This drama is quite sleazy. That shouldn't be too surprising, given how much sex, gambling, and anger issues factor in to the plot- but it's really all in the presentation. Directors Choi Jeong-gyoo and Yoo Cheol-yong portray a world of basically pathetic people who are only barely scraping by on their emotional and physical needs. Choi Jeong-gyoo also directed last year's "Two Weeks", and the tone here is quite similar. Whatever minor successes and failures our lead characters achieve here, they're all largely emblematic of purposeless lives.
Let's take the backdrop of the dive casino as an example. High class casinos have done a very good job of marketing gambling as something sophisticated and cool. But "Triangle - Drama" takes these games back to their very unglamorous roots- crowded, unclean looking rooms where failure is, by design, present almost everywhere. There's not really hope in the casino so much as the the conceited belief that every other person there is the big sucker while I? I'm really gonna make it!
A similar unsettling atmosphere is on present at a tutoring session. The fantasy of getting it on with a tutor is an appealing one. For the younger person there's the ideal of meeting a smart, experienced mentor. For the older person there's the prospect of a very obedient partner. But divorced from that context, and looked at through the camera- the whole experience is just very off-putting and creepy. The scene does a good job demonstrating why society tends to frown on these kinds of liasons.
It's tempting to describe the drama as being anti-sex, but really all it's doing is taking away the supposed magic that so much of commercialist culture overplays. By the time we get to an actual hook-up, the feeling is once again just one of awkwardness. We get the impression that one partner is really into it, whereas the other is just playing along out of a sense of obligation. And of course disaster ensues.
Right now the main thread uniting the three brothers here is that they all lack a sense of discipline. Curiously, they also have trouble speaking up for themselves. It's that peculiar combination of personality traits that is, unfortunately, pretty easy to imagine coming from a set of orphans. They never had parents to tell them when to knock it off, and have always relied on (probably lousy) friends to move them in the right direction. Their grasp on the concept of love is tenuous. Where the drama's going to go with this is still unclear. In any event the characterization is strong enough to warrant paying close attention.
Review by William Schwartz
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 email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Triangle - Drama" Episode 1"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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