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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "A New Leaf" Episode 10

2014/06/05 | Permalink

The question as to why Jeong-seon accepted a proposal of marriage from Seok-joo is mostly resolved here. The other way around not so much, but "A New Leaf" is following the appropriate dramatic principles of only revealing a little bit of the essential information at a time in order to keep matters engaging. Although at this point there really are a lot more questions than there are any hints at answers.

The fact that we spent two episodes with Seok-joo before his memory loss finally happened seemed to give us a pretty clear idea of what kind of man he was and what motivated him, but the further we dig into his history the less clear it is what his motivation could have possibly been. This was a business marriage, pure and simple. And I have to wonder at this point- was the process so businesslike and impersonal to Seok-joo that he didn't even bother to tell his family?

From Jeong-seon's perspective the amnesia is particularly a double-edged sword. Seok-joo's new sense of moral compass has been an immense sense of relief to the woman. He's consistently been genuinely worried about hurting her feelings as his fiance. Little does he Seok-joo realize that prior to the amneisa Jeong-seon's feelings mattered to him as much as anyone else's- which is to say, they didn't matter at all.

And yet at the same time this new sense of directive would appear to make it much less likely that Seok-joo will follow through on his original implied promise to help the company. It's not clear what Seok-joo was expecting to get out of the marriage, but it's immensely obvious that her family was expecting access to his brilliant legal mind. Whether or not pre-amnesia Seok-joo would have actually helped them is an open question- one that probably won't be resolved, because it's the ambiguity of that situation that makes Jeong-seon's character so compelling.

Consider this. She clearly isn't happy with what her family has been doing, but at the same time lacks the gumption to actually do anything about it. Perhaps this is why Jeong-seon has been so nonplussed about all the amnesia. It's potential for chaos, and the only thing Jeon-seon knows for certain right now is that she doesn't like the direction her life is currently heading. It's unclear whether rescue or reform are in her future, or even if any of that is possible. In any case, it's the drama in this particular conflict that's really setting "A New Leaf" apart right now.

Review by William Schwartz

"A New Leaf" is directed by Park Jae-beom-II, written by Choi Hee-ra and features Kim Myung-min, Park Min-young, Kim Sang-joong and Ahn Sun-young

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