Anatomy of a K drama Scene: How Park Bo Gum, Park So Dam's 'practical' breakup in Record of Youth is relatable

*SPOILERS ALERT* In the latest edition of Anatomy of a K-drama Scene, we're digging deep into Park So-dam's practical reason for breaking up with Park Bo-gum towards the end of Record of Youth.
Anatomy of a K drama Scene: How Park Bo Gum, Park So Dam's 'practical' breakup in Record of Youth is relatable
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*SPOILERS ALERT* There's a debate between Record of Youth fans over the open ending, especially with Sa Hye-joon (Park Bo-gum) and Ahn Jung-ha's (Park So-dam) relationship arc. In Record of Youth Ep 15, we see Jung-ha, who was wrestling with her inner conflict when it came to dating Hye-joon, finally make up her mind and break up with the rising superstar.

The particular sequence we're tackling in today's Anatomy of a K-drama Scene takes place in Record of Youth Ep 16 when Hye-joon comes over to Jung-ha's salon unannounced claiming that he's refusing to accept their breakup. The two then head for a drive and stop at a gorgeous Seoul skyline spot where Jung-ha reveals why she took such a drastic step. Before, when breaking up, Jung-ha simply shared how they should part ways in spite of saying "I love you" before.

Jung-ha proceeds to tell a disgruntled Hye-joon all the ways he changed her life. While Jung-ha's personality traits included disliking people who are unpredictable, generate anxiety, can't keep promises and are unstable, she realises that she too could become like them. "Being in love with you changed me to be more complicated. And I actually like it," Jung-ha gratefully says. When Hye-joon counters that being with Jung-ha helped him grow as a person too, the latter retorts how the former has been able to fulfil his dream but she's just getting started. "Our timing is just off. Forcing it to be synchronised will drive us apart," Jung-ha reasons while Hye-joon states that he will try harder.

This, Jung-ha says is exactly why she wanted to protect her ex-boyfriend. In his last attempt to change her mind, Hye-joon says "I love you," to which Jung-ha replies, "I know," and adds how all that's left is for them to respectfully part ways. When Hye-joon asks why he can't be a part of Jung-ha's life when her dreams come true as she has been for his, the latter says, "The emotions I learned from being in love, and my outlook on life. That's your gift to me, and that's more than enough. I want to be remembered as a beautiful memory. Promise me that you'll remember the time we spent together."

While some would assume Jung-ha was too quick to break up with Hye-joon, the slow simmering seeds of an eventual fallout was being sown since the past few episodes as the former realised just how taxing it is to be the girlfriend of a rising superstar. There's also the added guilt of being Hye-joon's secret which could negatively affect his career. With their relationship being media fodder, Jung-ha also realises how the comments directed at her were more inclined towards her relationship with Hye-joon than her impressive work as an aspiring makeup artist.

Some would even say that Jung-ha was being selfish in breaking up with Hye-joon but we have to understand her sentiments as well. While Hye-joon has achieved his dreams, she hasn't and being a practical person has always been ingrained in her because of her parents' troubled marriage. And, while Jung-ha gave her heart and soul into the relationship in spite of prior trepidation when it comes to committing, she still has her career to look at as well. There's also a sense of remorse in Jung-ha's expressions but she knows one of them has to be the strong one to end their relationship because as she rightfully explains, their timing is just off. We also need to take note of the fact that it was Hye-joon, who wanted an explanation for the breakup while Jung-ha wanted to leave it as can be.

On the other hand, Hye-joon is also justified in his reaction as the breakup came as a shock to him because he was finally going to make his relationship his priority rather than his work. But, at the same time, he was a little too late. There's also the wonderful parallel in both saying "I love you" and the context behind it. When Jung-ha says "I love you," it's because she's made up her mind about the breakup while when Hye-joon says "I love you," it's his feeble attempt at a possible patch up. 

There's a sense of relatability that makes Hye-joon and Jung-ha's breakup very millennial as it didn't go OTT like we're used to seeing in Korean dramas. Rather, practicality played a major key in the breakup, which was nonetheless a tear-jerker to watch. Sometimes, it's just the wrong time and the wrong place. But, then again, the final sequence of Record of Youth, which takes place after Hye-joon was discharged from the military, we see how the two characters meet again. This time, they're more mature and dare we say, happier. This includes successful career paths and dreams achieved. While they strike up a conversation as if no time was lost between the two, Hye-joon and Jung-ha leave it up to the viewers' imagination to decide if this time, the timing is right or not!

Watch Park Bo-gum and Park So-dam's practical breakup scene and explanation below:

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What did you think of Sa Hye-joon and Ahn Jung-ha's 'practical' breakup in Record of Youth? Loved it or hated it? Share your thoughts with Pinkvilla in the comments section below.