Monday, January 28, 2013

Love Actually Inspired Scene (E18)

by Hanjae

@guadi, loved your post on Eun Soo's thoughts in the Love Actually scene! I was pondering about this from Choi Young's point of view during the recap yesterday but didn't end up posting it, so perhaps I'll add it now. Even though Young didn't understand the true message behind Eun Soo's words, I think his question about the date of the portal was in fact - quite intentional.

Choi Young was noticeably contemplative upon her remark that "a certain someone" will protect her should she be in danger, when he questioned her about her safety remaining where she is alone. Eun Soo wouldn't know, but it only served to heighten his inner struggle between being Eun Soo's protector or a dutiful general, which had begun to tear away at him following the death of the Wudalchi and his admission to Gongmin that he would always choose Eun Soo first. For him at this point, it was either one or the other; he could not follow his heart (Eun Soo) without placing the Wudalchi and the king in danger, but following the king's orders would place Eun Soo in danger.

Choi Young stating that he'll bring her to the portal, then, shows once again that he has chosen Eun Soo above all else - to bring her to the portal at this point, after his talk with Gongmin where he had once again expressed the wish to leave, could only mean that he thinks to relieve the burden between heart and duty by turning his back on the palace. Significantly, the "palace" really symbolizes more than just "duty" to Young, because honor and duty are not simply virtues where Young is concerned - they describe who he actually is as a man. To Young, who prizes the fulfillment of promises above his own life, he is in effect turning his back on who he is, which is why I'm glad that Eun Soo saw past this later and sought to rectify the situation.

The insistence on bringing her back to the portal so soon is also an interesting contrast to his earlier plea for her to stay by his side in her remaining time rather than with Deok Heung. It captures, perhaps, his renewed belief that he is incapability as a protector to anyone - whether the Wudalchi, the king or Eun Soo. Young is someone who's always seen only his worth as a warrior protector, so in his eyes his seeming loss of reliability has rendered him worthless. Rather than risking her life when he can no longer protect her properly, he believes it would be the best for her to return to safety in her own time, as soon as possible.

As for Young's "selfish" choice of Eun Soo over Gongmin - that may be so, but it was significant that this is the first time he had realized that he's found something more important to him than fulfilling his duty. As much as one's nation or political leader might deserve one's loyalty, how many men would choose that over the people they love? As much as Gongmin had given Young direction "career"-wise, would that mean more to him than the woman who had not only brought him back to life, but given him renewed motivation to continue living it? These are simply the choices that make us human. Young had always lived by casting aside his own personal desires, neglecting his emotional well-being in order to do what is "right" and honourable. This is the first time he'd done the opposite, and I can't hold it against him.

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