Solomons Perjury (2016-2017)
Cast: Kim Hyun-soo, Jang Dong-yoon, Seo Ji-hoon, Cho Jae-hyun, Seo Young-joo
Director: Kang Il-soo
No. of episodes: 12
Synopsis: After a student of an elite South Korean high school has been found dead on the school premise, the cause of death is widely believed to be suicide by teachers, and police detectives as they try to sweep the situation under the rug fearing for the reputation of the school. However, students become restless as a letter appears claiming it was not a case of suicide, but rather murder. Upset with the adults for ignoring their requests and belittling them the students take it into their own hands to find out the truth by holding a school trial. The story is based off of the Japanese novel of the same name by Miyuki Miyabe.
The world of Korean dramas is generally dominated by romantic dramas, which is nothing bad but can get rather boring and arduous watching the same plot over and over again but within different characters – such as ‘rich guy and poor girl’ and ‘bad boy and good girl’. These dramas are not bad, I actually enjoy watching these types of dramas. However, it is very satisfying when a drama does show up that is not based solely on romance, but instead focuses on society where teenagers are generally looked down upon for ‘not understanding’ and an education system that only cares about saving face. Solomon’s Perjury does all this through the story of each character who plays a significant role in the trial in regards to finding out the death of the student.
The series shifts between the present and the past which also forces the viewer to attempt to fill in the gaps on what happened that snowy Christmas night which lead to Lee So-woo’s death. Throughout the series I found it interesting that the classmates within that school were not interested in what actually lead to his death, but rather if it was a case of murder or simply suicide. Truthfully no one in the school really cared about Lee Soo-woo as a person, he was someone in school who was just part of the background to all students – he was not handsome, he was not rich, and he was not smart. Therefore, in high school he was considered irrelevant by his peers. The only time he was ever truly considered as an actual person would be his infamous fight with the notorious school bully Choi Woo-hyuk (also the number one suspect to his death) which lead to Lee Soo-woo’s expulsion, despite the students who witnessed the fight it being Woo-hyuk who was at fault – beating the boy almost to the point of death.
That is when the series starts to pull apart at the first criticism present with society and is notorious in high school that being silence or specifically the inability to speak up. Despite Choi Woo-hyuk being known by many of the students amongst the school as a bully who enjoys inflicting pain on the students no one ever speaks up about it to a higher authority. In addition, when the school called upon for witnesses to report what exactly went down between the two students no one spoke up. Was this due to fear? Fear from what? Fear from Choi Woo-hyuk finding out or fear from being labelled a tattle tale from the other students. Of course from silence rumours are born and from those rumours are false accusations. The series does this in a way that causes the viewer to think, as silence is such a normal thing in our society, especially in school where students refuse to converse with teachers but are more than happy to share stories and embelish them with their friends. This of course leads to chaos and a skewed perception of certain incidents.
That is when the second criticism presents itself – corruption. The school board committee from the outside seems like its operations are working in the best intentions of their students. They did this by hastily holding counselling sessions for students and even having a funeral service for Lee Soo-woo with the student body present. However, all of that was simply a decoy created by the committee to hide the wrong-doings of the school, especially to Lee Soo-woo who they viewed as a threat, someone who prior to his death was challenging the power of the school. Of course, after the death of Lee Soo-woo the school went hard to silence any thoughts regarding the nature of Lee Soo-woo’s death especially those who questioned whether or not it really was a case of suicide. The teachers then begin to oppress their students of any such thoughts as way of forcing them to forget the incident. However, when the higher forces attempt to oppress those below them a rebellion is born. The rebellion in this case is in the form of a school trial, which does more than uncover what truly happened to Lee Soo-woo, but the secrets of the school and of various students are revealed as well these include the the defence counsel, the defendant Choi Woo-hyuk and of those in the prosecution. The show showcases to the audiences what happens when those question the system and atttempt to rise above from it and form their own decisions free from the punishment from higher forces.
I honestly enjoyed this drama very much and I think that it should gain more recognition from more people. I highly recommend that people watch this drama as it is quite thought provoking and made me look back on my school experiences throughout high school, and the various sneaky operations of my school (my school wasn’t like the one predicted in this drama, but there were certain situations created by the school that were bothersome to most students). The series is available on Netflix with all tweleve episodes and it is honeslty a hidden gem to watch.
It has been a hot minute since the last time that I have wrote a review on a film or tv series and it is actually very refreshing. Anyway I have finally finished my last exam, and am free from high school and can finally dedicate all my efforts to my blog. I was actually going to write a post about my current skincare routine and how I got rid of my acne scars, but it is literally so hot in Melbourne (35 degrees today) that I just couldn’t will myself to do it. However, I will get down to writing it soon along with a video. Regardless I hope you guys enjoyed my post and please tell me if you have seen this drama series and what your thougths were.