K-drama ‘Little Women’ review: Of sisterhood and sinister happenings

A rather refreshingly sinister twist on Louisa May Alcott’s beloved novel, the first six episodes have created a spooky, unpredictable, and utterly captivating experience.

A rather refreshingly sinister twist on Louisa May Alcott’s beloved novel, the first six episodes have created a spooky, unpredictable, and utterly captivating experience.

There is this lingering feeling of unease that the first six episodes of the K-Drama Little woman I’ll leave you with. This might be an apt way to describe what the show evokes, but it’s not something readers have associated with Louisa May Alcott’s beloved novel. Little woman; a book that was a childhood favorite for many.

Little woman

Director: Kim Hee Won

Writer: Ching Seo Kyung

To emit: Kim Go-Eun, Nam Ji-Hyun, Park Ji-hu, Wi Ha-Jun

number of episodes: 12 (6 so far)

Synopsis: After 70 billion won goes missing, three sisters take on a rich and powerful family and unravel a tangled web of power, corruption, and deceit.

Over the years, the book has been adapted several times for the screen with the most recent being Greta Gerwig’s film of the same name which hit screens in 2019, to great acclaim and critical acclaim. In this K-drama version, which is loosely based on Alcott’s book, acclaimed screenwriter Chung Seo-Kyung puts a rather refreshing and sinister spin on the book, which has turned out to be an utterly captivating and hair-raising experience so far.

The Oh sisters, Oh In-Joo (Kim Go-Eun), Oh In-Kyung (Nam Ji-Hyun), and Oh In-Hye (Park Ji-Hu), are battling their own personal demons as they find themselves in a dire financial situation. . In-Joo, the eldest, has a serious job, and like Meg March in the book, she admires and yearns for all things expensive and beautiful. Seemingly stoic Firebrand reporter In-Kyung is about to uncover a big story; an investigation into emerging politician Park Jae Sang (Um Ki-Joon), who is eyeing the city’s mayoral election. The older sisters adore the quiet, younger art genius In-Kyung, who is quickly forming a solid friendship with her classmate Park Hyo-Rin. She also happens to be the daughter of Jae-Sang and Won Sang-Ah (Uhm Ji-Won).

When the show introduces us to the sisters, there are few things that go well for them. They live in a cramped house with cockroaches and a window that just won’t close once it’s opened, the mother has run off with In-Kyung’s school trip money, and things look pretty bleak for the foreseeable future. In-Kyung feels trapped in her tight spaces, feeling much more at home in Hyo-Rin’s huge and ominous mansion with her seemingly shady and sinister parents, while the promise of attending art school in Boston with her friend is very important.

In-Joo’s life is turned upside down when his friendly but mysterious colleague Jin Hwa-Young (Choo Ja-Hyun) dies, leaving him two billion won and a trail that leads to a sizable bribe fund of a whopping 70. billion won. As she sets out to dig deeper into her friend’s death while waging an internal war over what to do, she reluctantly joins forces with savvy slush fund expert Choi Do-Il (Wi. Ha Jun).

As the three sisters tangle with Jae-Sang and her family on their separate ways, nothing is really what it seems and this unravels a web of deceit, power plays and corruption. Convenient accidents happen in quick succession, there is an alarming rise in the number of people being found dead, and much puzzling information about embezzlement, double lives, and seemingly hallucinogenic flora emerges.

If the book had its four leads, the March Sisters, persevering through domestic and economic difficulties while supporting each other, the K-Drama counterpart has the Oh sisters who are firmly determined in their own way; often naive, fiercely idealistic, and unpredictable.

Scriptwriter Seo-Kyung, a frequent collaborator with director Park Chan Wook, joins Kim Hee-Won, who last directed the hit thriller. Vincent, to weave a gripping thriller set against a scathing commentary on the class. This excellent writing is further enhanced by the top-notch performances from the ensemble cast, with the sisters standing out in a big way. Go-Eun is perfect as the gullible yet calculating older sister, and Nam Ji-Hyun’s In-Kying is everything one would expect Jo March to embody in a modern setting; the circumstances may be different, but her ideals and her fight for her beliefs remain.

What makes a show like Little woman work, it’s also how visually immersive the experience is. It’s beautifully shot and every frame is bursting with bursts of color and warmth, despite the rather dark proceedings. The color, in fact, adds to the recurring motifs of the show; a pair of red shoes and sinister-looking blue orchids seem to have a part to play in the larger scheme of things.

The twists have been plenty throughout the show so far, but the one in episode six, which heralded the midway point, has been easily the best one yet. Saying anything else would mean divulging a lot of spoilers and would take away from the experience of being surprised by the excellent writing in each episode.

The unanswered questions and the mystery only seem to have gotten progressively bigger with each episode so far, and this is a very promising and exciting sign of things to come in this brilliant thriller.

Little Women is currently streaming on Netflix

Leave a Comment