The Veil K-Drama Review: “The principle of justice is chosen behind the veil of ignorance – Captivating spy thriller, intelligently questioning the philosophy and ethics of secret services”
Director: Kim Sung-Yong
Cast: Namkoong Min, Park Ha-sun, and Kim Ji-eun
Screenplay: Park Seok-ho
Music: Kim Jang-woo
Streaming: Viki, MX Player, and Prime Video
Han Ji Hyuk is a National Intelligence Service agent whose life changes for the worse after being betrayed by someone. Soon, Han Ji Hyuk sets out on a mission to settle scores with his aggressor.
The Veil K-Drama Review:
When you try hard to find answers from your past, the past will come crawling to you and eat you up.” The Veil that you wear to protect yourself from external forces, can either cause you immense pain or free you from all the suffering. Yet, your efforts to put things in their rightful places shouldn’t go waste; make sure of that.
This is the 5th series I’m watching of Nam Goong Min. Good Manager, Beautiful Gong Shim, One Dollar Lawyer, Doctor Prisoner, and now The Veil. “The Veil” is indeed one of a kind action as well as mystery thriller Korean drama, justifying its title and doing a good job in relaying its performance overall. It’s one of the most underrated dramas of the year 2021 because of known reasons.
The story revolves around Han Ji Hyuk (Namgoong Min), an ace among the National Intelligence Service (NIS) top agents and a ‘one-man army’, known to be stubborn & unbeatable.
While carrying out an operation to destroy an underworld drug cartel in China with his 2 partners, he comes across the abrupt truth behind the entire thing and suddenly vanishes off from the earth’s surface, while his partners are found murdered.
He resurfaces after a year in the Peninsula but this time with lost memories of one year, just to discover the rat or traitor among the NIS who helped their enemy on the back to have the upper hand.
Due to his unstable state, he is partnered with Yoo Je Yi (Kim Ji Eun) to carry out minor tasks. Je Yi, who has joined the organization to find out about his father, an ex-agent who went missing a decade ago, joins hands with Ji Hyuk.
Together, they work secretly and find out the bigger forces behind it, who turn out to be their own and strive to reveal everything. The plot development is very amazing for a 12-episode drama which reflects a steady progression with several temporary breaks, whenever the antagonists face some downfall.
Can’t call it a staircase’ development but the duo keeps solving one case after another with clues from the previous case, so yeah, it’s somewhat similar to it. 1st ep is the basic intro with lots of confusion which is an obvious happening. 2nd ep also lays the foundation further clarifying the previously created subtle indications.
The progress after it is what will amaze you continuously and keep you hooked. The antagonists continue to dig deeper and unveil more answers and the twists at the end of each episode leave you awestruck.
The revelations are quite astonishing and very unpredictable; it’s like you know who is involved and who ain’t but in what way and how much, that’s a matter of curiosity. In this regard, the writer has painted an intertwined yet intriguing sketch that’s quite difficult to figure out for the viewers.
What bothered me is the ending of the 9th episode and the entire 10th episode plus its ending too. The reason is, one of the most major questions of the drama was answered at the end of the 9th and the first half of the 10th episode bore it’s a detailed explanation.
So I was worried as to what else is left to explain and answer now when we got 2 episodes yet to come. The latter half 10th episode showed further progress in the open investigation within the organization with joined efforts of more people who joined the lead duo.
The 11th ep was a little slow but at least not rushed which is better. Anyways, the ep laid the foundation for the final big operation to catch the main culprit behind everything and then the finale went very well according to that.
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I was again afraid something would go wrong with the drama but I am greatly satisfied. Just like any other crime drama, The Veil is mysterious & confusing in many ways. So, some of us might binge it because we’re anxious to wait but some others also find it interesting to go slow as it’s more interesting that way too.
I am telling you this because I binged the 10 eps in 2 goes and had a difficult time for a day trying to put everything in place. Since there are only 12 episodes, binging it would feel like time flying by so fast.
