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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Just Between Lovers" Episode 15

2018/01/29 | 425 views | Permalink

The scene with Moon-soo finding the old cell phone is replayed from her perspective. Well, technically speaking, the original scene was also from Moon-soo's perspective- but without better context, it seemed like Moon-soo was leaving because she was angry at Kang-doo. Actually, it turns out Moon-soo was angry at herself. That cell phone brought back painful memories. Another flashback shows us that Moon-soo had an even more direct reason to think she was responsible for the death of her first love than we had been led to believe.

Kang-doo doesn't know this, and Moon-soo doesn't want to talk about it. As a result, Moon-soo grows distant, and Kang-doo sees his role as being to reassure her, much in the same way that she reassured him, with the promise of increasingly constructive behavior. The irony is obvious, and even commented upon. Kang-doo simply has to trust that he is making progress with Moon-soo.

Unfortunately, Kang-doo is nowhere near as patient as Moon-soo is. After being prodded by unrelated bad news, Kang-doo starts panicking. Notably, Kang-doo's panic does not involve violence in any way. There's just a sense of growing desperation. Kang-doo feels guilty. It's not imagined past crimes that bother Kang-doo now so much as the idea that he has been taking Moon-soo for granted. This fear makes Kang-doo desperate to communicate to Moon-soo that he does truly love her, no matter how irrelevant such a confession is to Moon-soo's current problems.

In that context Ma-ri's subplot with Yoo-taek comes to a very elegant, functional end. She just tells him as a matter of fact that their relationship has never been as much as it seems. Annoying as Yoo-taek's nagging wife may seem, that nagging is in itself a form of true love, as is permanence. Kang-doo too, has clearly internalized this philosophy. That's why he's so scared all of a sudden, the prospect of death no longer seeming like an end to suffering but an end to his regained humanity.

On a lighter note I liked Wan-jin's brief moment of comic relief, where she expresses agitation that her webtoon is about to end having never been especially popular. This sequence is obviously just writer Yoo Bo-ra venting at the camera, while simultaneously noting that her concerns are rather petty when it's the heart of the story that really matters. This also ties into the drama's larger story arc, on how the feeling of accomplishment is more important even the substance of it.

Review by William Schwartz

"Just Between Lovers" is directed by  Kim Jin-won-I, written by  Yoo Bo-ra, and features Lee Junho, Won Jin-ah, Lee Ki-woo, and Kang Han-na

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