Yoo Mi is the woman who tells a small lie and ends up living someone else’s life. Hyun Joo is a woman who lives her life holding herself above everyone, treating them with neither kindness nor malice. She has a subtly tense relationship with Yoo Mi. Ji Hoon is Yoo Mi’s husband who is ambitious and future-oriented. Ji Won is a dependable senior who is the only person whom Yoo Mi trusts. (Source: Naver) ~~ Adapted from the novel "Chinmilhan Ibangin" (친밀한 이방인) by Jung Han Ah (정한아). Edit Translation
Where to Watch Anna
Cast & Credits
Ripley's syndromeI'm adding this review only because the synopsis is vague and doesn't help you decide whether to watch it or not. The tags however are helpful. I googled Ripley's Syndrome which is described as a antisocial personality disorder where one makes up grandiose lies and believes in this distorted reality. The person feels no shame or sympathy for his/her victims. This last point however doesn't quite fit the depiction about Anna as she does seem to experience guilt and shame.
From this, you can kind of guess the storyline. I'm going to leave it here as I've only watched 2 episodes. However I will add that Bae Suzy is again the consummate actor. She has once again turned a flat 2D script into a 3D person with complex and often conflicting emotions and motivations, and really made the character hers. I look forward to watching the rest of the series, thankfully only 8 episodes in all, and will be back at the end with a deeper review.
Updated: I have now finished watching the whole series. 8 episodes cut down to 6 and I can say that the last 2 episodes were the weakest in the whole show. Clearly there's been heavy editing to fit the last 4 episodes into 2 and for no apparent reason. It's puzzling that they needed to cut; were that ratings bad? If ratings were so bad, why are they going to broadcast and extended version in August?
I have downgraded my overall rating because of these last 2 episodes. Pity. I certainly won't be watching the extended edition in August.
I lie to myself all the time.A famous quote by Virginia wolf goes like, "If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people." Just because something ain't a lie doesn't mean that it ain't deceptive for a liar knows that they are a liar, but one who speaks mere portions of truth in order to deceive is a craftsman of destruction. This drama and the original novels are quite vocal of it, that you'll realize as you set out on a journey alongside Anna, a woman who made choices out of bravery yet found herself in an endless pit.
Produced by ‘Content Map’ and edited by ‘Studio Briv’“, ANNA (안나)” is a mini Korean web drama, based on the full-length novel “Intimate Stranger (친밀한 낯선 사람)” authored by Chung Han Ah. Lee Joo Young takes charge of both screenwriting and direction of the drama which is the 2nd venture for ‘Coupang Play’, an emerging and rising OTT platform in South Korea.
ANNA follows the story of Lee Yu Mi (Bae Suzy) who lives a life full of lies that resulted from her aspirations to do big but inability to make it up to anything. In short the story keeps at centre a woman who has Ripley’s Syndrome. I think this is enough for a drama with only 6 episodes and less than 50 minutes runtime. The MDL bio says nothing of the story, nor can the show be described with a particular plotline. This can be considered a roughly 5 hours long movie.
“Ripley's Syndrome” is an antisocial personality disorder that causes patients to believe lies about themselves. Sometimes, these lies even urge patients to commit crimes. The condition got its name from Tom Ripley, a con artist and serial killer in Patricia Highsmith's 1950 psychological thriller novel "The Talented Mr. Ripley."
Many familiar faces other than Suzy that you see in the drama are: Jung Eun Chae, Kim Joon Han, Park Ye Young, Kim Jung Young, Kim Soo Jin Baek Ji Won and Woo Ji Hyun. There are also some known faces in guest roles.
The story and plot development of the show (won’t say is not for everyone) will be likable among viewers who appreciate cinematic values and are avid movie fans. The beginning sequence is intriguing for sure; starting from 1986, i. e. from Yumi’s early childhood to her late-30s in 2022, the chronicle is a portrayal of what kind of life she has been leading. As the story begins with her getting involved with a lady of knowledge and receiving life-lessons from her as a barely 5yo kid, the furtherance takes us to different phases of her life, showing her ‘the then’ status with year stamps.
Her journey is not a smooth one, as she thought it would be, until she messes up with something and ended up getting abandoned. To save herself from miserable judgements and due to personal insecurities, she starts lying and to cover one lie, she lies further and further, she didn’t look back or she couldn’t look back? Well, there lies all the confusions and criticisms, giving scope for reasonable debates and a horrible yet beautiful in-depth character analysis, which I won’t do in the review in order to keep out the spoilers.
Creator and Director of the acclaimed 2017 movie “A Single Rider”, Lee Joo Young-nim might still be a rookie but possesses great creative cinematic skills, which is in fact adequately reflected in this miniseries. The performance of the actors in their respective roles, particularly the central character Anna, and the insights put into the arcs and the overall outcomes, say a lot about the ideas of the maker incorporated with sumptuous sense of creativity. Well written and well directed, in short.
Cinematography by Lee Ui Tae is of great essence, which is quite unexpected but as evidently showcased. The time-shuffle in a sync through years and ages accompanied by growth, was gratifyingly presented. The definite structures in hazy premises and plain tones of the backdrops were of appropriate for what the maker wants to narrate through the story. Additionally, the background theme and composition of various scores is good and did blend well with the show's essence.
The delivery from the rest of the character was up to par as expected albeit Suzy did shine extra in the show; definitely not her best performance but surely stands out as a unique one and I'm certain she did her homework of understanding the character Anna well.
The central character is flawed and radically unideal but who says the devil can not have it's own story? It's always welcoming to witness different perspectives of and particularly the portrayal of a character like Anna with reasonability to her circumstances, is pretty much delivered.
Greed, money and power make us egoistic and arrogant and the through Anna, the writer has done a detailed analysis of how arrogance has the ability to become our prime characteristic feature and can land us in misery, from where, it's sometimes difficult to turn back. Greed also makes it easier for us to give a nod to everything that's offered to us without hesitation even with the realization of guilt.
Loved the manner of storytelling by the creator and the amount of naturally and realness she has decorated in the narrative with the intentions to put forward the shades that we often forget/deny to acknowledge.
Two of the most striking dialogues from the show are...
"Remember! The poker face!"
"Even the way we breath has some meaning and we can get evaluated on it."
Final Remarks... "Anna" is not something not extremely intriguing or exciting as it might seem from the synopsis but it surely has insights of truth and reflections of reality, that help you dissect characters and their psychology, in a manner that might not feel realistic, but makes you realize by the end of show, that lies require commitment and to fulfill it you must sacrifice one thing or the other. It surely was an interesting watch for me and would like to recommend to those who are into movies or are suckers for intellectualism.