Love via cellphone

While I was watching this drama for my analysis about feet and hands, I came to realize that the hands are often shown with the cellphone. This connection between hands and cellphone starts with this significant scene:


JH takes a picture of his hand where he has just written his cellphone number. Striking is until that moment, we had no taking about cellphones. Why? First, when CSH meets JH for the first time, she has just lost her cellphone. JH didn’t use it at all, he had his camera with him. However, when they are about to part from each other, CSH keeps asking about his phone number but JH refuses as he doesn’t want to be misunderstood… he would rather like to meet her in person again hence he proposes to meet at the cafe for breakfast at 9.00 am. Since CSH doesn’t show up, he leaves a note where he asks her what he always wanted to know: does she have a boyfriend? As you can see, JH doesn’t seem to be the type who uses a lot his cellphone, he is rather a direct person.

Encounter episode 3 JH and CSH the beach.png
episode 3

In the picture above, the connection between hands and cellphone is even reinforced because we have CSH’s hands holding the phone and we have JH’s hands represented in the picture. So indirectly, their hands touch each other through the cellphone. And this is really important because I had already analysed before that JH will use his hands to get closer to CSH and bring down her walls she had created around her. Remember this scene (episode 3), where they play at the beach:  He describes himself as the biggest excavator in his neighborhood. With his hands, he puts away the sand and he wins each time. Therefore we could interpret this game as a metaphor for the future events. With his hands, he will little by little come closer to CSH’s heart. With his hands, he will be able to destroy her thick walls and make her surrender.

But since they had returned to the reality after leaving Cuba, JH was well aware that he had to start from the scratch. Here, CSH was not a destitute woman but a CEO. So there is this huge gap and if he wants to get closer to her, this time he needs to give her his cellphone number. He can not approach her directly, unlike in the past. Interesting is that director gives us another taking.

Encounter episode 2 JH hand number.png

Here JH is happily looking at his hand because he has not just made a move, he has also succeeded with his attempt to get closer to her. CSH didn’t reject his offer. Striking is that after giving his cellphone number, JH receives no phone call and no text. He knows that she needs to make the first move as she has the upper hand. She is after all his boss and if he tries to ask her for her cellphone number, this might not be well perceived. JH is very well aware of the image he wants to give to her. So nothing happens… however, we see JH now using his cellphone more often. He checks on her via his cellphone.

Encounter episode 4 JH cellphone.png

That’s his only way to know what is happening to her. However, parallel to this, he keeps to be in touch with her with his hands. Since he can not see her directly, he counts the floors in order to know where her office is.

Encounter episode 3 JH hand floor.png
Encounter episode 3 counting the floor.png

Notice that the director uses two takings for this scene underlining his need for physical touch and closeness. As soon as he meets her, JH starts to use his hands for real to get closer to her, like here for example 

We shouldn’t forget that he did the same gesture in Cuba and offering his arm marked the start of the first move to get closer to her hand. So he is using the same method again.

But now, let us go back to our main focus, which is the use of the cellphone. Only in the episode 5, CSH contacts JH with her cellphone.

Encounter episode 5 JH Cellphone.png
episode 5
Encounter episode 5 CSH cellphone.png

But she doesn’t call him. She texts him after seeing being depressed. So they don’t talk to each other but exchange their thoughts via cellphone. Here, the cellphone helps them to create a private sphere where they can be genuine and even intimate. No one can hear them or even see them talking to each other. They can escape from the attention of the media and the journalists. This justifies why for a while, JH and CSH text each other a lot for a while. The fear to be seen together is still there, on the other hand, CSH starts getting more and more comfortable with JH so that in the episode 6, she is not scared to be seen with JH, when she puts his necktie. 

Some viewers were complaining that CSH seemed to be rather passive in her relationship with JH. However, the cellphone proves the opposite. She is the one who decides to text JH, when she notices his sadness. She wants to help him. She is also the one who called JH first with her cellphone (episode 7)

Encounter episode 7 CSH first call.png

In the same episode, JH uses his cellphone in order to know how far CSH’s place is from the Han river.

