It’s almost the end of the year, but that doesn’t stop Netflix and South Korea from consuming any more content. Korean dramas took off in the last few years, and a wide variety of digitally produced films on the international market have already rekindled the internet. The new dark series Trolley is the only entry in Netflixs Korean-language streaming company and brings interesting, complicated and unusual family dynamics together.
Trolley is an adapted television series produced by SBS TV and distributed to the international market by Netflix. The series stars Kim Hyun-joo and Park Hee-soon. This story tells a married couple who live very little in their own world. She owns the right to repair old books while she is an Assembly member. They seem very lovely, but it’s clear that there’s something more than just the eye. Across them, there’s a serious secret.
Trolley, a type of Korean movie now, follows classic structure, especially those who want to build a mystery that would lead audiences from beginning to end. Unfortunately, if it’s a series that runs for 16 episodes, this mystery might not be the most compelling of those two films. The mystery seems like something that won’t have enough answers to really surprise us. A mystery that can quickly lose steam can only recover by presenting compelling characters.
So while Trolley could not have the most compelling of mysteries, it balances things out by presenting a compelling cast of characters a lot. This is exactly what makes the show an interesting watch. Our protagonists are surrounded by secrets, but you can see, and feel that they’re seeking good people even in the worst circumstances. This is wonderful because even when the story’s going to dark places, the characters are easy to root for.
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Or at least it’ll give you pause. You’ll notice that these people can be both good and bad at the same time. It’s pretty boring to follow characters that are one thing and don’t have anyone to make out what they are doing. Here the writers have realised that they’ve created a cast of characters who feel deeply inspired by their interactions. It’s what we want, and it’s great to see a show show that knows the characters and not the answers to a few questions raised by the plot will become a force of the audience to watch every episode.
The direction is very good, and it reminds you of some of the best crime films in South Korea, of which there are many. Ryu Bo-ri and Kim Mun-Kyo know how to help the character develop their own habitat. And from there, to demolish their zone of comfort and to make them do what they and we didn’t think they were able to do. This is critical to every story. While the pacing is, it feels slow and calculated and sometimes interrupted with an explosion of emotion and even violence.
Kim Hyun-joo is a very famous actor. In many other movies and films she’s already proved she’s capable of bringing out a story by herself. She is at the heart of a novel and mystery. You’ll really want to know what her character has been hiding. Not only is it because you want answers to the mystery. But because the character she has building here is very interesting, and so much idiosyncrasies, it’s like trying to see how she became the person she was.
Park Hee-soon is an equally powerful player, but the character resembles a familiar alien. This is not bad, but a nice character of Hyun-joos is definitely better. At least the beginning. Hee-soons characters, too, undergo a major change throughout the show. It’s very powerful to see his hard facade fall down under the pressure of a person who wants to do what he’s doing as a national politician.
The writing is very solemn, and some parts of the plot need some rewatches to actually sink in. The creators have sometimes opted to be quite confused with their readable images. This is something that keeps the mystery alive, but in the long run, it may also be frustrating. Can the mystery be a powerful mystery if there is a real mystery to solve or because the show is confusing in the way it delivers the information? This is the one thing, but sometimes it seems like the show will choose that latter.
Trolley eventually finds out that South Korea is far from any other Asian country where content has been delivered to a quality television package. Netflix has truly found one of the best distributors in the industry, which could be a definite extension to the long-term, vagant and scary way. The acting is fantastic, but while the mystery seems dark and some information content seems confusing, the whole story seems to be compelling enough to justify an entire watch.