POPdramatic's 30-Day Asian Drama Challenge: Day 9

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Day 9: Drama scene that broke you.

Man, these questions are starting to get to me. (past me, why are you doing this to the present me?), but I have an easy answer to this one, because the scene I have in mind is also the last time I genuinely cried over a drama. 

It's Okay, It's Love - The hospital scene

Jae Yeol: "I...I can't really get my words out. Walking is difficult, too."
Hae Soo: "It's because of the medication."
Jae Yeol: "I...start to miss you, but then I feel myself getting sleepy."
Hae Soo: "Be patient for just a little while longer. It won't always be like this."
Jae Yeol: "Even now...after not having seen you in so long, I just want to make you smile and laugh, but...I don't know how to do that. I can't think of the words to do that."
Hae Soo: "It'll come back to you."
Jae Yeol: "I wish I could hold you, but I don't know if I'm allowed. Aren't I so sexy right now?...Hae Soo? " 
Hae Soo: "Yeah?"
Jae Yeol: "Please...let me out of here. Being in here...I don't feel like I'm ME anymore."

The scene depicts Jae Yeol, whom we have previously seen as a charming and witty writer, as he's confined to his hospital room, quietly sitting there, his eyes unfocused and body slouched. Hae Soo comes to visit him for the first time and though Jae Yeol's happy to see her, he's far too weak from the drugs to properly show it. 

He desparately begs, in an aching whispery voice, for Hae Soo to let him out, admitting that he no longer feels like himself and promising to not see his hallucination Kang Woo again. But as the camera looks over, we see Kang Woo still there with him. Hae Soo realizes how severe Jae Yeol's condition still is and exits the room with tears in her eyes, leaving behind a broken and despaired Jae Yeol. 

The scene turned out to be so hard-hitting for me because it touched on a topic that I've had personal experience with. On several occasions in the past, one of my own loved ones has struggled with delusions due to psychosis and paranoia, and each time it was extremely hard on them as it was for the entire family. Because the drama aired fairly recently after one of such incidents, the subject matter really hit close to home and twisted my insides quite a bit.  

This scene is so effective also largely thanks to Jo In Sung's well-nuanced performance, which elevates the moment from simply sad to truly devastating. The shaky hesitancy of his body language, the tired yet frightened facial expression and the barely audible and trembling voice all contribute to the shock of seeing a character, formerly so articulate and charistmatic, looking completely unlike himself. For me, it was heart-breaking to watch, especially as it reminded me of the visits to the psychiatric clinic to see my own loved one. 

While I don't find It's Okay, It's Love to be the most medically accurate of dramas, I do feel it did an outstanding job at executing that scene in a way that genuinely resonates to the viewers with personal experience with mental illnesses. It's no small feat and the drama certainly deserves some recognition for that.

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  1. That scene left me in tears because I also have had to leave someone I love in the hospital when they didn't want to stay, the medication leaving them shaking and frightened. He did an amazing job of bringing that fear to the small screen. I had to stop watching briefly to collect myself.

    1. Yes, it was same for me too - having to leave a loved one in the hospital, even though they didn't want to stay there. The scene really took me back to that moment and hit home hard. Jo In Sung's acting was perfect , too, cause that unfocused, scared look was so familiar to me and it devastated me too see that onscreen. I don't really cry over dramas, maybe get teary-eyed a bit on rare occasions, but this one genuinely got me.


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