Lee Ra El was a girl who idolized her loving parents – a highly intelligent father and a strikingly beautiful mother. But when cruel forces beyond their control cause her father’s death, her family crumbles. Embittered by this terrible experience, she vows revenge on the super-rich people who orchestrated this terrible tragedy. Her prime target is Kang Yoon Kyum, the CEO of the lucrative LY Group business empire, and one of the ringleaders of the plot that ultimately destroyed her family. Lee Ra El’s weapon of choice is divorce. By placing herself at the center of a legal battle worth a staggering USD 1.6 billion, she hopes to bring Kang Yoon Kyum and LY Group down once and for all. But in order to do so, she will need to wage a bitter legal struggle and fight powerful forces both inside and outside the courtroom. However, this plan has been in the pipelines for 13 years for Lee Ra El, who believes she will use all of her guile to catch Kang Yoon Kyum out when he least expects it. Can revenge bring her the satisfaction she craves – or will it end up consuming her? (Source: Viki) Edit Translation
- magyar / magyar nyelv
Cast & Credits
Dynamic with high intensity caused by a sheer impossible tension between self-control & surrenderRevenge and KDrama obviously go extremely well together. TV productions are full of it. Actually, the revenge-motiv appears to be eternally young, being grippingly re-staged over and over again. "Eve" from the year 2022 is one of them - idiosyncratic, with an unmistakable coat of paint. "Eve" is about a long-planned vendetta against one of the most powerful Jaebeol clans in the land. "Eve" may join a long list of KDramas in the revenge genre. However, this KDrama scores with its very own charismatic aura.
Premise of the revenge-plan against the most powerful: Perfection should be brought down by perfection.
Maximum control should be conquered by maximum control.
If one wants to control life to perfection, what remains is a lifeless, loveless shell. The price of power is transcending one's humanity. The little Jaebeol preschool daughter vividly fights the emotional price of power: she's already learning to play golf, but she's still peeing her pants - she´s overstrained ... Living the Win are her parents and grandparents: feeling and behaving like deities... The perfection of arrogance finds its direct expression in the control, the unscrupulous abuse and the brutal oppression of others. It goes hand in hand with self-control. Yet, the extent of the staging of their 'beauty' and ´perfection´ becomes downright repulsive and turns 'beauty' into its opposite - disgust.
The (dramaturgically chosen) valve grounding the human being in his earthly transient body is the dance. Here especially the tango. Exotic, erotic, heavy, deep, dark. The dance, the rhythm and the music bring you back into your own body. You have to listen to it - in tango to the body of the partner, too. So it's also about perfection here, but it consists of perfectly balancing your own body movements with personal authenticity, feelings and perception. THIS ´perfection´ draws from itself and is not at the expense of others. It culminates in a state of relinquishment of control - an altered state of consciousness. This condition only lasts for the moment of the dance, for the moment of encounter. (The Andalusian flamenco even coined its own term for bringing the dance to perfection: 'Duende'. This concept stands for an almost ecstatic state of consciousness that results from surrendering to the interplay of different brain areas, physical dance technique and emotion.) This moment makes you feel alive - intense, true, pure and innocent.
Throughout the individual episodes the revenge-hungry protagonist (a fantastic So Yae-ji) maintains an extremely high tension between the poles of maximum possible emotional self-control (in the service of the elaborate revenge plan) on the one hand and complete surrender to the sensual, invigorating movements of tango dance on the other. As the dance draws its power and charisma from the depth of the subjective, authentic emotional world, maintaining this tension is almost impossible. In fact the KDrama thrives on this very special dynamic (of the sheer impossible bearing of the tension between self-control and surrender). The result is a consistently high and gripping intensity.
