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[Drama 2014] Secret Love Affair 밀회


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17 hours ago, lila21 said:

I am at the 3rd episode. It is amazing how Seon Jae developed this self-awareness and sensitivity at his age compared to Hye won who is a smart businesswoman and talented musician but seems to neglect the call of her soul. At the conversation with Seon Jae in the bathroom after Seon Jae cleaned the mouse glue off her feet, Seon Jae said very sincerely that they were fated to meet, that he was meant to find her and become his teacher. Hye Won looked at him disbelievingly and asked if Seon Jae was not mentally cringing while saying what was in his heart. Seon Jae protested saying he was sincere. He explained that he was a delivery person who has no interactions with people he delivered orders to.  They have no interest in him personally and neither does, he. He went to deliver at the school not expecting to meet her or anyone at the school yet the events that happened after his delivery led to him meeting her and becoming his teacher. She was the first person who ever listened to him play and was interested in how he got into music and play the piano, the first person to give an opinion about his piano performance and first to play the piano with him. He then told Hye Won those were the reasons why she is his real teacher, not her husband. Seon Jae is so self-aware, he knows his own mind, what he wants. From an early age he played the piano. His mother bought him the piano from next door, and he could not afford to pay for music lessons, so he played by ear downloading music scores from You Tube. Even from childhood he knew himself, what he wanted to do or accomplish and made it possible even with the limitations of money. Hye Won on the other hand is the opposite. She appears to be this sophisticated, highly educated administrator at a prestigious music school where all the elites of society are competing to get their children admitted to the school. She lives in a beautiful house at an upscale neighborhood and married to a professor at the same school. However, appearance is sometimes deceiving. Compared to Seon Jae, she has no awareness of her true self. She is only an administrator in name. She does all the work because she is the only one qualified among those who were assigned to run the school. The wife of the owner of the school is the chairwoman of the school and she has no idea what a music sheet is, and the spoiled, ill-educated, abusive and ignorant daughter who has no idea of her duties as a school administrator. Hye Won is the only person capable of running the school but she does not get credit and even gets physically abused by the crazy daughter. Yet Hye Won tolerates them all and goes on with her life. It is as if she has buried her true self. Will she realize what Seon Jae said? It is true that they were destined to meet, because they need each other to fulfill their destinies. She will give Seon Jae the chance to fulfill his desire to become an accomplished musician and he will help her find and free herself from the bondage of her husband and the toxic environment of the school. Seon Jae is very perceptive.

 

 

Helloooo! Is this your first time watching?

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 7/25/2021 at 1:54 AM, shooastrid said:

REWATCH - JULY 2021

 

Since 2016 when I first saw this series, I have been rewatching SLA for many, many times. The past 2 days I rewatched SLA for the gazilionth time, and every single time, this drama never failed to evoke something in me. The series always leaves me gasping with beautiful, despair, longing yet hopeful feelings in the end.

 

I wanted to address PRISON VISIT Scene and things that I did not notice before, mixed with my interpretation.

 

1:01:51 Son Jae straightened his back, after leaning down at the closed window blind and then turn around, looking up at the ceiling. This gesture is a typical gesture for someone when they are bored or nervous/excited about something. He fidgeted, held both his hands while looking down, fixing his shoelaces, blowing his breath... as if nervous about something. Pondering about something. What is that something?

 

1:02:12 Son Jae saw the two pennies haircut for the first time and was stunned in silence, momentarily forgotten about his thought. He never took his eyes away from HW, until he sat down and kept looking at her. From this scene, the camera angle then split into two: (1) Angle looking at HW from outside the mirror glass and (2) angle looking at SJ from inside.

 

Son Jae was stunned. Meanwhile, HW was shown to be. self-conscious about her hair, touching it multiple times, not looking at Son Jae. This shows the complexity of HW's character. She is so used to being humiliated in front of many people whom she served in the past. Here, in front of the man she loved... she couldn't help but feeling shy, but at the same time, being our brave HW, she faced it heads on by addressing the elephant in the room right away. Her eyes were cast down, unable to look at SJ except for few peeks. She bravely asked him how it was.

 

1:02:26 Camera moved to SJ's POV angle, looking at HW's face. Here, we can see his reflection on the mirror. This serves two purposes: (1) to give the viewers a hint of SJ's expression, and (2) artistic choice that conveyed a meaning.

 

1:02:41 After HW asked him how she looks, SJ need a bit of time to recuperate. It's not that the hair cuts affected how she looks in his eyes, but knowing SJ and his character... In the past episodes he was so hurt for not being able to protect his woman in front of the elites (ie. Yeon Woo during certificate ceremony, high wall houses, etc). Now imagine his heart, looking at the woman he loves, so close yet so far away. He can't reach for her, he can't protect her and even inside the bar there's evil too. I bet SJ remembers the few days he was detained in the prison for attacking the piano player. I bet he understand how hard it must be for HW to face all of that constantly for the next year or so.

 

SJ looked down after taking few hitched breaths. But then he looks up, remembering his original plan, the only salvation. This is aligned to his coping mechanism when he was detained (remembering good memories, playing piano with HW). He wanted something from HW. That's why in the beginning of prison visit scene, he was nervous.

