Last week the drama The Village: Achiara’s Secret finished airing. I was keeping up with the drama since the beginning and I thought it would be nice to write a short post about my thoughts on it.
The story takes place in a small, village in Korea, called Achiara. A young woman, Han So Yoon, portrayed by Moon Geun Young (My Little Bride, Marry Stayed out all Night), moves there from Canada and starts working as an english teacher at the local school. The peaceful scene of the village changes when the teacher discovers a buried body and slowly secrets start to unravel.
The story I found from the beginning interesting especially because I’m a huge fan of stories that are based around a mystery or a crime. Stories both in books and tv series. Truth is though that I hadn’t watch much of these kind from korean entertainment so I thought this drama would be a good starting point.
The drama definitely kept up my interest with the story and the way it unfolded. So many surprises and so many twists had me always wondering what’s gonna happen next. Apart from the actual mystery though, of who’s the killer?, what was actually more interesting was learning about the past, learning about the different characters stories and unraveling all the different layers of this village’s secrets and past.
As far as the atmosphere of the drama, the music and the overall “technical” execution I think that was the element that was lacking the most. The pacing felt at times very uneven, the music over the top and in general it felt like it was trying too hard to be scary but it just wasn’t succeeding in it.
Now the characters were definitely one of the pros in the drama. There were some hits and misses here and there but overall we got interesting characters, with many layers and contradictory, in a good way, characteristics. The way most characters were written, especially characters like Yoon Ji-Sook, Agashi, Kang Jo Hee and Kim Hye Jin, felt like we were watching real, complex characters being driven by emotions and emotions that they couldn’t control, much like in real life. The way the writers chose to present their story, paying special attention on how the characters were fleshed out gave room to form great character portraits and great performances by their actors.
Rich in its themes, the drama made thought-provoking comments about various aspects of human character and society in general. Motherhood, sisterhood, family bonds, blood ties and not, the past, memories and moments that define who we are and what life we lead, painful experiences and how they shape the human character and more, all play a vital role in the story, they are the core of the story. In essence it feels like the drama is more a drama disguising itself as a mystery/thriller story when in reality it provides a social commentary about the human character.
Concluding this short review a few words about the ending. I was satisfied but at the same time I wanted more. I thought the person responsible for the murder made sense with the overall story but I liked the twist the writers chose to give at the very end. On the other hand other people who should be punished for their past actions never did. I wanted the ones who were at fault should be held responsible for their actions so I was disappointed there. Lastly the drama left some unanswered questions, mainly about the supernatural element that was evident throughout the series but to be honest I didn’t really mind.
The Village: Achiara’s Secret is a strong drama that managed to keep my attention and never leave me feeling bored. I liked the different and unique elements that it had and I would recommend it. A final note the drama deals with some graphic and trigger warning themes so if you don’t like these elements in your dramas keep away. All in all I was pleased with the overall outcome.
Rating: 4~4.5 stars
(pictures credit: www.hancinema.net, dramabeans.com)