The Secret Message ~ Review ~ DramajjangKwon Sang Seung 2015-12-11
“Sometimes, there are things that can be felt without using any words.
Sometimes, there are things i want to convey without using words.
At times like that, we utilize different means other than using words.
A means that only you and i can understand, a special language.”
Ueno Juri had entranced me in Nodame Cantabile with her unforgettable and one of a kind performance and T.O.P, except for being my favorite Big Bang member, was exceptional in 71: Into the Fire. Truth be told, it was debatable on whether i wanted to watch The Secret Message or not and at some point i decided to watch the first episode out of curiosity.
“I believed that one could only meet his/her true self through falling in love.”
The Secret Message felt kind of directionless and all over the place in the beginning, but soon enough it started forging its own universe which was progressing with meaningful and distinctive steps. Without even noticing it i was already being gently devoured by its twofold aesthetic somewhere between humor and emotion and i could only finish it in one take. At the end of the day, i felt rewarded as i could often relate to the storyline’s flow.
“Do you have days that you regret?”
The Secret Message floats in a sea of fundamental questions about love and the way it affects people’s lives, questions which are usually enveloped in a rhetorical hourglass as personal as one’s feelings and so is the answer; if it ever appears in gracious light. The timing, the longing, the personal experiences, the wounds, the gloom of reminiscence and the agonizing hope for a heart’s sunrise are all engulfed in The Secret Message’s world.
“Love is all about timing.
If something goes wrong while two people
Are exploring the chemistry between them
Fate separates them; mercilessly.”
Like a lengthy movie fragmented in parts, The Secret Message possesses a late 90s – early 00s film aesthetic, but it’s being filtered through a modern prism. Korean introversion and Japanese lyricism blend together to greet both countries’ temperament when it comes to an excessive sense of humor, unforced or slapstick. The humorous aspects of The Secret Message aren’t an end in itself, they’re there to lighten up its emotionally fortified nature and they succeed in it.
“Love is a funny thing.
It seems like it will last forever, but it all ends in vain.
And the person who’s left behind is the only one who gets hurt.”
Subtle and elegant, at times poetic without feeling verbose or forced, The Secret Message infuses its older aesthetic through the natural cinematography’s modern point of view while emphasizing on the lighting factor, the surrounding environment and the character’s feelings. There’s a certain Japanese touch of faded yet caressing warmth accompanying the characters’ nighttime or golden brown afternoons followed by the closeups reflecting the figures’ internal world on the canvas of their faces. Just like the main characters come from South Korea, Woo Hyun (T.O.P/Choi Seung Hyun), and Japan, Haruka (Ueno Juri), the overall attempt holds a marriage of a wide variety of both countries’ characteristics through hilarious and sentimental explosions.
“Even so, when you loved someone,
Weren’t you happy enough at that point?
That’s why people love again despite everything, isn’t it?”
The Secret Message feels like sparse pictures in a collage of two people getting to know one another’s emotional map. The pieces of the puzzle come closer together through its ongoing chapters which possess their very own vibes as they steadily relate to one another. Gradually, the main figures’ intricate background stories become more specific and two seemingly parallel universes get intertwined in the middle of a magnetic wind. Hyun Woo filming an interview-oriented documentary concerning people falling in and out of love and Haruka dancing and expressing herself work as a self-healing process in search of answers which could chase away the shadows of the past.
“Is it okay to consider this a type of fated encounter?
Is it okay for my heart to be aflutter, like this?”
Both T.O.P and Ueno Juri were marvelous in their characters’ presentations and they lived up to my personal expectations with the first one being utterly hilarious but also filled with emotion whenever he had to and the second one with her refreshing sense of tranquility and emotional eloquence. The chemistry was strong between them through a sense of absence that was making each one of them more than present in one another’s lives with their characters’ distinctive auras. The Secret Message is all about Woo Hyun and Haruka, all secondary figures were there to strengthen the main characters’ development, solely and together. However, this doesn’t mean that they didn’t have their own specific yet simplistic background stories playing their own part with their humorous surface and sentimental underlays in this emotional intelligence quest .
“What are the chances that one man and one woman
Out of the seven billion others in the world would meet?”
The Tokyo Tower possessed its own Over Time (Takashi Sorimachi and Makiko Esumi) dynamics, more like a feeling rather than in terms of scenario structure and deeper symbolism, but it became a central aspect of The Secret Message at some point. The Secret Message reminded me a bit of Il Mare (Jun Ji Hyun and Lee Jung Jae) in terms of ambiance, but with a different sense of mailbox and its very own characteristics and approach.
“The two of us existed in the same space, at the same time.”
The Secret Message is a parallel yet intersecting journey of two worlds apart yet together about “the things i’d like to ask just once and the things i’d never want to ask you, because it makes me a bit scared, but i would like to hear your story; because it’s you.”
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