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Last Updated 23.07.2024 | 10:52 PM IST



The Bequeathed Review: Kim Hyun Joo and Park Hee Soon shine in intriguing whodunit but story loses momentum

en Bollywood News The Bequeathed Review: Kim Hyun Joo and Park Hee Soon shine in intriguing whodunit but story loses momentum

Arrived on Netflix on January 19, the short series is adapted from a webtoon by Kang Tae Kyung.

Last year, Trolley gave us a new pairing to watch out for with Kim Hyun Joo and Park Hee Soon. This year, the couple returned to the small screen with a new story and characters with The Bequeathed. The first offering of the year from Netflix, the K-drama is adapted from a webtoon of the same name by Kang Tae Kyung. Spanning just six episodes of under an hour each, The Bequeathed packs a promising plot. But, the horror thriller falls short.

The Bequeathed Review: Kim Hyun Joo and Park Hee Soon shine in intriguing whodunit but story loses momentum

The Bequeathed Review: Kim Hyun Joo and Park Hee Soon shine in intriguing whodunit but story loses momentum

Yoon Seo Ha (played by Kim Hyun Joo) finds out that she has an estranged uncle who left behind some property (a burial ground) after he died under mysterious circumstances. But that discovery leads to opening a can of worms which no one is ready for. She finds she has a half-brother, her career spirals into a downfall and her cheating husband is also dead. Seo Ha’s uncle died because some corrupt officials were looking to usurp the land. But the story loses this angle quickly and turns towards black magic and shamanism. This case of land usurping goes unnoticed after the culprit is caught. It could have been a good angle to investigate and pan the story based on corrupt politics clubbed with local superstitious beliefs.

Choi Seung Hyun (played by Park Hee Soon) is a diligent police detective whose skills are at par with excellence. Park Sang Min (played by Park Byung Eun) was injured after Seung Hyun’s son stabbed him in the leg. His life only went on a downfall after that incident. His shortcomings sit like a sore spot on his mind, and one day Sang Min and Seung Hyun fight it out. There is a rush job done to disclose and wrap up the relationship between these two friends.

Coming from Yeon Sang Ho and Min Hong Nam, the names behind Train to Busan, Psychokinesis, etc, The Bequeathed held promise in terms of delivery and story upon seeing the teasers. But as one goes from the first episode to the next, the story weakens in its main premise. There is the classic director Yeon touch to the story when it comes to the dark themes, but even that falls short of making the story a balanced watch.

As the story progresses, the tale becomes more nasty and twisted. With blind faith in shamanism coupled with incestuous relationships, Yoon Seo Ha’s family’s past is anything but normal. The Bequeathed had the potential for the story to pan out better. With just six episodes, one can’t help but feel it to be a hasty job done to fit the story in limited space. The story starts to make sense but then goes a little off track. The Bequeathed could have been an eight or ten-episode drama for the story to materialize well.

The dark frames hinder some visual experience as it becomes difficult to decipher the characters moving in such scenes. The only times brighter frames graced the scenes were when there was hope for Seo Ha to settle the messy matters. The drama is paced just fine, with about fifty minutes of run time per episode. Certain aspects, like Seo Ha’s family’s past, or her half-brother’s shamanistic trysts, had the potential to tap into the horror element, but it just scratched the surface.

In the finale episode, the storm that shook Seo Ha’s life settles down with an eerie calm. We see her running a painting studio, and the burial ground is yet unsold. Seung Hyun visits her to check in on her. One would expect these two characters to have more interaction in the show than just small talk, considering the importance of their roles, but sadly one returns disappointed. Seung Hyun meets his son in prison, signalling the start of reconciliation between the father and the son.

In conclusion, The Bequeathed is what one can call a snapshot of the usual 16-episode K-drama. There was a lot of potential that went unchecked as the makers tried to fit in more stories in a limited time. If you are looking for something concrete and nail-biting, then perhaps The Bequeathed is not the choice. But if you are simply looking to watch a short series, then this K-drama can be considered.

Also Read: The Bequeathed: Kim Hyun Joo, Park Hee Soon to star in new Netflix drama from Train to Busan writer


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