Love and Leashes review – an ambitious and well-executed film

By Nathan Sartain
Published: February 11, 2022
Netflix Korean film Love and Leashes


Ambitious and well-executed, Love and Leashes will certainly satisfy some viewers and may awaken some revelations in others

This review of the Netflix Korean film Love and Leashes does not contain spoilers. 

There’s a lot to say about Love and Leashes. Not in the sense that it’s a thought-provoking masterclass in eroticism (it isn’t), but more so that it’s a strangely gripping, curious look at the BDSM community which balances stereotypes and fantasies in a cringe-worthy yet even-minded way.

Central to proceedings is Jung Ji-hoo (Lee Jun-young), an office worker with a particular interest: serving someone. Not in the sense that he’d grab them a tea, or pick up a parcel, but more along the lines of being entirely submissive to a “master” type. Sensitive, charismatic and hardworking, he’s a tender character, one who is smartly more than just his “out there” fetishes, but at the same time someone who finds his own life thrown into confusion when he encounters the similarly named Jung Ji-woo (Seohyun).

You see, Jung Ji-woo is new to the BDSM way of life, if you could call it that, yet finds herself fascinated by the dog collar delivery she mistakenly collects in place of her kinky co-worker. As such, but not before a bit of hesitation, the two sign a three-month contract to enable a “dom-sub” partnership, the kind of which changes both parties’ viewpoint on intimacy.

Now, this may all seem silly, and truthfully some of it is, but there is more to Love and Leashes than scenes of barking, dog treats and candle wax burning. Hidden amongst the novelty is a genuine message of accepting oneself no matter what others may think, as well as a reasonably fair statement that if you find the right person, it may be worth “flipping your life upside down.” There’s also some office politics and gender role comments made, but truthfully they’re not as strong as the ones about self-acceptance, and fall into mildly humorous hyperbole more often than not.

With all that in mind, it does help that the two leads, Lee Jun-young and Seohyun, both invest themselves in their roles wholeheartedly. Without the buy-in from the pairing, it’s conceivable that their chemistry wouldn’t have been as sharp as it was, nor the film as well executed as it ended up being. The former deserves praise for his anxious, nervy depiction of the self-admittedly childlike Ji-hoo, a man who wants to break out of his shell but finds himself becoming the biggest barrier in doing so. Similarly, Seohyun will rightly gain plaudits for her seamless display of uncertainty and intrigue, two things that could be said to be reflections of what much of the audience feel themselves.

Complete with tightly shot moments of romance and well-painted distinction, Love and Leashes is a release that is bound to satisfy an underrepresented niche in the cinematic world. As Netflix continues to venture deeper into the Korean market, continuing their expansion with a keen eye for webtoon adaptations, it’s refreshing to see such an ambitious commission. It certainly isn’t for everyone, but as the film itself drives home in its own unique way, how would we know if we don’t at least try?

What did you think of Netflix Korean film Love and Leashes? Comment below. 

You can watch this film with a subscription to Netflix. 

Movie Reviews, Netflix, Streaming Service

4 thoughts on “Love and Leashes review – an ambitious and well-executed film

  • February 12, 2022 at 9:58 am

    Watched love and leashes I enjoyed it made me laugh I say each to their own but diffentley worth watching

  • February 12, 2022 at 12:59 pm

    Those who want to watch this should be open minded. if not dont watch. this is about a person with unique taste. different with normal romance. All human are different. this movie teach one to understand the differences. to see each other with open mind and see ourselve.

  • February 13, 2022 at 4:12 pm

    I really enjoyedas before, each to their own. this film. It kept me hooked.

  • March 22, 2022 at 4:39 pm

    I am into Kink, and have been for many years, although I’m relatively new to the ‘Kink Scene’.

    Suffice to say, an open mind when watching anything kinky is a requirement, many have pre-conceived ideas about what kink means, and how its about sex, it really isn’t and I think this movie gave a fair and balanced depiction of that. I’ve experienced a good few kinks now, and none of them make me sexually excited.

    Just to be clear, everyone in the actual kink community hates ’50 shades’ btw, a totally unrealistic depiction. ?

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