It’s called “Red Scarf”
It’s about a girl who starts a letter friendship with a man she meets in the city but has never actually seen.
He knows her but she doesn’t know him. He works for a high-level CEO, as a bodyguard, and sees her always being treated badly by her boss, which he witnesses when daily visiting the same coffeehouse with his own boss. To make her life easier he does nice little things for her, like buying her a meal and more comfortable shoes when she gets a blister. Only he can’t reveal it’s him because he’s on duty.
The girl posts a letter to him on the coffee house wall (since she’s not sure who he is) along with a red scarf, she made him, and gives her email address and tells him not to be shy, that it’s ok just to write letters. She gets lots of responses to the email (from funny to asinine) but only one gets the follow-up question right, which is: What did she add to the scarf? The answer is a little silver heart charm.
They begin writing/texting each other but, he feels his job is a lowly one and dangerous (his boss has a lot of enemies) so he has to be convinced to meet her..(whilst he still doesn’t tell her his name or occupation). He calls her “Red Scarf” and she calls him “The Shy Oppa”
Finally she convinces him to reveal himself as they have grown quite close. Only, the CEO is attacked and our hero gets hurt by the fire he saves his boss from.
The Shy Oppa doesn’t make it to the date because he is in the hospital. Face and body scarred from the fire.
His boss betrays him and refuses to compensate the Shy Oppa for his service. The hospital bill isn’t paid and the boss fires him because he has to use a cane from other injuries he suffered.
The Shy Oppa falls into depression and decides to end his life. He’s all set to do it and as he’s going to the location, of his planned death, an old lady sees the scarf he took with him because he’s thinking of “Red Scarf” and says it’s really pretty and that someone must really care about him.
He starts to cry because the fact that people are afraid of him now and that his closest friends and family have abandoned him because they are uncomfortable with both his loss of income and loss of looks (he was very very handsome and had lots of women liking him) is the main reason he decided to commit suicide.
He feels nobody cares about him now. Only, this girl does..and she never saw his face..only him as he is inside.
We see him decide to live. He visits her just once…without her knowing, and takes a picture of her.
In seclusion he begins to learn to slow down and notice life. He realises that he has a talent for painting. He can paint and not hurt his body and moving slowly is ok when you live in the country.
He reconnects with nature and himself. He becomes quite famous for his paintings. They have a mysterious air about them because they feature a red scarf stretching across or looped around things in each painting. The people who love the paintings comment that the red scarf isn’t random..it appears to lead somewhere. Each painting moves over land like its a map, getting closer and closer to something.
The painter moves back into the city after being convinced to paint a final series of this Red Scarf subject and then finally reveal himself to the public at the showing..he agrees on one condition, they must hire him someone to care for him and drive him around while he does his painting, as his life has gotten more complicated if he lives in the city and he doesn’t want to be seen outside his home as much. Also, he’s a bit lonely from living in the country but doesn’t want to admit he wants to be around someone.
The woman they hire turns out to be “Red Scarf” and he is shocked to see her after soo long.
We see him reminiscing and learning how she’s changed. She has a very beautiful personality but a hard life. Her parents died in a huge fire. She’s the eldest and struggles to feed them and keep the house.
The Shy Oppa tries not to hire her, at first, because he’s terrified she’ll be scared of him or worse, recognize him, but she cries and begs him to please let her work for him. He asks her “Aren’t you scared of me?” To which she replies “You got hurt saving someone like my parents did, if they had lived, I would have been soo happy even if they had scars, I would see their scars and think …*this is the face of someone who suffered so someone could live*”
This touches him deeply. He doesn’t reveal himself..still too scared to reveal himself to her. but he can’t say no…just as always, he can’t help but want to take care of her, because she’s fiercely trying to live happy, even when she suffers.
He hires her and they start working in the same house.
Lots of scenes of him noticing her and thinking “Yes, this is who you always are…”
The paintings progress and they grow even closer. She defends him and teaches him how to face others and she quietly supports him showing him how to approach people and get them to see he’s not scary even if he is scarred.
He runs into his old boss and enraged wants his revenge..but, over several episodes she stops him and leads him back to a place of forgiving even those who don’t deserve it..to find peace for himself.
The final painting scene is my favorite idea. We finally see the final painting and it’s where the red scarf is seen being knitted on the needles of a beautiful girl sitting on a bench in the sun. The scarf has been added to the image ftom the photo he snapped of her before he left the city.
“Red Scarf” sees the painting and rushed to find the scarf. She noticed it before and even wondered, at one point, if it was the same scarf..but, red scarfs do all look similar..and when she checked it, it didn’t have the charm.
She finds “Shy Oppa” and asks him outright if it’s him. He lies and says it isn’t because there is a handsome guy who is friends with her (rival love interest) and he thinks she deserves a “Pretty love” he almost convinces her but she turns and goes back just as he thinks he’s lost her forever…she grabs his shirt and pulls it down..revealing the charm on a chain around his neck. He’s been wearing it the whole time.
She yells at him for lying and he tells her about his “Pretty love” theory and she responds with “What about you and I isn’t pretty?” and yells at him about his pretty letters, pretty heart and pretty paintings.” He responds that he isn’t pretty…he will never be pretty. She replies “*this is the face of someone who suffered so someone could live* it’s not pretty…it’s beautiful and I love this face.”
Again she asks “What about you isn’t pretty?” To which he finally accepts that she loves him.
The symbolism (and possible voice over) of course, is that he wasn’t aware of it, but that scarf was always just leading him back to where it all began..where he found his “Red Scarf”.