[ K ] Moon Ju-ran, a beautiful woman living in a big house, keeps saying she smells something bad coming from her garden. But nobody believes her because she seems somewhat off. Instead, her husband nags her to take her medication.
Played by the regal Kim Tae-Hee, you won’t be blamed for assuming that Moon is not right in the head.
To make things more complicated, the first time Moon meets Chu Sang-eun, the character played by Lim Ji-Yeon, she is told, “Your husband killed my husband.”
Now that is reason to believe that the smell coming from the garden may not be imaginary after all.
Ultimately, her paranoia and pungent imagination also start irking her loving son. And the more she questions, the more she is made to feel that there is really nothing hidden in the garden. She must be mad.
But you know by now when watching K-dramas, you just can’t take things at face value. There must be more.
I can’t help wondering if Kim’s star power has gotten bigger than the plot, regardless of her actual ability to act? Or has she really blossomed into an actress who’s believable in any role she plays?
I like to think it is more of the latter.
Throughout the series, she looks deranged enough for you to worry about her real life husband Rain.
Perhaps the equally talented Lim, last seen in The Glory, helps to bring out the best in both.
Credit must be given to the director who spares no effort in trying to confuse us, done very successfully in the way this series is being filmed – lots of suggestions, plenty of illogical interpositions and the incredible sound design.
Even more clever is how a same situation is often told differently at different times, making you wonder which version is real. And just when you think you have finally understood the cliched formula, it surprises you with two almost identical narratives. Now what?
But don’t for once assume that Lies Hidden in the Garden is nothing but just a thriller.
Now on Prime Video, it should have you tangled in strange thoughts and without a doubt, lots of doubts.
You’ll probably go away thinking — what can be so bad that someone is prepared to pay the ultimate price of being accused of murder?
Maybe freedom, the liberation from the shackles that prevent a woman from being taken seriously, is enough for her to admit to something she could have easily gotten away with.
But what kick is there if you don’t get to say, “I killed him with my own hands”?