My Liberation Notes… What could it be? How can one achieve liberation through notes? Is it possible to escape from our lifeless lives and stop running in circles? Well ‘My Liberation Notes’ does not promise that you can change your life entirely but a little step toward change can be better, right? In the era of toxic positivity, being happy always is the goal. Sadness, sorrow, and grief have no place and you are expected to look at these emotions as problems to tackle. This Netflix series gives you an insight into the lives of three siblings trying to run away from their monotonous lives in the most unusual ways.
Disclaimer: This show is mature and sensitive!
My Liberation Notes brings us some of the artists who display warmth through their acting skills like Kim Jiwon, Lee Min Ki, Lee El, and Son Seok Ku. The series commenced with the three siblings reaching home at Sanpo from Seoul in a sharing cab. Yeom Ki Jeong the eldest sister (Lee El), Yeom Chang Hee the middle child and the only son (Lee Min-Ki), and Yeom Mi Jeong the maknae (Kim Ji Won) respectively commute from Sanpo village to Seoul every day to earn a living. This scene depicts the exhaustion of the siblings while every day they pray for their escape from Sanpo to Seoul. A stranger from Seoul identified as Mr.Gu (Son Seok Ku) is living in Sanpo whose family, profession, or past can not be traced as he has given up on humanity. Mr. Gu has given into alcoholism and wishes to just exist quietly without getting involved in anyone’s business.
Actively socializing is a trend and the only three introverts who have not yet joined any club are forced to join one. To avoid this mandatory gathering Yeom Mi Jeong, Cho Tae Hoon (Lee Ki Woo), and Park Sang Min (Park Soo Young) decide to make their club called ‘Liberation Club’. This club is to attain freedom from something that is holding you back by openly talking about it. Honesty is the first and last rule of the club when it comes to expressing your emotions. Although the other Yeom siblings are not a part of the club, they too are in the process of liberating themselves individually. The sole purpose of the club is to identify the problem and without running away face it head-on.
Screen-writer Park Hae Young is known for her introspective realistic screenplays like ‘My Mister’ and ‘Another Miss Oh’. She once again gave us a piece about struggling introverts who are socially awkward in the most lively surroundings. She also shows relationships between the lower-middle-class family members which many Asian viewers may sympathize with. Creator of ‘The Light In Your Eyes’ and ‘Law School’, director Kim Seok Yoon has portrayed realism in such a way that every episode feels like you’re living a day in their lives.
The mise-en-scène illustrating the characters and their obsessions with things and people is perfectly done. Ki Jeong and the painting of a couple on her wall. Chang Hee and miniature cars in his room along with pictures of cars hanging on strings. The Cactus is the symbol of endurance, resilience, and persistence. The analogy of the mini cactus plant and Mi Jeong’s entire personality. Mi Jeong’s self-reflection is very well exhibited in scenes where it’s herself, her thoughts, and feelings, all of it blended right in front of her eyes. All the little details play a huge part in the character’s life and how truly desperate they are for it.
The Yeom Family
Millions of Asian family members do not lean on each other or open up about very little things that trouble them. They are expected to work on it by themselves. The siblings have a not-so-loving relationship with each other as they only spew sarcasm when they speak. Yet, their serendipitous love is very much visible when they see each other in pain plus join in on their embarrassing chapters. Different people, share the same blood, and atypical styles to deal with awkward situations. This family throws light on very common households in Asian settings. A whirlpool of emotions comes with every episode of the Yeom family’s ordinary lives.
You will find some very unique dynamics in this drama, less romance, and more companionship. Mi Jeong and Mr. Gu have the “no complaints, no demands” platonic relationship where a small yet very important thing called worship (read: respect, support, encouragement) becomes the core. Ki Jeong is ready to shield Tae hoon and his innocence as both of them try their best to not let go of each other. Emotional support is the primary need in a relationship. However, you can not expect your partner to entirely carry your emotional baggage. My Liberation Notes presents this matter in a very subtle way that gets you right. Chang Hee and the women in his life and how differently he deals with each one of them.
Were all of them free at the end of the series? This show gives us an open-ended finale, the characters are empowered to explore further. Depiction of life as it shows, the writer does not pack up with “and they lived happily ever after“. A mirror to the life of introverts and commoners. This series gives out the message that this is life and we all live it this way. There’s no end to misery in life but our efforts to fight against it are what counts. It keeps you curious and hooked and leaves you wondering what just happened. A well-written and performed piece of life started with low ratings and ended with triple its lowest ratings,… ‘My Liberation Notes’.