Review: Park Shin Hye & Park Hyung Sik Strike The Right Chord In Doctor Slump | Movies News


“Despite working harder than anyone else for 17 hours a day, I was still treated like a sinner and an idiot.” Says Park Shin Hye‘s Nam Han Eul. The hardworking Han Eul who has worked herself to the bone finds herself not only bypassed for a promotion but also at the receiving end of a boss who has stolen her dissertation and leaves no excuse to humiliate her.

Anyone who has battled a toxic work environment can relate to this, and its impact on one’s mental health. The quiet Han Eul is shocked to discover she is battling depression and burnout

“Sometimes, you suddenly lose balance within your mind and you feel lethargic I have depression. I pushed myself too hard and couldn’t rest when I was tired, so it became an illness of the mind”, says Nam Han Eul in disbelief as she slowly accepts how she had compromised her life and self-esteem for the sake of her job.

On the other hand, we meet Yeo Jeong-woo (Park Hyung Sik), a high-flying plastic surgeon, who has been wrongly accused of medical negligence and has lost everything. The incident leaves a strong impact on Jeong Woo, who does not realise that he is battling PTSD(post-traumatic stress disorder)

Fate leads him to encounter Han Eul once again. The two had been the top students in school and were forever in competitive mode,their sole aim wanting to be one up on the other.

As he rents out the rooftop room which is part of the annexe of her home, the two finally get chatting with each other.

Han Eul confides in him that all her life has been just studying and working and that she does not know or have anything else. You get that since many of us are constantly driven by the need to excel.

Jeong Woo finds the first stirrings of empathy towards her as he says “I wish I could give the young you a hug”.

Han Eul also discovers that though Jeong Woo has been popular, it is a facade. His ambitious parents could not have cared less for him and his so-called friends have only been in it for what they can gain from him, he is a lonely person battling his issues.

As these two worn-out souls became each other’s confidants, they found their way around empowering each other, which led to deep fondness and love. 

Doctor Slump, is a heartwarming tale as two school rivals find love with each other at their lowest in life. As they battle their slump, Jeong Woo tells Han Eul

“Who would have imagined the two school toppers years later would be battling anxiety and depression”. A statement which holds. From fulfilling parental expectations to the need to excel and navigate the hyper-competitive world of academia and then professional life, one ends up compromising on one’s physical, emotional and mental health.

The issue of depression is sensitively handled, and the highlight is Han Eul’s mother who cannot fathom what it is, but wonders if could it be her expectations which caused it. As she tries her level best to give her the so-called nourishing food”, one gets how in many Asian societies mental health has always been an oversight.

Then there are Bin Dae Young( Yoon Park) and Lee Hong Ran( Kong Seong Ha) are single parents whose parenting skills are constantly challenged and help each other in finding even ground with their charges.

Of course, there is a villain in the piece. Han Eul’s boss and Jeong Woo’s friend Min Kyung Min( Oh Dong Min) and his attempts to rock their boat.

Park Shin Hye who returns to screens after the birth of her son, gives a nuanced performance as Han Eul. The studious girl who realises how life has bypassed her.

Park Hyung Sik one of the most endearing actors with a charming screen presence, strikes the right notes as Jeon Woo, a lonely little boy who is just seeking love.

The two have a compatible chemistry and complement the other.

Doctor Slump is an engaging watch, even if at times it gets a bit stretched. The show is relatable at many levels, especially Han Eul’s track, one finds a resonance with the characters and their issues, as they set forth on a journey to heal.

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