Page Turner: Episode 3 (Final)
What a great finale. I enjoyed the short miniseries about youths and music from the start, but I wasn’t expecting the final episode to get me so squarely in the heart. In just three short episodes, Page Turner managed to capture a tiny bit of magic in a small story, and I was surprised at how much I liked the resolution, the emotions evoked, and what the drama had to say about chasing your dreams in the real world.
SONG OF THE DAY
Schubert – Impromptu No. 4 in A-Flat Major, Op. 90, D.899 [Download]
EPISODE 3: “Let’s sing a song of joy together”
Today’s preview montage tells us this will be the story of two people on their way to becoming world-class pianists—one who’s just beginning, and the other who will be that person’s beginning. But all we get are glimpses of Yoo-seul repeatedly berating her new student Cha-shik, and a whole chorus of defeated sighs to accompany her rants.
Cha-shik’s famous pianist father is interrupted in his studio in Austria (he’s playing Schubert’s Impromptu No. 4 in A-Flat Major, posted above) with his latest fan mail, and he lights up to see another letter from his son. Aw, maybe he really is Cha-shik’s dad?
His assistant didn’t know he had a son, but Dad says he didn’t know either until recently, and his jaw drops to read that Cha-shik is trying out for a two-piano concours. You have no idea how relieved I am that Dad isn’t an asshole. I can’t take it when Cha-shik is in pain!
We go back to the tunnel where Cha-shik finishes playing for the first time in front of Yoo-seul and asks her to be his concours partner. He beams when she agrees, and puffs up with confidence at the idea that he’s dependable and has some potential. But when he asks what their chances are of being admitted into the competition, Yoo-seul says, “0.00001%.”
He deflates immediately and asks why she agreed then, and she figures that her chances of becoming a pianist now that she’s blind are probably in the same ballpark. She decides to take that gamble, because if he can beat those odds, then maybe she can too.
As soon as Yoo-seul says she’ll start playing piano again if they make it into the concours, Cha-shik says he’ll put his life on the line and work hard to make this happen for her. Awwwwww.
Yoo-seul, on the other hand, says she’s not going to try too hard for a thing that’s bound to fail anyway. But contrary to her word, she’s soon in that tunnel with Cha-shik day and night, teaching him the basics.
She puts his hand over hers to show him how much to curve his fingers, and shouts at him when she hears him lifting his wrists, which he thinks is impressive since she can’t see. He tries her patience, though to be fair, she never had much of it to begin with.
It’s adorable to hear Cha-shik narrate all this to his father in his letters, and as the lessons progress in small increments, we see the ajusshi street peddler make progress on a blanket for them, and then set them up with a space heater.
Yoo-seul is like a really scary, short drill sergeant, and her sarcasm meter is always at ten: “Sure, you’ve made progress—about as much as a sparrow’s teardrop.” “It’s amazing! How is it possible that you get worse the more you practice? What’s your secret?” “You have the greatest poop hands of anyone I know!” “How is it possible that you can’t do something this easy?!”
Cha-shik says to his father that she slowly became a monster, and then one day we see him nearly burst into tears at her tirade. He snaps and screams that he quits, leaving Yoo-seul flabbergasted. He’s more upset at his own hands for not being able to do what Yoo-seul is asking, and when he finally calms down a bit, he starts to regret his outburst and looks over at a vendor selling balloons.
Yoo-seul starts to walk home by herself, so upset that she shouts at a passing ajumma just to get directions. She vows never to give Cha-shik the time of day again, and then almost falls when her cane lands right into a hole in a manhole cover… but Cha-shik is there to grab her in time.
He tells her it’s him, but his voice is all chipmunky from inhaling helium balloons, which is a hilarious contrast to the very sincere apology that he launches into on his knees. Yoo-seul tries her damnedest not to smile but it’s a losing battle, and Cha-shik is giddy when he notices.
They argue about whether or not she smiled, but she finally just bursts into laughter at his ridiculous voice. He’s so excited that he drinks another balloon and starts singing songs for her, and she can’t contain herself and laughs freely.
Cha-shik tells his father how pretty she was when she was laughing, and that he’s dying to see what kind of expression she’ll have after they play together in the concours. Dad finishes reading the letter and decides to plan a trip to Korea for the concours, because he’s curious about his son.
