25 Februari 2012

Autumn in My Heart

A young Moon Geun Young as Eun Suh. This girl was adorable even at that age, how is that possible?? No wonder they call her Korea's Sweetheart.

Toddler Joon-suh pulls the name-tags off the cribs of two newborns in order to play with them, and when the nurse replaces them, she unknowingly switches them. Joon-suh has unwittingly ensured that his baby sister got switched with another baby (thereby setting in motion a Great Love Story…). 

Flashforward some years later and Joon-suh is a spindly, intense-looking teenager. As he’s painting in the art room at school, a girl comes in and berates him for throwing away the love letter she sent him. She asks, “Don’t you like me?” At this moment, Eun Suh (Moon Geun Young) appears in the doorway. Joon-sun’s eyes shift to her and he responds “There is someone else.” The girl slaps him and runs away, and Eun Suh, coming in, hands him a present with a note attached. “You too?” he says bitterly, and throws the present into a can of leftover paint, ruining it. He then walks out

Afterward, two of Eun Suh’s friends who had presumedly been waiting just outside run in and exclaim over the present: it had in fact been their present for Joon-suh and they’d asked Eun Suh to deliver it.
This is a neat little sequence because it sets up one representation – of Eun Suh as a love interest for Joon Suh through the positioning of the “someone else” moment and her giving him the present. Then it neatly reverses that as we gradually realize that in fact she’s his sister. It’s clever however because the first image we receive is of the two interacting as potential love interests rather than siblings.

The two bike home and it’s clear that while Joon-suh can sometimes be gruff towards her, that he loves Eun-suh a lot. It starts raining and “Raindrops falling on my head” begins incongruously playing overhead. The two take shelter under the overhang of an old building (a barn?) anddd, we have one of the classic scenes that make this drama what is it – the original “holding out hands to the rain in sync” romantic scene (Heartstrings and approximately 100 other dramas, eat your heart out).

When they get home, Eun Suh and her mother share a bath, and it’s obvious that they have a close relationship as they share teasing and laughter and secrets. Next there's a montage to underscore how completely happy and functional the family is, aka the montage of doom which means absolute misery will follow.
On the way to school next day, Eun Suh tells Joon Suh about her rival in the election for freshman class president – Choi Shin Ae. The two have an adorable bantering conversation in which they reveal that they can essentially read each other’s minds. Eun Suh ends up winning class president with ease, drawing almost twice the votes of Shin Ae, who scowls at her blackly when the results are announced. The teacher then announced that Shin Ae holds first academic place in the class, but that she’s chosen Eun Suh to enter an upcoming art competition, because Shin Ae entered it the previous semester.
The unpleasant Shin Ae
When class is over, Shin Ae’s friends start yelling at Eun Suh, but she deftly wins the argument by turning their own words back on them. She offers to shake hands and make up with Shin Ae, but Shin Ae refuses. After gym, Eun Suh comes back to find that her treasured slip is gone. Outside, she finds a huge crowd gathered in front of a tree, where her slip has been hung from a top branch

Knowing that it must’ve been Shin Ae, her friend wants to tell the teacher, but Eun Suh holds her back. Instead, she sets her lip determinedly and climbs the tree herself, retrieving the slip. Joon-suh arrives too late to stop her and watches in fear until she climbs back down safely.
Riding back home, he demands who hung the slip up there. When Eun-suh’s friend tells him it was Shin Ae, he rides ahead to confront Shin Ae, whom he spots down the road. Eun Suh, trying to catch up with him, is hit by a truck and ends up in the hospital. She’s not badly hurt  but Joon-suh feels incredibly guilty, saying that he shouldn’t have left her behind, he should have waited. He goes to visit her and the two quickly make up (least. sibling. relationship. ever. Where are the catfights? The petty squabbles and childish cruelties?).

Eun-suh needs a blood transfusion so the doctors test both her parents, only to discover that they are both type O while Eun-suh is type B. She cannot be their daughter. Eun-suh’s parents are devastated. They go to visit the woman who is raising their real daughter – the poor owner of a tiny street stall- and reveal the truth to her. All three are highly upset, but decide to leave things as they are for now. Joon-suh finds out, but they don't tell Eun-suh.
Joon-suh goes to visit Eun-suh in the hospital and essentially admits that she’s the girl he “likes” (ewwwww. or awwwww. but ew). He asks, “If we weren’t siblings, do you think we would have met?” To which she responds brightly, “Of course. We were destined to meet.” The two play rock-paper-scissors to find out if they would have met and he lets her win.
A few days later, Eun-suh is out of the hospital, and the whole family goes to attend the school’s art exhibition. Shin-Ae’s poem is being exhibited, and her mother also attends – which is when the respective parents see their real daughter for the first time.
(Eun-suh's real mother)