As if to make up for its lack of swoony, steamy romantic scenes, Remember gives us plenty of complicated, pointy, 3-angled relationships. There are those between friends-friends, more-than-friends, siblings-adoptive parents, frenemies…etc. While some triangles are your run-of-the-mill, healthy versions, there are also some obsessively darker, unhealthier relationships. 1. Hyun-Ji-an-Team Leader Kang
Ok, I’d term this relationship as your typical-kdrama-love-triangle. Hyun and Ji-an are our OTP, with Team Leader Kang playing the nice-overlooked-second fiddle. We have the usual thumping hearts, and green-eyed monsters popping up between them. Team Leader Kang wants to be nice(r) to Ji-an, but at the same time, is put off with her almost-relationship with Hyun. And Hyun typically plays the take-her-for-granted boyfriend role, where he blows hot and cold around Ji-an, knowing full well her (continued) interest in him.
Then again, it’s not really THAT type of love triangles we are so familiar with isn’t it? Other than some baby steps in Hyun-Ji-an’s relationship, there aren’t the usual fireworks and proclamations of romantic interest that we are familiar with in say, rom-coms. Similarly, Team Leader Kang’s pursuit of his love interest has so far, been rather lukewarm (and that’s already being polite).
For Remember, the lack of strong romantic love triangles are still ok — after all, the focus is on the brainy psychological-police thriller, not on the romance.
Imo, ever since Hyun and Min reunited, it made Ji-an appear like a third party to them. Understandably, Hyun wants to catch up on the lost time he had with Min, since Min is his long-lost kid brother after all. Plus, Hyun feels responsible for “losing” Min, even though we know that it’s Joon-young who has kidnapped young Min.
Hyun-Min’s relationship reminds me a little of a couple who had a huge fight previously, and is slowly on their way to making amends. Juz look at how Hyun gives in and half-aegyos, half-cajoles Min to listen to him — like spoon feeding him in the hospital, taking over the hair dryer and blowing his hair. Min plays the part of a petulant “girlfriend”, who has already forgiven Hyun, but wants to pull off that sulking juz a wee bit longer. That half-smile, half-pout whenever Min “reluctantly” gives in to his hyung totally gives him away. He pretends to appear nonchalant when he reminds Hyun of Ji-an’s birthday, but is secretly pleased when Hyun chooses to stay with him in the hospital instead.
Conversely, cos of Min’s return into Hyun’s life, Ji-an senses that she needs to give them space, and volunteers to move back home. And like a good understanding wife, she advises Hyun to ask Min to move in with him, so that they can spend more time together, and more importantly, get Min away from bad influencer, Joon-young.
It’s quite refreshing, really. Most kdramas prefer to portray 2 brothers (or close buddies) fighting over the same girl, but in this case, it’s the girl “fighting” over her boyfriend with his brother.
Eeriest relationship in Remember.
Joon-young is both father AND brother to Min, he’s also Min’s teacher, and in his own mind, “saviour”. To Joon-young, Min “belongs” to him. In fact, I think his interest in Min was piqued years ago in prison, when Hyun let slip that his brother might be a psychopath. In Joon-young’s eyes, what other best prize to have than nurturing and ensuring that Prof Lee’s son become like him?
We already sense that Joon-young doesn’t see humans as humans. Rather, they are test subjects, tools, objects of studies and more often, pests. Like Min pointedly highlights that his “gift” to Ji-an, and his so-called “test” on Hyun’s loyalty for Min’s “benefits” are more for his amusement, rather than stemming from any form of empathy. But it’s rather ironic that Joon-young “feels” his actions will bring happiness to Ji-an/ Min. In his purely analytical but zero EQ brain, he probably works out that revealing Ji-an dad’s death to her and giving Min affirmation of Hyun’s loyalty towards him are “beneficial” to them. And he can’t fathom why his recipients are upset.
With Min’s level of intelligence, he isn’t bought over by Joon-young’s claims that he is “feels” for Min and is “looking over Min’s well-being”. Min sees (like we do), that Joon-young only wants Min cos he doesn’t like losing, and because of a childhood spent as the “invisible boy”, Joon-young feels a strong need to “own” something/ somebody as an “anchor”.
Hyun presents himself as a competitor to Min’s affection, and Joon-young is upset, but also scarily welcoming. In his own words, he envisions himself living with them in future — juz the three of them. (shudders…does it mean eliminating everyone else?) Joon-young’s idea of a “family” is more aligned with the concept of a Monster House, where everyone he thinks is similar to him cohabit.