I have read some reviews that accuse this KDrama of the (missing) chemistry of the protagonists or the ending or the resolution of the revenge motive, or even the revenge motive at all. Well, that is of course a matter of taste, too. In any case, I think the motive for revenge suits South Korean authoritarian society. Even today. I also consider the character of Kang Yoon Gyeom being drawn (and acted) extremely well - if the protagonist were sympathetic, open, tangible (and, if you like, more classically attractive), then the relationship dynamics would be more predictable. His repulsive, calculating side suits him. The fact that he is 40 already plus he doesn't really fit the image of classic male love interest suits the role, too. So do those very subtle nuances that reveal his other (touchable, needy) side. He is not extremely likeable. I agree. Yet, thus the provoking relationship with him subtly, unintentionally and unexpectedly develops its own dynamic. The ambivalence - attractive vs. repulsive - comes across quite well in my opinion. A strange chemical mixture, an unknown factor in the revenge plan equation. The reactions triggered by this in turn leads to an ending, that is what it is. ... Either way, revenge NEVER makes you really 'satisfied'. Because the pain of the old wounds or the memory never goes away, and the loss cannot be reversed either. On the other hand, with revenge new karma comes along and is guaranteed to be saddled on top of everything else, which one has to spoon up ... (This is usually overlooked when one sets out to take revenge...)
From my perspective, "Eve" is a haunting KDrama - with a lasting impression for sure.
It might also be worth mentioning:
The staging of the cruelty within the Elite world, their madness as well as the space given for the sexual dimension of the relationship are exceptional for a KDrama. However, these deliberately staged rather animalistic or even archaic aspects of the human species (which are assigned to the evolutionarily older brainstem or reptilian brain) set a sharp contrast to the hypocritical, superhuman self-portrayal of the Jaebeol elite...
---------------------- SIDE NOTE: --- Revenge motive and KDrama - for once wanting to control the elite 'authorities' who otherwise control the rest of the country ---
South Korea (with its comparably recent dictatorship history) is probably one of the places on earth where (perhaps a little bit more than in many other places where rule of law has already gained a somewhat more solid footing) rules still mainly apply to 'simple' people, the masses. The influential Elite, the Jaebeol in particular, namely play their private, own, elitist game. They are isolated from the rest of society. They seem to own the world. They live and rule as they please in their own orbit. When their world collides with the masses, it's annoying, but rarely turns out bad for them. They simply get rid of disruptive factors (or better: let others get rid of them). They enjoy all the freedoms. For them, ordinary people are actually of no worth. They can be substituted. They can be controlled by money or violence.
The state should actually be responsible for objective justice. But 'state' is made up of people. And the less binding the objective rules are handled by these people or the more rules can be bent, stretched and interpreted in favor of the 'perpetrators' from elite circles, the greater the subjective dissatisfaction and the stronger the desire of the 'victims' for vigilantism - the desire for revenge!
However, there is a difference between the desire for revenge/subjective justice and the realistic possibility of actually getting it. For the influential powerful, a few phone calls may suffice. The common people have to be a bit more subtle and sophisticated. Vigilante justice needs to be well planned. Especially if you want revenge on a person from the orbit of the Jaebeol. It costs time and money to be able to penetrate their world at all. In most cases, sworn helpers are also necessary. After all, it is to be expected that the same applies here: a plan is there to be discarded... Not everything can be foreseen. Details have to be improvised. The space for the unexpected can only be calculated with a degree of blurriness.
Against the background of authoritarian South Korean social structure, KDrama and revenge motif often and happily enter into a dramaturgically promising connection. It offers a vicarious valve for the emotions of the many ´victims´ of a corrupt system...
a fashion show, a screaming wife and unnecessary sex scenesEdit: Almost a year has passed since I wrote this review and I still get people bashing me for my score. Do you not know what a review is? If you don't like it, then write your own damn review and score your own drama as you wish. Because of people like these harassing me, I have readjusted my scoring. I have lowered the acting and music scores. From memory, I didn't think the villains even performed that well. It was cookie-cutter acting and the music - I can't even remember it. My overall? Still a 1.5. Harass me over my reviews and I will lower the scores further. Evidently I didn't score them low enough for these people to wake the eff up.
I can't even describe how trashy this drama is, I was left disappointed and in shock over the whole thing. Honestly, I'm shocked at myself for having finished this discombobulated mess. It almost felt as if this "comeback" drama is a punishment that Seo Ye Ji had to endure before she would be given a more decent script to work on.