Yoo-seul and Cha-shik start playing duets together in practice, and in the distance, Yoo-seul’s mom watches them play without letting herself be seen, and she looks like she’s on the verge of tears. They break into Chopsticks and Yoo-seul smiles, genuinely enjoying piano probably for the first time ever.
At school, the teacher reminds everyone that today is the deadline to enter the two-piano concours, and everyone is surprised that Jin-mok won’t be entering. After school Jin-mok finds Yoo-seul standing out in the snow with a book on her head, and when he comments that she looks silly, she says not much embarrasses her these days, since she can’t see the way people look at her.
Jin-mok holds his umbrella over Yoo-seul’s head and worries about her getting sucked into Cha-shik’s attempt to prove himself with the concours, and thinks that she’ll only end up embarrassing herself in the process.
But Yoo-seul repeats that she doesn’t get embarrassed now because she can’t see, and then brags about how good Cha-shik is, enough to make her think he really is the son of a famous pianist. She tells Jin-mok that he should be the one worried about being mortified when he loses that bet to Cha-shik.
What she doesn’t know is that Cha-shik has arrived behind them and has overheard her defending him, and he lights up to hear her say those things to Jin-mok. He runs up eagerly and takes her under his umbrella, and Jin-mok watches sadly as they run off to practice.
Cha-shik babbles on about how he thinks he might be a genius too, until Yoo-seul interrupts to ask if anyone’s around. He says no, so she starts reaching forward to touch his chest, and he gets all shy, anticipating something romantic…
But once she feels around and finds his collar, she yanks him down so that he’s eye-level and then launches into a tirade about how they’re not even close, and if they were to compete right now, it would be complete and utter mortification. She screams that she doesn’t want to be mortified, especially in front of Jin-mok, and Cha-shik stammers, “A-are you threatening me?” I kind of love that he’s afraid of her.
She calms down and says no, she’s asking him to please not embarrass her, and he puts her at ease by swearing that he won’t, and that he doesn’t want to be embarrassed in front of Jin-mok either. He gets all riled up and suggests late-night practices every day, and they seal it with a fist-bump. Yoo-seul goes in for a second bump and ends up socking him in the gut, heh.
Cha-shik comes by late that night to pick Yoo-seul up for practice, and attempts to hide from her mother by jumping onto a cart… which slides down the hill deposits him right in front of her. He quickly tells her that he’s here to get Yoo-seul, but assures her that it’s for “wholesome activities suited for youths.” Well that just makes you sound guiltier!
He asks Mom how his fashion is today, hoping that he doesn’t look like a loan shark gangster anymore, but she says now he looks like a cat burglar. She asks what his secret is, but for once she’s not being sarcastic: “Yoo-seul doesn’t smile when she plays piano. But she was smiling when she was playing with you. What did you do?”
He’s surprised that she knew about them playing all along, and Mom asks how she wouldn’t know: “I’m her mother.” Yoo-seul sneaks out of the house not knowing that Mom is standing outside, and Cha-shik very awkwardly asks if they should maybe tell her mom about her playing piano again.
But Yoo-seul says her mom’s expectations might become a burden and make her mess up, so she wants to keep it a secret. Mom gestures to Cha-shik to just pretend she isn’t there, and he has the good sense to say he didn’t bring his bike tonight because it might not be safe. He leads Yoo-seul away, feeling a little thrown by the whole encounter. Mom watches them go with a long sigh, and then we see that she was outside to post a sign to sell their piano.
Jin-mok is at school late that night, slumped over in defeat in one of the practice rooms because he can feel how emotionless his own playing is. He jumps behind a couch to hide when he hears voices coming near, and Yoo-seul and Cha-shik enter the room to practice not knowing that Jin-mok is there.
They’re listening to their piece, Beethoven’s 9th, and Cha-shik points out the part that he thinks should be the emotional climax. Yoo-seul agrees and tries to translate the feeling into something he’ll understand, and has him imagine the feeling of preparing for a really high pole vault jump:
Everything becomes still with tension, and he gets the feeling that he can clear the jump. His heart starts to race. And then he uses all of his strength to fun as fast as he can, soaring into the air. She plays for him as she narrates this, demonstrating the build of emotion as the song crescendos, and Cha-shik is mesmerized.
When she’s done, she explains that they have to play this together and asks if he can do it. He says of course… and then asks for a little time to work his way up to her speed. The next morning he sets his metronome to 135 BPM like Yoo-seul told him to, but is frustrated at his own slowness and wonders when he’ll ever work up to 135.
