Hidden Identity (신분을 숨겨라)
Synopsis: Team 5 was specially organized to actively combat crime through stake outs, wiretapping, communications monitoring, and deep-cover infiltration. A secret police unit that bends the limits of the law in order to fight crime. The team member hunt down criminals and investigate crimes while undercover.
Country: South Korea
Genre: Crime, detective
Casting: Kim Bum, Park Sung Woong, Lee Won Jong, Yoon So Ji, Kim Tae Hoon, Kim Ji Won etc…
You feel the potential of Hidden Identity right from the start. They piled actions scenes over actions scenes, twist over twists. Apart from the fact that I had some hard time with Kim Bum (just because Kim Bum is Kim Bum, don’t ask more), it had all the ingredients to grab my heart. And yet I was still a bit flustered -at least by the firsts episodes. We were thrown in medias res in the story. That fact in itself wasn’t bothering considering lots of drama do the same. But it was hard to believe in the relationship between the characters. Everything happened too quickly. Lots of sad events happened, yet we were always cut from a good cry because of our lack of knowledge concerning the characters. It therefore took me some time to get close to all of them. I wasn’t satisfied by the ost either. The instrumental was too present and patriotic for my taste. For me, the drama could have been way better with an instrumental more worked on: deeper, conveying more feeling, more discreet. This was my first assessment about Hidden Identity after watching two episodes. It wasn’t really good yet I was curious to see the rest, considering there were lots of interesting and aesthetic points in the making. Hidden Identity was in other words a drama that didn’t gain my heart right away, but in the end still won it in great part.
The fights were really impressive. I loved how each one of them had been meticulously choreographed and performed by the different actors. All the missions were overall intriguing, bringing us at a slow pace closer from the real nub of the plot: Ghost. The scriptwriters always tried to keep us in suspense even though some episodes were less thrilling than other. The main investigation was rather well-developed and fortunately not that hard to follow (an important point for me, considering I was watching the drama week after week). Some characters were too easy to read but in the end they still managed to surprise me with the real identity of Ghost. I wasn’t completely satisfied by the outcome of the investigation (>>>mini spoil- the whole story about wanting to kill everyone with a virus just for the sake of some people’s believes was a bit big and disappointing. I was expecting more –mini spoil<<<) but I appreciated the development of some of its details (such as the name: Ghost). Otherwise I liked how each characters of the team was given the chance to become more or less the main lead for one or two episodes (apart for Deok Gu). It allowed us to weave a stronger link with most of them and to break the routine of what could have been plain missions. And in the end, the instrumental revealed itself to be not as disastrous as what my first impressions had let me think. I even grew quite fond of it with time, even though I can’t say it was the best ost I had ever heard.
Cha Geon Woo (Kim Bum), despite being the main lead, wasn’t the character who struck me the most. I was a bit annoyed by his constant “lone wolf” attitude and how he always seemed to be the only one having a tough life. I actually liked how Jang Min Joo always lectured him about that. Cha Geon Woo was too emotional for his own sake. He always rushed in without consulting his partners. Fortunately he wasn’t a stupid guy who acted without thinking. The result wasn’t always a success but he nonetheless managed to make me forgive in great part his “all fire and flames” temperament. Otherwise he didn’t move me as much as one could have wished, even with his past story. I loved the scene where we saw his girlfriend being stabbed -cause Kim Bum expressed really well the emotion of his character and the scene was beautifully shot- but overall I wasn’t really touched by his (gloomy) personality.
Jang Moon Won (Park Sung Woon) was a charismatic chief. He always took responsibility for his partners even if that endangered his position or the future of the team. He trusted every member of his team, sometimes a bit too much. It was loyal of him to think so, but I didn’t like how in the firsts episodes it made him appeared too solemn and patriotic (especially in episode 5 when Cha Geon Woo had to stop a bomb. Moon Won put his hand on Cha Geon Woo’s shoulder and said in a very pompuous way “I trust you”. That made me cringe). He didn’t stand by nor boss around his team. He was fully implicated in every mission and participated to all the fights. He never answered questions without beforehand consulting the concerned person and tried his best to not put his team mate in complicated situation linked to their personal scar. In short he was a nice character, wonderfully played by Park Sung Woon.
Jang Min Joo (Yoon So Yi) was the character I liked the most in the whole drama. I’ve been used to see the girl of the team being overshadowed by her male counterpart but here that wasn’t the case. She was as good fighter as them, as smart (if not more sometimes), had a strong personality and a past really well-developed. I was actually afraid to not be given any glimpse of her story. But fortunately the scriptwriters perfectly answered all my questions, to the point that it even overshadowed Cha Geon Woo’s past to my eyes. Min Joo always took many risks to get the wanted evidence or defend the cause of a victim. She had all the reason to be as emotional as Cha Geon Woo, yet she never showed her true feeling and scars. She always faced situations with an impressive self-control and never mixed work and private matter. She was overall a warm character but didn’t bear any betrayal -normal considering her past with her father. I was hoping at first to see her becoming a bit closer to Cha Geon Woo, leading maybe to a semblance of romance between them but my expectations were quickly crushed. But after giving it a second thought I think it was better that way. After all, such development would have been a bit illogic -especially for Cha Geon Woo.
Lee Won Jong played the usual nice ahjussi of the team. His role was quite similar to the one he had in Vampire Prosecutor to be honest. Choi Tae Pyong was the link between all the members of the team. He soothed both Min Joo and Cha Geon Woo’s temperament when needed, always trying to reconciled them whenever they were on bad terms. He never blamed anyone and always tried to understand all of them. He liked to give advices to Cha Geon Woo by sharing his own story with him while expressing with lots of enthusiasm his desire to see this latter fully integrated their family. I liked his bear-like personality. His fight were less gracious than the other but as efficient. He was an essential link to the team -which might have had a hard time surviving without his good mood.
Jin Deok Hoo (Im Heyon Seong) was an integral part of the team with his hacking and computer ability. He even went once or twice on the field and wasn’t the stupidest of the team. But his character never -not even once- stood out.
Min Tae In (Kim Tae Hoon) was more important than Deok Hoo since he truly contributed to the plot’s progress and Cha Geon Woo’s development. But my overall opinion about him remained nonetheless mitigated as he embodied exactly the same kind of character as our main lead (normal, considering they shared the same story). He wasn’t unpleasant but neither unforgettable. I will only retained his impressive determination, courage and his sad ending.
On the bad guys side, we had many strong figures. But the ones who stroke me the most were Nam In Ho (Kang Sung Jin) which was truly awful, and Teacher Jung. It was my first time seeing that actor -Kim Min Joon- but man! How is it possible to have that much charisma enclosed in one person? Come back whenever you want in dramaland, pal! I’ll be there for you, don’t worry.
Hidden Identity revealed itself to be a rather good surprise. I expected nothing from this drama -to be honest I was even ready to be disappointed- but Hidden Identity managed to survived my pitiless judgement with its good aesthetic, casting (Kim Bum eventually pleasantly surprised me), and ost… let yourself be convinced by team 5.
Note de Dushbadou: 8/20
Note finale: 8/20