K-drama Review: ‘Solomon’s Perjury’ Tells a High School That is Turned Upside-Down After a Student Dies


Mystery Genre in K-Drama

Korean drama has many various genres from romantic-comedies to thrillers. One of them is mystery-crime. There are some Korean dramas on cable networks with this genre. In April 2014, tvN aired Gap-dong, a drama about a serial killer that was based on a real unsolved case, the Hwaseong Murder Case. Because it’s a mystery drama, the ambiance is very intense. The writer brings viewers to solve the case together. Even though it aired on cable, the drama itself received high ratings and good reviews. Lee Joon, a former member of boy group MBLAQ, played as the villain and was nominated for Best New Actor at the 7th Korean Drama Awards because of his excellent performance.

Unfortunately, the drama has violence and sexual assault scenes and got rated for the age of 16 and above. Then, how about for teens? As we know, most genres for teen dramas are coming-of-age or romantic-comedies such as Sassy Go Go! and School 2017. Unlike other teen dramas, Solomon’s Perjury came with a fresh concept, a mystery revolving around a teenager’s life. The drama itself is based on the novel Solomon no Gisho written by Japanese writer Miyuki Miyabe. In 2015, the novel was made into 2 movies, Solomon’s Perjury 1: Suspicion and Solomon’s Perjury: Judgment. Both movies received good reviews from movie critics.


Then, how about Solomon’s Perjury the Korean drama version? Are you curious about the story? Here’s the article for you!


Reveals Pieces of the Puzzle as the Students Work to Discover the Truth


On a Christmas day at Jeong-guk High School, a student named Lee So-woo was found dead in the school’s garden and covered in snow. The day before his death, Lee So-woo got in a physical fight with Choi Woo-hyuk, son of the school’s chairman. Two students, Bae Joon-young and Go So-yeon who found his body first, become involved in the investigation. To keep the school’s reputation, the school forces the police to close the case as a suicide.


From here, things start to get messy. Anonymous letters are sent to Go So-yeon’s house and one of the students, Park Cho-rong, is in an unconscious condition after getting hit by a truck in an accident. The anonymous letter stated that Lee So-woo was killed by Choi Woo-hyuk at the night before. For the record, Choi Woo-hyuk is famous for being a bully and get away with it easily because his father is the school’s head committee.


Knowing there’s something wrong with Lee So-woo’s death, Go So-yeon and other students decided to find out why Lee So-woo was killed that day through a student’s trial. Turns out, the case didn’t only involve students but also the school’s officials that were trying to cover up the case. One of them is Han Kyung-moon, a part of the legal team for Jeong-guk High School who mostly takes care of the school’s legal matters. Then, why did Lee So-woo died? You can watch the drama to know the story!. To help you understand better, here’s a picture of each character’s relation.


The story is not merely only about the murder case. Each student’s background also becomes a side story to explain more about each character’s background. Woohoo! So excited to watch!


The Cast

The drama takes place at Jeong-guk High School, an elite school. Most characters are students and school officials. Here are the casts:

Go So-yeon


Go So-yeon is the lead character in the drama. The character is played by young actress Kim Hyun-soo. In the first episode, Go So-yeon’s character is described as a model student who always gets the first rank in every exam. She has two best friends, Lee Yoo-jin and Kim Soo-hee. Before Lee So-woo died, Go So-yeon is one of the witnesses of Lee So-woo and Choi Woo-hyuk’s fight but is too scared to say anything to the teachers. Because of this, she feels bad about the situation and decides to find the truth about Lee So-woo’s death.


Han Ji-hoon


Han Ji-hoon is the second lead character who is a stepson of Han Kyung-moon. The character is played by young actor Jang Dong-hoon. Han Ji-hoon’s character is a violinist who gets famous at the school because of his cute face. All female students are liking him and call him the most beautiful man at the school. However, he keeps deep secret about his past and his relationship with his best friend, Lee So-woo. Since Lee So-woo died, Han Ji-hoon becomes restless and decided to help Go So-yeon uncover the case through a Facebook account under the username “Watchman of Jeong-guk High School”.


Bae Joon-young


Bae Joon-young is a second lead male character. The character is played by actor Seo Ji-hoon. Bae Joon-young and Go So-yeon is the one who discovered Lee So-woo’s corpse. Because of Lee So-woo’s death, Bae Joon-young can’t help but wonder what if he’s dead. His mother’s mental health condition is the reason he never feels happy at home. When he’s about to kill himself, Go So-yeon helps him and become friend with her. Since then, he helps Go So-yeon uncover the truth.