Suddenly Jin-mok shows up behind him and tells him to just quit because he’ll never make it, and scoffs that they were lying about how good he was before. Cha-shik surprises him by acknowledging it right away, and then Jin-mok is confused when Cha-shik urges him to put him down some more.
Jin-mok thinks he’s crazy, but Cha-shik explains that being belittled is what makes his blood boil, which in turn gives him strength to break records and win. So then he starts encouraging Jin-mok to insult him, and gets frustrated that he can’t give better insults. Lol.
Jin-mok says that everyone starts out thinking they have special talent, but he warns that soon he’ll discover just how middling that talent is, and he’ll start to waver in his conviction that he can continue, and then he’ll become anxious about being nothing. Clearly we’re not talking about Cha-shik anymore.
Cha-shik’s mom passes by Yoo-seul’s piano academy and can’t contain her curiosity about Yoo-seul’s mother. She heads inside to ask about the piano for sale, and finds Yoo-seul’s mom drinking soju (out of a wine glass, pfft).
Cha-shik’s mom says that her son has taken up piano and promised to buy her a building someday, so she plans to invest her whole life into his dream. But Yoo-seul’s mom tells her not to do that, and describes how she never knew what a burden it would become to her child when she did the same.
Cha-shik’s mom ends up pouring her a drink, and Yoo-seul’s mom insists that she’ll give her the piano for free so that she won’t break her life savings or hang her whole life on her child’s dream: “It’s a dream that made his heart flutter. His mother can’t turn that dream into a nightmare.”
That really sinks in with Cha-shik’s mom, and she tells him over dinner that she doesn’t want a building anymore. He offers to buy her a restaurant then, but she says she wants to stick with being a writer, and looks over at him with concern on her face.
Soon it’s just a week away from the concours auditions, and the other students crowd around the practice room as Yoo-seul and Cha-shik play, amazed at the progress he’s made. Jin-mok is grimmer than usual to hear their praise of Cha-shik, and he lingers at the door for a long while.
Cha-shik is doing great and keeping apace with Yoo-seul, but when they get to the climax of the piece, he chickens out and stops playing. He lies that his mom is calling him home and bails on Yoo-seul, promising to pick her up in the morning.
But as soon as he’s outside, Cha-shik slumps down to the floor in defeat. Jin-mok has decided to look busy straightening a picture in the hallway (smoooooth, buddy), and is startled when Cha-shik begs him for his help. He asks for Jin-mok to either make his blood boil or teach him, whatever it takes to make him better.
Jin-mok scoffs and points out the obvious conflict of interest, but Cha-shik tells him about Yoo-seul willing to start piano again if they make it into the concours, and knows that Jin-mok doesn’t want her quitting either. Jin-mok denies it, but Cha-shik knows he attacked that creeper in a fistfight to protect Yoo-seul. When he calls him out on it, Jin-mok runs off.
Cha-shik doesn’t show up at Yoo-seul’s house the next morning either, and her unanswered messages to him escalate from “Are you okay?” to “You haven’t given up on the concours, have you?” to “Are you playing me hot and cold? Wanna die?!” He doesn’t reply, but just puts his head down and practices over and over again.
Yoo-seul gets upset when Cha-shik doesn’t show up for school either, and then remembers his friendly warning that in no time she’d miss the sound of his voice and start looking for him if he wasn’t by her side. She shouts angrily that that’s NOT what’s going on, which just makes her look crazy in front of her classmates.
Yoo-seul asks a friend to text Cha-shik for her, and sends the final warning that if he doesn’t show up to practice tonight, she’s going to believe he chickened out of the concours. Cha-shik sees the text and berates his hand for not cooperating when the concours is tomorrow, at a loss for what to do.
Jin-mok heads out that night and tells his father that he’s going to an academy for college entrance exams. Noooo, you’re quitting piano too? Dad just tells him it’s a good idea, since he wouldn’t amount to much as a pianist anyway. I hate you. Go away.
Cha-shik hesitates at the door to the practice room that night, and watches as Yoo-seul fumes and then declares that she’ll give him five more minutes, for old affection’s sake. That gets him to open the door, and he’s surprised that Yoo-seul is so happy to see him.
She asks where the heck he’s been, reminding him, “You said you’d never leave my side and always protect me!” Cha-shik smiles and asks, “So did you miss me?” She quickly denies it, of course, and then asks if he managed to master the piece.
