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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Madame Antoine" Episode 14

2016/03/05 | 1236 views | Permalink

Another episode, another lecture on the importance of the experiment, another thinly-veiled revenge scheme that just comes off as psychologically unhealthy. Ironic, given how once upon a time the main high concept of "Madame Antoine" was a pretense toward somewhat serious psychological discussion. The main comfort at this point is that with two episodes left, there isn't really that much more erratic behavior to endure between Hye-rim and Soo-hyeon. Even if the preview hints at things going a tad too far.

The lighter subplots do a little better. Ji-ho predictably manages to nearly get himself killed following Yoo-rim's extreme and obviously made up on the spot instructions. In all fairness Yoo-rim was somewhat distratced by her documentary which is about...what exactly? Was that ever actually cleared up? I was under the impression the camera was just a weak excuse to play games with Ji-ho, not something somewhat serious, yet here we are.

Likewise, Seung-chan seems to get over his mental blocks regarding Mi-ran's age way easier than would be expected given the statement he made only a couple of episodes ago about the overall creepiness of the situation. Personally I don't think it was that big a deal but what does it matter what I think? Seung-chan is the one who's supposed to grow as a character by making decisions, and instead he just sort of slides into the proper submissive role for no good reason.

Nearly all of the plot in "Madame Antoine" feels like it was just sort of half-heartedly tossed in. Take Moon-gon, the financial backing of both Hye-rim and Soo-hyeon's endeavors. Why is he providing funding? Who knows, who cares? His main purpose here is to provide a suitably tragic psychological case that Hye-rim and Soo-hyeon don't really solve so much as they exposit. I'm rather surprised Hye-rim bothered to participate at all, given how rightfully angry she is at Soo-hyeon. It's not like she had any meaningful role in the other cases.

But the most irritating part of "Madame Antoine" at this point is that I can see how this story could potentially work. Moon-gon's story has real catharsis behind it. The problem is that there's nothing to come down from because his character has always been treated as an afterthought or at best, the impetus for a certain form of plot device. "Madame Antoine" doesn't show any real respect for its stories, such that at this point, I can't enjoy it very much even when a successful joke is pulled off.

Review by William Schwartz

"Madame Antoine" is directed by Kim Yoon-cheol, written by Hong Jin-ah and features Han Ye-seul, Sung Joon and Jeong Jinwoon


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