I Hear Your Voice

I thought it would take a while for another drama to take the top spot in my kdrama list after Nine, but I Hear Your Voice did it. I love this series to bit, from start to finish. It encompasses mutliple genres, from the fantasy to drama, thriller, comedy, and of course, romance, a must have.

I Hear Your Voice came from the same scriptwriter of the simple but heartwarming series Dream High, so you can expect a lot of hearts from this as well. It hits all the right notes and deliver its messages in its simple way of storytelling, flawed but sympathetic characters, friends or foes.

The series stars rising newcomer Lee Jong-suk of School 2013 as a boy with supernatural ability Park Su-ha. After going through an accident, which killed his father, he gained the ability to read other people's mind, much like Edward Cullen, except that he has to look them in the eye to be able to do that. The female lead is Lee Bo-young of the highly popular family drama My Daughter, Seo-young. She played a materialistic lawyer Jang Hye-sung who became a public defender for its steady income. She didn't take her work seriously and before she met Su-ha, her courtroom anecdotes were a series of  recyclable statements of her client pleading guilty but was feeling remorse or due to so and so reason should be given lenient punishment.

10 years ago, she entered the courtroom to give testimony against the killer of Su-ha's father. Due to her action, the killer was sent to jail and he swore to take revenge on her, causing her to regret that very day ever since. Su-ha was very grateful to her though and even as a little boy, he promised to always protect her, a promise that Hye-sung thought nothing of.

Su-ha however meant his words, and has been looking for her ever since they parted ways 10 years ago. To his classmate, he referred to her as a first love, a very kind-hearted woman, which was a far cry from what Hye-sung has become. 

Su-ha apparently has a certain illusion of what kind of woman Hye-sung was. All the good things. But when he met her again, the beautiful picture shattered into pieces as Hye-sung was not at all what he imagined. She was rude, conceited, messy, materialistic, obnoxious etc. It was hilarious as he realized this and coincidentally he was having a class where the teacher was talking about the beautiful image of first love and he burst out loud, feeling cheated and indignant. haha.

The day Hye-sung met Su-ha again, was the day she actually fight for her client, Su-ha's classmate, after Su-ha convinced her that her client was innocent. He's a mind-reader, after all. He could tell. With the help of Su-ha's supernatural abilities, she won her first case since becoming the public defender againts a childhood foe, Prosecutor Seo Do-yeon.

Do-yeon was a co-witness of Su-ha's father's murder, but she never came forward. Meeting Do-yeon again after a long time opened up old wound in Hye-sung, and she got pretty conceited everytime she won against Do-yeon. Sometimes, she was so clouded by her prejudice against Do-yeon that while defending her client, she didn't stop to consider that Do-yeon could be right in her judgement as a prosecutor. But Su-ha was the one who pulled her back on track when she got carried away. To him, this is also his way of protecting her.

Notable performances came from all around. Yoon Sang-hyun of Secret Garden (which Lee Jong-suk also co-starred as Oska's ardent "fan") played fellow public defender and Hye-sung's love interest, Cha Gwan-woo. He was an ex-cop turned lawyer and has an idealistic view on justice and his profession. This initially created rift between the two public defenders, but over time they both learned from each other and came to respect each other's way of carrying out duty. Their first meeting was hilarious. Cha Gwan-woo was such a dork then. They first met during the interview for the position of public defenders. There were only the two of them in the waiting room so he thought it would be easy to get the job. Turned out they were in the wrong room all along. Haha. What's funny was that Hye-sung was ignoring him all the time until she realized she was in the wrong room and there was actually a whole group of people eyeing the same post that she shamelessly turned to Gwan-woo and demanded him to share the mock interview questions that he previously offered but she coldly ignored. Gwan-woo character did eventually up the cool and suave factor throughout the series and overall he's a character that's worthy of respect.

Jung Woong-in (My Boss, My Hero) played the killer Min Joon-gook, with performance that received recognition and increased his popularity level. The character was rather pitiful. He was once an ordinary, honest man. But an incident made him took the revenge path and didn't seem to be able to stop until he turned into a monster. He wanted to turn Su-ha into a monster like him too. He wanted Su-ha to feel pain and understood what he went through. And Su-ha was definitely tempted. It was an inner conflict nicely portrayed by both of the actors, Jung Woong-in especially.

Two side characters that I liked watching were Lawyer Shin and inmate Hwang Dal-joong. Yoon Joo-sang (Baby-faced Beauty) and Kim Byung-ok (Cruel City) played the roles, respectively. Their actings were really great and effortless. These two have a rather unique relationship. Lawyer Shin often visited Dal-joong at prison and they would play BINGO type of game. Interestingly, instead of calling out numbers, they called out names of famous people. Like one time they use tv hosts, the next time they use members from girl groups. I don't know if that's common, but that was certainly the first time I watched  people played BINGO that way. Both Lawyer Shin and Hwang Dal-joong's backstory would later be referred to in order to solve a crime case, which would be one of the highlights of the series.

I Hear Your Voice has some of the best dialogues/monologues/scripts in dramaland. I feel inspired by them somehow. One of the good quotes came from Hye-sung's mother played by Kim Hae-sook (The Thieves). She was excellent in the role, by the way.
An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth. If we lived by that law, then all the people in the world would be blind. People who treat you badly do so because they are jealous. It's because you are pretty great and they are jealous of you. Don't hate those people. Don't be mean to them and just pity them. Don't waste your life on hating other people. One lifetime is not long enough to love the ones around you.
The individuals' narrations in the final episode also were beautiful. I love the ending. We see growth in most of the characters that we care about, how they learnt from the people around them. And of course, forgiveness and redemption. 

In short, highly recommended.

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