 

1:02:46 Son Jae's reflection was visible again. This time his shadow crossed at HW's image, as if having her back, together with her. He's smiling. His eyes at HW when she asked him if she look too pretty was a total and complete adoration, as SJ came into realisation that this is the only thing that he can give the woman he loves. Same like how them playing together saved him, he knows that he must not show (too much) sadness and despair, as she's embarking on a long solitude journey inside the prison, without him to protect her. 

 

So after a moment of deliberation, he's putting on a brave face. He answered: 'It looks good on you'. His expression says it all.

 

From here on, we must note that every time HW's face is the focus, there's always clear SJ's reflection looming on the mirror. He looked down and when HW addressed him again, he smiled at her with a mix of sadness and longing at the same time.

 

01:02:58 The music started to play. Showing that the tense moment is slowly released as the two lovers came into realisation and understanding. HW understood that SJ will always be her kind hearted SJ, won't look down on her, despite their reversed social status (HW now a paria, and SJ is on his way to become a professional pianist competing for international title). SJ is now more at peace, knowing that he has one thing that he can offer Hae Won, which is hope. He did not want to make the situation even more bleak. He was hopeful and wanted HW to be hopeful too. That's why he put on a brave face and teased her in a kind and loving way. We must remember that Son Jae's character was a straight one, all the toe-curling words that he said to HW, he said it in the most sincere way. Here, it was no different. He saw her as she was: a beautiful, wickedly sexy woman that captured his heart from the first moment they met.

 

01:03:35 Son Jae looked up at HW after they joked a little bit, watching intently her genuine laugh. His smile changed into a longing one. Not defeated, but almost as if he finally came to peace with the situation that they faced.

 

01:03:54

HW touched subject about releasing him. She's a realistic woman and she loved SJ and wanted happiness from him. But we must remember, often time, her words were not aligned with what she felt. (ie. 'just stopped by', 'don't walk me out', 'don't invite me in', etc). She meant what she said, but she also wanted to selfishly have SJ waited for her. SJ recognised this easily after knowing HW for so long. That's why he was very calm, listening to what HW said. He might have predicted it even before coming to the prison (may be the reason why he was fidgeting at the beginning, he knew that HW might want to break up and try to be noble and let him go). SJ looked so calm. Too calm, watching HW as she spoke. No smile.

 

HW: 'It's okay if you want to leave'

 

SJ sighed, and even smiling a bit as if hearing something funny. He said: 'Where would I go when my home is here?'

He said it in the most exasperated expression, as if saying to HW, 'Dear, you are so predictable. But how come you did not see this from my perspective?'

 

Few things that I wanted to address in this important statement

 

1. The word 'home' is a recurring theme. To HW, 'home' is often 'work' too, therefore her house and 'Kang' were not the real 'home' for her. SJ and his humble rooftop apartment was her real 'home'. As SJ could provide the peaceful and protective feeling only 'home' can give.

Therefore, my interpretation here is that SJ wanted to say to HW that his home is Hye Won too. He did not mean his home is here as in Seoul in that rooftop. He means that his home was here, with HW. This is confirmed with HW's startled expression upon hearing his confession, knowing the weight of his statement.

 

2. Furthermore, now the shadow of SJ that crossing HW's image makes a perfect sense. In a movie, this detail is often added for artistic value and often has a subtext meaning. Knowing how the director is so meticulous, I know that he must choose the angle in purpose. My interpretation of SJ's shadow here is that he's always together with HW in spirit. He is at home when he's with HW. Even though they were separated by the mirror glass, he's there with her. He touches her everyday with the song that he plays, his love letter to HW.

 

3. Someone said that this is a proposal scene. As an Asian myself, I do agree that such promise is very serious. His statement about HW as his home is enough to give the indication. It's a promise to return and at the same time, a request to ask HW to remain hopeful for their reunion. In a way, it's like a proposal. He persuaded her, that what they have was too big 'it's going to be such a waste to break up just like that without at least trying' also 'they will fight fiercely and will be all over each other on another day' just like regular couple.
 

This interpretation also makes sense with couple of subtle signs, such as, him being nervous at the beginning, thinking on how to persuade HW to remain hopeful for their reunion... also the way he addressed her as 'dear' just like married couple in the end, during his monologue... 

 

01:05:25 After HW said 'ok. why not', SJ stilled for a moment, as if digesting her answer.

And 01:05:42, Son Jae quickly wiped away tears, happy to know that SW agrees to remain hopeful for them and their future together.

 

01:06:34 SJ's monologue:

'It's an undertone but definitely not surrender' (Mozart Rondo interpretation)

'calmly look at it. look deeply into it. and try loving it, that's what it whispers' (Mozart Rondo interpretation)

'it's how i touch you, every day, my dear (dang shin), you... wickedly sexy you. (comparing Mozart Rondo interpretation to how he feels about her)

'I will be back...' (SJ's promise to her)

 

Aaaaaaaaaaah.... so much love, so much feels... This is not bleak at all. As SJ put it: a slight undertone but definitely not a surrender. They will remain hopeful until they are reunited again...

 

T_T

 

Please reach out if you want to discuss or just do rewatch together.

 

Also if you know good fanfic of SLA, please share...

 

 

 

Thank you for such a beautiful rendition of those final scenes of the SLA.  Unlike you, I've not been able to rewatch SLA since the months I fell into it when it first aired and a few months thereafter. The experience was so intense I'm scared to fall in to it again. Too much going on in my real life. :)  But thank you for taking me back to those beautiful moment ever so briefly with your post. No other drama has had the impact on me that SLA managed to do.  

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