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[drama 2008] Bittersweet Life 달콤한 인생 (la Dolce Vita)


koalabear

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Guest jdkk09

The burden of his acting is in the later half of this drama, when one sees his tormented soul.  As for his 'suicide', in his mind, it wasn't so much a suicide, as it was a penalty that he had to pay.  This drama is extremely complex and can be appreciated by considering the multi-layers of motivation and emotions, which is why the review on twitch is so positive.  This drama requires the viewer to work for what s/he can get out of it.  And, the more one gets out of it, the more one will appreciate the fine writing, directing, acting, etc.

I wholeheartedly agree with your comment about this drama.  It's the very fine subtle layers that makes it a drama that can be difficult to watch.  It's the kind of drama that makes you think about what has motivated a character to behave so out of character.  I loved this drama and watched it several times.  It is not for everyone as it's not a feel good drama with a feel good happy ending.  Although the ending was satisfying for the story.  I thought Lee Dong Wook  did an excellent job.  He was a tortured soul and it was played well when you look at his eyes.  It was all in his eyes.  

I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

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  • 1 year later...
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Auntie Mame!  I hadn't read your "puzzle" comments (FIVE YEARS LATER!) because I just finished this episode.  They echo my sentiments to the TEE.  Since I can't find reviews or recaps to help me with my cultural gaps, I've resorted to recapping on a legal pad, laboriously - compulsively - the first 6 episodes, just to "frame" the puzzle and try not to miss any important details.  This is just such a rich drama in every way.

I was just glad that someone else described it the same way I was seeing it.

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Mil gracias, baduy (and everyone else who's commented and analyzed).  Here, five years later, I'm gratefully following your spot translations after watching each episode.  At first, I couldn't find summaries, recaps or reviews for LDV.  Even the first pages of this forum surprised me with blacked-out comments.  What to do?  Soooo, I started recapping it myself, for my own [limited] understanding, so as not to miss any of the puzzle pieces to this extraordinary drama. Six episodes exhausted one legal pad.

Thankfully, I kept the soompie page open to look at after each episode, and then you started.  Oh.  My.  God!  Awe-full - as in brimming with awe!  At the complexity of the Korean language, the difficulty translation presents, the cultural implications of body language, just the amount of "stuff" I don't "get" or thought I got, but actually didn't (especially when it comes to JS).  De nuevo, mil gracias desde Puerto Rico.

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@Gasenadi:  The 'blacked-outs' aren't blacked out.  They are the original spoiler tags that were not converted into this version of soompi.  You can still read it if you highlight the blacked-out portions, with your cursor.

This thread was as great as the drama itself.  It was a very insightful group of people.  I'm glad that five years later, you still find the thread useful. :)

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Why can't I choose "Awesome" AND "LOL"!?  Ditto to everything Auntie Mame said.

Baduy, I laughed myself silly over the potential arson scene, which I merely thought ultra-cheesy, valentine-y.   You forced me to recall the exact scene -candles surrounded by HAY!!!- where I abandoned Autumn in My Heart.  I couldn't suspend disbelief THAT much.
:))

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I don't even know whether someone has already observed this 5 years ago, but I just HAD to pause at 1:13, the beginning of ep. 17.  The CONTRASTS between HJ's discovery of DW's "jogging" and DW's witnessing are a thing of beauty:

HJ was hiding in her car; DW's in plain sight, waiting on the street.
HJ catches DW leaving, sending loving gestures from the street to DA, in the balcony (Romeo+Juliet?); DW sees them as they arrive hand in hand, like any normal lovers.
HJ broods in silence for a year (?);  DW's wrath is instantly "out on the street" for all to see.

Yet both couples (HJ+JS/DW+DA) act like teens in love.

Love
this
drama!

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Auntie Mame says:

"Such ego, arrogance and pomposity. I'll wager that DW is in the same camp with a man, that I overheard, advising another man not to confess an affair to his wife because "what she doesn't know wouldn't hurt her". (This man actually believed that lying was for the benefit/good of the wife. imageimage)"

Actually, I'm seeing the same traits in DA, as much as I'm fond of her for initially trying to break things off with DW.  But, to her credit (?), she was up front about wanting to have what others had right from the very beginning.  Now, with JS+HJ, it's amplified to the nth degree. 

In this episode, she's confessing, first to DW, then to HJ about her internet sabotage with (unlike those adulterers who keep the secret to spare the spouses' suffering) the blatant goal of causing the most harm possible.  As if that will win her JS's love...

And JS asking DA to "wait a year" for his passionate call?  It's just that ambivalence that dampers my enthusiasm for the HJ/JS relationship.  IDK. 
:-$

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The ost for this drama is still one of my favorites that I listen to all the time.  So,  I've never forgotten this drama.  Although the dog licking ice cream scene was too icky for me, so I promptly erased it from memory. 