He gets quiet and starts to hem and haw, when suddenly Jin-mok appears and puts a hand on Cha-shik’s arm. Omo! Is he doing what I think he’s doing? Jin-mok motions for Cha-shik to stay quiet about this presence there, and when Yoo-seul asks again if he mastered it or not, Jin-mok nods for Cha-shik to say yes.
Cha-shik is unsure of what to do, especially when Yoo-seul asks to hear him play the climax of their piece, but Jin-mok tiptoes past him to sit down at the piano. Omg. I love this so much.
Cha-shik shows him what part of the symphony Yoo-seul wants him to play and backs away nervously. Jin-mok takes a breath, and then begins to play, softly at first, and then building to a crescendo.
As Jin-mok plays, Cha-shik thinks back to what Yoo-seul had said about their duet—that he’d be playing the symphony part while she played the choral part, and that he’d have to match the intensity and power of an entire orchestra. He didn’t see how that was possible, but his jaw drops as Jin-mok plays it just as she’d described it.
The room stills when he’s done, and Cha-shik asks hesitantly how it was. Yoo-seul: “It was perfect.” Jin-mok’s head whips around to face her. Yoo-seul says that it was artistically amazing, and that she couldn’t have played it like that herself. Jin-mok’s eyes brim with tears and his face is frozen in shock. I think I’m gonna cry…
Cha-shik smiles warmly and prods her to say more, and Yoo-seul tells him that choosing to play piano was the best thing he’s ever done in his whole life: “Whatever you do, don’t ever quit piano, okay?”
Cha-shik asks her to say that last part one more time, and puts a hand on Jin-mok’s shoulder as he says that he’s been thinking of quitting lately. Tears spill out of Jin-mok’s eyes, as Cha-shik repeats Jin-mok’s words about his fears—not being talented enough, not being good enough to become anything. Yup, definitely crying now.
Yoo-seul tells him firmly not to second-guess himself, or worry, or give up. She says he’s naturally gifted, and that she doesn’t just admit that about anyone. She asks if he needs to hear it some more, and offers to say it ten times, or a thousand times if he wants. Cha-shik says that was plenty, and thanks her as Jin-mok cries silently.
Cha-shik walks Jin-mok out and thanks him for what he did today, and Jin-mok just tells him to get it together for the concours and make it into the competition no matter what. He tells Cha-shik to stop calling him by that fish nickname all the time too, and they part with little smiles.
D-Day. Cha-shik’s mom greets Yoo-seul’s mom in the hallway of the auditorium (in disguise, ha), and is confused when Yoo-seul’s mom acts like they’ve never met before. She insists that she never would’ve given away a piano for free or said those things, but then comes back to ask Cha-shik’s mom to keep her presence here a secret from Yoo-seul.
Cha-shik’s mom is shocked to read the program and see Cha-shik’s father’s name on it as the judge, and the other students are just as shocked, wondering why a world-famous pianist would fly here to judge a dinky two-piano concours. They figure he’s either crazy, or he’s here to see Cha-shik.
Cha-shik sees the name and runs to the dressing room, scared to knock at first. He braces himself and decides to knock right when Dad opens the door, landing them in a hug. Cha-shik asks eagerly if Dad came to see him, and he says yes—he came to see Cha-shik, and to find out why he’s under the impression he’s his father. Oh noes. Poor buddy, I knew this would happen.
Mom runs all over the auditorium and finally finds Cha-shik trudging along, shoulders slumped. He says it was all a lie and he’s not a piano genius, laughing at himself for being so gullible. Mom tries to explain and apologize, but Cha-shik just walks past her dejectedly.
He stands in Yoo-seul’s dressing room for a long beat, wondering what he’s going to do. He sees her putting her lip-gloss on and offers to do it for her, and I love that she trusts him enough to let him.
She asks if he isn’t nervous about his father being here, and he just plays along, wondering why she believes him now. She says after hearing him play the other night, she’s certain he’s his father’s son. When she hears his weak answer, she yanks him by the collar and tells him to just play exactly like he did yesterday and he’ll be fine.
Cha-shik assures her that he’s improved by leaps and bounds and will shock her with how good he’s gotten, and clasps both of her hands in his. He asks her to keep her promise that if they make it into the concours, she’s not going to quit piano. She agrees.
