A Piece Of Your Mind is like a melancholic poem. It is a drama dipped in sensitivity and wistfulness, but at the same time, it’s also sprinkled with hope and warmth. It soothes your mind and soul. Not easily fathomable, the show brings a unique combination of technology and emotions.
Jung Hae In plays Moon Ha Won, an artificial intelligence programmer who is in love with Kim Ji Soo (Park Joo Hyun) since forever, but the love is one-sided. Chae Soo Bin stars as Han Seo Woo, a recording engineer. The two cross path somehow and help each other to heal and move forward.
The show asks the viewers to suspend disbelief in order to get past its central premise of a device that can think and speak like a person solely based on his or her voice. Based off an abstract idea, once you accept its theory, the drama soon reveals its layers and takes through its engrossing journey about unrequited love, second chance at love, dealing with grief and loss, compassion, healing, forgiveness and moving on. The show isn’t always clear or straight to understand, but this fact doesn’t hinder the comprehension of the plot.
The vibe of the drama is full of warmth. One can feel that it is created with a lot of care and love. Every frame is beautifully shot. One gets familiar to various places and alleys featured in the drama — music studio, overpass, Eun Joo’s boarding house, the delivery address where our leads stay together. The camera captures the surroundings and people so lovingly. The show has a leisurely pace which makes you bask in its moments. The soulful soundtrack adds another layer to the touching story.
Moon Ha Won is such a sweet person, thoughtful and caring. His love for Ji Soo is so deep and pure, especially as it grew over so many years, starting from their childhood. She has equal understanding and adoration for him, but she never fell in love with him. I love how the drama then makes him understand the difference in feelings of love when its mutual, through his relationship with Seo Woo. Jung Hae In is excellent here, his eyes conveying so much.
Seo Woo is a woman with a warm and beautiful heart. She has a tragic past but she is always ready to provide emotional support and understanding to people around her. It’s interesting to see that although some people might find it creepy if Ha Won wants to record Ji Soo’s voice for his device, Seo Woo understands where he is coming from, as for them, a voice is just a piece of memory of a loved one they want to cherish. Chae Soo Bin gives a heartfelt, lovely performance. She has a grounded appeal.
Ha Won and Seo Woo come in contact because of Ji Soo and it’s strangely romantic to see her falling for him because of his love for Ji Soo. They bond over shared affection for Ji Soo, their relationship deepening over subtle and meaningful conversations and finding comfort through sharing their pain and understanding. I felt so giddy for their budding romance — slow, subtle and sublime. I love that both the characters are so sweet and kind. Jung Hae In and Chae Soo Bin have a wonderful chemistry, both actors shine together. Their snuggly hugs and eye contacts are so swoonworthy.
A Piece Of Your Mind not only has a captivating central relationship, but the bond that our main leads share with other people is great as well. Be it the candid friendship between Ha Won and Moon Soon Ho, the warmth and understanding shared between Seo Woo and Eun Joo, the compassion between the residents of Eun Joo’s boarding house — Eun Joo, Seo Woo, new tenant Jin Soo and the enigmatic Min Jung, the light and frank conversations between Soon Ho and Seo Woo. Their moments are truly precious.
Kang In Wook forms an important part of this story as he is undergoing pain of his own, filled with regret and envy over his wife’s feelings for Ha Won. Part of me felt angry at him for being so rude and part of me felt sorry for the unwitting mistake he made in the past leading to grave tragedy. It’s a complex role and Kim Sung Kyu plays it awesomely. I also liked Soon Ho, such a candid and straightforward person with a sense of humour. I liked that they both find comfort in each other. Lee Ha Na delivers a natural, understated performance.
It’s sad that the drama had to be cut to 12 episodes in place of original 16, which leads to some minor hiccups during the last stretch. But never takes away from the beauty of this lovely series with a dreamy, surreal and lyrical feel.
A Piece Of Your Mind is blessed with a great supporting cast of actors, especially Lee Sang Hee as Eun Joo and Lee Jung Eun as Kim Min Jung. There is also spot on casting of Park Joo Hyun as Kim Ji Soo, bringing the pathos and sweetness to the role. Her voice is very effective.
BOTTOM LINE: Watching A Piece Of Your Mind for me was like listening to the sound of raindrops with a cup of coffee. Soothing and warm.
My Rating: 9.5 out of 10