I wonder, does Kang Dongwon not do happy? … Cuz I'm about to run out of tears here.
She's suicidal. He's on death row. Y'know this ain't ending well. But you hope anyway. Maybe they'll throw in a twist and surprise us. Maybe the writer's a genius who thinks of a solution so unthought of yet so perfectly fitting. Maybe… just maybe, because it's Christmas.
For the most part, Maundy Thursday, if you can tell from its name, is a bit heavy in the religious message. It's steeped with Christian teachings and the idea of forgiveness. I'm not exactly religious myself so it mostly goes in one ear and out the other. I pay more attention to Yunsoo and Yoojung's time together (which, apparently the Korean title translates to Our Happy Time) because that bit is what feels more relevant and personal to me. They're two complete strangers, bound by the deepest hurt. Both are too tired and angry to keep their will to live. Yet as her visit becomes more frequent, so do their laughters. They manage to reach out and find themselves more relatable to each other than first seems. Suddenly, life's not so empty for the first time and there's something to look forward to each day. And from that, I personally realize you shouldn't ever wish to end your life. Because you'll never know… happiness might just be around the corner.
(so proud to tell him she cooked for the first time, only to have him tell her the rice balls are too salty lol~)
(he was fascinated with his "first snow" so she went and took photos of other "first experiences" for him)
Outside of their muted happy time however, the movie tends to swing from oddly saccharine to heavy-handedly grim… which is to say they milked the cheese for all it's worth. Where in the world do prison inmates bond in a snow fight? Don't tell me all these men are falsely convicted and haven't sold their inner child to the devil. And while I find Yoonjung's backstory sympathetic and relatable in the real-world sense, Yunsoo's is a wee bit contrived. I feel a little bad to say this, but I like the leading ladies' characters so far in all these projects more than I like KDW's character (with the exception of Haunters
, which has nothing I like).
[ENDING SPOILER AHEAD] – You've been warned
I don't know why it'd be considered a spoiler since, y'know, he's on death row >_< but why, hello, curious souls! He does indeed die 😦 and it makes me cry heaps. Less because I feel bad for him and more because I feel bad for her. When Yoojung receives news of his execution date, she sprints out the door. Not to see him, but to see her mother. The mother whose very face sickened her. The mother who still causes much grief and anger. The mother who hasn't asked for forgiveness. The mother she'd sooner die than to forgive. And she she goes to tell that very same mother she's going to forgive her, because she's just that desperate for a miracle in exchange for Yunsoo's life. And of course the miracle doesn't come. It breaks my heart to see her sit in front of his execution. To see the one person you love the most dying surely although he's perfectly healthy, and there's not a damn thing you can do to prevent it, is just about the most devastating thing you can go through. I think I get especially affected by the ending because I had a personal experience with the same exact situation. Fortunately it was only in a dream, but the feelings were so very real and it still chokes me up whenever I think about it. Also, although it may be viewed as a tragic love story which couldn't be, Yoojung's character specifically makes the "couldn't be" less satisfactory. Cuz…you're not supposed to heap more sadness on an already damaged person. I fail to see how she's going to live after he dies, especially when nothing else throughout the course of the movie gave her relief from her hurt.