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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Shall We Kiss First" Episodes 5-6

2018/02/26 | 384 views | Permalink

So Moo-han has finally figured out that Soon-jin is the woman who lives in the apartment underneath his, with whom he has been fighting over the whole leak issue. That's one coincidence on top of the blind date. A second one pops up in episode six in the form of Moo-han's estranged daughter, the now teenaged I-deun (played by Jung Da-bin), who's riding in first class. As Soon-jin notes, the main mystery behind I-deun is how she could have been raised in such a way as to become such a little monster.

The tussle between Soon-jin and I-deun is not just a comical character introduction. I-deun is also symptomatic of Moo-han's failures in life. When Moo-han stubbornly insists on not seeing I-deun, it's because he remembers her as being a sweet little girl who did not get enough attention from her absentee father. Moo-han can already guess from the secondhand stories he hears that the new I-deun will almost certainly obliterate that memory and remind him of his own failures.

Moo-han's fundamentally passive attitude toward his own daughter is ironic when compared to Soon-jin's very rash response to the girl. Soon-jin is simply at the limits of her patience. There's not enough going on in Soon-jin's life for her to care about whether it gets destroyed or not. Even though the most striking visual image we have of Soon-jin is of her in that flight attendant uniform, ultimately, to her, this is just a job. Soon-jin does not consider her occupation to be one of inherent dignity, and is willing to dispense with it as necessary.

Note how this attitude is not as self-destructive and hedonistic as it sounds. By the same logic, when Soon-jin discovers what Kyeong-soo did to Moo-han, she is just as aggressive in making a serious apology. Which makes sense. Soon-jin wants to live without regrets. And not apologizing to people who you have definitely wrong? That's a pretty big regret. The whole scene outside Moo-han's door really shows off Soon-jin's sincerity.

Naturally there's more to their romance than just that. Moo-han and Soon-jin's encounter at the zoo is given further context and all of a sudden, it's easy to see why Moo-han was so hurt that Soon-jin didn't recognize him. Yet we also have a very good understanding as to why. That day was probably the worst, most humiliating day of Soon-jin's life. Soon-jin has been doing everything she can to forget that moment- and what better way to do that than to excessively live in the moment?

Review by William Schwartz

"Shall We Kiss First" is directed by  Son Jeong-hyeon, written by Bae Yoo-mi and features Kam Woo-sung, Kim Sun-ah, Oh Ji-ho, and Park Si-yeon.

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