Cha Seung Won is such a prolific actor who can play any genre thrown at him, and it's what compels me to watch him in any role he takes on an actor. One Ordinary Day is one to be praised with the rest. I am a huge remake fan, all genres and across all avenues, but particularly cross international ones, since most writers/directors always look at creative ways to adapt parts of the stories to best fit its culture. I find that intriguing. Unlike many, I am going in blind with no bias attached to its BBC counterpart, Criminal Justice. I liked that Kim Soo Hyun, the actor, has the same name as the character he plays. He is an actor you can sense, he always gives his all in his performance, and I have come to appreciate, if not admire, that about him.
The psychology of peer pressure, be it spoken, unspoken, direct, indirect, negatively or positively, regardless of the type of pressure it is unforgiving. Who of us hasn't done something they would never do in a billion years simply to be accepted, I would say not many. And as I watched Kim Soo Hyun (Kim Soo Hyun), the character struggled to avoid it, I could tell he was failing. It is hard to say no to peer pressure, because when one is desperate to fit in a group.
From the moment Soo Hyun decides to take his father's taxi without his permission, and the decisions he makes from unhooking the car's dash cam to his inability to reject a female customer who suddenly gets in the taxi to being seduced by her and dumbly accepting a pill and worse acid, going with her to a strange house, everything about the situation spelled trouble. I doubt he ever imagined the disastrous consequences of his actions. The fun quickly turned deadly, my heart went for him. And to realize how brutally she was stabbed.
I completely empathize with him and the choices he makes after who in that situation wouldn't have been terrified out of their mind. I wish he had called the police rather than flee the scene, latented with his fingerprints and DNA all over the victim. The moment Kim Soo Hyun breaks down in tears and starts wailing at the police station was so electrifyingly heartbreaking that there is no way those around him couldn't realize he was innocent.
The way Kim Soo Hyun, the actor, personifies Kim Soo Hyun, the character in that instant was superb. In a blink of an eye, everything changed for him. One moment his life was moving along, going through his normal routine, living his life. What once was fleetingly gone, and Soo Hyun is plunged into an unimaginable nightmare he cannot control, no matter how hard he tries. The only movement he can control is a blink. It's only as I got to the part where Kim Soo Hyun is put in jail that I realized what Director Lee Myung Woo meant when he said, “When I first saw the original, I felt a numbness for several days.”
The callous manner with which the police treated Soo Hyun pronouncing him guilt as soon as they arrested him was inexcusable. But even I say that, and I recognize how guilt Soo Hyun appeared, especially his repeated profession of innocence, while at the same time claiming not to remember anything, must've seemed like a lie or a joke to them. He practically wore all the evidence on him. The moment they shone, the UV light on him and he was green all over his body was powerful. But it also seemed like the police didn't care to listen to him. It made me wonder if all Detective Park Sang Beom (Kim Hong Pa) wanted was an easy target to convict for the murder. When I noticed lawyer Shin Joong Han (Cha Seung Won) enter the police station, I felt relief, not sure why, but I simply did. It was like he was there to save Kim Soo Hyun. I am not sure what it was that captivated him about Soo Hyun, but I was glad for it. His tough, rugged appearance seemed to tell a story of its own, one I can't wait to hear.
Everything worked well for One Ordinary Day. The first outing is real, raw, and oftentimes painful to watch. From the in-your-face snapshot, we get a glimpse of how cruel the justice and prison system can be. We get a promise of how much more powerful things will get. The drama has everything from peer pressure to seduction, compromised judgment, murder, police intimidation, with a promise of much more to come now that Soo Hyun is headed to prison. I shudder to think about will come for him. Kim Soo Hyun is impressive to watch as an actor who loses everything at a blink of an eye. But Cha Seung Won is so raw as a down on his luck lawyer that I find myself mesmerized by him every time he is on screen. I must say impressive. Watch episode 1 & 2 here.