Another example of drama with great acting but with a failing story writing. Unfortunately, even if the actors give a nice and clean performance while defining the characters they portray in a realistically way, all the hard work of the actors was dragged because of the way it was written. Although “One Warm Word” had a good start, along the later episodes, it felt like the writer started to become more and more uninterested on how to finish this drama, which it’s a shame from my point of view, because it could’ve been a great drama that could give the Korean drama “industry” something new.
Even though I liked the acting of the actors, there was one actor whose acting wasn’t on my liking, and that is Ji Jin Hee (played the character Yoo Jae Hak ) – I’m not sure if the way he acted in this drama was to show Jae Hak’s stiff personality or that’s all he could do with the character, but he made his character look like a dried cucumber and there was never shown an actual develop of Jae Hak throughout the drama, from the beginning to the end Jae Hak was the same without any chance to go forward and evolve together with the other characters, and more importantly together with his wife Song Mi Kyung (played by Kim Ji Su).
Opposed to Jae Hak, his wife Mi Kyung was probably the character that developed the most. From the perfect housewife, always humble towards the mother in law and loyal towards her husband, she become a woman with a strong personality that showed the mother in law and Jae Hak’s inability to go forwards without her.
Although near the end it was shown that Jae Hak wanted to give a second chance to his relationship with Mi Kyung, I never felt any love from them as a pair, or maybe the lack of chemistry between the actors made it seem like the characters didn’t had aura of love around them. But there was also the fact that Jae Hak was pushed by his father into the marriage, so there wasn’t any love from the beginning from his part, on the other hand, Mi Kyung showed love and attachment towards her husband, from his part it seemed more like Jae Hak got used to his life together with his wife and maybe that’s why he wanted to continue. As it was showed in some parts of the drama, without Mi Kyung around, he couldn’t even feed himself.
The second family shown in “One Warm Word” is Na Eun Jin (played by Han Hye Jin) and Kim Sung Soo (played by Lee Sang Woo). Compared to Jae Hak and Mi Kyung, this couple married because of love. Unfortunately as life went forward, the two of them buried the love and fondness they had for each other somewhere behind they hearts and probably, Eun Jin’s cheating was more of a wakeup call for their relationship, because when the story progressed we could notice near the end that both Eun Jin and Sung Soo still loved each other, and maybe everything that happened was a nudge to realize how lucky they are for finding each other.
One thing I didn’t really understood from Eun Jin’s attitude was her sudden change in personality.
From the courageous person who pulled out her husband’s mistress’ hair and who always fought for the happiness of her family she become a coward, a person who always thought about herself, always hiding the thoughts about her personal good state of mind, behind curtains of acting as a victim of the most miserable life.
Saying stuff like she will leave her family just so that her sister could get married to her boyfriend without making problems for their future because of her past with Jae Hak, was mostly for her own personal good. Why am I saying this? Well, from my point of view (of course) Eun Jin unconsciously wanted to leave behind her past and everyone who was part of it, that’s why even when her husband pleads to give themselves as spouses another chance for the good of their family and daughter, she refused multiple times.
Still, on the other side, her sudden change, acting like a zombie after she confessed to Sung Soo about her cheating with Jae Hak, for Eun Jin must’ve felt like she disappointed herself, those around her and most importantly Sung Soo and their daughter Yoon Jung who always looked up to her parents.
Eun Jin: “You are a good person. I was lucky to fall in love with you…that’s what I thought. You are feeling my pain as if it your own.”
If I were to weigh the two couples’, Eun Jin and Sung Soo had chemistry. Examining the relationship between them, although they were in a critical moment, the two always continued to support each other in every situation, and defending each other in front of other people. Even if by the first half of the drama, Eun Jin seemed that she fell in love with Jae Hak, the second half showed her admitting that Sung Soo is the one she loved and that her small escape with Jae Hak was an alarm to their relationship which was slowing falling into a state of emptiness.
All in all, I liked the story of “One Warm Word” and the somewhat new subjects portrayed in this drama, from showing the couples’ life of young families, the relationship of couples at the start of knowing each other or the couples of families who lived with each other more than 20 years. Even if the scrip was from my point of view kind of poorly written, because it could’ve given more to every character, it still gave every couple the chance to know each other and proves that communication is it important in every step and level of every relationship, be it in the beginning or after many years of living and sharing everything together.
I think that the glue and the ones that always helped weld the younger couples were Eun Jin’s parents. I liked them, since as a couple who lived and went through a lot together showed maturity and gave slow push so that the younger couples could understand the difficulties of living as a married couple while sustaining with emotional effort the steps of going forward as a team.
As for the newer couple, Eun Young and Min Soo, the two showed strong feeling for each other, but in the end they were greenish and needed a push from the older members of their families. But I want to clap for Park Seo Joon’s acting, I’ve been following him since his debut, and he has the ability and talent to become one of Korea’s best actors. Having watched his entire project palette, until now he showed acting skills in portraying and outlining every character he played in a different way without making any similarities between them.
Before ending my review, I want to talk a little bit about a scene that stuck in my head. That is, the moment when Eun Jin and Jae Hak meet up at a restaurant, outside the window, it was shown the autumn leaves. I may be over thinking the whole scene, but as I said it in the beginning of the post, the cheating of Eun Jin and Jae Hak on their respective spouses was more like a push and a wakeup call for themselves as married couples after their relationships got into a rather black spot.
I searched a little on the symbolism of autumn leaves. In that scene, Eun Jin asks Jae Hak to stop meeting and put an end to their relationship. The autumn leaves may reflect in this situation the ending of something to make room for a new beginning
“As we watch leaves fluttering to the ground in the fall, we are reminded that nature’s cycles are mirrored in our lives. Autumn is a time for letting go and releasing things that have been a burden.”
Cynthia Kneen, in Awake Mind, Open Heart shares an open heart practice to carry with you into the fall.
“When you are brave and have an open heart, you have affection for this world — this sunlight, this other human being, this experience. You experience it nakedly, and when it touches your heart, you realize this world is very fleeting. So it is perfect to say ‘Hello means good-bye.’ And also, ‘My hope, hello again.’ ” (cr. spiritualityandpractice.com)
So, that scene at the restaurant between Jae Hak and Eun Jin may show, Eun Jin’s desire of letting of the “burden” that is their relationship to embrace the changes in her life together with Sung Soo. But then….I may be thinking way to much of this scene…
Now looking back at “One Warm Word”, to be honest it was a pleasant ride. The writing could’ve been a little more complex, since the subject isn’t something you could write in a half-hearted manner. If in the next years, someone will want to do a re-make of this drama, I hope that “that” someone will give more meaning and depth when it comes to the writing style.
Thank you to all who read this whole review, thank you for taking time of you hands to read it.
Pictures credits: SBS | Please do not hotlink the pictures
Adultery stories turn me off unless the characters have a pretty great reason for it but it seems that both JJH and HHJ are the selfish type, this kind of topic weighs me down, it’s a frustrating type of story. It may be well-written but I won’t find myself agreeing or liking any of the leads. Anyways, great review, I just needed a quick read on this.
Well, JJH and HHJ were more like the “I need to slap the reality back to them” kind of type. Especially JJH’s ….it was way too frustrating to watch him.
I haven’t seen this but by what you wrote there does seem to be symbolism is the scene with the autumn leaves.
I hope that’s what the PD wanted to say with that scene, however I think that I looked way too much into it so maybe there wasn’t an actual meaning behind it, but I tho it was interesting XD
Whether or not it was intended I think the symbolism is there.