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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "A New Leaf" Episode 7

2014/05/21 | 686 views | Permalink

We finally get to an episode filled with hardcore legal action. For most of the first part Seok-joo and Ji-yoon are investigating the exact particulars of the case, looking for inconsistencies and possible points of reasonable doubt. Then for the second part Seok-joo does his actual legal wrangling in the courtroom. Seok-joo is a very serious, very skilled lawyer, amnesia notwithstanding. His inquiries make for a hard cold strike even against characters who aren't really bad people.

Seok-joo's investigation this time is a lot more clearly defined than his last undercover operation, which makes for a reasonably fun mystery investigation even outside the broader context of the drama. The guy has an excellent deductive mind- he's not portrayed as some sort of genius savant detective, but rather a man who knows how to consider all the angles. This fits in very well with what we saw of Seok-joo pre-amnesia. He is very much a defense attorney, in that he looks for reasonable doubt more than actual direct solutions.

This gives a fairly good voice to the objections Seok-joo with has dealt with from his disgusted family. The implication from his end has been that he serves despicable interests because that's the only use the world has for a cruel man like Seok-joo. The whole episode here strongly rebuts that point, and makes it clear that Seok-joo is quite literally capable of anything.

Ji-yoon's also benefits quite a bit from having a more clearly defined role. She's his sidekick, and to some extent, the comic relief. It's not a very impressive role in the larger context of the narrative, but it works very well here. For the first time she's actually acting like a subordinate and not putting on any airs about morality. Ji-yoon is now functional, and that goes a long way to rehabilitating her character's screen presence.

The other characters are all on the sidelines- quite literally actually. The focus here is on Seok-joo's performance in the courtroom and everyone else just watches. It's quite appropriate that Seok-joo simply doesn't care. Even when confronted on the topic of why he took the case, Seok-joo is cold, rude, walks away, and does his job. There's clearly going to be fallout from this, but that's the mystery "A New Leaf" is leading us into- how do you socially confront a man whose entire selling point is that he doesn't respond to social confrontations?

Review by William Schwartz

"A New Leaf" is directed by Park Jae-beom-II, written by Choi Hee-ra and features Kim Myung-min, Park Min-young, Kim Sang-joong and Ahn Seon-yeong

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