One of essentially the most primal human wants is to be understood. That goes for everyone, irrespective of how unsavoury – fucked-up folks yearn to be accepted too. Take Kim Sum, the protagonist of Netflix’s new Korean psychological thriller Someone. Regardless of growing the profitable relationship app Someone, Sum (Kang Hae-lim) stays terribly lonely.
Her solely ‘buddy’ is the intuitive AI software program referred to as Somebody that she developed as a high-schooler, and he or she exists in a suppressed world of fastidiously crafted routines, monochromatic environment, and practiced moaning to stroke her companions’ egos. Nobody will get Sum – till she begins investigating a serial killer who makes use of her app to search out his victims, and meets Seong Yun-o (Kim Younger-kwang).
As completely different as they’re – a profitable software program developer versus, properly, a serial killer – each Sum and Yun-o starvation to be understood. As police scramble to search out the suspect, a fatalistic love blooms between them. Yun-o unravels Sum, goading her into surrendering to the murderous impulses it seems she’d suppressed for years.
It’s not a shock to see Jung Ji-woo spearheading the path and script for Someone. Already acclaimed for his portrayals of romantic and sexual deviance – two of his most well-known works revolve round a spouse dishonest on her husband (1999’s Completely happy Finish) and a scandalous relationship between a highschool lady, a 70-year-old poet, and his star pupil (2012’s A Muse) – he pushes his personal boundaries on this sequence, elevating questions on whether or not there’s such a factor as ‘acceptable’ deviance or if it’s all perspective.
Jung builds this by means of his characteristically sturdy and intimate visible language. Kim Sum, who’s roleplaying normality, is proven in expansive greyscale areas, clear to a fault, her issues organized with scientific precision. The areas round Yun-o, albeit dimly lit, look lived-in – not like Sum, he’s embraced who he’s. Reward should additionally go to Someone’s music path: an oboe, horn, and synth-laden soundtrack creates pressure so palpable it might be a personality of its personal. Orchestral soundtracks compound Sum’s loneliness, and even cheerful piano sounds ominous towards Yun-o’s clean expressions.
Whereas the present’s pacing does undergo due to this meticulous staging – you spend the primary half of the present wishing for motion – it aligns splendidly with Jung’s portrayal of intimacy. For 2 individuals who “need to go round killing folks” collectively, Sum and Yun-o’s foreplay, for example, is poetically delicate. They’re playful and uninhibited, curious and relieved, as if unused to the liberty of full expression.
Kim Younger-kwang’s Yun-o, layered with a practised nonchalance, is splendidly understated however no much less sinister. Whereas the Jeffrey Dahmer glasses might sound a bit too on the nostril, it’s clear because the present progresses that Yun-o makes intentional selections – as if he’s embracing recognisable serial-killer motifs to mock his pursuers.
As compared, Kang Hae-lim’s youthful look solely amplifies her feelings, whether or not it’s the disturbing smile she lets slip upon admitting that killing somebody made her euphoric or her inner battle between defending a remorseless killer who’s additionally the one man who’s ever understood her. As determined as she is for companionship, there are moments the place her morals weigh on her.
Although a cinematic story with heavyweight performances, Someone is slowed down by a obtrusive lack of widespread sense. Kim Sum’s motivations however, there are quite a few cases the place characters have the possibility to show Yun-o in however, for the flimsiest of causes, by no means do. With Yun-o being a considerably public determine, one would assume even cheap doubt could be sufficient to carry him in – however it will get misplaced within the needlessly elaborate plan to flush the killer out.
And for a present the place characters are pushed by the basic must be understood, there’s shockingly little background data to assist it alongside. We by no means actually discover out what introduced the reticent Sum and her pals collectively within the first place, or what propelled Yun-o to do the horrible issues he did. The primary few episodes are a revolving door of faces that introduces characters means earlier than their connections are made clear.
With no context to fall again on, viewers can’t be anticipated to increase the characters the courtesy of caring about their dynamics and motivations. Whereas Someone presents a compelling, even thrilling premise, this murderous love story is rushed at finest and unsatisfactory at worst.
‘Someone’ is now streaming on Netflix.