Lee So-woo


Lee So-woo is a supporting character. The character is played by actor Seo Young-joo. At the school, Lee So-woo is a quiet student but often get into trouble. His bad behavior is not for no reason. He watches injustice happened in his school. That’s the reason he made the Facebook account “Watchman of Jeong-guk High School” to show other students about the school’s wrongdoings. Turns out, his revolutionary action leads him to his death.


Han Kyung-moon


Han Kyung-moon is head of the legal affairs of the foundation of Jeong-guk High School and is a former prosecutor. The character is played by actor Jo Jae-hyun. As part of the legal team, Han Kyung-moon’s job is taking care of the school’s matters. Things start going differently when Han Ji-hoon, his stepson, starts to fall out in the trial. He’ll do anything to keep his son from being involved even though he has to keep the truth a secret.


Class 1’s Students

tv.jtbc.joins.com (from left to right; Lee Joo-ri, Choi Woo-hyuk, and Kim Min-suk)
tv.jtbc.joins.com (from left to right; Lee Yoo-jin, Kim Soo-hee, and Choi Seung-hyun)
tv.jtbc.joins.com (from left to right; Park Cho-rong, Lee Sung-min, and Kim Dong-hyun)

All characters are classmates in the same class, Class 1, except Lee Sung-min and Kim Dong-hyun. Both of them are Choi Woo-hyuk’s crime partners. For Class 1, there is not a single day without all the students becoming agitated because of Lee So-woo’s death. They also got affected by it because one of the students, Lee Joo-ri (played by actress Shin Se-hwi), makes a ruckus in class. She got bullied by Choi Woo-hyuk (played by actor Baek Chul-min) and started her revenge by spreading false rumors about Choi Woo-hyuk. Since then, all students in the class got involved in finding out who the culprit is behind all the problems.



The Soundtrack

Solomon’s Perjury uses various genres for background music. Unfortunately, there’s not much information about the songs. In one of the scenes when Lee So-woo is running away from school, the drama uses classical music “Danse Macabre.” The music itself is about death’s personification at the grave to show the dead person’s memento mori or memories. The music was used in the scene on the day before Lee So-woo’s death to show his purpose for leaving the school and raising his middle finger. He hates the school’s injustice that happened to him after getting suspended because of his fight with Choi Woo-hyuk. Here’s the video.

In some scenes, the drama also uses music that has similarities with Titanic OST, “Hymn to the Sea.” The songs show a sorrowful note about the story. Here’re two videos for comparison.


6 Reasons Why You Should Watch Solomon’s Perjury


Solomon’s Perjury can be your choice if you’re a fan of the crime-mystery genre. Even though this drama counted as a crime drama, still there’s a teen element such as friendship and love. The first reason to watch this drama, viewers can watch about reality in the teenager’s life. Each character has their own way to cope with their sadness and can be a reminder to all of us about how teenager needs attention.


The second reason is the drama has a good story about bullying and justice. Bullying often happened at the school. But, school ignore the situation because of some reasons such as trying to keep the school’s reputation. Because of that reason, students got psychological problems by getting bullied. This drama using the most common problem that often happens to remind us about how bad bullying affected someone.


The third reason is the drama’s cinematography. There are differences in cinematography in the happy scene or flashback scene and sad scene. When Lee So-woo is still alive, the nuance is more yellowish to show that still there’s hope for them to live. But, at the scenes after Lee So-woo’s death, the drama’s nuance is blueish to show how everyone is feeling miserable after his death.


The fourth reason is character development. Don’t worry, all villains do not always stay a villain. The antagonist characters soon realize their fault and trying to making up their mistakes. The story also shows each characters’ past such as raised in the broken home to show viewers about the reason behind their behaviors.


The fifth reason is all the actors’ performances. Even though for some of them this drama is their first acting role, their performances deserve applause. One of the actors that shows their best performance is Jang Dong-hoon who played Han Ji-hoon. His emotional acting in one scene when he is in the shower looks real, and viewers can also feel his emotion. Because of his past, he is still traumatized and then pretends to be fine in front of his stepfather. You can see his performance in this video below.

The last reason is Solomon’s Perjury is a slow paced drama so you can enjoy the little details. Through character stories and facial expressions, we can feel their emotions and understand the little details. Overall, this drama is recommended to be in your favorite drama list. Are you ready to watch it?