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Love and Leashes

117 min

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Love and Leashes Review

Love and Leashes profile

  • Movie: Love and Leashes
  • Revised romanization: Moral Sense
  • Hangul: 모럴센스
  • Director: Park Hyun-Jin
  • Writer: Gyeowool (webcomic)
  • Producer:
  • Cinematographer:
  • Release Date: February 11, 2022
  • Runtime: 117 min.
  • Distributor: Netflix
  • Language: Korean
  • Country: South Korea
  • Based on webcomic "Moral Sense” by Gyeowool (published from January 22, 2017 to August 25, 2018 via Naver).
  • Content Rating: 18+ Restricted (violence & profanity)

    Love and Leashes plot

    Jung Ji-Woo (Seohyun) works for a large corporation. She has feelings for her co-worker Jung Ji-Hoo (Lee Jun-Young), but she hasn't expressed to him how she feels. One day, Jung Ji-Woo receives a package. The package was intended for her co-worker Jung Ji-Hoo, but the delivery was mixed up due to their similar names. When Jung Ji-Woo opens the package, she sees a dog leash in the box. At that time, Jung Ji-Hoo runs over and tells her that it is his package. The dog leash is intended for S&M use and belongs to Jung Ji-Hoo. He tells Jung Ji-Woo about his S&M fetish and his interest in playing a submissive role. Jung Ji-Woo does not pass judgement on Jung Ji-Hoo, which touches Jung Ji-Hoo. He asks Jung Ji-Woo if she would become his master. Jung Ji-Woo accepts and they promise to have a temporary three month relationship with Jung Ji-Woo becoming his master.

    comment for Love and Leashes

    Fifty Shades should disappear so Love and Leashes can become the introductory standard for BDSM Going into this movie I was afraid they would make a joke out of BDSM or portray male submissives as pathetic, but I was ecstatic to see that it was not the case in the slightest. This movie is a very solid introduction for what BDSM is and means if you have no clue about it-- even putting up definitions and explanations of terms on screen to make it easier to understand.

The portrayal of male submissives is scarce at best, but actually good, respectful, judgement-free depictions of male submissives are almost nonexistent in mainstream media. That was my primary concern, but if it's yours as well I am here to reassure you that you've got nothing to worry about. The movie does an incredible job of framing Ji Hoo's submissiveness as something that is simply his preference and there's nothing wrong with it, even when others may judge him. Another common problem with the depiction of men who have more submissive personalities is that writers tend to end up delving in the territory of trying to reassure the audience that the character is not actually 100% submissive in bed, which is a huge pet peeve of mine. That. Never. Happens. Here.

On the other hand, Ji Woo's character is absolutely incredible because she is the inexperienced Dom that had never been able to put into words what she is actually into. Maybe TMI, but that was me, once. Her quick ease into the Dom role even if she is unsure about doing a good job clearly stems from the fact that this has always been who she is-- she just never had a chance to explore it with anyone. The inexperienced Dom trope also sometimes falls prey to the sudden role switch where the male character takes charge because she is so inexperienced and gets so easily flustered because of it-- or he was actually in charge all along even if he "acted" submissive, but this incredible movie avoids that completely. He is the submissive, she is the Dom, and even when she may falter and worry she is not doing a good job, those roles remain the same.

You may think this should've been a multi-episode drama instead, but I disagree. Had they done that, the conflicts would've been dragged and many people who may give this a chance because it's a movie simply wouldn't have watched it. The movie is incredible just the way it is.

This was made by people who took the topic seriously and approached it with nothing but respect, and I am eternally thankful for it.

*It should be noted that I have not read the manga, therefore my opinion is solely based on the movie as a stand-alone story about BDSM.

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