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mslee1107

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

[mslee's thoughts] Endless Love - First Review

The story opened showing Gwang Chul  riding motorcycle while chasing In Ae inside a police car. A scene which interprets what kind of character these two have. Spirited and feisty.

I watched 4 episodes back to back and the story line reminded me of the writer's previous works I also watched, East of Eden, so I could see similarities in the plot and how the leading actors were oppressed by the powerful people in position and the conspiracy at hiding the truth.

Because both Gwang Chul and In Ae decided to help some students who were friends of Gwang Hoon involved in arson, they were of course became an accessory to the crime. The painful part, a high official in the government who was also the man behind the murder of In Ae's mother and cousin has his own agenda of making Gwang Chul's father the culprit as the one who hid the arsonists. In Ae saw everything.

The reckless actions from both Gwang Chul and In Ae resulted to the harm of the father who was killed and the accident that claimed the life of the priest. Even if they shout to the world that they were the ones who rode the boat, justice was too deaf to hear them. The people behind the conspiracy had their own motives.

There has always been a gap between the two brothers. One is the good son who studies hard and has focus on his future. The other is the typical "easy go lucky" kind, mostly in troubles but not to say he is a bad son. He doesn't just have his priorities in line. He is too busy enjoying his life. 

In Ae came to live with Han family after her mother died. She and her living family became a part of Gwang Chul and Gwang Hoon's family. Upon seeing her the first time, both brothers treated her with familiarity, although Gwang Chul was the naughty one and Gwang Hoon the caring oppa. The relation blossomed through the years and Gwang Hoon and In Ae became a couple.


The outcome of In Ae and Gwang Chul's actions leading to the death and chaos around them divided the brother even more. They have different principles. So opposite in showing their love for their father who passed away. An incident that will put a dent in Gwang Hoon's future.

I read comments how some viewers did not like or favor the impulsiveness of both In Ae and Gwang Chul. They expected too much on the characters that were minors. They expected that they should have been smarter like Gwang Hoon. 

Well, this is my take on what the drama and the characters showed me in this 4 episodes. At the least I expected a simple "I believe you" from Gwang Hoon for both In Ae and Gwang Chul. Simple words, but comforting somehow if uttered to show that he believed in them but they have to be still for now before avenging their father. But no such words uttered from a "hyung" who felt he was the only one who lost their father.  Gwang Chul shouting he is to blame for everything was a clear admission of his guilt, of his wrong judgement, of his wild actions but it did not meant he loved their father less.

Or maybe I have a soft spot on someone who shows passion and strong beliefs on blurting the truth but no one heard. Perhaps his courage to fight for the truth no matter if his life were in line makes me root for him than a man who stayed still, could not even say anything.

rational versus impulsive/reckless



I understand why Gwang Hoon wants to stay silent, for now. He is smart and patient. Compared to In Ae who can't control her emotions which is usually a weakness of someone who is passionate about anything. Her character depicts it since the first scenes in episode 1. She enjoys life limitless. My concern on Gwang Hoon is that his ambition is his weakness and being patient on retribution might overshadow his desire because what he is doing now is forgetting what happened in the past. His emotions are currently on hold and not burning deep down unlike In Ae and Gwang Chul. Soon, the desire for revenge will die down for personal, [maybe selfish] ambition. After all he did sold out his father's funeral by staying quiet. He wants to live but I question his reason for living. Does the desire for avenging his father is the one reason why he wants to live and be silenced by the truth?

I also believe that he loves In Ae but seeing how they are together, it is more like literally oppa/dongsaeng relationship, where he finds comfort in her presence and the only family he has left. But between In Ae and Gwang Chul, their spirits are in sync, both passionate and have the same amount of guts/strength to face injustice. They are not cowards, they are fighting not for themselves but for love ones and for people who can't fight for themselves. I think they match each other very well. Although some would say they are rash, reckless but I  can't say I blame them for the death of the father. They brought upon themselves and to the father the bad fate but the death was not by their own hands. Basically, the system, the conspiracy and the powerful people behind it should be blamed. Yes, they are hopeless and helpless, but making them feel they were the culprit [just like what Gwang Hoon told Gwang Chul] was a burden they will endure for the rest of their lives. It's not surprising if the burning desire for revenge is equally strong and continu to ignite deep within. there is no space for forgetting every single moment of injustice.