So take it slow, try to enjoy and relish each episode as it proceeds and make sure you are attentive to the details because lots of facts are interconnected and there are so many small and merely significant characters, each contributing significantly to the story; so if you don’t remember them, you might end up getting confused.
They introduce new characters each episode as the lead dup keeps digging deeper but they don’t stick around or simply, as soon as their essence is over, they are thrown out of the script.
Namgoong Min is the central character as said earlier. Not only he’s strong and skillful, but he’s also smart enough to predict and draw an entire scenario before he starts executing his plans. He suffers from trauma related to his childhood and is also full of untold emotions. Kim Ji Eun (Yoo Je Vi) does her job well by helping the ring leader at many points.
She was more quick-witted and what makes her character strong is her instincts of righteousness by the virtue of which she chooses to believe in Ji Hyuk constantly and take his side till the end, despite all the odds she had to face.
In the supporting role, Ha Dong Gyun (Kim Do Hyun), is a mysterious one who turns out to be different from the usual assumption of character. Dir. Kang Pil Ho (Kim Jong Tae) is a concerned superior to his juniors who also has secrets that he committed to protect the
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Deputy Commissioner Do Jin Suk Wang Young Nam) is an ambitious woman who can pull any strings to get her work done. Deputy Commissioner Lee In Hwan (Lee Kyung Young) is a greedy and inimical man and the source of all the bad deeds in the organization.
Seo Soo Yun (Park Ha Sun) is the bearer of many secrets behind the conspiracy but her character is the only one that was poorly written and got wasted unreasonably.
There are plenty of other characters played by very very good actors but I suppose I should stop here not to give out any spoilers. Action!? What are you asking about? How should I explain this? Superb, amazing, etc. fancy words would become understatements. Nam Goong Min carried the entire show with his acting plus action skills.
I am not a fan of ripped bodies but well, this is Nam Goong Min. His physique is what we call an ideal fit for stunts. The character Han Ji Hyuk, had his ground rules set. Being so skillful & determined as a person, he was unbeatable.
His fleetness and swift hand movements, oof, those are reverential moments to witness. What makes the action scenes and NGM’s stunts perfect is, the way those elements serve the story as well as his characters. Those were jaw-dropping and heart-pounding. Most of the scenes also involve several types of firearms, which were also used skillfully and enticingly.
Overall, the action and stunt scenes are enthralling and greatly pleasurable to the eyes. The action director deserves a bonus for drawing detailed arcs and keeping the most appropriate pace.
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“The Veil” definitely is the 2nd best action drama after Taxi Driver, at least for me. most responsible for the execution and here Kim Sung Yong has done a stupendous job in directing the drama as well as managing and editing the screenplay.
The pacing is accurate for the entire drama, there seemed no exaggeration for the story or any specific event. The development of the overall plot, the character development for Nam Ji Hyuk, the arcs of each seemingly insignificant character, the awe-inspiring revelations at perfect points of the story, the U-turn & downfall twists, etc are very well drawn with visibly wonderful efforts.
The screenplay writing along with pleasing dialogues is what makes the character serve well and makes the audience connect and feel. The formatting is nice and the subtext is clear plus no dragging of scenes with only important conversations.
The composition is something that you can look forward to too. For a dark and intense action thriller where every other scene has the smell of sobriety, the OSTs and background scores are very well written and composed which gives off an appropriate mood and are very suitably used in the drama.
Verdict: The Veil K-Drama Review
THE VEIL is such a stupendous Kdrama, in terms of story, direction, acting, performance, action & stunts, etc, and a must-watch. It also has high rewatch value for those who are avid action fans.
Spy investigation dramas involving NIS and action are not something very new to us but this surely stands out for a unique basic storyline, immense action scenes, and fabulous execution. If you’re hesitant to start because the genre ain’t your cup of tea, give a try Nam Goong Min at least.