He Is Psychometric est une série télévisée sud-coréenne apparue en 2019 et mettant en vedette Park Jin-young, Shin Ye-eun, Kim Kwon et Kim Da-som. Elle a été diffusée les lundis et mardis sur tvN à 21h30 KST du 11 mars au 30 avril 2019.

Synopsis

Après avoir perdu ses parents dans un incendie, Lee Ahn (Park Jin-young) acquiert le pouvoir de la psychométrie, la capacité de lire le passé d’une personne ou d’un objet par contact physique, et il décide de l’utiliser afin de résoudre des affaires criminelles. Alors qu’il ne sait pas encore contrôler son pouvoir, il rencontre Yoon Jae-in (Shin Ye-eun) qui fait de son mieux pour cacher ses secrets douloureux. Avec son tuteur d’accueil, le procureur Kang Sung-mo (Kim Kwon), et la collègue de ce dernier, l’enquêtrice Eun Ji-soo (Kim Da-som), ils s’associent pour résoudre une affaire insaisissable qui hante la vie d’Ahn, de Sung-mo et de Jae-in.

Sci-fi crime drama with elements of comedy and romance about a young man with the power to see past events just by touching objects or people.

Review : by txc_vertigo (link)

The Good

(1) I really enjoy the recurring metaphor of a bird being tied down by chains inside of a cage and the notion that even if we want to leave we can’t as we are all tied down to something. In the case of the characters in this show, they are all tied down to the events of the past. Seong Mo and his mother are still affected by the physical chains and abuse Seong Mo’s father put them through. Seong Mo’s father in return is still tied to the enslavement he experienced in his childhood. Ahn and Jae In had their lives altered by the apartment complex fire and to this day it is something that they can’t let go off. Ji Soo and her father are still tied to the father’s corrupt dealings in the past which restrict them. There are other nice metaphors as well such as the trap, sail and anchor metaphor, but the bird in the cage was the one that really stuck with me.

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(2) Although the main actors are young, they put in a good performance. Shin Yeeun, playing the role of the smart girl Yoon Jae In looking to fight crime, is actually a really good rookie actress. I’ve previously seen her in her breakout role in the hit webdrama “A-teen” (2018) where she was quite noticeably the brightest star. I was curious as to how she would transition into a full scale TV production and I think she managed just fine. Playing opposite her is Park Jinyoung who plays Lee Ahn, a boy with psychometric powers that allow him to see past events just by touching objects or people. This is Park Jinyoung’s second main role in a TV production, after having many support roles earlier on. Both of the main leads have big roles to play that are not easy by any stretch of the imagination. Jinyoung needs to play a playful goofball without overplaying and also display a ton of depth and trauma. Meanwhile, Yeeun needs to play a withdrawn and calculative police officer while not coming of as plain at the same time as she needs to display both sadness and a lust for revenge. Overall, I think they both managed this quite well.

(3) The fight scenes are few and far between but when they decide to throw one in it is well executed. There is one fight scene in particular that takes place in a narrow corridor that is really nicely choreographed and well shot with two of the main leads fighting a bunch of henchmen. Obviously, it is not as sick as other iconic corridor fight scenes like in “Old Boy” (2003) or Netflix’s “Daredevil” (2015) but it is fairly well done and a quite memorable scene from the drama. The main difference maker is that those were both shot in one extended take whereas this is is more fine tuned and polished with many different shots, which takes away from the rawness of the scene.

(4) The establishment of characters and exposition is really smooth. It definitely uses “show don’t tell” in a textbook way. It tells us through the set design what the conflict in the Yeongsang apartment complex revolves around. Through the cinematography, it becomes clear to us that Ahn and Seong Mo have become brothers. We don’t need to see the whole process of them deciding to live together. Instead, that scene is shown to us later when it has more of an emotional impact. I also enjoy how Ahn’s powers are established to be very underdeveloped to begin with due to him avoiding physical contact as much as he can. He doesn’t start out being this really powerful protagonist, instead we get to follow him on his hero’s journey.

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(5) The show uses color grading to great effect. In case you didn’t know, color grading video is a digital technique that is done after filming and changes the color tone and mood of the film and was pioneered by the Oscar winner ”Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?” in the year 2000. In “He is Psychometric”’s flashback scenes, color grading is used to give everything a sort of yellow tint which gives of a nostalgic feeling, indicating visually that what you are watching took place in the past. In certain scenes, the color grading is really amped up to nine, only focusing on highlight a certain color or a certain object while leaving the rest of the shot monochromatic. Impactful imagery such as blood, fire or light is usually what is highlighted during these sequences of extreme color grading.

(6) The show uses dolly shots to creative effect. A dolly shot is executed by zooming in or out with the camera while moving the camera forwards or backwards on a track. The result is that the foreground stays in the same position while the background appears to squeeze or stretch. Usually this is done in relation to Ahn’s psychometry which gives us a sense that he is focused on what he is doing but at the same time emphasising to us how dizzy his powers make him.

The Bad

(1) The genre mix between romcom and crime thriller requires the viewer to enjoy both genres and how the drama executes them. Fortunately for me, I do enjoy both genres and think the drama executed both genres pretty well. I appreciate that they didn’t jump back and forth a whole lot between being comedic and dark instead there was a proper transition from leaning in a more light hearted direction to a more serious direction. However, I see why the genre mix would be off putting to viewers who just want to see a romcom or just want to see a crime drama.

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(2) The twist is not surprising at all. Pretty early on, it becomes clear that there are only two people that would have motive to fake the death of Prosecutor Seong Mo’s mom: Seong Mo and the mom. Once we learn about just how frail of a mental state the mother is in, it’s confirmed that the prosecutor was the one to fake his mother’s death by killing the women’s group and starting the apartment complex fire. From early on, it is also quite apparent from the editing where the camera lingers on Seong Mo then and cuts to menacing imagery that he is either a red herring or guilty in some way. The only question that remains afterwards is how involved he is in the murders and fires.

(3) Some writing decisions felt like they were done purely to get a reaction out of the audience. For instance, killing off Kim Da Som’s character, detective Eun Ji Soo, has little effect on the story. It doesn’t establish how violent the main antagonist is since we already know he is ruthless. The only thing that it really has an effect on is Ji Soo’s father deciding to out the corrupt actions of himself and the construction company. Comparatively, there are other kdramas that have managed to kill off main characters to great effect where one character’s death has a massive impact on multiple facets of the story.

Score: 8,0 / 10 – I enjoyed many aspects of the drama and with stronger writing it could have gotten a higher score.

5/5 - (3 votes)

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