Antique: do you like what you do?

If you don’t like cake, if you don’t live it, how can you sell it?

That line, of course, isn’t actually from the film…well, not that I remember. But that’s essentially what patissier Seon Woo (Kim Jae Wook) asks his employer – who also happens to be his first crush – Jin Hyeok (Joo Ji Hoon), once he realises that the latter actually can’t stand eating sweets…

So why does Jin Hyeok run a cake shop, despite the fact that he despises sweets? The answer lies in a traumatic experience he had as a child. Kidnapped and held for two months, the only thing he remembers is that his kidnapper fed him cake everyday. Opening a bakery to assure his mother and grandmother that he’s recovered from the ordeal, Jin Hyeok’s ulterior motive is to try and draw out his kidnapper.

However, despite this overreaching storyline, the predominant attraction of Antique are its characters. A prim owner who can turn on the charm when he needs to; a master patissier, also known as the “Gay of Demonic Charm” because no man, gay or otherwise, can help falling for him; an eager ex-boxer whose other great love is of cake; and a simple but loyal follower. Hiring a gay man, especially one of that reputation, to work in a cafe staffed entirely by men can only be insanely stupid, right? But it made for great comedy and mouth-watering cakes! I particularly enjoyed the sequences of Jin Hyeok’s crash course in baking and the hectic preparations for his Christmas delivery…and did I just want to have a taste of those desserts myself! However, the little scenes here and there, which demonstrated how much this group of four men grew to care for each other (with or without the homoerotic subtext), were the highlights. If there was one thing I didn’t like, it was Jean and how he was so easily forgiven – violence is unforgivable, no matter who it is! But I guess you could say the story was realistic in that sense.

     

And the eye-candy was quite nice anyway…pardon the tangent. (^_^)

However, what remains with me is still the question I started with: if you don’t like cake, how can you sell it? It expresses a very pertinent point about life in general. Do you like what you are doing? If you do, well, you’re one of the lucky ones whose managed to combine your passion and your career. But if you don’t…do you leave to find something you like? Or should you try to find something within that career that you like? Not that Antique proposes any answers to these questions, but is that not something each person is meant to find out for themselves?

About karice
MAG fan, freelance translator and political scientist-in-training. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

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