How the Thai remake of Remember You compares to the original K-drama

·4 min read
Paopetch Charoensook (left) as the genius Tanwa in Remember You, and Seo In-guk as Lee Hyun, the original character in Hello Monster. (Screenshots: Netflix, Viu)
Paopetch Charoensook (left) as the genius Tanwa in Remember You, and Seo In-guk as Lee Hyun, the original character in the 2015 K-drama. (Screenshots: Netflix, Viu)

There's a Thai remake out of Remember You, the 2015 Korean crime drama about a genius profiler who teams up with the police to investigate a serial murder case, unaware that they have been drawn into a dangerous cat-and-mouse game.

The K-drama Remember You, which is also known as Hello Monster, stars Seo In-guk, Jang Nara, Choi Won-young and Park Bo-gum.

The Thai remake of the same title stars Paopetch Charoensook, Kemisara Paladesh, and Tay Tawan Vihokratana.

Remakes can be tricky as they are rarely better than the originals, owing to the vivid impressions the originals have created. We’ve seen a number of different remakes recently, including the Japanese version of Park Seo-joon’s She Was Pretty, and the Hong Kong version of Japanese boys’ love drama Ossan’s Love.

So, how does the Thai remake Remember You, which has just been released on Netflix, fare against the original Hello Monster?

1. It's not a faithful adaptation.

Interestingly, Remember You has modified the story slightly to generate more suspicions about the genius profiler Tanwa, who graduated in criminology and displays traits similar to the murderer. While Hello Monster is more clear-cut about his motives and his background story when he was young, Remember You is more focused on the suspense and mystery elements of the crime drama.

This makes the introduction to the story and characters a little hazy, making the audience stand in the shoes of the police, who harbour doubts about the trustworthiness of the profiler. However, this is not to say that Remember You is a bad adaptation. If viewed on its own, it is still an engaging drama, albeit less appealing than the original Hello Monster.

Kemisara Paladesh as the police officer Aye in Remember You. (Screenshot: Netflix)
Kemisara Paladesh as the police officer Aye in Remember You. (Screenshot: Netflix)

2. It takes on a darker and more serious tone.

Hello Monster is more bubbly with occasional humour, but Remember You seems to have completely stripped off the funny scenes. Instead, the whole story becomes more like a serious crime investigation drama, which reflects the severity of the serial murders.

The sombre tone is especially apparent in the colour grading of the drama. Remember You is given a blue colour grading treatment — which symbolises cold and isolation — while Hello Monster has an orange-yellow colour grading treatment — which symbolises warmth and joy. As a result, most of the scenes in Remember You look relatively more solemn and sinister.

3. The script and acting fail to deliver the essences of the show.

Remember You has kept the key scenes of the drama, but not the key lines in the original script that convey the drama’s charm. One of these key lines in Hello Monster was said by a murderer Joon-young (Pathomkarn in Remember You), about how others’ perception of someone can shape the development of that person. Another key line was Lee Hyun’s father (Tanwa’s father in Remember You) blurting out that he wanted to protect him from the world, and also the world from him.

Without key lines like these, Remember You is unable to build up how Pathomkarn sows the seeds of distrust between young Tanwa and his father, who has taken extreme actions to “save” his son. This ultimately results in a weak foundation for the drama.

Coupled with the script, the acting also fails to highlight the unusually mature mindset of young Tanwa (Pakapon Tanphanich) — of which Hong Hyun-taek did an impressive job in Hello Monster. Instead of behaving like an adult in the body of a child, the young Tanwa mostly looks cold and lifeless. This is probably due to the modified story adaptation as well.

Even the adult Tanwa (Paopetch Charoensook), supposedly a genius, does not seem to show his arrogance and ability in processing things at a faster speed than average. Patarapon To-oun’s portrayal of Pathomkarn also lacks the wittiness and perverted attitude seen in Doh Kyung-soo’s portrayal in Hello Monster.

To sum it up, Remember You is not a great remake as it has lost some of the appeal of the original Hello Monster. But as a drama on its own, it probably caters better to fans of the serious mystery crime genre.

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