One of essentially the most primal human wants is to be understood. That goes for everyone, irrespective of how unsavoury – fucked-up folks yearn to be accepted too. Take Kim Sum, the protagonist of Netflix’s new Korean psychological thriller Any person. Regardless of creating the profitable courting app Any person, Sum (Kang Hae-lim) stays terribly lonely.
Her solely ‘buddy’ is the intuitive AI software program referred to as Somebody that she developed as a high-schooler, and he or she exists in a suppressed world of rigorously crafted routines, monochromatic environment, and practiced moaning to stroke her companions’ egos. Nobody will get Sum – till she begins investigating a serial killer who makes use of her app to seek out his victims, and meets Seong Yun-o (Kim Younger-kwang).
As completely different as they’re – a profitable software program developer versus, effectively, a serial killer – each Sum and Yun-o starvation to be understood. As police scramble to seek out the suspect, a fatalistic love blooms between them. Yun-o unravels Sum, goading her into surrendering to the murderous impulses it seems she’d suppressed for years.
It’s not a shock to see Jung Ji-woo spearheading the course and script for Any person. Already acclaimed for his portrayals of romantic and sexual deviance – two of his most well-known works revolve round a spouse dishonest on her husband (1999’s Blissful Finish) and a scandalous relationship between a highschool woman, a 70-year-old poet, and his star pupil (2012’s A Muse) – he pushes his personal boundaries on this collection, elevating questions on whether or not there’s such a factor as ‘acceptable’ deviance or if it’s all perspective.
Jung builds this by his characteristically sturdy and intimate visible language. Kim Sum, who’s roleplaying normality, is proven in expansive greyscale areas, clear to a fault, her issues organized with medical precision. The areas round Yun-o, albeit dimly lit, look lived-in – in contrast to Sum, he’s embraced who he’s. Reward should additionally go to Any person’s music course: an oboe, horn, and synth-laden soundtrack creates rigidity so palpable it might be a personality of its personal. Orchestral soundtracks compound Sum’s loneliness, and even cheerful piano sounds ominous towards Yun-o’s clean expressions.
Whereas the present’s pacing does endure due to this meticulous staging – you spend the primary half of the present wishing for motion – it aligns splendidly with Jung’s portrayal of intimacy. For 2 individuals who “wish to go round killing folks” collectively, Sum and Yun-o’s foreplay, as an example, is poetically delicate. They’re playful and uninhibited, curious and relieved, as if unused to the liberty of full expression.
Kim Younger-kwang’s Yun-o, layered with a practised nonchalance, is splendidly understated however no much less sinister. Whereas the Jeffrey Dahmer glasses may appear a bit too on the nostril, it’s clear because the present progresses that Yun-o makes intentional selections – as if he’s embracing recognisable serial-killer motifs to mock his pursuers.
Compared, Kang Hae-lim’s youthful look solely amplifies her feelings, whether or not it’s the disturbing smile she lets slip upon admitting that killing somebody made her euphoric or her inner battle between defending a remorseless killer who’s additionally the one man who’s ever understood her. As determined as she is for companionship, there are moments the place her morals weigh on her.
Although a cinematic story with heavyweight performances, Any person is slowed down by a obtrusive lack of frequent sense. Kim Sum’s motivations however, there are quite a few situations the place characters have the possibility to show Yun-o in however, for the flimsiest of causes, by no means do. With Yun-o being a considerably public determine, one would suppose even affordable doubt can be sufficient to carry him in – however it will get misplaced within the needlessly elaborate plan to flush the killer out.
And for a present the place characters are pushed by the elemental have to be understood, there’s shockingly little background info to assist it alongside. We by no means actually discover out what introduced the reticent Sum and her associates collectively within the first place, or what propelled Yun-o to do the horrible issues he did. The primary few episodes are a revolving door of faces that introduces characters method earlier than their connections are made clear.
With no context to fall again on, viewers can’t be anticipated to increase the characters the courtesy of caring about their dynamics and motivations. Whereas Any person presents a compelling, even thrilling premise, this murderous love story is rushed at finest and unsatisfactory at worst.
‘Any person’ is now streaming on Netflix.