When we saw the title of this story, it was easy to imagine that at the end of the drama would bring tears to our eyes. But if you knew the popular Japanese drama on which the story was based (Sora Kara Furu Ichioku no Hoshi), it would have been very naïve to expect a happy ending. And, it was no secret that “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” had a dark and mysterious theme, which promised to tear us apart as we finished unraveling the story.
Truthfully, “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” took our smile away, giving us a disconcerting and unhappy ending. Now we know why they gave that name to the drama and we have to accept that it fits perfectly. Before we talk about the ending, let’s explain a little about what this story is about and how that shocking ending was woven.
The murder of Jeong Mi Yeon, a university student who apparently committed suicide, is the beginning of this story. A case that was very simple because the main suspect and guilty for most people was her boyfriend, yet, for Yoo Jin Gook a detective with 27 years of experience this did not seem very convincing.
By starting a separate investigation, as Yoo Jin Gook is marginalized in his work because of an old mistake he made. He manages to deduce that the person who cleaned the scene and the possible murderer has a photographic memory and that this characteristic is far from the main suspect. As he delves deeper into his research the clues lead him to believe that Kim Moo Young, a man who works in a craft brewery, is the culprit of everything.
Kim Moo Young is a man who is very far from being a person of his right mind. Although he seems to be a charming man with an attractive aura, he considers that a human does not think or feel the same as him. Kim Moo Young is also a womanizing man, he dominates women and does not mind playing with the feelings of each one of them.
Thanks to his natural charm, he manages to convince Baek Seung Ah, a beautiful and renowned artist who is engaged to Jang Woo Sang, the heir of a conglomerate, to break with her commitment and start a romantic relationship with him.
Being involved in the murder case of the university student and in addition to being the boyfriend of Baek Seung Ah, the best friend of Yoo Jin Kang, who is the younger sister of Yoo Jin Gook, causes both Kim Moo Young and Yoo Jin Gook to continuously clash.
But all of this is aggravated when Kim Moo Young and Yoo Jin Kang start to have feelings for each other. Unleashing the fury of Yoo Jin Gook as they began to struggle to consummate a relationship that is apparently forbidden to them and that will eventually reveal the hidden past that these three people possess.
Being based on “Sora Kara Furu Ichioku no Hoshi“, I expected this drama to be a Greek tragedy, where murder, incestuous relationships, and anti-heroes were the order of the day. However, even when “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” kept many of the elements of the drama on which it was based, it created a story with several changes that gave us a different story of the renowned “Sora Kara Furu Ichioku no Hoshi”.
But now let’s forget the drama it was based on and concentrate on “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes”, a drama that involves suspense, psychological thriller, tragedy everywhere and above all a nefarious romance. From the beginning, when you start to watch the drama you get hooked, the mysterious air and these interesting characters do not go unnoticed. Besides, this drama presents a great cinematography, excellent performances by all the cast, an impeccable soundtrack and its greatest argument: a unique story.
Let’s start with the performances, Seo In Guk is simply splendid in his first role as an antihero. Kim Moo Young met the expectations required for the character, his sharp, mysterious and conflictive character impregnated the screen, likewise managed to convey his pure feelings of love (and obsession? …) towards Jin Kang and his incredible outbursts of anger. With each performance, we questioned his true motives and actions and yearned to decipher his intricate personality.
Let us now turn to Jung So Min playing Yoo Jin Kang, a woman of unshakable will despite the difficult life she had, being in turn very kind, indulgent and understanding. Jin Kang’s strength lies in her ability to endure everything she has experienced, accept it, move forward and remain a good person. Jung So Min undoubtedly transmitted very clear and lived feelings of anguish, frustration, love, benevolence and in general all the emotions of the beautiful Jin Kang.
The chemistry between the two is unique, ranging from the funniest jokes to those intimate and genuine moments that bristle the skin. Then, in the same way, they give us real emotional fights and frustrations, which take us on a roller coaster of feelings and emotions. It is impossible not to develop affection for this couple that in spite of all the complications they have and the possible causes why they cannot consummate their love, you simply want them to be together. The scene where they are murdered is heartbreaking.
Another outstanding performance was Park Sung Woong, very suitable in his role as the brother of Jin Kang. I can say that I can’t decide which performance was better, whether Seo In Guk as Kim Moo Young or Park Sung Woong as Yoo Jin Gook. He portrayed the emotional changes required by the plot as the drama progressed, and he exploited the story of his character to the fullest. At the beginning of the drama he played a fundamental role, his performance gave a lot of weight to the story, however the turn that in the end took his character generates my disagreement, I would have loved for his character to be better written.
Overall all the performances were great, most of the cast failures were due to changes and plot holes in the script (in my opinion), not the actors as such. Among the good performances by the cast I would like to highlight Kim Ji Hyun, who played the unscrupulous Jang Se Ran, her performance stood out at the end and allowed her to gain a lot of importance, she was always cold and evil according to her role.
Let’s talk now about what I didn’t like, and it pains me to say it, but the development of the end was a terribly lame one. Don’t get me wrong, the ending was good. The deaths of both protagonists were perfect to culminate the tragic love of these lovers, however, the changes they made from the original drama left many gaps in the plot, which were never explained to us.
I don’t know how it was decided that the relationship between Kim Moo Young and Yoo Jin Gook should be resolved. But no doubt after threatening each other at gunpoint, stabbing each other and feeling a total mutual aberration and then looking like best friends, it’s not logical at all. Then, there’s the reason why Yoo Jin Gook didn’t want Jin Kang to be with Moo Young. They showed him extremely insistent, and in the end, they made him look like a madman because Moo Young had protected Jin Kang since his childhood and he knew it, so why did he fight desperately to separate them, it’s very absurd.
What I’m not going to deny is the magnificent cinematography, they chose very well the environments where to develop the drama, Moo Young’s house was perfect for his personality, the clothes of the characters, everything very well thought out.
Finally, the music in this drama stood out. It synchronized perfectly with the environment that was developing. I have to absolutely praise the soundtrack, the mysterious and sinister songs added even more suspense to the drama. The songs “Lost” by Ahn Ji Yeon and “Someday” by Yi Sung Yeol were excellent songs to add suspense at the end of each episode, even leaving us with uncertain expectations, just hoping to see the next episode right away. And we cannot forget and give a very special recognition to the song “Star” a beautiful song performed by Seo In Guk and Jung So Min. this song ended gave the final touch to the relationship of these two lovers, who in the end made their tragic deaths break our hearts.
“The Smile Has Left Your Eyes”, was a different drama from its beginning, either because of all the chemistry that the cast had together or because of the plot. In short, in certain aspects it fulfilled my expectations, but, some characters could have been better written. In my opinion it was a drama that started out excellent, sweeping everything away, but that gradually deteriorated.
In spite of this, it is a drama that I would recommend. Of course, if you’re a person who loves happy endings, forget it, get completely away from it. But if you’re attracted to mystery, along with romance and don’t mind crying yourself dry, you can watch this drama just fine.