Review: Marriage Contract

marcontr 2016
Genre: Melodrama
Written by: Jung Yoo-kyung
Directed by: Kim Jin-min
Starring: Uee, Lee Seo-jin
Number of episodes: 16
Average rating: 17.7% (TNmS)
Original network: MBC

Hi guys! Since I think this brief is going to be kinda long, you can jump straight on to my review if you wish.

Sorry for the long break anyway. So finally I got a 6-day holiday after my midterm and I managed to finish 2 dramas from my to-watch list, this one and K2 which I’m planning to review it also after this one.

Honestly lately I just feel so uninspired by everything. I know, as a designer feeling uninspired is probably the worst nightmare ever. You probably heard me saying this so many times already but to be really honest I still haven’t found the solution for this matter yet. But one thing for sure, I’m super unproductive whenever I feel like this and the result is my Instagram nor my blog will be “neglected” for awhile but that doesn’t mean that I’m done with it. I definitely will pick it up after I feel like myself again. 

So without further ado, let’s get started!

What’s it about?

You’ll find your usual contract marriage term, illness, and two people learning to love each other both in their own way. That’s all I could say about this drama, but being ordinary is what makes this drama so special and precious. 

What to expect?

  • AMAZING performance by Uee you have never seen before
  • A slow-paced story with depth
  • One drop of tear after another
  • Feeling relieved after finishing (I’m not spoiling anything)
  • That’s actually all

What not to expect?

  • Your typical knight in shining armour/flower boy/Do Min-joon/Captain Yoo Shi-jin
  • Your typical Cheon Song-yi/Kang Mo-yeon/Park Shin-hye/Yoon Eun-hye
  • Your typical Boys Before Flowers/Playful Kiss/That Winter the Wind Blows
  • Just.. This drama is nothing like I ever watched before

My long review starts here

Spoiler alert.

This is not the kind of drama I usually watch nor enjoy.

I much prefer either a fast-paced thriller or a mellow romance with beautiful visuals and dialogues. That doesn’t change after I finished this drama.

Truthfully after I finished watching K2, I don’t really know what drama I should watch next. And while I’m scrolling through my to-watch list, I came across with this title and having zero expectation of it. I was drawn to finally give it a try after seeing so many comments saying how beautiful this drama is. I was just curious of how “beautiful” this drama could be. I never watched any of Uee’s works before while I’ve watched Yi San staring Lee Seo-jin few years ago but honestly it didn’t leave any impression.

The first few episodes made me kinda bored since I’m hooked with fast-paced stories. But if I were to say objectively, there’s something about this drama that tickled my curiosity from the beginning and never will I regret giving this drama a try.

I’m captivated with Uee’s performance since the beginning. She’s just so good in her role. Kang Hye-soo’s character is just flawlessly portrayed along with every piece of her strengths and weaknesses. In my opinion, Hye-soo is a woman with both strength and sweetness nobody could resist. Her eyes could see beyond what everyone tends to see as she always has a way to see the best out of everyone naturally.

I want to make Eun Sung happy. I just want to make her happy. My dream was to pay off all the debt and open a pretty restaurant and live with Eun Sung, happily ever after. Is that too big of a dream? — Kang Hye-soo

How could you not love her?

While we’re here with Hye-soo’s strength, let’s talk about our next character, Han Ji-hoon. I think he’s almost the complete opposite from Hye-soo at the beginning. Despite not showing it outside, Ji-hoon was actually accumulated many of his weaknesses within. I can’t blame him, especially after learning about how hurting those years with his family could be. He has every right to act as he is, everyone actually has every right to become whatever kind of people they want to be in order to heal the scars. But Hye-soo is not the same as everyone, she chose to be strong in the straight line even though in the end the line didn’t turn out as straight because at times she could misstep here and there.

Honestly I wish to know more about Hye-soo’s ex-husband. I want to see more of Hye-soo’s wound losing someone she loved so early. The wound must still be there, knowing Hye-soo’s character. But we just didn’t get to see more.

The plot of this drama could be predicted even before you start watching the show. By reading the brief, I figured it out starting from the contract marriage took place and bounded two of them together, slowly they started to get close and develop feelings for each other, the phase of denial and thinking, getting back together again, and came to the final question: Is Hye-soo going to make it?

Ah, and don’t forget the villain. I don’t want to ruin your mood, but I think this drama has the most useless villains I have seen in a drama after a long time. Basically their actions just had no impact at all to our characters. Sure, the crazy Chairman was probably so evil back then that shaped Ji-hoon into the way he is right now. But I just never felt an actual threat from any of them. Let’s say Chairman Han was just so great at giving out money to cast out people but he never actually succeed, his son Jung-hoon was just a spoiled brat, and the show would have turned out completely the same even without Na-yoon. I personally think that she could do so much better playing with their past and Ji-hoon’s state of mind.

This drama’s prominent strength lays in its little moments and the meanings behind it, such as the scene when Ji-hoon eating ice cream alone at the amusement park and when Hye-soo cut her hair after experiencing hair loss due to the therapy. Those little moments are so rich in meanings and values.

I don’t feel like talking about Eun-sung and her relationship with Ji-hoon because I expected way more from this part. And it didn’t quite live up my expectation.

This show succeeded in making me cry a river during the scene when Hye-soo suffering so badly in the night and used up all her strength to call that particular one person, Ji-hoon. I don’t think Hye-soo is someone who asks for others’ help easily as she’s already getting used rely on herself all these years. Seeing this strong woman finally found someone she could trust to share her pain with made me feel relieved.

Hye-soo: I have something to ask you.

Ji-hoon: Where are you?

Hye-soo: You know.. I.. I’ve become a mess. I might become a bigger and bigger mess in the future. The woman that you used to know, I might not be the same way. Is that still ok?

Ji-hoon: Where are you? Where?

Hye-soo: Is it ok? Is it still ok?

Ji-hoon: It’s ok. Everything is ok. Even if you become a mess, it’s ok. If you are hundred times, a thousand time more of a mess than you are now, it’s ok. No matter what happens, it’s ok. No matter how you become, no matter what, you’re my Kang Hye-soo.

The true highlight of this show is its last 2-3 episodes. They are so amazing beyond words. I love Hye-soo because she is a flawed character that has the strength to live her life to the fullest not for herself, but for the people she love and care. I also love how Ji-hoon handled Hye-soo’s disabilities due to her illness by protecting her pride silently with every action he’s helping her. I’m so impressed with that soft side of Ji-hoon despite any other traits of his character. Some of their intimacy throughout the final episodes felt so private that not even Eun-sung should be present in between.

I also really love how we are given a such beautiful open ending where we did not have to face the final that we all were afraid of. We just stop right there, at the moment of their happiness. 

Rating

Objective: 9/10
Subjective: 7/10

Last but not least

Everyone should give this amazing drama a try. You’ll definitely learn something although this may not be your favorite drama.

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