God’s Gift – 14 Days is that perfect case of a drama that could have been an awesome thriller but then it did something terrible to tarnish most of its lustre. I’m actually having a polarised view — there were lots and lots of things that I loved and then there was this thing that I hated with the heat of a thousand burning suns. One thing is for sure: you’ll at least get a delicious treat while watching the awesomeness called Jo Seung Woo!
The story is about a mother Kim Soo Hyun who gets a chance to travel back in time to save her daughter who gets kidnapped and killed. She gets two weeks time for this. An ex-policeman Ki Dong Chan helps her in this quest as they embark on a race against time, solving clues and finally correcting their mistakes in the process.
The drama is perfect for mystery lovers as we see our protagonists getting surrounded by mystery and suspense as they go into deep to discover the truth behind the kid’s kidnapping. The show sets up many evidences, suggestions and red herrings on its way and it’s such a delight to watch them connect the dots and go through expositions and discussions as they try to solve the whole web of conspiracies. There is a constant creepy atmosphere that adds to the chilling narrative texture. The drama maintains an urgent feel and the fast pace completes the thrilling aspect to the T. We have many suspects and theories and finally as we are about to reach the final hour, things get all muddled up but more on that later. We are always on the edge of our seats and there is a nice tension build-up. There are a lot of connections to be made which can be a difficult thing at times, but the credit can be given to the writer to bind all the threads properly and explaining it when required.
The thriller aspect aside, the show is emotionally very strong as it engages you with the touching relationship between mother and daughter as well as between our hero and his family, along with that between Dong Chan, Soo Hyun and her daughter. There are plenty of light-hearted moments that nicely balance the heavy portions and contribute in bringing warmth and depth to the story. The camaraderie between Jo Seung Woo and Lee Bo Young is sterling.Character-wise, Soo Hyun is a courageous, intelligent and impulsive woman who can do anything to save her daughter. At times, she is way too hasty, leading to undesirable consequences but I think that’s understandable as she is in a desperate situation. Dong Chan is my favorite thing in the drama — he has brains as well as heart, he knows how to give encouragement to our heroine when needed and is extremely caring. Then there is the daughter Saet Byul who is cute but very mischievous and I really felt annoyed by her as she almost never listens to her mom — though I can see that she is just a child.
Now we come to the aspects that decreased my love for the show. Firstly, God’s Gift – 14 Days nosedives in the final act. The show tries to explain everything in its final hour leading to confusions and hodge podge execution. I could have tolerated all that if we would have gotten a satisfying conclusion to this story. Alas, the show simply gives a nonsensical climax that negates the characterisation of the characters and looks rushed. There is no coherent reason for things that happen in the end and that simply leaves a sour aftertaste. Also, the whole aspect of a mother saving her child takes a backseat as the hero is the one who is given more chances to do so — which was a bit disappointing. In addition to this, there is no explanation for the fantasy element.
Jo Seung Woo is the best thing about the show and gives fabulous performance. He effortlessly brings humour, warmth and intensity in the drama. Lee Bo Young demonstrates ample acting acumen — be it the daring mother or the emotional one, she excels in both. Jung Gyeo Woon looks a bit lazy in a role that isn’t strong enough. Kim Tae Woo is impressive as Lee Bo Young’s husband with grey shades while Kim Yoo Bin is adorable and performs with ease. Baro is also solid as a mentally challenged boy.
Finally, God’s Gift – 14 Days could have been a nice, gripping thriller (which it is for most of its run) but the terrible ending ruins all the fun and goodness.
My Rating: 6 out of 10. (all the marks subtracted due to the ending)