till the until. There are no deviations, unnecessary side-stories, dragged episodes or other problems which I generally find in other Korean dramas. The story is well-paced, well-written and wonderfully developed. The dialogues and screenplay are also so near perfection.
Then comes the cast list. Needless to say, Hello Monster has a dream cast (at least for one). Every single actor is so brilliant in their character that the entire drama is surreal and seems like it is unfolding right before you. Jang Na Ra is a veteran actor who I have always loved and admired. She has assumed her female protagonist role with such vigour and passion, it is like the role was made for her. She has a kick-ass, no-nonsense persona which I love and which sets her apart from the typical damsel-in-distress roles which are typical in dramas and movies. She is capable of defending herself yet does not come off as an arrogant bitch or someone who is a man-hater. I really loved how she handled her role as Cha Ji An.
The bromance between Seo In Guk and Park Bo Gum is something I would see the drama all over again for. Despite being real brothers, I call their chemistry bromance because they grew up separately and have been reunited after a long time. Both Seo In Guk and Park Bo Gum are fantastic actors and this was probably a stepping stone for Park Bo Gum for his later success. Two brothers are torn apart by fate trying to recover the lost time by slowing healing together while mending their frail relationship is truly beautiful to watch.
The third factor is that the character development of the villain is exceptional here. I don’t know about others but I was constantly conflicted whether to feel apathy or sympathy for his character. The drama chased an important question in criminal psychology, are criminals created or born? This psychological question leaves you in a conundrum, straining your brain for a logical answer but can there be one? D.O. from EXO plays the role of the villain in his younger days and he is eerily perfect in it. He is so good that he makes you want to be toyed and played by him the way he does to the protagonist. I was truly surprised by his acting skills despite being an idol.
The final card this drama plays to lure you in is the eerie but befitting soundtrack. Even while I am typing out this review, the song keeps playing in the back of my head in repeat forcing me to hum along to the tunes.
Honestly, I didn’t find that many cons in this drama. It was too damn near perfect but I can say that the fact it is so highly underrated is a con in itself!
The one set-back I found is that they did not explore more into the life of Lee Joon Young. I really wanted to know more about him and how he spent his childhood so that I could relate and understand more about why he became like this or was he always like this?
Another thing that people might consider a con is that this drama has an open ending. Every person can come to their own conclusions about it. I personally did not mind this type of end to the drama because there really is no final, clear-cut answer to any of the questions or situations in the drama. So, I think an open ending was the best way to end it!
Other than that, I really can’t find any problems with this drama. Maybe, the people who expect a full-on romance between the leads will be left disappointed by the lack of focus on romance. There is a limited screen time for the easy-going romance between the leads.
Another thing that irritated me was making the title of the drama ‘I Remember You’ from ‘Hello Monster’. Honestly, I feel that Hello Monster captures the essence of the drama far better. Hence the title ‘Hello Monster.’
Are you still asking me that? Watch it!!!! This is definitely one of the most brilliant pieces of drama that I have seen and it comes highly recommended!
'Hello Monster' - Review
One of the best psychological dramas I have seen. Highly recommended.
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