***I HAVE NOT SEEN 16. PLEASE DO NOT SPOIL ME IN ANYWAY! ***
Tears of happiness, tears of sadness, the cosmic balance of memories.
No matter how much time passes, she’s still the only one for me. After breaking up with her, even if I meet someone else and find another love. That special one never becomes one of many people. Because there is only one of her. That’s Han Yeo Reum.
He runs on an emotional internal time where his memory of HYR is plunged in tears to eternity.
If you tell this man to board a fantasy train to the dystopian future in finite number of years, 2046, 2054… a promise of meeting his love there, where nothing changes, memories, her, their promises, their love in his memory, oblivious to the passage of time…
….and he would board the train himself, he would take his love his memory of her with him….right there waiting, feelings never changing, but remove from her. His own to have and to hold. Better than her not even able to look into his eyes for fear he reads her heart too much. He knows everything, all the possibilities of multiple choices in her mind playing in his head constantly she is at lost choosing, so much fear another look at him pouring love at her, her knees would give in, she would cry emotionally, hopelessly in front of him, because of him, because of uncontrollably loving him against her wish, her years of determination, for the third time.
Su LiZhen, in Days of Being Wild, the young innocent girl, falling in love with a guy at first sight, in a minute, replayed, lasting a lifetime. I always thought one minute flies by. But sometimes it really lingers on…now I …tell myself that I have to forget this man starting this very minute.
Last 5 years, that was what Han Yeoreum told herself. In an instant, he creeps back into her life. It is good to see him again, she tells him later on, KTH is better, irresistible. She can only evade his eyes.
Look at me.
When she can not cast her head down avoiding, hurting him with her guilt, her eyes are filled with her conscience:
His hand, she remembers. The instant they touched and they connected, like the tree, the wood, the hand of KTH she shook when they met when she fell in love, boarded the train and never came back. Now she wonders how long it takes for him to stop loving her, can a touch reverse and no harm done?!
They are on a different course all along, the ride they share is at the end he is refusing to leave, holding her, her unresponsive hand captive.
NHJ outside, waiting for her, begging with his physical presence, willing to ‘let her slide’ again after his aggressive outburst at KTH, he says he wants to understand her but can’t, the truth is to be spoken to herself with uncanny clarity, it is KTH. But KTH in her memory is also pain, is also hurt, is utter devastation, is losing herself, her dream, associated with the grief of losing her Dad. She is swaying, shaking, wavering, falling because he is KTH, because of her memory of KTH…yet because he is KTH, it can not be, the pandora’s box, the memory of him is the irresistible temptation to the hell she had with KTH she knows she no longer has any self-control from, she knows all along, playing the scene when they met again, aware her heart will still flutter for him, but 5 years is a long time of gutwrenching work, determined to let go.
And YR needs Sol, her bff who is sticking with her on her sinking ship of badwomanhood. The world, the rational mind can judge what HYR thinks or does, Sol will stand by YR with whatever YR wants.
Most of all, YR needs her Mom for the emotional steering. It is only now I realize I love YR because of her Mom. We are subjected to constant prejudices and judgments, social norms and above all a stricter sets of ethics and morality for woman, yet even if we try the best we can at the balancing act of all the elements with our heart, our wants and desires to stay afloat as a ‘good’ modern woman, nothing is in our absolute control. Why not take the priority of taking the best care, be the most honest to the person dearest to you…yourself as Mom has been instilling in YR. Even as the child of her Mom and her Dad, HYR will always be HYR first and foremost, making her own decisions with a HYR clarity, sticking by her choices, acting according to a moral standard she always adhere by. With that instilled in her daughter, even when she admits to just being a good mom on one account, letting YR follows her heart, never imposing her any set rules or boundaries….what is there to lose when HYR can be the staunch stalwart of her own happiness, standing firm on her own even when she has a neglectful Mom?! The naysayers of HYR is basically patronizing Mom how to raise her child to be one of a billions in the milieu, losing touch with her heart…the heart that knows the best what happiness is for HYR, the heart that when there is an intimacy with the mind, can be powerful in noticing what is going on in the heart of others.
Finally in such simple succinct questions from a daughter, my fav scene of the episode is made. There is very little Mom Daughter interaction to build up a rapport but whatever we have had, it’s so believable, and knowing them much more with so little, so effectively. HR is asking her Mother who knows what is the best for her daughter, better than she does. YR opens up to Mom about Dad by asking if Mom knows Dad so well is YR more taken after Dad, living his life committed to the marriage and duty and taking his life following his heart with his true love whom we can assume killed herself unable to live with loving a person she could not have. Mom could never understand Dad nor tried to, her only pondering on Dad is why he stayed when his pursuit of happiness is elsewhere, when our first and most important duty to life, to ourselves is to be happy. Holding YR’s hand firmly, soothing her nerves with both her hands, Mom encourages YR what she has instilled in her, her only worth as a mother… be happy, whatever choice it takes baby, be happy.
