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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Drama Special - A Strange Relationship"

2013/08/21 | 1002 views | Permalink

With "Who Are You - 2013" and "Master's Sun" there's been plenty of drama lately about people who can see ghosts and how it affects their lives. In "Drama Special - A Strange Relationship", the lead character has a rather different reaction. That is, he has almost no reaction at all to the fact that he moves into an apartment, discovers a ghost, and just stands around talking to as if this spectral entity was just a normal uninvited houseguest.

It's a pretty creepy ghost, too, I'd like to add. She's surrounded by unsettling lighting and a booming, barely comprehensible voice. Everyone else in the apartment building seems frightened just by the abstract possibility that this ghost might exist. And yet here is detective Lee Soo-Hyeon (played by Park Sung-woong), reacting to this situation in a strangely detached way, ruminating more about the drama in his past life and the present murder mystery than the existence of scary ghosts.

This drama special is, at its core element, a mystery. Who murdered the ghost woman and why. But it's the overall situation with the detective that takes on greater narrative focus. Soo-Hyeon seems less like an actual, normal human being than a man who desperately wants to prove something, but it's never particularly clear what. A lot of credit must be given to Park Sung-woong's performance- his poker face is excellent, and doesn't give even a hint about the story's further revelations.

The drama falters somewhat in its horror elements. It's not particularly scary, even though all the elements are certainly there, from the dark, moody lighting, to the scary ghosts, to the way most of the cast emotes terror. I still didn't feel particularly scared, though, mainly because we know so little about the characters. This may be appropriate, though, as Soo-Hyeon doesn't really know or care about this stuff either. Even if Soo-Hyeon was present for the killings, I'm not sure he'd bother dropping his calm, super cool guard.

The quality of the mystery is difficult to gauge, since the drama goes to such lengths to make us question whether the real mystery is about the detective or the ghost. The title certainly got that part right- there is a definitely a strange relationship going on between the two, and it's not the kind of curiousity that can last much more than this drama's single episode runtime. Still, for what it is, this is a quality mystery with good performances, and definitely worth watching if only for that curiousity.

Review by William Schwartz

""Drama Special - A Strange Relationship" is directed by Lee Jung-seob and written by Lee Ji-hyo and features Park Sung-woong, Yoo In-young and Lee Si-eon.

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