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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Hogu's Love" Episode 9

2015/03/09 | Permalink

I've gone from loving this drama to hating it to now just being kind of continually perplexed. And this is pretty much entirely because of Do-hee. I keep wondering what exactly she would have done if Hogu hadn't bullied his way into helping her. Do-hee acts, in several scenes quite explicitly, like other people should just help her for no apparent reason. Her apologies especially come off as rather hollow, mainly because Do-hee has to struggle to even remember she's supposed to apologize in the first place.

"Hogu's Love" is increasingly coming off as a well-structured narrative. I don't mean that as a compliment. I mean that in the sense that it's only possible for the plot to move forward if all the characters act in an extremely specific, regimented way to situations which are by definition supposed to be chaotic and uncontrollable. Nearly every scene here would go in a radically different direction if the baby just started crying. For those of you who have experience with babies, you may note that this is their favorite thing to do, and that the one in "Hogu's Love" is unusually sedate in this regard.

For what it's worth, I am laughing. But not for the right reasons, I think. I laugh at scenes where characters talk to each other and explicitly point out the ways in which the story doesn't really make any sense. Hogu's huge confrontation with Kang-cheol is hilarious precisely because Hogu's logical deduction is actually extremely plausible. Given how little we actually know about Do-hee, from Hogu's perspective, this makes perfect sense.

To be honest I'm a little disappointed that the scene with Kang-cheol and Do-hee in the car clearly establishes that Hogu's assumption is wrong. That would have been a pretty good double reverse plot twist. As it stands, I'm not at all sure what to make of the cliffhanger and the subsequent preview. Which character is supposed to be in the right? And how is the plot possibly going to make any sense going forward if we're just supposed to reject the sensible solution?

...I use the term "sensible solution" grudgingly, by the way. Adoption special interest groups would be rather livid about the romantic way "Hogu's Love" presents Do-hee's decision. In recent years the ones in Korea have lobbied for multiple laws making it more difficult for mothers to give up their children. It's why Do-hee wasn't able to give up her baby right away- there's a mandatory cooling off period now. Although it's not like the script has been taking plausibility into account lately, so really, who knows.

Review by William Schwartz

"Hogu's Love" is directed by Pyo Min-soo, written by Yoon Nan-joong and features Park Soon-chun, UEE, Choi Wooshik, Im Seulong, Lee Soo-kyung-I, Jung Won-joong and many more.


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