I Remember You (너를 기억해)
Synopsis: A complicated love story between a criminal profiler who uses his sharp eye to analyze crime scenes and an investigator female cop who stalks him. The two solve crime cases together while hiding each one’s true heart, going through the love-hate relationship and healing in the process.
Country: South Korea
Genre: Comedy, romance, crime, psychological, thriller
Casting: Jang Na Ra, Seo In Guk, Lee Chun Hee, Choi Won Young, Park Bo Gum etc…
/!\ Critic that contains a few spoil. You’ve been warned /!\
I was far from being convinced by the firsts episodes of I Remember You. I couldn’t understand why so many people had showed such enthusiast for it. For me, there was too much humour and the instrumental was too present and Sherlock-like. It made me missed my OCN’s dramas with their aesthetic shot, dark plot and beautiful ost. I knew from the start that I Remember You would have a different approach of the detective genre but I was still a bit disappointed. Dumb policemen are not really my cup of tea and I’m sorry, but for me they only appeared like that in the firsts episodes. I was therefore impatient and curious to see how the main plot would be developed (there had to be a reason why everyone loved that drama after all). In the end it turned out exactly like I wanted: the story became thicker (the investigations in themselves were not always thrilling but I appreciated how it sometimes directly involved the characters), the humours greatly decreased along the episodes and the characters all gained in deepness. We had all the needed ingredient to make of that drama more than just a pleasant show. Everything was perfectly balanced: the humour and romance never got the upper hand on the main plot and investigations. It was just the right amount to defuse the tension and the seriousness of the drama.
The drama in itself, was pretty predictable (apart from one or two really good twists: pay close attention to details). It could be felt as a slight note but the scriptwriters managed to keep us on our toes nonetheless, with a different mean: the psychology of the character. Even if it was really easy to guess who was who, it was really hard to read them. What are their motives? how did they become murderers? Do you become a murderer or are you born as one? could their lives have been different? what are their relations?…in the end I got caught up in the game and even grew to appreciate its every ingredients (even the ost). The only slight note could be the ending. I was pretty satisfied with it (especially since I was expecting a more soppy one) but it’s true that we were left a bit hungry for more.
Just like for the drama, it took me a while to appreciate Cha Ji An at her true value (Jang Na Ra). She seemed too silly for me, to the point that I even came to wonder how she had actually managed to become a detective with such personality and IQ. But in the end her clumsiness and shyness was what made her relation with Lee Hyeon charming. She always dug her own grave when embarassed, and made me smile by doing so. I finally learnt to appreciate her bubbly personality and her sharp tongue. She was a mix of weakness and toughness. At time she showed amazing courage while on other she staggered. Cha Ji An was actually one of the character that changed and gained the most along the episodes. She became more serious, less simple-mind and more detective-like. I remembered being a bit flustered by her recklessness (>>>SPOILER- when she always came alone in Lee Jun Ho’s house to either find evidences or provoke him -SPOILER<<<) but her behaviours were most of the time well-explained afterwards. She wasn’t the strongest character of the drama but she was nonetheless a nice one and Jang Na Ra’s performance particularly touched me (especially when she had to express pain).
Lee Hyeon (Seo In Guk) was a pleasant character, just like Cha Ji An. The interesting point about him was his lost memory in the first part of the drama and how the scriptwriters played with us -making us doubt as much as him- about his true nature. Some of his face expression as well as some of his reply seriously swayed my first opinion about him >>>SPOILER- even though I knew he wasn’t the “monster” of the family -SPOILER<<< The only slight note about his character was how slow he could sometimes be! he was, right from the start, depicted as a pure genius to the audience, yet it took him 12 episodes to finally recognize his brother! and even more for Lee Jun Ho.
He did have some serious suspicion about the both of them, but he never really realized who they truly were beforehand. I admit that it kind of frustrated me to see him that blind, whereas he always resolved cases in the blink of an eye and read people’s face easily. I therefore warmly welcomed his meeting with his brother and loved their following (sad) bromance. Lee Hyeon became even more interesting to my eyes after that discovery as his inner-turmoil changed of target. Seo In Guk perfectly played his role and expressed with lots of emotions his character’s struggle, guilty feeling and concerns about his little brother.
/!\ Don’t read the following characters if you haven’t watched the drama! /!\
Jung Seon Ho/ Lee Min (Park Bo Gum) was the character who hooked me the most. The more he appeared the more he intrigued me. He was like a double-edged sword, raising lots of questions. He was really hard to read. Even after his “reconciliation” with his brother it was difficult to stop being afraid of him; to believe in his promise to not kill anymore. Raised by Lee Jun Ho his perception of good and bad was completely reversed. He didn’t considered his actions as evil. He only killed people that deserved to be punished and talked about it with an impressive coldness and hatred in his eyes. It was hard for him to understand his brother’s distress. For him, he had done nothing wrong. That’s how he became the saddest character of the drama, in my opinion. Would his life have been different if he had not been raised by Lee Jun Ho? or was it anyway born as a monster? did Lee Hyeon triggered his evilness by killing his mother’s murderer? was his whole life only an unfortunate combinations of unhappy factors that made him like that? In my opinion it was the case. His only desire was to live happily with his brother originally. He was just snatched from this reality. Lee Hyeon and Lee Min’s bromance could only be awkward after such story and I was greatly touched by it. I loved seeing Lee Min pretending to be cold while smiling five seconds later at his brother’s insistence to take care of him. I loved how both brothers suffered from their relation -Lee Hyeon on one hand, feeling as his duty to arrest his brother while being completely unable to do it and Lee Min, on the other hand, suffering to be the cause of his brother’s torment- and how they dealt with it.
Park Bo Gum’s performance was outstanding as he perfectly managed to juggle between creepiness and warmness.
Lee Jun Ho (Choi Won Young) was pretty similar to Lee Min (normal considering their mutual story) and I was in the end as much touched by him -if not more- as I was by Lee Min. Both of them had the same philosophy, except that Lee Jun Ho’s one was even deeper. For him he saved children by killing their abusive parents. It was a necessary evil, for them to be happy. He never thought that they might actually resent him for that, more than thank him. He kidnapped Lee Min with the same state of mind: for him it was for Lee Hyeon’s sake. That’s what I loved about his character. I greatly sympathized with him, even though he was the great villain of the drama. It was sometimes hard to believe that he was actually a murderer considering how much he believed to do the good around him. I deeply pitied him and his desire to form one happy family with both brothers. I was touched by his incapacity to get why Lee Hyeon couldn’t understand his actions and how hurt he was seeing so. He was for me the strongest character of the drama and Choi Won Young’s performance was flawless.
The investigations team was refreshing, overall. Sunbae Son (Min Seung Wook) and Leader Kang Eun Hyuk (Lee Chun Hee) remained the most unforgettable. Sunbae Son was the funny guy of the team, who always spied his superior’s conversation, screamed for nothing (that guy couldn’t speak without yelling, I swear) and badmouthed Lee Hyeon; while Kang Eun Hyuk was the clumsy leader of the team who had a hard time making himself respected. At first I was a bit annoyed by those two characters and their slapstick humour but in the end I grew quite fond of them. Especially Team Leader as his character also took a deeper turn along the episodes.
I Remember You was in short a pleasant surprise. I’m happy to have given it a shot even though, at first, it wasn’t on my list. I can only advise you to do the same as me: watch it!
Note de Dushbadou: 8.5/10
Note finale: 8.5/10