Starring: Kim So-hyun as Ryu Ji-hye, Son Seung-won as Ryu Ji-han, Kim Hee-jeong as Kim Kyeong-hee (Mother), Eom Hyo-seob as Ryu Jeong-cheol (Father), and Jeong In-seo as Jin Seong-yeon
Running Time: 63 min
Twinkies: 4 stars
Synopsis: : “I’d rather that my father was dead!” Top student Jihye wants to go on a study abroad program for English. She gets her opportunity but can’t make her passport because she’s registered under her father whom she has lost contact with.
She’s always complained about her family but her complaints mount with this issue and she has to learn to listen to her family and sympathize that they’re experiencing the same things in different ways.
Musings: Wow! What a poignant drama special to watch. It is not very often that you get to see the true effects of a family that is torn apart because of divorce on Korean television, at this level. Sure, I’ve seen dramas before that featured divorce woman and their road to romance but that is not what this was about. What this drama special showed you was the true effect that it has on not only the mother but also the children and the different paths in life they take as a result.
We had Ji-Hye whose path was to make the best of her education. She surrounded herself in silence and study; her constant complaints of the cicadas was resonant with me as it took me back to the invasion here in Virginia last year; however, as you watch the drama special, you realize that it is not the fact that the cicadas existed but because Ji-Hye had surrounded her life in silence, their chittering was deafening and it wasn’t just the sound of the cicadas that drove her nuts; even her family could and was added to that list of “annoyances”.
Ji-Han was different. He relished in the noise and being the loudest, constantly drove Ji-Hye batty. His life, at 20 years was going nowhere as he was always getting in trouble, mostly because of the people that he chose to associate with.
But for someone so tough and rough who would make no qualms in threatening his sister with death, his fear of cockroaches superceded that tough exterior, that was kind of a funny flaw but could be explained away because of his childhood fear he developed when they lived with their father.
Their mother, Kim Kyeong-hee, totally devoted her life to her children. She made great inroads in keeping their debt down, to include the debt she inherited after their divorce but also to provide a decent home and food as well as supporting her children in their different paths; Ji-Hye in her pursuit to study abroad and Ji-Han and his constantly legal battles which as you would imagine, put a damper on Ji-Hye’s plans. But she made do, even though she coddled the son a little too much for me, that is the Korean custom as I’ve seen portrayed many, many times. Overall, a good mother.
Sadly the father, Ryu Jeong-cheol was just a voice on the phone. After 10 years of no contact, Ji-Hye had no choice but to seek him out because to travel abroad and as she was on her father’s family register, there was no way for her to get a passport without him. So after unsuccessfully finding no address or phone number in her mother’s possession, it is only after she goes into her brother room that she finds a letter sent many years ago to her brother only.
It is through that contact that she is finally able to hear from her father. Sad commentary for a child to say “I’ve never once cared for my dad”. I know, you ask yourself why is that? Is it the failure of the mother for not forcing the dad to stay in contact with his children? Is is because the father refuses and in 10 years makes only one contact to the son? Who’s fault is it? This is an age old question that I’ll leave up to you to debate. I have my own opinion and I’ll silently keep it to myself.
So, after 10 years of no contact and one correspondent to the son which basically asked only about the welfare of the mother and sister, it really was a sad statement that he takes this moment in time to want to be with his family as he is dying of liver cancer. Very sad. His final words to Ji-Hye speaks volumes:
Ji-Hye, Don’t live like that.
JiHye…. Not like that.
The saddest moment was in realizing that the father had died alone on the streets and to avoid the inheritance of death, Ji-Hye’s friend, Seong-yeon’s father who was an attorney suggested that they didn’t attend the funeral and also write a letter of intent not to accept any inheritance. As you can see, even after 10 years, this decision hurt to the core and the following was quoted:
My brother and mother cried but I didn’t hear them.
That’s because I’ve been blocking my ears.
I think my Dad’s final words were…
Telling me to open my ears now.
Just as the cockroaches survived
because they don’t make a sound.
Humans cry in order to survive.
Each in their own way.
Very good movie. Great acting as I knew it would be with Miss Kim So-hyun! I definitely look forward to her acting future.
Dogs go woof-woof.
All three of us cried in different ways.
I’m available on Twitter. Thanks to all of you Twinkles out here who are taking the time to read! If you have a suggestion for a future review, just leave me a comment! I’m always happy to have movie suggestions.