Thursday, February 15, 2024

The Bequeathed (Netflix)


Six episodes. From the director of the much-loved Train to Busan. Very watchable, yet rather like the latest installment of True Detective, the soap opera (and rather obviously decorative supernatural vibe) seems to swamp the procedural elements.

The subtitles are a bit ropey. I think this is the minimum Netflix needs to get right before pushing these shows out to a global audience. There's questionable vocabulary and unidiomatic sentence formation and the problem is somewhat exacerbated by the need to chug through this textual stuff as the cast members repeatedly embark on disconcertingly histrionic exchanges.

At the end I still had some key uncertainties about how all the different relationships tied together and why exactly Yoon Seo-Ha's husband met the fate that he did. I possibly wasn't always paying close enough attention, but this all added to the lost in translation sensation.

Part of the problem from a storytelling perspective is that there are in effect two protagonists, an art professor and a detective and the teleplay resists the temptation to bring them together romantically. The detective has a back story (of course he does), but this remains resolutely disconnected from the main narrative. And the art professor never quite attains the status of likeable/relatable central character.


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