K-Drama Review: “Born Again” Mounts Mystery & Romance To Fated Intertwining Lives
Born Again takes an intriguing romance journey as love blossoms once again among reincarnated souls.
Seemingly a story about a love-triangle, Born Again has more to offer with its plot. There is also an underlying mystery that begins to unfold slowly, starting from the very first episode.
Title: Born Again
Theme: Melodrama, Mystery, Fantasy
Length: 32 Episodes
Broadcast Date: 20 April 2020 – 09 June 2020
Main Leads: Jang Ki Yong | Jin Se Yeon | Lee Soo Hyuk
Highlights: Reincarnation theme | Mystery to be unfolded | Two Timeline Character Portrayal
Related Dramas: Chicago Typewriter, Come And Hug Me, The Smile Has Left Your Eyes
The drama focuses on the lives of three people who get entangled with each other through the course of their two different lives. Centered on transmigration theme, it plays a big part in the storyline.
Aside from the interesting plot, Born Again offers the chance to see its main cast in a contrasting light. Jang Ki Yong, Jin Se Yeon and Lee Soo Hyuk portray two different characters each, in this suspense drama.
Quick Plot Round-up
The story revolves around three people: two men and a woman. They are not only connected in their existing lives, but they also get the chance to meet each other in their next one.
Jung Ha Eun is the owner of a bookstore called Old Future and suffers from a heart condition. Her reincarnated self is Jung Sa Bin who has a heart transplant and teaches archaeology at a university. Her other job involves bones’ examination for the National Forensic Service.
Cha Hyung Bin, Ha Eun’s fiance and protector, is a detective in his first life but when he becomes the prosecutor Kim Soo Hyuk, his personality gets colder.
Gong Ji Cheol is framed for a series of murders and while fighting against his already unlucky fate, he falls in love with none other but the sweet and gentle Ha Eun. His emotions are written on his face and this distinguishes him from his traits in the next life as Chun Jong Bum is a person who is unfamiliar to emotions and proper reactions.
The characters get involved with each other as fate brings them together. This is not simply a drama revolving around the feelings they have for each other, but it focuses on the serial killings, which starts once again after 30 years.
An engaging plot
The first thoughts about the drama were that its main focus would be the love-triangle. Surprisingly, it was more than that.
While the core theme may have been mainly on the three characters and their reincarnations, the plot also focuses on a series of mysterious killings. The first of those started during their previous lives, the outcome of them being Gong Ji Chul becoming the murderer in people’s eyes. However, the truth was actually well hidden.
Those killings, which ended in the 1980’s, were committed by Ji Chul’s father. Since they ended after Ji Chul was dealt with, no one questioned the reality of it.
30 years later, a copycat appears, obsessed with what they thought were Gong Ji Chul’s ways of killing. As luck would have it, once again, the one blamed for the murders is Chun Jong Bum, Ji Chul’s reincarnated self.
Both him and prosecutor Kim Soo Hyuk tries to find the real killer and the reason behind their actions.
Memories and bodies surfacing in the Present
Reincarnation immediately equals to something bad had occurred in the 1980’s timeline, as the next stories are unfolded only 30 years later. As expected, the fantasy elements and coincidences in the drama do not stop there.
Among the first episodes, the series shows an unidentified mummy holding onto a wedding ring. As if this is not enough of a mystery, the said mummy turned into bones overnight.
Another set of bones is found later in the show. This time it is that of a convict, with no way of identifying it. The two unknown figures, are actually the remains of detective Cha Hyung Bin and Gong Ji Chul. Talk about meeting your previous self, right?
In addition, the main characters face another thing from their past, their old memories. As those come rushing in and invade the current ones, each person takes a moment to make sense of everything, and eventually using it to their advantage.
A cast showing its acting talent
The story from the 1980’s did not end during the premiere week of Born Again. There are more details which were revealed later on. Moreover, with old memories rising up, we get to see the sudden change in the characters’ personalities.
Firstly, Cha Hyung Bin is a warm-hearted person whose goal is to protect the woman he loves. Meanwhile, Kim Soo Hyuk is colder, does not do things by the book as he would forge evidence in order to keep someone behind bars.
Next up, Gong Ji Chul who is full of emotions, the complete opposite of Chun Jong Bum. Inadvertently, both are treated as criminals and psychopaths.
Lastly, Jung Ha Eun and Jung Sa Bin are both nice at heart and not quick to judge. The two also have their own differences to show, even if not as distinguishable.
The drama rivets on showing how each version of these people is different, with their own thoughts and feelings. During the run of the show, all characters manage to grow and become better people, learning from their past mistakes.
Born Again Series Afterthoughts
Born Again focuses on building questions in the minds of the viewers and adding more towards the mystery. The first half of the series is a bit slow due to lack of clarity.
Then in the second half, the drama starts to pick up and bring out everything we want to know, giving a better understanding of the situation in both timelines.
It is intriguing to watch the unfolding of the revelations, but evidently drawing attention, is the portrayal of the characters. Seeing the different sides brought by the actors is a delight. Additionally, we get to witness the main characters interact with people who knew them 30 years ago, which makes it an even more interesting plot.
Furthermore, the fantasy element is just right in this more realistic type of drama.
Born Again is good for anyone who likes mysteries and supernatural twists. The plot will pull viewers right from the start, even during the languid parts.
The drama would probably frustrate with how things seem to be repeating themselves. Nevertheless, the reincarnation did not happen just for things to end up like before, right?
If you are looking for the next interesting K-drama to put on your list, this might be it. It has both the shocking revelations and the slower, more calm moments between the characters, in order to build them up and allow them to grow.
Image credit: KBS2