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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Full Sun" Episode 12


When watching the opener to this episode, take a moment to consider the situation Yeong-won is in. She does not want to trust Se-ro. But I'm starting to wonder when she ever trusted anyone. Yeong-won may have had a bubbly happy existence with her fiance at the beginning of the drama, yet those scenes increasingly feel like the exception to a life that's really been pretty morose outside of diamonds.

What makes this conflict particularly heartbreaking is that Yeong-won's cynical aloof attitude toward intimacy is probably the best course of action, all things considered. I don't mean in the sense that the last guy to get close to Yeong-won got iced. "The Full Sun" wisely decides to instead focus on the recurring pattern of Yeong-won trusting someone only to get horribly betrayed. She can see this same crisis coming up with Se-ro, so of course Yeong-won pulls away.

The worst part is that even with Se-ro Yeong-won's logic is pretty well justified. Just like every other person in Yeong-won's life, Se-ro is only even nearby in the first place because he was planning on scamming her. Whether the scam was for monetary or emotional purposes is entirely beside the point. Yeong-won truly, sincerely believes that she only has value as an object to someone else's scheme. No wonder the woman loves diamonds so much- they're just rocks. Sticks and stones could break her bones but they'll never betray her the way words can.

The drama's quickly running out of secrets, at least. That's some mild comfort- it gives Se-ro and Yeong-won time to maybe pick up the pieces of their life in the time remaining and try to come up with a happy ending somehow. Probably not, really, but the hope's there. The way this drama constantly feels like a dream (or nightmare) does a good job underscoring the sense of possibility, even if the doom feels pretty inevitable at this point.

I like the way "The Full Sun" utilizes melodrama. In some sense it's sappy the way events conspire to make Se-ro and Yeong-won miserable. But what makes these characters interesting is that they have in many ways chosen to be beholden to their destiny by continuing to engage with family members who have only ever given them misery and grief. The best chance they ever had to win this game was by not playing in the first place. As for everyone else, well, they're probably heading to a horrible loss by the inertia of their own hubris.

Review by William Schwartz

"The Full Sun" is directed by Bae Kyeong-soo, Kim Jung-hyun-III, written by Heo Seong-hye and features Yoon Kye-sang, Han Ji-hye and Cho Jin-woong.

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