I don’t think the words I use will be enough to describe just how wonderful Kill Me, Heal Me is. Wow, fantastic, amazing, awesome all fall short of being accurate adjectives. Ji Sung’s acting far excells the superb performances he’s given us in the past and as I watched I kept praying the writers wouldn’t mess things all up. But they came through for us, shining through, and somehow everybody else followed suit. The director; the composers; the musicians and singers; the actors; the editors; the location scouts; the make-up, hair and wardrobe people – everyone’s talent was magnificently carried out right down to the tiniest detail much to the delight of viewing audiences world-wide.
Ji Sung plays Lee Do-Hyun, a kind, wealthy man with a traumatizing past, so much so that he had to create multiple personalities to get through it all. In the show they refer to it as DID – Dissociative Identity Disorder. I like the way they explained how all his personalities came to be – they said he had been through such horrendous things that his heart had broken into pieces, causing different people to appear. A very poetic way of describing that particular mental illness.
Aside from the main personality of Do-Hyun there is Shin Se-Gi, a tough, worldly man who is a great fighter and knows all the horrifying secrets of Do-Hyun’s childhood; Perry Park, a 40 year old man who loves fishing, sailing, drinking, and making bombs; Ahn Yo-Seob, a very intelligent yet suicidal 17 year old young man; Ahn Yo-Na, Yo-Seob’s twin sister, who loves cute boys, doesn’t like authority, and has a pretty high opinion of herself; a 7 year old girl known as Na Na; and Mr. X, a mysterious man who shows up near the end of the drama.
Hang Jung-Eum’s character is Oh Ri-Jin. She is a first year resident in the psychiatric department of a hospital. Ri-Jin loves what she does and has a big heart. She’s very close to her “twin” brother, Ri-On. They fight like crazy but he’s always the one she turns to when she needs help. She knows he supports and loves her no matter what.
Oh Ri-On is played by Park Seo-Joon. Ri-On is a popular author who writes mystery novels under the pen name “Omega”. Of course his family and publisher knows who he really is but no one else does.
Ji Sung does a remarkable job portraying the vastly different personalities. At times I almost forgot they weren’t being portrayed by seven different actors. I read that, one day, Ji Sung’s wife went to watch him filming a scene where he runs down the street dressed as Yo-Na, the teenage girl, and cried because she was so embarrassed for him. If I were his wife I would have been so proud that my husband was such an incredible actor. I have no idea how he learned to act like a 17 year old girl so well. Even his facial expressions looked like I was watching some teenager on the street. Wow! I really hope he gets an award for this.
Hang Jung-Eum is great as a young psychiatrist, dealing with a DID patient. As each personality appeared she treated them as if they were a real separate person. Her acting shows us Oh Ri-Jin sincerely cares for each of these personalities and realizes they are all part of the man she loves.
I kept wondering how the writer was going to end this drama. Would Ri-Jin be able to heal Do-Hyun? Would the other personalities blend into Do-Hyun or would he just learn to make peace with the other “people” living inside him? Would one of the alternate personalities become stronger and take over Do-Hyun’s life permanently? I’m not going to give away the ending. Watch it and see for yourself. What I will say is… I liked it, a lot. It was well thought out and a satisfying wrap-up to a very entertaining story.
This Kdrama has a wonderful writer and a talented director. The writer decided to make us aware of Do-Hyun’s frightening past through flashbacks. We find out a little at a time what caused his illness. The director filmed this show with an even amount of tight and wide angle shots. Too many close ups can make an audience feel claustrophobic and using too many wide angle shots can put us on the outside looking in instead of being part of the show. Kill Me, Heal Me has a good blend of the two that keeps our eyes and brains comfortable.
This is the second time Ji Sung and Hang Jung-Eum have teamed up to play the male and female leads in a Kdrama. The first time was at the end of 2013 in the heavy drama, Secret (Secret Love is the English title). They had fantastic chemistry in that which is, maybe, why I was so excited to see them paired up again for this. They really make a great couple. You can tell they’re comfortable with each other which makes their onscreen romance more believable. Hey, Kdrama casting directors – how about putting them together in another show? You have a great thing going with these two!
As I was watching the show someone said, “Awesome song!” (The one they were specifically referring to is called Auditory Hallucination.) Guess that says it all. I’m not the only one who loved the soundtrack – someone who wasn’t even watching the show also liked the music. That shows it can stand on its own, even outside a drama, and that means “good”. Give Auditory Hallucination a try. I’ll bet you’ll love it. Oh, and Ji Sung sings a song called Violet. His voice is so soft and gentle. It’s just perfect for the lullaby-type song Violet is.
This doesn’t have amazing scenery like you see in Summer Scent or Autumn in My Heart but they did a superb job with the situations they were given to work around. My favorite backdrop for the show is when Se-Gi and Ri-Jin are sitting in a fairy tale coach in front of a lit-up castle and fireworks are going off. Now that’s how you describe the word “romantic”. They also did a great job with a scene where a factory explodes (all thanks to Perry Park’s fascination with bombs). What’s going on in that burning building is very scary. And I’ll never forget the setting where we see the actual words in the title of this drama. It was a perfect place to bring it all together.
I ended up having to remove The Snow Queen from my top 20 favorites list so Kill Me, Heal Me could go on it. I’d have gladly taken off more if I had to. That’s how great this is!
Ji Sung’s acting
Ji Sung and Hang Jung-Eum’s chemistry
“Stand on it’s own” soundtrack
Original subject matter
Top notch writing
Natural progression of plot