I love me some melodrama full of angstyness, extramarital births, makjang, and dysfunctional relationships. Though Mask fits true to formula complete with young traumatized Min Woo who suffers from some type of mental illness as usual and Candy Ji Sook who is busy earning money as a department store attendant to pay off family’s massive debts. Not again, you say? I beg to differ.
While the plot line may be old and used, Min Woo and Ji-Sook really breathe life into what would have been a boring drama. Min Woo seems to almost have dissociative disorder or some kind of uncontrollable rage since he is out of control when his emotions run high and can’t remember his actions later. Furthermore, he often has not only visual, but also auditory hallucinations as well, unable to differentiate reality from his imagination. He suffered a past trauma where his mother drowned as they tried to run away, probably some type of family drama due to him being the product of a extramarital affair.
Currently Min Woo is enduring therapy while trying to inherit his father’s company. He was about to get engaged to a rich lady named Eun Ha who wants the marriage only for business purposes, not for love… Since she is actually in love with Min Woo’s brother-in-law. Furthermore, the brother-in-law’s wife is a psycho as well. Screamy, drinking, and insanely jealous of everything. Like brother, like sister? What a mess.
However, what is interesting is that Eun Ha and Ji-Sook look exactly the same. Eun Ha saw her doppleganger first and even told her lover about Ji-Sook. She jokes that she heard a rumor that whichever doppleganger saw each other first, dies first. Unfortunately, Ji Sook suffers everyday from the torture of the loan sharks pressuring her to pay interest on the debt that her father accumulated. She manages to scrounge up some money through a humiliating meeting with richer friends, but accidentally looses it to Min Woo as she drowns away her embarrassment through soju. As she stumbles down the street, Min Woo mistakes her for Eun Ha and takes her to a hotel for her to recover. Min Woo accidentally takes the money which was in his bathrobe (showering due to being an extreme germaphobe) and Ji Sook is anxious to get it back. After this event, a marriage meeting between Min Woo and Eun Ha goes awry and Eun Ha ends up on life support. Min Woo may have had a psychotic break and choked her or somebody is making Min Woo’s life hell. As Ji Sook tries to meet up with Min Woo to get the money back, the brother-in-law keeps on trying to interfere as he needs a replacement for Eun Ha who is brain dead. Ji Sook doesn’t want to take such a deal and unfortunately gets caught by the loan sharks soon after. As she tries to make an escape attempt while they are driving her away, she runs off the road by accident. Her car drops from the side of a cliff and she struggles to not drown while being handcuffed to the steering wheel. The last scene we see is of the brother-in-law saving her….if not to only make her become Eun Ha.
The story is so twisted and all the characters are just as warped…except Ji Sook. Min Woo played by Joo Ji Hoon, is erratic. On one hand, his compulsions and obsessiveness are portrayed in a funny context, but at the same time, it’s also quite sad that his life is controlled like this. What I am wondering is if Min Woo is a psychotic murderer by nature if that was what his medication was suppressing or if his state is induced with malicious intent.
Now Min Woo’s sister is another handful. She is one of the extreme types who like her brother can and has gone full psycho. Yu In Young playing Choi Mi Yeon is pretty good at playing those roles I must say from her previous work. Jeon Hun playing Seok Hun, brother-in-law has already got the crazy man role down pat, no doubt drawing from his Vampire Prosecutor darkness. This pair is pretty matched in craziness. Now poor Ji Sook is stuck between a rock and a hard place, quite literally, will now get drawn into this mess that is the chaebol family. All four are decent actors and actresses which really carries the weight in this drama!
maniac Ride’s take on the show
I had some doubts when I first started the show. The perspective of Ji Sook impersonating Eun Ha sounded too twisted and dramatic. What convinced me is the fact that this drama is from the writer of Secret Love.
I was worried that Ji Sook would turn out to be an evil character – money hungry and shameless. Luckily, she is not. Ji Sook being in Min Woo’s life might be his saving grace. Min Woo’s family members are too self centered and busy plotting to care for what has turned his life into a mess – his mental illness and hallucinations. I hope to see Ji Sook heal Min Woo’s wounds, but also make him a stronger character because right now he seems a little too weak…
What I want to know is also what’s in Min Seok’s mind. What’s the plot he’s forming and why? I am sure that him getting married into this family was part of a plan from the get to go. He seems too manipulative and tricky to take decisions that do not benefit him. Yet, I don’t dislike him. He hasn’t killed anyone or hurt anyone as we know so far. That’s better than some devilish drama characters.
Is there also chance for a love triangle? I hope not. Please let’s not make this more complicated. I hope Ji Sook’s brother in law won’t fall in love with Ji Sook as well. He looked so troubled by her resemblance with Eun Ha that I wouldn’t be so surprised. Yes, it’s from the initial shock but I doubt that Min Seok ever had feelings for anyone. Even Eun Ha so he might be into someone who looks like Eun Ha but has a totally different personality. Plus this is Dramaland after all; anything goes.
So many unanswered questions. This is going to a bumpy and nerve wrecking rollercoaster.