Confession  is a 2019 South Korean television series starring Lee Jun-ho, Shin Hyun-been and Yoo Jae-myung. It aired on tvN from March 23 to May 12, 2019.

Synopsis

A case involving the hidden truth behind the law prohibiting double jeopardy.

When Choi Do-Hyun (Lee Joon-Ho) was a boy, he had a heart disease. He spent most of his childhood in a hospital. He miraculously had a chance for a heart transplant. Right after the successful heart transplant surgery, his father was accused of murder. His father received the death penalty.

To investigate his father’s case, Choi Do-Hyun now works as a lawyer.

Review : By txc_vertigo (link)

Legal crime drama about a lawyer seeking the truth behind a murder that resulted in his father ending up on death row.

The Good:

(1) The drama includes some really good courtroom scenes with solid logic behind the reasoning of the defense and the prosecution. Some of the social commentary is pretty solid as well, such as how corrupt people in power use celebrity scandals to control the media and distract the public from their own dirty deeds.

(2) The direction is on point. I wouldn’t expect any less coming from the director of Mother and Chicago Typewriter. Although the camera work is very intense with a lot of movement it manages it very well. Most of the time, the camera is slightly moving and zooming, creating urgency, fluidity and focus on whatever is currently important in the frame. Despite moving the camera a lot, there is rarely shaky cam (except for a few cases) or problems with blurry zooms or the focus being off. The camera movement is just really buttery which results in a very pleasant viewing experience. The drama also manages to use lens flare in a tasteful way that is not over the top with how in your face lens flare can be used for artistic effect.

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(3) The writer Im Hee Cheol is pretty new to the scene but did an excellent job, proving that although experience is important, it is not everything. The story takes some twist and turns and it is not always obvious what is going to happen although yet the story progresses very naturally. It should be said though that some plot points are very obviously foreshadowed so if you are well versed in film and literature they should come as no surprise to you. One example of this is the fact that Choi ’s father took the blame for killing the warrant officer in order to get his son a heart transplant which ended up with father being murdered. This is quite apparent already in episode 5 but they make it a big reveal of it in episode 11 and confirm it in episode 14. As a viewer you’re just left like: ”yes, we been knew for a while now”.

(4) There are some great fake outs in this drama where something is introduced and thanks to the editing you think it will benefit or damage the protagonist but it turns out to do the opposite, resulting in some great reversals of expectations. One such occurrence is when it seems like a device is recording the protagonists conversation and it will end up hurting them but as it turns out that device was actually planted there by someone with the same goal as our heroes and it turns out the device contains important evidence.

(5) Lee Junho is pretty good at acting, the stereotype of ”idol actor” definitely does not apply to him. Although his character is quite reserved in this drama, he manages to avoid falling in to the trap of appearing to be wooden. You can tell on his face that there are plenty of emotions flowing within the character despite the calm and collected facade that would indicate otherwise.

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The Bad:

(1) The drama requires some suspension of disbelief. Some of the time aspects seem a bit off in order to make the story more interesting. A person of interest always arrive in court at the very last second and investigations are started late in order for them to finish right before the trial. Additionally as with all crime series, you have police officers, prosecutor and even crime scene investigators not wearing proper equipment for examining a crime scene and touching things in a crime scene with their bare hands. Once again, it ruins the immersion but it is something that you can look past once you suspend your disbelief.

(2) Although the camera movement is mostly really smooth, I wish they would have used more fixed shots for some scenes where constantly moving the camera adds little to nothing to the scene. It’s fine if you’re not actively thinking about it, but once you start analyzing the series shot by shot, it becomes slightly annoying. Additionally, the handheld shaky cam used in for instance chase scenes is such a stark contrast to the otherwise really smooth camera work.

(3) The sound mixing is a little uneven at points which makes it clear that some of the dubbed dialogue was recorded at different occasions as the sound level and quality varies between takes. For the uninitiated, the reason for dubbing over a scene while still using the original actors voice could be that the scene is recorded in a location that does not allow for good quality audio recordings due to for instance echo or strong wind.

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(4) I’m not a big fan of the dramatic “sting” sound effect that they add whenever they need to up up the tension. It has become dime a dozen in almost every movie trailer these days but the usage of it especially in the actually series feels rather lazy and uninspired. The drama is exciting enough as it is, it doesn’t need this stinger sound whenever something important is revealed. Sure, these types of sound effects where fresh when used in movies that popularized them such as Transformers (2006) and Inception (2010), but around ten years later they’ve grown stale.

Score: 8,5 / 10 – I really enjoy the story but some of the production choices and misses really hinders my score from being any higher.

5/5 - (1 vote)

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