He lifts the corners of her mouth into a smile and says she’ll be smiling just like that after they play: “I’m going to make it happen.” The way he looks at her, gah.
Cha-shik heads into the auditorium and asks to speak to Not-Dad, and then finds Jin-mok up in the audience, with Yoo-seul’s mom sitting just behind him. Cha-shik cuts to the chase and asks Jin-mok to play in his place today. He says that Jin-mok was right about everything—he’s not Hyun Myung-se’s son, he’s no genius, and he can’t play the symphony fast enough yet.
Cha-shik says that he doesn’t want to ruin Yoo-seul’s opportunity and asks Jin-mok to enter in his place. Jin-mok points out that a concours isn’t a child’s game and there are rules, but Cha-shik says he already spoke to the judges and they allowed the last-minute change because this is just the first round of auditions.
Jin-mok says he hasn’t memorized the piece, but then Yoo-seul’s mom interjects and asks what if he played with the sheet music: “I’ll be your page turner.” Aw. She says she’ll help him, and Jin-mok finally agrees. He asks Cha-shik if he’s really okay with this, and Cha-shik says he is, even though it clearly pains him to do it.
Cha-shik walks out of the auditorium, where Mom is waiting on tenterhooks to explain herself. He wants to be alone, but she apologizes over and over and says she knows how he feels right now.
He says she couldn’t possibly know what it feels like to have believed her lie and acted like such a fool: “Do you know how thrilled I was to dream the ridiculous dream that I could play piano with Yoo-seul?! You knew that? Then you knew how impossible it was, and how pathetic I’d feel! Why’d you do it? Why?!”
Mom: “Why did you go up to the roof at the hospital?!” He freezes, and Mom cries as she calls him out on thinking about suicide that day. We go back to the day he met Yoo-seul, when he had been standing up on the ledge of the hospital roof, considering the jump. He eventually came down and broke down in tears, mad that it was too scary and he couldn’t do it.
Back in the present, Cha-shik’s tears spill out as Mom confronts him with it now, crying that she wanted to make him feel better but she didn’t know what to say or do. She knows that it wouldn’t have made him feel better if she’d said he took after her, because she’s not anything. Mom tells him that he’s not supposed to take after her, a ghost-writer who’s just a stand-in for others. She’d hoped that he’d be inspired by someone great like Not-Dad, which is why she told the lie.
Cha-shik actually gets angrier once she explains, and says that this is the angriest he’s ever been in his entire life. He yells at her to follow him, and drags her out of the music hall.
Inside, Yoo-seul and Jin-mok take to the stage. They’re announced only as Team 17, so Yoo-seul has absolutely no idea that Jin-mok and her mother are at the other piano. Mom refuses to let her presence be known to Yoo-seul, and warns Jin-mok not to mess up. He asks what she’ll do if he doesn’t, and she says she’ll praise him.
At the same time, Cha-shik drags his mother to the piano in the tunnel and shouts angrily that this is his answer to what she said: “Listen carefully! Not Hyun Myung-se’s son, but your son, Jung Cha-shik, is playing!”
He closes his eyes and takes a breath, and then begins to play at the same time that Jin-mok and Yoo-seul begin. Oh I love this. It’s like they’re playing together. (They’re playing Liszt’s arrangement of Beethoven’s 9th, which is posted in the last recap.)
As they start, we rewind to the night before, when Jin-mok told his father that he was going to continue playing piano. He said that Dad could be right about him having a mediocre future as a piano teacher, but he didn’t care anymore because piano made him happy, and all he wanted was to feel satisfied that he’d spent every day doing what he loves. Good for you!
Jin-mok and Yoo-seul both play with smiles on their faces, and in the tunnel, Cha-shik plays with grim determination as Mom stands by with tears in her eyes. We cut back and forth as if the three of them are playing together, and I especially love the split-screen of Cha-shik and Yoo-seul, as if they’re playing their duet together like he’d dreamed. I just love everything about this sequence.
It’s a breathless finish, and then Cha-shik’s mom is the first to break the spell with her applause, and Cha-shik turns around to find a whole crowd of onlookers cheering for his performance. The street peddler ajusshi gives him a standing ovation.
Yoo-seul and Jin-mok both have huge smiles on their faces as the audience breaks into applause, and Yoo-seul’s mom looks over at her daughter’s beaming face and says sincerely to Jin-mok, “It was the best, Seo Jin-mok.” The camera freezes on a shot of Yoo-seul’s glowing smile.
