I finally finished this drama recently, which is pretty shameful since I started it ages ago. I ended up re-watching it from the beginning through to the end and I was pretty satisfied with the results. I haven’t seen many reviews on it so I figured I would post my two cents.
The Village: Achiara’s Secret follows Han So-Yoon‘s (Moon Geun-Young) efforts to find out the truth behind her sister Kim Hye-Jin‘s (Jang Hee-Jin) tragic death. The murder took place years ago within the small village of Achiara; a town where everyone seems suspicious, and no one is willing to talk. This proves to be a frustrating predicament for So-Yoon, and determined rookie cop, Park Woo-Jae (Yook Sung-Jae).
The drama depicts a town riddled with lies, paranoia, power hungry politicians, and an unidentified serial rapist. The endless plot twists and surprises packed into these 16 episodes made it suspenseful and captivating and the unpredictable storyline kept me guessing up until the very end. I have to give a hand to the cast, because everyone in this twisted town of people came across as either extremely creepy or extremely suspicious. Every time a new character was introduced, I had to go back to square one in terms of analyzing the clues. Each person’s set of shady characteristics served to derail viewers from figuring out who ultimately killed Hye-Jin.
It was a crazy ride, but definitely worth it. I think this drama accomplished what it set out to do. It delivers a suspenseful murder mystery in an original setting with compelling characters. I really appreciated the pace and timing of the drama. Dramas like these often reveal the villain too early, but I really liked how this drama saved the reveal for the very last episode rather than spoiling it for us. I liked that we were just as informed as So-Yoon herself because it’s always agonizing when the audience knows more than the protagonist and then has to suffer through 10 episodes of said protagonist making great efforts to discover something we have already known since episode 5.
There were only two small things I disliked about the drama. One was So-Yoon’s character, who was often too busy looking like a scared puppy to be taken seriously. Honestly Moon Geun-Young only had to use one facial expression throughout the entire 16 episodes. I’m not really sure whether it was the actress’ fault in this case, because this is obviously not Moon Geun-Young’s best work but at the same time the character she was assigned didn’t give her much to work with. Another thing was the tragic plot line of Agasshi (Choi Jae-Woong). I was really rooting for him and hoping he wasn’t a bad guy, but unfortunately things took a turn for the worse. I think the sympathy that his character was able to evoke was due to the brilliant work of the actor, Choi Jae-Woong who was really able to make him come across as likable, despite his wrongdoings.
Finally, I also appreciated that the villain was someone unexpected. It very well could have been one of the main leading characters, but it would have been less impressive and slightly cliche. The writers were definitely aware of this, and I think they made the right decision in choosing a less significant character because it added to the shock of the moment.
The Village: Achiara’s Secret is an excellent drama, but not without some flaws. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for suspense/thriller, crime, mystery or just something that’s a different change of pace from the current dramas that are airing right now.