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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sensible Love" Episode 17


The arbitrary, contrived nature of the current plot arc is still annoying- but "Sensible Love" itself soon acknowledges how completely unsatisfactory this resolution is. Hee-tae and Il-ri barely even talk together here, devoting almost all of their energy to just keeping Hee-tae's family from exploding under the stress of his mother's dementia. Multiple characters explicitly point out here that this really shouldn't be Il-ri's problem anymore. Hee-tae was the one pushing for her to leave, and he's shown no signs of adopting a more forgiving attitude.

Quite the opposite really. He's still very cold to Joon, even though the latter man is pretty clearly not engaged into these antics entirely of his own free will. Most men in Joon's situation would refuse to cooperate at all. Many would in fact turn violent, given Joon's awkward position with Hee-tae's family. And eventually Joon does manage to lose his patience with everything that's happened- he's not a servant, after all. Joon is man with his own feelings and emotional needs.

This is still the same strong characterization we've seen throughout the drama's entire run. But try as "Sensible Love" might, there's still a basic silliness to the entire situation that can't fully be ameliorated just through the clever use of ambience and string music. The dementia plot points remain very iffy. "Sensible Love" needed to change the situation somehow to avoid repetition, but I don't know if this was the right way to do it.

Take the subplots, and the minor characters. Working them into this particular brand of melodrama has gotten to be especially difficult. Note one scene where Gi-tae is just off to the side dancing by himself. He has to be in the scene because his presence must be accounted for, but from a narrative level there's not really much for him to do except get into another funny, yet mostly pointless squabble with Ee-ri.

I think on a larger level this might be part of the creative team's bigger point- that romantic affairs are too personal to be neatly segmented into any neat category, and there will always be people stuck on the sidelines who don't know what to do with themselves. Even granting this, "Sensible Love" is having a lot of trouble with meandering right now. The preview is particularly alarming in this light, as it shows radical, mostly unforeshadowed action. I can only hope it comes off more naturalistically in full context.

Review by William Schwartz

"Sensible Love" is directed by Han Ji-seung, written by Kim Do-woo and features Uhm Tae-woong, Lee Si-young, Lee Soo-hyuk, Choi Yeo-jin, Im Ha-ryong, Lee Young-ran and more.

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