Encounter episode 7 JH cellphone 1.png

Initially, he is struggling because of his immanent transfer but his wandering thoughts make him realize that he misses her. He wants to be closer to her hence he makes a research. As you can observe the cellphone is here used again as a way to get closer to her. Moreover, he also realizes that he has no picture of her in his cellphone. Actually, he has already one picture of her, but only in his camera. Therefore we can conclude that the cellphone has become more important in JH’s life. The closer he gets to her, the more he uses it which is understandable because he used the cellphone as a way to get closer to her first. This was his first approach. 

Encounter episode 7 JH picture cellphone.png

That way, he will be able to see her any time. The mobile usage illustrates the evolution of their relationship and their love. Then in the episode 10, JH is the first one who initiates the first video phone call. CSH feels uncomfortable while JH acts as the expert. However, I doubt that he has ever done a video phone call before. JH likes to make himself appear as competent, confident, strong and manly. Don’t forget that he is the best excavator from his neighborhood, the expert with the game machine (where he failed), the docent in his neighborhood. As their relationship progressed, you can sense that JH feels more and more comfortable with his cellphone. He has changed a lot. I have the impression that he used to be a little old-fashioned when it comes to the cellphone. However, in the episode 11, hJH calls her in order to have an office romance in a hidden room and he uses it in order to sing to CSH.

Encounter episode 11 JH singing.png

He has become more and more confident and so obvious that he is not able to hide his huge love for her. They are caught by the cleaning lady (“these are the good times”) and his brother hears him singing. JH is more and more taking risks to be caught. What caught my attention in this scene above is his need to touch physically CSH while singing to her. So he goes to the white howl embodying our heroine and touch the plush toy. Our main character is indeed a greedy person, as he can not get enough of CSH. 

And let take us a closer look at JWS. In the beginning, we never see him calling CSH. They just meet and we have to assume that she called him (episode 3) or he called her. First, in the episode 10, we witness a scene where JWS calls CSH but the latter rejects the offer to meet him at the Sky lounge. This scene is quite important because it reveals that JWS has always had her cellphone number and he could contact her anytime. Yet, JWS has only one picture of CSH in his cellphone… the one he had before he met her. This proves that he never used the cellphone to get closer to her. Moreover, we never see him texting her. Only in the episode 11, he sends a text which CSH doesn’t see as she is dating JH. But his text is rather common… while CSH and JH put a lot of thoughts in their texts. We see them texting one thing, then erasing the text and tip another text. In the pictures above with the texts, the viewer see the final message, the one JH and CSH read. To summarize, JWS’s failure is visible with the mobile usage. He only sees it as a way to meet CSH. Our main leads utilize the mobile in order to cheer up their partner, to share their thoughts, to convey their love, to take pictures, to sing, to locate the person aso. JWS is a pragmatical person who is not romantic at all. Furthermore this also underlines JWS’s lack of expression skills. He doesn’t use the cellphone that much because he barely talks.  

Finally,  the cellphone plays an important in the second couple: Lee Dae Chan and Jang Mi Jin. Although both have a false impression of each other, they are able to connect through the cellphone. JM played a part in it as he downloaded the dating application. What caught my attention is that DC and JMJ post the same picture. They hide half of their face in the picture. The face, half covered, symbolizes that they are revealing just a part of their identity. They are not entirely revealing who they are. However, their relationship progresses much quicker than JH and CSH’s as they have less hurdles. JMJ and LDC only needed to get rid of their prejudice and first impression. The app revealed that they had some affinities, yet JMJ had more expectations about her future boyfriend. The closer she gets to DC, the more she changes her criteria about a boyfriend. In the last episode, she made a move in that direction: she visited DC’s restaurant as she wanted to see him… yet, she was a little embarrassed. Nevertheless, DC is a step ahead of her in my opinion. He openly admits that he likes her and he even mentioned marriage in front of his friends. 

To conclude, the use of cellphone in this drama reflects the evolution of our modern society. However, there is this common critic that cellphone and Internet contribute to the isolation of people and lack of interaction and communication among people. Strangely, the drama showed the positive side of the cellphone.

One thought on “Love via cellphone

  1. Thank you. Loved this analysis. Talking about Jin Hyuk’s need for physical closeness with Soo Hyun, the way when he is with her, he always leaning to her side whenever he is walking or talking with her or even in episode 3 where they are drinking coffee by the beach he sits nearer to her.

    Liked by 2 people

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