Jang Tae-san (played by Lee Joon-gi) is a rather boorish, unpleasant man. He bullies, gambles, and carouses his way through life in a way that seems to imply that he's satisified and having fun, yet which ultimately feels rather empty. Tae-san is more masculine, I guess, than most of the people he interacts with, given that they're typically either scared of or attracted to him. And yet it's hard to see much joy in his life when Tae-san doesn't even seem to have any apparent emotional reaction to getting laid. Mostly because he can't remember it.
His life undergoes a harsh turnabout when his ex-girlfriend Seo In-hye (played by Park Ha-sun) arrives. Her eyes flash with familiarity and disgust upon seeing him, and it quickly becomes clear that she does not actually want to talk to him. Rather, circumstance has forced her into it. As Tae-san listens to her story, told by In-hye with thinly veiled hostility, he has trouble deciding which of his many pulsating emotions to listen to.
In fiction In-hye's situation is often portrayed romantically. "Two Weeks" takes the bold move of instead showing a very blunt, very cruel circumstance which is seldom discussed in a feminist environment that advocates empowerment rhetoric, but is all too real to women all over the world. Any thoughts we may have had about kindness lurking inside Tae-san's heart are shattered as he's revealed to be the same selfish person in the past that we see bumbling about in present.
Tae-san comes to this realization at the same time we do, and the effect these facts have on him is devastating. Tae-san, like so many real people, is not introspective by nature, and he lives in a world where revelations don't occur to give him an opportunity to be a better person. He's terrified by what In-hye tells hims, mainly because it forces him to consider the kind of person he has chosen to be. His treatment of In-hye was unforgivable, and for what? So he could live the deadbeat life he has right now? Tae-san knew he wasn't a good person, but he never fully processed that he was this bad.
Suffice to say, the foundation of "Two Weeks" is extremely compelling. The drama's emotional conceit is often treated flippantly in fiction, with the kind of optimistic detachment one might expect from a male writer. Screenwriter So Hyeon-kyeong has expertly crafted characters with real emotional weight, and as a result, this drama starts off extremely strong. How the more action-intense aspects of the story will play out is much harder to say, but at the very least "Two Weeks" now has my full attention.
Review by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Two Weeks" Episode 1"
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