Where should I begin? The synopsis, maybe? This is how the synopsis goes: "Lee Ra El idolised her parents, a highly intelligent father and a strikingly beautiful mother." I was actually waiting for more snippets of her happy family life to be revealed, but none of that was given until late, where a meagre birthday celebration of 3 seconds was shown. How smart was his father? He was just described as "the Bill Gates of Korea." This was mentioned in passing in Ep 6 or so. How beautiful was her mother? Was she a walking fashion house, an elegant homemaker? The makeup and image artists for this drama did a disastrous job at dressing up her mother in the flashbacks. The mother was a typically ordinary housewife who apparently loved to dress like a countryside grandmother. They gave her granny floral blouses with straight cuttings, while Ra El gets to wear a different outfit in every scene! Ra El the fashion bombshell was the main focus. The synopsis goes on to say Ra El's goal is to bring down the fam using a USD1.6 billion divorce lawsuit. And yet halfway into the drama, we were told through another character's mouth (Moon Hee) that the original goal was to have the villains arrested using proper evidence and by way of the law. .....What divorce lawsuit? LMAO.
Nevermind that, who cares about what the synopsis says? The drama is nothing like what was advertised. Ra El should have been the glue that holds the story together. The plot centers around her revenge. But she too, changed her mind about only punishing the main culprit who killed her father midway into the drama. Her behaviour became more and more psychologically disturbed, as if she's trying to remind the audience of her past performance in It's Okay to Not Be Okay. Like, why? Wanting to exact vengeance on the person who ruined your life is one thing, but it's unnecessary to be psycho about it. You can still be human about it. There is hardly any need to portray every revenge-seeker as psychotic. Now Ra El, after finding out that Han So Ra murdered her mother, decided that she not only wanted to destroy the patriarch, but also everything in that family now. The target of her vengeance has expanded.
Alas. Despite learning who her mother's killer was, the writers of this drama still insisted on placing the man Ra El seduced, Yoon Geum, at the center of the story. They spent hours upon hours of episode time showing me the dynamics of the seduction. They kept bringing up Yoon Geum's feelings for Ra El, which started with nothing but pure lust. And suddenly, I found myself being shown Yoon Geum's miserable childhood. Do I care? What has his childhood got to do with Ra El's revenge? I know the scriptwriters were trying to say that So Ra losing Yoon Geum is an apt punishment for murdering Ra El's mother, and I'm feeling that the scriptwriters were trying to convince me that Yoon Geum is somehow a guy deserving of some level of sympathy. LOL. He was already steaming with lust the first time he laid his eyes on her. Why would I sympathise with a guy like this? LOL. Ra El uses sex as her weapon, and there's something grossly wrong about this in the year of 2022. Let us all throw a pity party for Yoon Geum, his tortured childhood, his deranged, spoilt wife, and his daughter who wasn't potty trained.
Frankly, I don't give a donkey's ass about this male lead.
The most infuriating thing that I soon realised is, when a man comes back for revenge, he gets to do things like deep researching, device-tracking, surveilling, espionage or military-style anti-reconnaisance without having to sacrifice his body or mental acuity. But when a woman comes back for revenge, she uses her body and sex to get what she wants. She goes through trauma and scarring, out-of-control situations where her mental judgement is impaired and subsequently, criticised, questioned, ridiculed. It always cheapens the female character, and this is unacceptable for me. The year is 2022, not 1972. This drama had set up the situation in such a way that the target is a bunch of fools whose intellectual processes occur in the lower half of their bodies.
The writers gave no information about Yoon Geum's father-in-law, Han Pan Ro, the main villain who gave orders to ruin Ra El's family until the end. Not much was also said about the crimes of his father-in-law's right-hand man either, Joon Cheol, who was directly responsible for Ra El's father's death. I want to know how these main two old crocs are going to get their comeuppance, chop chop. I want to know what Ra El was going to do to them and how she's going to set a trap them. But no. This drama insisted that the focus was placed on Ra El's load of chameleonish outfits, the seduction process, and the boring, lusty object of her seduction. Everything is all over the place. It's garbage.