I am not sure why the video of In Ae when she made her speech during her detention years was a shameful experience to her family and to Gwang Hoon. For me it was a testament that even though she is unjustly imprisoned, ridiculed by others, made her a criminal, she was able to triumph inside by passing the collage test. She showed strength of character and that hope remains within. Her self esteem was never taken away. She remains feisty and positive as ever. Showing her face to the world is courage. And she has nothing to hide because truth is on her side and has yet to be revealed. 

I love the moment when In Ae recognized the Chief, Park Young Tae and his ring. That moment was a scary one. it could have been played either way. But although In Ae knew for sure she has the right man, the murderer, she walked away with a pounding heart and a heavy feeling. 

Through all these, Gwang Chul was thought as dead already with his body not found. He was in Japan and is currently surviving every second.


I wonder when will Gwang Chul come back?  For all his recklessness, I like him better than his brother. Why? He fights even if the odds are down. Gwang Hoon gave in, but still, he was dragged to hell camp and treated like an animal. Guess he thought keeping silent will spare him the hardships in life. But just as Gwang Chul faced hell, he did, too.

I am intrigued of the General's role in the drama. I will reserve judgement as of now on his role in the story. I can't say if he is an enemy or a friend. Sure he has his own ambition but at the last part of episode 4, the Prime Minister appeared with his wife. There could be a mystery surrounding these people in which Park Young Tae was in confidence.

All in all, I love the cast, the acting especially Hwang Jung Eum. More than the brother's story, In Ae is telling her story and it consumes most part of the drama as of now. 

For first impression, I like the story. The emotions connected beyond the screens. The cry for revenge is echoed through the screens. 

and 

mslee1107 will be waiting patiently for the right time to see justice find it's place in the story.


4 comments:

  1. It is a good review as usual, mslee. I, for one, likes In Ae. Gwang Chul I still have to see him further because of his limited screen times so far, but at least compared to Gwang Hoon, yes, I still prefer Gwang Chul. In Ae on the other hand, I watched her enough to cement my fond feelings for her. She is truly a dynamic character, it's like we can't categorize her into one or few traits. She undergo so much developments and changes in just few episodes.

    I actually like that she's a flawed character. Her flaws make a great source for character development. After all, this is a long epic drama. What were people want? A main character who's already perfect, obedient, smart, patient, always think first before act, always follows-the-current since the beginning? Then what was the point to have 40 episodes drama then? Of course it's to see how the characters evolves thorough the drama, their experiences, their perseverance, learn what aspects they have to change from themselves or what they must still persist on. Not to mention it's because of passionate young people like In Ae & Gwang Chul that histories could change. If everyone like Gwang Hoon then there would be no revolutionaries or the end of dictators regimes everywhere.

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  2. @Unknown yes, I get your thoughts. I agree that In Ae is one character that is very interesting. we will surely see her evolve into something more in the drama. :))

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  3. LOL yeah :) I actually put the longer post on Soompi.

    I'm a busy person, so I seldom go to Soompi. Today I just got the time to find some early English-language reviews for EL & after read yours, my curiosity lead me to Soompi (actually not a preference for me earlier. I was outside & Soompi wasn't friendly with my mobile). There, I was actually a bit surprised that some would dislike Seo In Ae & Han Gwang Cheol, because comments in Korea were mostly positive & encouraging. My friends who watch it also fine with them. I guess maybe because of generation gap? Probably some of people (whether in Soompi or elsewhere) who dislikes them are seniors, people above age 30? EL is still popular among youngsters in Korea but internationally I don't think so, given the genre, at least not yet. So it's understandable that they would frown upon In Ae & Gwang Cheol's behaviors. Me & my friends who're still in mid-20 totally can relate to them :)

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  4. @Unkwon lol! I am in the middle age bracket so I think just like you, I understand how minors usually act. hehe.. Ithink I saw and read your post @soompi just below was my follow up post.:)
    I think viewers and posters at the thread sometimes think logically and assumes that a character must always possess a smart character. My take on every drama is that I always not question the writer's prerogative on his/her works and how he / she wants the story to go. What i do is simply interpret in my own way what I just watched and from there, take each scenes how they are shown. I do think the writer creates a character for a story to tell not to please a certain viewer of what must be a character should do in the story.:))

    So as you said, this is a saga and I think it will cover some years but I doubt if the story will catch the present times. It is still in 1984 so it's impossible to cover two decades even assuming IA is 18 years or 20. 2004 should be two decades and her character would be in her late 40's by then which I doubt the writer will make her that old.

    Actually I see some familiar faces form East fo Eden.:))

    thanks for leaving another comment.

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