Defendant is about a top prosecutor (Ji Sung) who one day wakes up in prison on death row with no memory of how he ended up there and is accused of murdering his wife and daughter. He tries to unravel the mystery of what happened and then get out of prison.
Defendant is a very well done legal thriller. There is an excellent mystery in place as we go on a very compelling journey with our hero to figure out how his family died and how he ended up in prison for killing them.
The drama did a wonderful job keeping things intense as we carefully peeled back the layers to the story as Jung Woo slowly got back his memories. The pacing was great with the story always moving swiftly along.
It should come as no surprise that Ji Sung is fantastic in the role of our amnesiac prosecutor Park Jung Woo. He is beyond intense and completely brings you into the world of confusion and pain that Jung Woo is suffering.
There’s nothing more heartbreaking than suddenly losing your entire family, but then to be the one accused of it is just too much. And it is all very overwhelming for Jung Woo. The pain he feels is raw and at many times wild as Jung Woo is trapped in this cycle of uncontrollable grief. A standing ovation is deserved for Ji Sung for delivering so much heart and emotion into this tortured character.
We then have Uhm Ki Joon who delivered a very lively performance as our villainous Cha Min Ho. He will stop at nothing in order to protect himself. The scariest thing about him is just how much power he has. It seems that nothing is beyond his reach, and he can do whatever he pleases with everyone being forced to bow to his wishes. He destroys the lives of so many people around him.
Kim Min Suk was so endearing as Jung Woo’s cellmate, Lee Sung Gyu. He’s a sensitive soul who does what he can to help Jung Woo adjust to prison life. But there’s more to Sung Gyu than meets the eye, and he holds a key to the mystery Jung Woo is trying to unravel.
Jung Woo’s main help on the outside becomes public defense lawyer Seo Eun Hye (Yuri). They didn’t get along before he went to prison, and he treated her pretty bad. But her heart goes out to him in his time of need, and when everyone else had abandoned him, she was ready to be there for him no matter what truth they discovered.
In an otherwise heavy drama, Jung Woo’s prison buddies add a little comedy to lighten things up. They are a lively group, and they bring plenty of laughs as well as a nice dose of heart to the drama.
Defendant definitely excelled at bringing us into Jung Woo’s world. Jung Woo’s love for his wife and daughter is very tangible. The drama set up just how happy he was with his family at the beginning of the drama. Then it paints the heartbreaking picture of Jung Woo’s life without them. Emotions were always very raw.
He is such a tortured man and you can’t help but feel for him and long for justice. But even when the world was against him, he was determined to find the truth. It was a difficult journey, but the more he remembers, the more determination he has. It’s nice to watch him grow stronger and become more proactive concerning his situation.
I also greatly enjoyed the prison break antics later in the drama. It’s just fun watching the group come together to form a plan to break out. It was a bit of different kind of excitement that added another intense element to the drama.
Overall, Defendant was such a compelling story. The swift pacing combined with the engaging and heart wrenching journey of Jung Woo always kept things interesting. Ji Sung was absolutely fantastic and gave such a memorable performance. It’s definitely an entertaining legal thriller.
My Rating: 7.5/10
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