“Hello Monster/I remember you” (Korean Drama)
“I remember you” aka “Hello Monster” is another Seo In-Guk drama that I truly enjoyed. I must mention that the drama features an overall impressive cast in both the main and supporting roles.
Not sure if “I remember you” falls into crime, thriller, suspense or all of the aforementioned, but a romantic comedy it is not. Although, in true K-drama fashion, it does contain elements of romance.
- Seo In-Guk as Lee Hyun/David Lee
- Jang Na-Ra as Cha Ji-An
- Park Beo-Gum as Jung Sun-Ho
- Choi Won-Young as Lee Joon-Ho
- D.O. (Do Kyung-So) as Lee Joon-Young
Encounter with consequences
Lee Hyun and his younger brother Min are raised by their father, a respected psychologist. Because of the early death of his mother, Hyun has kind of become the homemaker of the family despite still being a child.
His ever forgetful and distracted father relies on him for his meals, and the housework. His younger brother looks up to him. Hyun means the world to Min.
Hyun enjoys cleaning and organizing, and is certainly a kid mature way beyond his age.
Despite all these challenging circumstances, the three of them enjoy a harmonious family life.
But sadly, that is about to change.
Doctor Lee has been working on a new research, during which he studies the mind of prison inmates.
One of the inmates has particularly caught his attention. Lee Joon-Young is considered a psychopath, and a murderer. Known to be smart to the point of genius, police are relieved to finally have caught him.
What the Doctor fails to notice too late, is that while he was studying Joon-Young, the criminal was also observing him.
Comparing the inmates stories with things he notices at home, Doctor Lee starts suspecting that his older son has criminal tendencies.
Not aware that Hyun has been reading his notebook, he records in it his conclusion: My son is a monster.
Desperate to save Hyun from going down a path of destruction, his father decides to isolate him from the world. He moves his older son to the basement, which this one is not allowed to leave.
The effects of this are detrimental for both Hyun and his younger brother. Min is too young to comprehend what is happening, consequently feeling abandoned by his brother and playmate.
Joon-Young, faking a suicide attempt, manages to escape from prison. Police suspect, that he also had accomplices among the guards that helped him get away.
Having met Hyun by accident, and knowing what the father thinks of his son, the criminal invades the Lee house.
Min, attempting to flee the scene, hides in Joon-Young’s car. Both Joon-Young and Min disappear into the night without a trace.
Hyun runs after the car trying to save his brother but stumbles, hitting his head in the process. The injury erases his memories of that day’s events.
He is subsequently taken in by a former friend of his father’s, who raises him like her own son.
I Remember you
Years go by and Lee Hyun, now going by David Lee, ends up as a Professor of Criminology in the United States. With an above average IQ and a keen eye for criminal profiling, he is highly respected in his field.
In addition, he also just finished writing a book about his past experience.
Never forgetting the psychopath that robbed him of his family, he is always looking for clues in order to catch Joon-Young.
Authorities claim they are unsure if he is even still alive. They continue to speculate that he escaped with the help of a prison guard, who also disappeared that day.
One day Hyun receives an email with information about an ongoing investigation into the murder of a young woman. Not sure where the email originates from, he wonders if it came from Joon-Young.
Something about the evidence in the case seems oddly familiar and evokes his curiosity. Maybe it’s the criminal’s answer to his call-out during a recent book interview.
Whatever the case, Hyun decides at once to return to Korea and investigate further.
Confronting the past
Walking straight into the crime scene of a new murder, Hyun meets the Special Investigation Unit. A police unit of detectives created to deal with murder cases.
Although Hyun is not familiar with any of its members, Detective Cha Ji-An (Jang Na-Ra) recognizes him almost immediately.
Ji-An met Hyun as a kid, and became somewhat obsessed with him. Finding out that he also had a connection with Joon-Young, she started following him around.
Determined to prove that her dad, the prison guard, was not an accomplice in the criminals escape, she became somewhat of a stalker of Hyun’s. Something he is not aware of in the slightest.
Learning of Hyun’s professional background, the police decide to invite him to join their Special Investigation Unit as a advisor. Since Ji-An seems to be the one to know him best, she is sent to recruit him.
However, this turns out to be more difficult than they imagined.
Meanwhile, Hyun finds himself increasingly involved in their case. To the point where it seems to follow him around with clues always leading back to the same people.
With more questions than answers, Hyun knows he is playing a dangerous game as he uncovers the truth bit by bit.
A truth that leads him back all the way to his traumatic past. Back to his brother’s disappearance, and the ugly discovery of deceit by people too close to him for comfort.
Be prepared to sit at the edge of your seat for “I remember you”, as the story has many twists and turns. Plus, the acting and dialogue of this drama are truly superb by all involved.
So much of the dialogue contains hidden meanings or threats, and detecting the real personality of a character is a continuous challenge.
The drama heavily goes into the dilemma of ‘is a criminal born or is a criminal made’. It showcases the influence of both the surrounding environment, and personal choices on a person’s character.
To sum it up, “I remember you” is a fascinating drama to watch with a great plot and amazing chemistry between its characters.
Until we drama again,