One weird thing about older unmarried people is that they often seem to have some kind of philosophical problem with marriage. It's not that they hate marriage persay, it's just they find it sort of offensive when a younger, more obviously stupid person decides to get married even though they're obviously younger and stupid. And usually, of course, this is a relative. Like younger brothers. Younger brothers never have an easy time of it, really. I'm an older brother so I would know.
What does any of this have to do with "The Lover"? Well, not much really. The thing about this drama is that it's never really a plot so much as it is a love stream of consciousness where the production team comes up with hypothetical situations an unmarried couple might get into and then they just instruct the cast members to act these scenarios out. I suspect there's a decent amount of improv going on here, because at one point an unremarkable line is delivered in such a mumbly manner that subtitles are used rather than just, say, having the director shoot the scene again.
It's a raw element that's a lot to the drama's credit. Asn an example, take Yeong-joon and Jin-nyeon. These two get the most screentime I suspect because Jung Joon-young and Choi Yeo-jin have the most playful chemistry. I don't think the violence sketch would have worked with any other couple for the simple reason that Yeong-joon and Jin-nyeon are the most at ease with their bodies- the most intent on having fun.
Contrast Seol-eun and Hwan-jong. Even though they're the only characters who the camera actually shows having sex (everyone else it's just implied), they seem the least comfortable with unusual sexuality. This is a particularly perplexing fact when we consider that Seol-eun especially seems to be into rather kinky stuff. Although I suppose that's part of the point. If they didn't feel ashamed about doing it there wouldn't be anything kinky about the sex in the first place.
"The Lover" continues, for all its obvious low budget, to be a very comforting production- the kind of drama that goes down well after a long, tough day because there's just something so reassuring about watching people get into fights only to resolve their differences quickly because, well, why not? If love means never having to say you're sorry...well no that's ridiculous. In "The Lover" everyone says they're sorry all the time and you know what? Their relationships are the better for it.
Review by William Schwartz
"The Lover" is directed by Kim Tae-eun-III, written by Kim Min-seok-II and features Oh Jung-se, Ryu Hyun-kyung, Jung Joon-young, Choi Yeo-jin, Park Jong-hwan, Ha Eun-seol, Terada Takuya and Lee Jae-joon.
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Lover" Episode 6"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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