In an epilogue, we see Jin-mok’s first-place two-piano concours trophy on his shelf, sitting right next to the hair roller that Yoo-seul handed him the day he’d followed her to school. Cha-shik’s mom begins work on her new novel called Page Turner, as she writes out the narration that had opened each of our episodes.
In the background is Cha-shik’s new upright piano, with stacks of sheet music, his metronome, and that little finger-exerciser of Yoo-seul’s that he’s kept since the day they met.
Yoo-seul’s mom polishes a framed photograph and sets it back on her shelf lovingly, and we see that it’s a photo of Yoo-seul winning the two-piano concours with a genuine smile on her face.
I love this so much. I totally thought they were going to fanwank some miracle and have Cha-shik master the piece in record time. His rapid progress from zero to sixty was already hard enough to believe, but the finale provided the perfect dose of reality to ground Cha-shik’s story. It’s far more poignant to have him discover that you can’t become a concert pianist overnight, but still continue with his dream and not give up on it. And of course the biggest heart-twist is the way he steps back when it means that Yoo-seul and Jin-mok have a shot at pursuing their dreams too. When Jin-mok first showed up in the practice room and ghost-played for Cha-shik, that was the moment the series went from something cute and fun, to something that genuinely moved me.
I didn’t think that the emotion would come from Jin-mok either, but when he stepped up to play for Cha-shik and then heard Yoo-seul’s sincere praise, I thought his heart would burst. It was like she saved him, and in that moment I realized just how much I loved this character, and how much I wanted him to find happiness too. There’s such a great consistency to his character as the guy who’s always silently in the wings, helping Yoo-seul anonymously and never getting any credit for it, and it’s so great that it escalates until he’s actually playing a duet with her and she STILL doesn’t know it’s him. It’s hilarious, and also just really cute that he likes her and doesn’t care about the credit. And I really love that Yoo-seul’s blindness isn’t a point of tragedy beyond the initial discovery in the first episode, but that it actually becomes a way to drive a lot of the irony and humor in the show.
I enjoyed that Page Turner explored heavy themes but with a sense of humor, never going too far in either emotional direction so as to lose me. And the best part was how the three main characters took turns saving each other, pushing one another not to give up on their dreams, or life altogether. It’s even more inspiring when the battles won are small and realistic, like Jin-mok standing up to his father and choosing what makes him happy; Yoo-seul discovering what she loves and not giving up on her dream; Cha-shik searching for his identity and being okay with himself just as he is.
Even the moms grow up in the process, and I especially enjoyed that Cha-shik’s final recital wasn’t to a huge crowd, but a private concert for Mom to prove that she had done well and raised him right all on her own. I love that he was searching the whole time for someone to make him mad enough to get his adrenaline going, and in the end it was Mom putting herself down that made his blood boil. Their mother-son relationship was one of the highlights of the show, and despite the fact that he didn’t get to play on that grand stage in the end, it was far more moving to have him play just for her in that tunnel. And what I found especially effective was the way Cha-shik and Yoo-seul had propelled each other to this point, so that even though they weren’t playing together on the same stage, they were still playing together in their heads. It was far more beautiful a moment than simply recreating Cha-shik’s dream sequence in reality.
It really pains me that this drama is only three episodes, because there’s so much story that could be told with these lovely characters, and I’m sad to leave them behind. For three episodes it ended in the perfect way, but I was left wishing we could’ve had another episode to watch Yoo-seul’s (likely violent) reaction to Cha-shik’s switcheroo stunt. He would’ve had to earn her forgiveness in adorable ways, and we could’ve seen the beginnings of their begrudging friendship with Jin-mok. The ending leaves me sure that these things would happen in these characters’ lives, and I don’t think I’d ruin such a nice climactic ending to wedge all that in there, but I’m definitely left wanting more.
I’m so pleased that Page Turner ended up being a solid drama with sharp execution, and that it had an effective use of music that engaged with the story. Kim So-hyun, Ji-soo, and Shin Jae-ha turned in heartfelt, emotional performances, and made me love every detail of these flawed characters and their journey toward finding themselves. Maybe becoming a world-class pianist overnight isn’t a realistic dream, but maybe having a dream that excites and inspires you is the important part, whether that leads to trophies and glory, or just gets you out of bed every day to go live.