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I feel like loving YFFM is a bit like knowing a secret. Or like being a part of a special club made up of people who “get it”. Its quiet simplicity is part of what makes this drama so beautiful, and you really have to sit back and and breathe it in slowly to let its surprising depth resonate all the way down to your toes.
I was wrong to be nervous about the finale. I am glad that they chose to slightly rush episode 14 so that the finale could have space to run its course naturally. I should’ve known by now that cliche mechanics ( such as year-long jumps in time) don’t actually feel cliche in YFFM.
Nothing in this show is ever made more dramatic than it has to be. This wasn’t some case of Kyu Won choosing her career over Shin, or Shin raging against the world because of his injury. I usually hate a time-jump at the end of a drama, since it is usually just a mechanic to create conflict. Often the decision to separate isn’t consistent with the characters’ personalities, and sometimes it even just seems like a politically correct attempt to show that women shouldn’t have to give things up for the men they love.
In YFFM, KW and Shin stayed true to their personalities, and neither of them de-prioritized their love. Both people cared for each other, and both just made decisions that were realistic and unfortunately resulted in their separation. I even appreciated that KW’s return to Korea was no huge event, and they didn’t race to see each other, or valiantly struggle not to. They simple lived their lives as real people do.
And yet despite the lack of of overblown drama, the romance is never downplayed. I loved the duplicate crying scenes before and after their separation that showed that although everything had changed, nothing had changed. I also appreciated the quietness of those scenes, and how they didn’t need to sob and wail for us to empathize with them. Even close-ups of crying are beautifully composed in this show.
Speaking of framing, I love shots like this, where we view the scene through a “window”.
This drama always puts in the extra effort to give us interesting camera angles, like this one, that was only used once for about a second (oh how I’m going to miss that practice room).
There were quite a few details I appreciated these last couple episodes, like the fact that KW is dancing to a Ministry of Sound song (a UK music label) when she gets back from England. Here are some screenshots of various scenes I liked:
Is it just me, or does it look like Easter every time the Windflowers are together? So many pretty pastels. That last image I chose because look at Suk Hyun’s blazer. Eric wore it first in Spy Myung Wol, followed by LDW in Scent of a Woman. Is Korea filled with men wearing white and blue jackets these days? Are they giving them out on street corners, or are they raining down from the sky?
I thought that the colors in the scene below were particularly appropriate. We have seen that bench many times, usually accompanied by sunshine, a vivid palette, and a greenhouse (or whatever that building is) painted in bright colors. This time all the colors are muted and sombre, and it creates the perfect atmosphere for their breakup.
It was worth the two of them breaking up just to see the sweetness and (once again) the simplicity of their reunion. There are no lengthy arguments or explanations and it is clear from Kyu Won’s expression before and after reprimanding Shin that her heart is not in it, and that she still loves him. The breakup was extra worth it because we got to see the entire cast in cute new hair styles.
I love how their shared memory of their moment in the rain is used as a transition between the two of them. That scene in the rain is possibly my favorite of the entire series. It seems like a symbol of what makes YFFM so fantastic. Why use words when you don’t need them? It felt like time had frozen while they stood there with their hands out, and like they were silently sharing their emotions while creating some indescribable bond. It even seemed like a pivotal moment in their relationship, and clearly that moment didn’t t just left an impression on us viewers, but on Shin and Kyu Won as well.
I’m pretty sure that I heard the collective rejoicing of viewers all over the world when Kyu Won actually lifted her arms. She learned how to hug! I love that once again, few words are needed. I think it’s pretty clear to both of them that they should’ve reconciled a long time ago, which is something that feels all too true to how so many of us behave in real life.
I admittedly wish that the actors were more comfortable with this scene, but the drama made up for it with that last shot. I never thought that I would paint anyone kissing, but how could I resist? The lighting is amazing. It’s like a silhouette that has been washed out, and although I knew I was biting off more than I could chew when I chose to draw it, I really didn’t feel like I had a choice.
The finale ended just as it should have, with music:
And unfortunately, the perfect ending is still the end! I loved every episode of this drama, and admire it for the bold and unique mark it has left on the kdrama landscape. It has one of the most impressive OSTs I’ve ever heard, and I have to give most of the credit to the talented cast for that. I feel lucky that the nature of this blog will allow me to return to YFFM time and time again.
I’m glad that despite the ratings the cast seemed to have a fun time filming it, and I hope that anyone out there who watched this drama enjoyed it half as much as I did.
And of course, the video of the day is a Heartstrings MV set to Heartstrings music. Credit to youtuber Babocheoreom!