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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Moebius Project 2012: The Veil" Episode 1

Soo-yeon (played by Park Ha-sun) starts "Moebius Project 2012: The Veil" out as a reporter. Then, after her sister was abruptly and graphically murdered by Geon-ho (played by Hwang Hee), Soo-yeon becomes an agent with the National Intelligence Service. I should note that Geon-ho doesn't appear to actually accomplish anything by killing Soo-yeon's sister, since he has to flee the country immediately afterwards. This just works to establish Soo-yeon's motivation.

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Presumably this is something that fans of "The Veil" wanted to see. "Moebius Project 2012: The Veil" is a short prequel to that drama, absent Namkoong Min in the leading role. I ended up skipping "The Veil" due to its timing of showing up in the middle of "Squid Game" hype. Having seen the first half of "Moebius Project 2012: The Veil" I get the impression that this was for the better. The drama isn't just pointlessly gruesome, it's a fetishization of national security agents rarely seen in South Korean media, and I feel a little sick realizing this kind of storytelling is seen as mainstream now.

Oh sure, the National Intelligence Service doesn't come off as great here. Cheon-woo (played by Jung Moon-sung) is a deep cover agent who wants to come in from the cold but seems to believe, correctly, that one way or another he won't be allowed to. Soo-yeon tries to stick her neck out for him but really, all of her superiors are so consistently portrayed as corrupt or incompetent it's hard to see how she could possibly succeed.

Presumably Soo-yeon's background in journalism grounds her perspective such that she understands how cultivating trust is important, allowing her to do actual good in the world. This is terribly naive, but really pretty unremarkable thinking for the current South Korean political era. We can't let ourselves forget how bad China is, after all, as they caused all the drug problems in the world. No self-respecting national intelligence agency would be caught doing something that nakedly evil!

All right, all right, so I don't like the politics. Beyond that, how is "Moebius Project 2012: The Veil" aesthetically? Well, it's all right I guess. There's a few decent action scenes sprinkled about. I also got the impression that if I had any idea who Soo-yeon and Cheon-woo were from watching "The Veil" that their actions and decisions here might carry more powerful foreshadowing energy. But interpreted purely on stand-alone merits, I was not impressed with the first episode of this two episode miniseries.

Review by William Schwartz

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"Moebius Project 2012: The Veil" is directed by Wi Deuk-gyoo, written by Yoo Sang, and features Park Ha-sun, Jung Moon-sung, Jang Young-nam, Jun Suk-ho, Kim Jong-tae, Woo Ji-hyun. Broadcasting information in Korea: 2021/10/29~2021/10/30, Fri, Sat 22:00 on MBC.

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