What do you think ‘love’ is? It is very hard to explain what love is, but one thing that is certain is that married couples around us all loved each other and ended up marrying. This also happened to couples, like our parents, who are nearest to us. Here is a play that interestingly plots love at first sight, natural separation, and marriage by ages. It is the play ‘Beautiful Life’. Like the title of the play, let us take a look at what a beautiful life the main characters are living.
Chun-sik and Soon-ok fall in love with each other at first sight. It seems that they get along well with each other, but they are physically far apart, and end up breaking up due to small misunderstandings. Although the two have not met for several years, they get to meet again by their efforts. They meet again, get married, and they start to live a new life as a couple. The play is shown in the form of retrospection, starting with the scene where characters are preparing for others who will be left alone.
Kim Chun-sik: He loves his wife so much, but is not good at expressing his love towards her. As he becomes older, he worries how his wife will live without him after he dies.
Park Soon-ok: She is the wife of Chun-sik, and she loses her sight as she gets old. She is always afraid that she is a burden to others, and solves every problem by herself for this reason. She even worries that she is a nuisance to her son.
3. Is Marriage a Reality?
The audience who saw the play ‘Beautiful Life’ says it reflects reality very well. The play is about a couple who are nothing special, and it calmly conveys the most mundane stories that may happen to anyone. Many middle-aged couples, who also loved each other so much when they were in a relationship, get to empathize with the characters who feel awkward when they hear words such as ‘You are pretty.’ However, the play was not designed to convey the message ‘Marriage is a reality’ or just to get empathy from people. It also gives the audience a chance to look at the main characters and reflect on them. The play ‘Beautiful Life’ leaves a lesson ‘Do well to one another when they are next to you.’, which is somewhat obvious, but hard to put into practice. It seems to be able to convey the message more effectively to the audience than any other plays due to the reality of its plot.
Those who are not married yet will be able to look at the main characters and think deeply about what ‘marriage’ is. Marriage is definitely entered into because couples love each other. It is not just a moment’s love, but a determination made by a certainty that they will love the other for the rest of their lives. Chun-sik loves Soon-ok so much that he even wants to get a star for her, and promises that he will continue to love her with all his heart. However, their appearance as a middle-aged couple is somewhat different from their past resolution. Chun-sik puts a fishing appointment with his friend before his wife’s request, and only nags her. Soon-ok, who is losing her eyesight, just wants her husband to know that she is sick, but it is not easy. Of course, they regret that in their past they failed to do their best for each other. Through this play, we can see that marriage is about being a big part of another person’s life. After all, the only person that remains with us as we get old is the other. Therefore, we should devote ourselves to one another and love each other the best we can.
4. Everything Can Be Explained by ‘Love’
All the scenes in this play can be explained by a single word, love. The reason why Soon-ok looked so lonely and sad after being left alone is that she loved her husband so much. When Soon-ok was losing her eyesight, the reason why she was angry at Chun-sik’s carelessness is that she loved him so much. From their first meeting in their 20s through to their old days, everything happened due to their love. The two were together for their whole lives, fought, and endured all because they loved each other. Every scene created a different atmosphere, but in the end, we can recognize that all of this is what happens in love.
5. What Is So Special about This Play?
a. Only Two Performing Actors
The biggest feature of the play is that only two actors perform in the play. From a young couple in their 20s to an elderly couple, the same actors play the role. Even short roles such as their young son, daughter-in-law, and restaurant owner are played by them. You do not have to worry about getting into the play. You will soon be able to see yourself engrossed in the actors’ outstanding performing skills. Rather, the two actors playing all the roles will make it a more interesting play.
b. Background Songs that Show the Time
Another feature of the play is that the story goes on in the form of retrospection about past memories. After showing the lives of an elderly couple in their 70s, they show the young couple in their 40s, and finally the fresh couple in their 20s. Therefore, the background of the stage and the costumes of the characters continue to change. However, the most effective element that shows the time well is background music, and not the clothes and makeup of the characters. Each scene conveys songs that represent the time period. Through those songs, adults will think of their own memories, and even students will be able to understand the sensibility of the play as well.
The play ‘Beautiful Life’, which seems to portray the couples around us, tells us to love each other constantly. People are under the illusion that those who are precious will be around them for their whole life. However, it certainly is not right. This is why we should do our best to show love towards them. Why don’t you watch the play ‘Beautiful Life’ with someone you love, to remind you of the preciousness of the person next to you?
Dates: 2018.02.20 ~ Open run
Location: JTN Art Hall 4
Time: Weekdays 20:00 / Saturday 15:00, 18:00 / Sunday 14:00, 17:00 (No performance on Mondays)
Ticket Prices: Weekdays 18,000 won / Weekends 19,000 won
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