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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marriage Contract" Episode 10


Whether Hye-soo had a financial motive in latching on to Ji-hoon as she did last episode is a debatable point. What is clear, though, is that Hye-soo's no fool. Whatever her personal feelings are, the idea that she's after Ji-hoon for his money is a legitimate one. And honestly, Hye-soo does need money. The debt collectors may be gone, but right now, Hye-soo still needs to provide for Eun-seong's future. That means getting the expensive medical treatment Hye-soo needs by whatever means necessary.

Money is consistently a very real consideration in "Marriage Contract". Hye-soo may have been the victim of at times comically horrible bad luck when it comes to financial issues, but to her, the promise of cash isn't something that can be turned down just for the sake of honor alone. Somewhat paradoxically, Hye-soo turns away from Ji-hoon this episode because she recognizes the somewhat dirty nature of the financial benefit. Can Hye-soo really promise to be the wife Ji-hoon deserves when she has so much baggage?

The funny part about all this is that Ji-hoon is no knight in shining armor. As we're reminded of here, without Hye-soo, Ji-hoon is a bit of a pathetic drunk who grumpily does what his father orders out of weak filial obligation. Ji-hoon is attracted to Hye-soo not because of any salt of the earth nonsense, but because she inspires him to be a better person and live up to his true potential.

Ji-hoon and Hye-soo have seen each other at their best. They've seen what the other is capable of when faced with the prospect of losing someone they love. That's what makes their love story so compelling. Ji-hoon and Hye-soo are always submerged in dark frightening thoughts except when they're with each other, because when they're with each other they have to forget about long-term struggles and maintain the short-term facade.

A facade, by the way, that Eun-seong knows nothing about. I really like Eun-seong as the lynchpin holding all of this together, how without her, it's unlikely that Ji-hoon and Hye-soo would have gotten this far. It shows that "Marriage Contract" understands that mere romantic love isn't enough- that a sense of family is what can really connect people in bad emotional situations like what Ji-hoon and Hye-soo are stuck in. From here, we can only hope that Ji-hoon shows the determination necessary to not regress to his old horrible self and instead keeps trying.

Review by William Schwartz

"Marriage Contract" is directed by Kim Jin-min-I, written by Jeong Yoo-kyeong and features Lee Seo-jin, UEE, Kim Yong-gun, Park Jung-soo, Lee Hwi-hyang and Kim Young-pil.

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