However, I just realized the legless mutt licking the ice cream, while surrounded by three smiling and adoring females is having a very 'sweet life'. Of course, being someone's 'pet', in one form or other, is having all one's needs met, but at a price to one's self-esteem and self-determination.  Therein, lies the difference between a dog and a human.  I don't think dogs have self-esteem or require self-determination.

BTW, I don't if the videos are still there, but Youtube had several mv's that were memorable. 
:)

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"And JS asking DA to "wait a year" for his passionate call?"  

You do realize that he knew that she would never receive the call, right?  He knew he will have been long dead by then.  I think in one of my previous comments, I mentioned that JS knew that, with the Spring thaw, the body of SG would be recovered and he (JS) would have to 'pay the piper'.

I think JS also knew that DA would never have to wait a year for him.  Her lines of admirer wouldn't allow her to do so.  She's too attractive and vibrant not to be noticed by other men.

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Bien, where to start?  My heartfelt gratitude to Auntie Mame.  It's not the first time she's been a mirror to my viewing experience, erasing any of my interpretative smudges along the way.

To koalabear, thunderbolt (mucha salud) and all those who have added towards increasing my love for this drama.  The thread even had reviews by Mister X - those scrumptiously detailed, contextualized essays.  Squeee!

Of course to baduy.  The spot translations - with cultural explanations when needed - were exactly what I had searched for.  His comments about the language clarified so many things for me, made me "vewy" afraid of its complexity yet gave me hope that I still might learn something.  I'd recently abandoned the thought of ever learning Korean.  But, baduy points out, millions of children learn it by the age of five.  What's my excuse?

One of the many LDV scenes that'll be forever etched in my memory is the second time he embraces HJ standing from the back and takes her hands to show her how *sniff*  if she reaches out to touch, JS will always be with her.  The drama's ost faded for me, and all I could hear was Leo Sayers' "When I Need You".  So, that's my tiny gift to you all on this forum for helping me:


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@Gasenadi, you might want to add you your thank-you rollcall the baseball net against which Mister X smashed his hand just a few weeks into the airing schedule of this drama, forcing him to suspend his -- as ever utterly superb -- subbing for a while. That's why I ventured to step in with my recap efforts so as to ease people's withdrawal symptoms and tide them over till X could type again, even though back then my Korean was a lot more limited than it is now (which is saying something). But fools rush in... 


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Oh!  I forgot to ask:

Several times in LDV, JS lifts his hand to the sun as he squints.  Having seen this same "blocking the sun with the hand and squinting" in other dramas, I sorta, kinda, guessed what was coming. (Sooo different from our refrain in Spanish: "tapar el cielo con la mano" which loosely means avoiding the obvious, foolishly attempting to cover things up)

But why?  Is it a cultural, spiritual pose that's understood in that part of the world to signal the d-word?

Also forgot to thank Auntie Mame for the hint about the blackouts.  Gracias!  My daughter also just gave me the heads up, as she's seen it on other sites.

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Well well! Korean has the almost identical saying  손바닥으로 하늘을 가리려한다 - literally "trying to cover the sky with the palm of your hand," and one of its various uses is exactly the one you cite for the Spanish saying.

I suspect the gesture you've noticed signifies a kind of half-hesitant, semi-apologetic hubris. Daring to look the sun in the eye, so to speak, yet acknowledging that no mortal can actually do this without at the same time shielding themselves from the destructive consequences of that challenge to a primal force of nature.  There's an impressive variant in the first episode of Shark, in what struck me as the most memorable sequence in a Korean drama so far this year. Across a school library, a boy watches a sleepy girl feel the warmth of the sun on her face then turn to look at the window, holding her outstretched hand between her face and the incoming sunlight, and they both dreamily contemplate the way the light forms a kind of halo round her fingers. It seems to be a figure of her wish to become an artist and his fascination with astronomy, and a portent of the way neither ambition will be fulfilled. He will disappear and she will abandon her artistic aspirations to become a prosecutor and uncover the truth behind their brutal separation. There's no dialogue, just a ravishing piece of music for piano and strings, specially composed for this drama and never heard in the foreground again. It is also, infuriatingly, absent from the "complete" OST CD released a few weeks ago. Its lyrical delicacy is brought out all the more when, overlapping its final cadence, its sweeping chromatic modulations and tempo shifts are replaced by the thumping compound triple beat and sparsely pentatonic tonality of Boa's "Between love and hate".

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  • 4 months later...
Guest drisris

QUOTE (baduy @ Jul 20 2008, 09:30 AM) »

Which reminds me. Did nobody get a piggyback anywhere in this drama? Could this really be the first piggyback-free Kdrama?  JoonSoo piggybacked his mother on the beach. It was for fun, not for the "usual" drunken necessity or medical emergency.

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