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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Switch - Change the World" Episodes 5-6

2018/04/04 | 416 views | Permalink

Seong-doo (played by Kwon Hwa-woon) is Tae-woong's ruthless enforcer. The original plan was just to kill Joon-soo outright, but the apparent failure of the first assassination attempt coupled with Joon-soo's confusing behavioral changes afterwards have left the villains of "Switch - Change The World" struggling to figure out the best course of action. Obviously there is some sort of hustle going on here. But to what end?

It's comically anticlimactic watching those serious criminal meetings with Tae-woong and Seong-doo and then going back to Do-chan and Ha-ra, who still have no plan at all. Do-chan spends a disproportionate amount of time just playing Minesweeper at work. They're all playing pure defense, hoping that mere bewilderment will at least make the bad guys slow down their evil plans long enough for another opportunity to pop up. So it is that both cliffhangers just resolve around Do-chan being able to maintain the farce just a little while longer.

As amusing as these antics are, I must confess the sheer formulaic nature of the plot in "Switch - Change The World" is starting to gnaw at me. None of jobs Do-chan and his team have pulled so far are all that elaborate. They're just predicting skepticism, with varying degrees of plausibility. The turnabout scenes have very little tension, because we're always seeing them from Ha-ra's perspective- and Ha-ra still has very little faith in Do-chan's abilities.

That's good characterization, especially since Jang Geun-suk and Han Ye-ri have such good mutual disrespect chemistry. But dramatically these twists leave a lot to be desired. Ha-ra's character moment, where we find out why she's so dedicated to Joon-soo's project, is actually a lot sweeter. Ha-ra isn't even really thinking about the victims that much. She's in this fight out of sheer respect for Joon-soo. The assumption is that Joon-soo was fighting the good fight, and that's enough reason to carry on his battle.

The main other interesting setpiece is when Ha-ra's mother (played by Kim Seo-ra) goes to the market and talks to a popcorn vendor. This scene is, as far as I can tell, narratively pointless, but still good characterization. Which is where I am with "Switch - Change The World" as a whole right now. The characterization is good, but the story is way too passive. The more personality a character has the less likely they are to aggressively move the plot forward. I'm not sure what to make of that.

Review by William Schwartz

"Switch - Change The World" is directed by Nam Tae-jin, written by Baek Woon-cheol and Kim Ryoo-hyun, and features Jang Geun-suk, Han Ye-ri, Jung Woong-in, and Jo Hee-bong

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