KTH is doing what Mom’s preaching, making YR happy…be it sending her off with his swooning longing eyes to dinner with HJ, giving Sol all the research on viable options for YR to enter into International competitions, fulfilling the dream she had.
As she deletes the visual of him in her camera, she replays the memory of him giving her the keys to his company’s workshop for her to pursue her dream entering into the competition she was planning to. She let her heart took full control, but when it shut off, her dream died along. The fond memory, the dream reignited, is what is fueling her content, with KTH in the memory and without KTH in her life now.
They…do not blink, but their eyes quiver so slightly I do not know what bizarre muscle control it is, reining in the emotions so very good now, it only skims the surface like a tiny pebble on calm waters, a slight shaky flicker of the lids that can not be voluntary, a barely there tightening of the lips, tinier than a nuance, an aperture, a figment, a swerve, her head determined not to look up, miniscule fractions of seconds of fraying, an eternity of stoicness, overcome by the evocative moments never unnoticed by KTH brimming her emotions for her… but she has taken in everything she can of him when unnoticed, her gaze never leaves his back before he turns around facing her, their proper farewell.
Whatever she wants, her decision to never see each other again, a hand shake, a forever farewell, he has no regrets, he has loved her with everything he’s got.
New memories formed, old memories revisited. He has no regrets. He has learned how to love HYR, properly, unconditionally, unrequitedly love the one and only woman he wants in his life, when she should not.
Mrs. Chan Su LiZhen, in In the Mood for Love, in the mood for love with a guy, Mr. Chow, the older and wiser doppelgänger of her first love, wild, lost in the jungles of youth… knowing well what caving into a minute of emotional rapture can damage for life.
You notice things if you pay attention. –In the Mood for Love
It is a restless moment.
She has kept her head lowered,
to give him a chance to come closer.
But he could not….
She turns and walks away.
That era has passed.
Nothing that belonged to it exists any more.
He remembers those vanished years.
As though looking through a dusty window pane,
the past is something he could see, but not touch.
And everything he sees is blurred and indistinct.
—Chow Mo Wan, In the Mood for Love
They properly farewell reminisce of how they met 10 years ago, as if reversing the handshake, with him initiating instead, rewinding the tactile memory recording the touch of falling in love. Years later, YR felt a connection with another guy, perhaps his hands holding hers felt like the guy she fell in love with, so randomly, so unforgettably, on a train ride.
Take care. Maybe one day you’ll escape your past. If you do, look for me.
— Chow Mo Wan, 2046
The Black Spider, the hustler with her own stacks of cards in love, lucking out on the black ace, twice. In the enigmatic qipaos as the Su LiZhen of his past, he will hold onto till 2046, she is no longer the LiZhen she was yet she can not escape her past. She is Su LiZhen.
.…I should give her a passionate long kiss, but I do not know how long it should be. We did it for so long that we ran out of film.
-Mr. Tony Leung, star of Mr Chow Mo Wan, 2004.
Briefly holding her head up, barely feeling, avoiding the touch of her face, her skin, holding her hand in a handshake to eternity he hopes, she is not hoping it will end…I wonder, and I hope KTH flips several times in his head what if he kisses his Su LiZhen like her Chow Mo Wan, so long, so passionate they run out of film, of time to bid goodbye.
Prompted by AR’s farewell letter, another confession she made in his place he is not brave enough, another good bye he is too weak to face, HJ decides he should let YR go with a proper break up instead of dragging this out, dragging her pain when her heart no longer belongs.
She wondered when he was persistent and ignorant, hopeful of her changed heart, wishfully thinking that was the worst they would suffer in the many days ahead…when now they can not afford another day together, YR hurting him, living in the guilt, suffering herself within.
Just as they fell in love over a passionate kiss, they say goodbye with tightening the embrace, feeling the comfort the warmth of the other for the last time, no introspection, no insight, their relationship could have been simple, comfortable, easy…but train is set to move on. Writer nim lets us in on the peek of the script,
these three did not sleep that night…will they ever love again?!
At first glance this is an episode of reinstatement, revisiting…regurgitating, but with a rewatch this feels so lived in Nothing is left unsaid, no stones unturned, but how does life continues?! How do you move on after calling it quits?! It just does. A handshake, a determined evasion, a most earnest last embrace, closures with no regrets. And we move on, fresh start at EP 16!!!!! *SOBZ*
PS: It is a given I am soooooooooooo flailing for Eric, I think he is doing a forever improving job in 15 with less explosively charged scenes but he packs his own arsenal making me cry before KTH even lets a tear drop. What is going on with me?! (LOVE, duh) I am not worthy witnessing this revelation.