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Netflix ‘The Bequeathed’ the most ‘Korean’ thriller: director

By Kim Da-sol

Published : Jan. 12, 2024 - 15:23

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From left: Ryu Kyung-soo, Kim Hyun-joo, Park Hee-soon and Park Byung-eun of “The Bequeathed” pose for a photo during a press conference in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap) From left: Ryu Kyung-soo, Kim Hyun-joo, Park Hee-soon and Park Byung-eun of “The Bequeathed” pose for a photo during a press conference in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)

“The Bequeathed” director Min Hong-nam said Friday he was focused on creating the most “Korean” thriller, while making the drama, which will be Netflix Korea’s first original this year.

Having worked as the assistant director to Yeon Sang-ho in “Train to Busan” (2016), “Psychokinesis” (2018) and “Peninsula” (2020), Min is making his directorial debut with the six-part series, which was produced and co-written by Yeon.

“The priority was to keep it ‘simple’ and ‘classic.’ I wanted to focus on the traditional aesthetic that comes from age-old buildings. That mood, together with the differentiated characters, convinced me that it will be a very powerful and fresh drama,” Min told a press conference in Seoul on Friday.

He said that using traditional Korean music, or "gugak," and the sound traditional Korean wind instruments such as taepyeongso elevated that gloomy mood.

“The Bequeathed” revolves around Seo-ha (Kim Hyun-joo), who is notified of the death of her late father's younger brother. She inherits the family gravesite as his only remaining relative, but then her half-brother Young-ho (Ryu Kyung-soo) approaches her, arguing for his share of the estate. Days later, cops Seong-joon (Park Hee-soon) and Sang-min (Park Byung-eun) show up to investigate a series of mysterious murders that took place nearby.

“It was back in 2014 when I first thought about this story. I casually talked about this project with director Min while shooting other projects. I asked him to work with me on this thriller, which derives from the unique sentiment that only Koreans can have,” Yeon told reporters.

Kim said she saw her character as a derailed train.

“After the mid-part, I interpreted Seo-ha as a person who has her emotions and human nature explode, like a derailed train that does not know where it is headed,” Kim told reporters.

“The Bequeathed” is her third project with Yeon, who said that Kim was his “persona,” rather than “muse.”

“The Bequeathed” will be released on Netflix on Jan. 19.