Romance, in kdramaland, is usually cheesy, deficient at times and often highly corny. I think it is safe to say that when you’ve watched a-few-too-many romance kdramas they tend to become repetitive as they all follow certain rules by the book. And when you think you’re done with the genre, Marriage Contract happens, and makes you completely revise all your thoughts and beliefs. It is not that MC broke any rules or reinvented the genre. MC actually followed all the clichés and yet managed to come out so refreshing and stimulating against all odds, and that is why Marriage Contract is a must watch. STORY Marriage contract is your average, predictable and cliché kdrama. We get our over-used closed and shut-down, borderline rude and arrogant rich, chaebol male lead; the younger, naïve, kind-hearted and poor girl and we see their love story develop through a very foreseeable melo plot-story. However, even if you feel you can predict everything from the first episode, MC manages to pull you in with its incredible and unique feel of raw-ness. The characters are ordinary, and yet they are so original. The male lead is overly rough and mean on the outside, but with such a marshmallow core that makes him completely loveable from the first moment; the female lead is your average girl in need, but she is a fighter and you will root for her and her wonderful personality to be happy. Characterization and character development are commendable and one of the main reasons i would recommend this. The drama is packed with small, simple moments of everyday life that superficially are skippable, but they ultimately make the drama what it really is. Small moments, like hugging a friend, trimming your hair, talking to your kid, playing with pets; moments that are insignificant in dramas, but mean so much for a person in real life, because they express happiness and sadness; life’s core traits. THIS is what this show is, and this is where it is unique, this is where it is extraordinary and this is where it exceeds expectations and becomes an amazing show. Basically, what exactly is Marriage Contract? MC Is a story about how family can completely destroy you as a person, destroy your life, destroy your dreams, destroy your hopes, destroy everything you love. It depicts perfectly the bittersweet/love-hate feelings someone can have towards their family, and how these problems can be confronted. Opening up to a special someone is the key to being happy. Letting go, forgiving yourself and others, and ultimately loving and sharing your life with someone else; and when you've found that someone, live in the moment, don't spend your time restlessly thinking about the future. Be happy, in the moment! The background of the drama is the very dysfunctional family of the male lead who desperately tries to find an organ donor for his sick and troubled mother. This is where the female lead comes into the picture, hence the marriage contract. See? Super simple, super predictable almost enough for someone to skip/drop this. And yet…. the drama is exquisite, in many ways it reminded me of It’s Ok, That’s Love. Lastly, I would like to talk to you about the chemistry here, because it is probably the best thing this drama has to offer. I think i can safely say that real chemistry between the leads is rare in kdramas. Some people can ship any pretty faced actors together, I can’t. I need sparks; I need them to prove to me that they are worth my tears, my time and my frustration! Lee Seo Jin and Uee not only had sizzling and magnificent chemistry, not only they looked phenomenal together, not only each of their moments was heart-wrenching and mind-blowing, but they re-invented the term 'on screen chemistry' for me since they managed to actually seem like a family. What’s more, the most astonishing thing of them all, the kid actress Shin Rin Ah managed to develop such an amazing chemistry not only with Uee (mother-daughter relationship), but with Lee Seo Jin as well (father-daughter relationship). The three of them looked so unrealistically wonderful together they will destroy and revive your feelings over and over again. One of the best overall on-set chemistries I’ve ever seen. This drama is arguably a masterpiece, not because of an innovative plot or anything like it, but because of its raw simplicity and flawless chemistry. ACTING I’ll be frank. I’m tired of people hating Uee’s acting. I am not completely familiar with her previous projects, I’ve watched bits and pieces of them, but she certainly gave the performance of her life here, and I pity people who couldn’t see that! She is an actress who is improving, and she should be praised for this. She puts effort in her acting, she cares! She was impeccable, exquisite and luscious in every way here, there wasn’t a single moment where I didn’t feel what she was feeling, amazing facial expressions, great body expressions, very emotional crying, really mature deliverance by Uee overall. People, who disagree, apparently need someone to hate, please hate yourselves and leave Uee alone! As far as Lee Seo Jin is concerned, for one, he was so hot, manly and handsome I was taken by surprise. Secondly he managed pull off brilliantly, a pretty complicated character, who could have been easily hated. He delivered a great and sensuous performance; he made his character understandable from the very beginning - he apparently took the time to actually understand his character before taking the role. What I’d like to especially mention is his terrific deliverance on the emotion of happiness. His character was largely depressed, the worst kind of depression; the kind, that is not visible and seem ok on the surface. Happiness is a funny thing, everyone can imitate and say they are happy but which of us actually are? Lee Seo Jin send shivers down my spine, specific moments made, not only his character feel more raw and real, but also it enhanced the whole point of the show and helped the drama have more impact. Lastly, I feel the need to congratulate the kid actress Shin Rih Na, she is deadly talented, best kid actor I’ve seen thus far. Her role here, wasn’t just to be cute, her role was essential for the drama to make sense and she was exquisite in it. She has a bright future in this industry. These 3 should act together in the future again! RECOMMEND/REWATCH This is a melo-romance. People who like melodramas, you’ll like it, it is not overly sentimental (although it does get increasingly depressing), people who like rom-coms, this might be too much for you, but since I know you love a good romance, this is recommended. This kind of chemistry should not be missed or ignored! I will definitely rewatch this at some point!
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