Cha Soo Hyun’s awakening

Morro Cabana is the place CSH went in order to watch the wonderful sunset at Malecon Beach. The man working at the Havana Hotel recommended her this place by telling her that this was the place to fall in love. However, CSH went there alone and on her own. After JH’s rescue, she woke up and realized that she had put her head on JH’s shoulder. Nonetheless, after some awkward moment, she saw the beautiful sunset and was mesmerized by it. However, JH told her that in order to be more moved by this beautiful sunset, she should listen to a certain song. The moment she listens to the music, you can see how the song and the scenery affect her.

Suddenly tears appear showing a sadness and even a heartbreak. In that moment, the image becomes white and black… 

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 It was as if CSH gets aware of the unhappiness and tragedy in her life. She remembers sad moments in her life, where she has to fake smile and happiness, like f. ex. this one

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or her marriage.

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In the picture above, she doesn’t even smile which indicates how terrible for her the wedding was. She never wanted to get married. All these events, showed in black and white, are sad and painful memories of her life. Actually, we could say that her life was lifeless, since it was colorless. The negative emotions are clearly visible and palpable in these memories. Then the director contrasts her memories with the couple dancing in the sunset.

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The couple is moving, there are a lot of bright colors (red, gold, yellow) indicating that in this place and in this moment, there is life and joy. People are enjoying the moment and their life, living to the fullest. But instead of getting too emotional and even depressed, she closes her eyes and takes a long breath. 

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It was as if she decided to come out of the coma, not to let her “vegetative state” continue. She breathes for real and get rid of these terrible memories that have marked her life until now. Then the camera position changes and we see couples dancing to the music, while CSH just sits there.

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So the contrast reinforces the idea that CSH’s deep breath before was an awakening. She might no longer be in a coma but she doesn’t move. She doesn’t know what to do, she just enjoys the moment: the beautiful scenery and music. For the first time, she smiles genuinely. 

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Since the camera is always focusing on her head and face and not her body/heart, the director intends to underline two aspects:

– CSH has made up her mind… her reason is behind it, not an emotional decision.   

– her disposition has changed. She has made up her mind: she wants to enjoy life and not continue living a lifeless and depressing life. To conlude, her mindset has changed: she wants to live differently.

This explains why for the first time, she asks someone for help. She even expresses her desire: to drink some beer. So some might say that CSH’s awakening was CSH’s own decision and JH had nothing to do with it and JWS was right to wait. However, this is not correct because JH was the one who offered her to listen to the music… without the music, CSH wouldn’t have been that moved. All her senses have been touched due to the combination of music and the wonderful sunset. For CSH, it was a magical moment. JH sensed something, when he saw her mesmerized by the beauty of the view. Because of his own experience, he wanted her to share the same feelings and experience. What he didn’t realize was the extent of this gesture. His gesture would move her “brain” so that we witness CSH’s awakening…

JWS could have waited for a lifetime… nothing would have happened. Sure, another element played in JH’s favour: his sincerity and his simplicity. Since JWS is playing games with her (deal at the birthday party: I’ll deal with my mother, you treat me nicely / begging for a divorce as he fell in love with a woman… but he is still not married), JH is the exact opposite. He is always honest and humble. CSH had many opportunities to see that: the camera, dancing in the street, the offered shoulder, the music, barefoot walking, helping her with the shoes… but more importantly, 

these words:

Encounter episode 1 JH CSH courage.png

What JH tells her clashes with her ex-husband’s behavior during their marriage: remaining quiet and the next day bombarding her with expensive gifts. JWS’s behaviour contributed to her emptiness and loneliness. Here, JH is not acting as her boyfriend but these words outline his maturity. Moreover, they are quite similar to the other advice he will give her in the episode 7: enduring it together with our good memories. He gives her the support she needs so that she becomes brave and can reveal herself to others. He is her source of strength, the sun that can makes the moon shine.  

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