I mean, don't we need to know, how Ra El gathered the specific evidence to nail the bad guys? Shouldn't I be learning about the villain's specific crimes? Shouldn't I be learning about why Moon Hee, the older woman she's collaborating with in her revenge scheme, and why does she also want Han Pan Ro's head? What's Moon Hee's backstory? But I got nothing. All I got up until Episode 9, was wasting 9 hours of my life watching useless catfights between Han So Ra (the guy's wife, also daughter of Han Pan Ro) and other wives of the upper class, Ra El waltzing and sashaying in different outfits to seduce the guy and finally had sex with him. I also had to watch Han So Ra have sex with a manservant. For what purpose was I shown this? What has So Ra's sex life got to do with Ra El's revenge plot? And I have to put up with scenes of failed attempts to gain entry into Yoon Geum's safe, in order for Ra El to obtain the ledger of her father's company 13 years ago, which is remarkably stupid.
No one keeps a 13-year old ledger of a company they usurped illegally from a man they killed. No one does this. They would sooner burn the ledger to get rid of the evidence. I'll quote a real life scenario: Weeks before Enron Corp officially went down, Arthur Andersen started shredding its audit documents related to Enron. So to think that Ra El and Moon Hee's aim was to retrieve a decade-old ledger (13 years lmao) with the assumption that it still exists, is all the more ridiculous. Additionally, what kind of huge company would contain its accounting info in just one thin ledger? Is this junior high accounting class? In the real world, companies in operation are allowed to destroy their documents after a minimum of 7 accounting periods have passed (7 years) by IFRS Standards, which the Korean Accounting Standards Board (KASB) adopts. It doesn't make an ounce of sense then, for the villains to have illegally acquired Ra El's semiconductor company and then still retains the documents detailing their crimes after 13 years. It's common sense that criminals would destroy evidence as soon as possible.
Again, this whole drama really doesn't bother to tell you the specifics of what really happened to Ra El's father or his company. It really only vaguely tells you that the father was accused of being an industrial spy, was forced to sign a confession which he refused, and had his life snuffed out of him and his shares of his company robbed. Which is again, dumb. There are laws which protect a director and his company shares. The script just wanted to use that cheap backstory to give Ra El a motive, and show the audience some fashion houses' outfits worn by Seo Ye Ji, show the audience some skin and sexy times. Oh, and scriptwriters had to make the seduced man's wife, Han So Ra, into a screaming, crazy mess, because it helps with raking up more sympathy points for Ra El. Imagine if So Ra was actually a good person!!! That is a no go for the scriptwriters. It would make Ra El invalid. So of course the wife had to be evil. And she had to be someone who also had a hand in Ra El's mother's death. This was only revealed in Ep 7, by the way, I guess it's the scriptwriters' way of saying, yeah, we know we're focusing way too much on the wife, but there's a reason!!! And still, that reason went to nought. Too many retroactive continuity in this trash.
The side character, Seo Eun Pyeong, the "clean" assemblyman who scorned the rich, who would never agree to meeting any of them for whatever reason, neither accepting a lunch invite nor a gift -- he was a convenient tool for Ra El in this drama. Eun Pyeong was usually so morally upright, that he was incorruptible. But of course, he easily agreed to rubbing his shoulders with Han Pan Ro for the sake of helping Ra El in her quest for revenge. What made this ridiculous was, Ra El was a mere 15-year old child he had helped some 13 years ago. She was a child he had sent to the USA to live a new life after her father's death. This dude was essentially sacrificing his entire career for her now. And the reason? Love! He decided that he loved her, and declared his love out of nowhere. This was after meeting the kid 13 years later and not even spending an inch of time to find out what her character is really like for him to fall in love with her. Nevermind, he fell in love after watching her erotic dance that one time in her studio, I guess that counts. Very logical! I swear this is one of the worst dramas I've ever seen this year.