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[Funcurve Review] "Uncontrollably Fond"

2017/02/25 | 1741 views | Permalink

Rekindled Love

With a star studded cast boasting the small-screen return of both Kim Woo-bin and Suzy, I was excited to start watching "Uncontrollably Fond". Luckily, I was not disappointed. The drama kept me emotionally invested throughout its run and broke my heart along the way. It follows celebrity Sin Joon-yeong's (Kim Woo-bin) life closely as he learns that he only has a few months to live. Meanwhile his old love, Noh-eul (Suzy), happens to work as a producer on his documentary. Needless to say, their working relationship leads to rekindled romance as well as heart-wrenching scenes of coping with the brutal reality together. The drama can be a bit slow at time with a predictable and rather lackluster storyline. But with impeccable acting, beautiful filming aesthetics, and memorable emotional moments, I find myself becoming more invested in it.

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Episodes 1-4 Review

The opening episodes wastes no time and delve right into "Uncontrollably Fond"'s premise. We're introduced to our famous actor/singer hero Joon-yeong and quickly find out within the first few scenes that he's dying with only about three to four months left to live. This nearly started the drama on the wrong foot with me. I felt that opening with Joon-yeong's diagnosis may not have been the best choice as it doesn't give me a chance to get to know his character and appreciate what he brings to the story. I hope the drama does a better job of establishing the crucial moments in his life here onwards, and show me why I should care about him as a character.

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On the other hand, Noh-eul is an unconventional heroines; she's a money grabbing producer who isn't afraid to take bribes to let slide covering particularly damaging scandals. Her task at the moment is to get Joon-yeong to agree to filming a documentary that he previously rejected. While Noh-eul may not want to be put in this position, she needs to deal with it regardless to make ends meet.

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In parallel, future complications between our leads are being set up early over Noh-eul's father's accident. Noh-eul witnessed her father pass away from a hit-and-run accident. Yet the prosecutor in charge switched the driver and indicted another man instead of the real culprit Yoon  Jeong-eun (Lim Ju-eun). The drama does not shy away from confirming that Prosecutor Choi is indeed Joon-yeong's father, thereby setting up a classic case of Romeo and Juliet. Still, I appreciate this upfront approach rather than trying to play the incident up as a mystery.

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For further context of the relationship between our leads, flashbacks reveal that Noh-eul had a crush on Joon-yeong in her younger days, but backed off for her friend's sake. The drama does a fairly mediocre job of setting up Noh-eul's original selfless nature. But it works to show how she's changed in the time they've spent apart, and that she'll do anything for money now. Another issue with the past is that the leads' interactions seemed rushed - one minute Joon-yeong doesn't even know who Noh-eul is, and the next, he's freaking out when she's being chased by loan sharks. I'm not sure when they became close enough for him to be so genuinely worried about her, but I certainly hope the present day will do their relationship more justice.

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Nonetheless, I continue watching to find out why our leads had their fall out back in the days. Surprise, surprise, it's thanks to Joon-yeong's corrupt father again. In another flashback, we learn that Noh-eul obtained proof of Prosecutor Choi's dirty deeds and threatens to end his political career. All the while, Joon-yeong overhears their conversation and is deeply hurt by the truth about his father and childhood hero, but still felt the need to protect him. So, he steals Noh-eul's evidence, but causes her to be hit by a car in the process and things went downhill from then on. In this whole sequence, I'm both impressed with the drama's direction on Joon-yeong's conflicted character and Kim Woo-bin's nuanced acting that brings him to life.

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