by Peace25, March 8, 2013

Peace25's Weekend Movie Picks

I’ll be honest, my initial reason in watching these movies was because they starred actors that I was biased towards; however, these films made me realize that there was more to Korean films than light and zappy romance. These movies make a bold statement on what it means to be human and will leave you questioning life and what it means to be alive.
     Country: South Korea                                     Year: 2007                                Genre: Life, Romance
Young Su (Hwang Jeong Min) is stricken with a terminal disease and decides to leave his fast-paced city life in order to go to a sanatorium that will help treat his illness. He meets Eun Hye (Im Soo Jung), a young woman who resides there, and their relationship soon turns romantic. They leave the sanatorium together and move into a small cottage. Life seems good until one of Young Su’s friends pays a visit and makes him question whether leaving his old life was the best idea.
Oh, this movie. Im Soo Jung has always been a fantastic actress, but here she really shined. I think what this movie really displayed well was how sometimes the line between what’s right and what’s wrong can be blurred by desire. You know in your head what you should do but your heart takes you to another place. It also shows how caught up people sometimes get in the beauty of things that don’t realize what’s really happening. It was sweet when it needed to be sweet, and it hurt when it needed to hurt. If you want a movie that best displays the factors of real life, the beautiful and the ugly, this is the movie for you.

       Country: South Korea                          Year: 2008                         Genre: Comedy, Romance, Drama
Seung-Ryong (Cha Tae Hyun) is a twenty-seven year old man suffering from a brain injury that causes him to have the mentality of a six year old. Ji-Ho (Ha Ji Won) is a talented pianist who cannot launch into her career because of stage fright. She returns to her hometown and meets Seung-Ryong, her old classmate, and this encounter causes their lives to change forever.

This film starts off quite light but later takes a drastic turn. I liked the unexpectedness of the film. To me, that’s what made it memorable. The chemistry between the two leads, though not romantic, is quite delightful. It was a very beautiful film, one that’ll leave you staring at the credits and wondering what it is that you just witnessed.

       Country: South Korea                                  Year: 2009                                 Genre: Romance

Man-Soo (Hyun Bin) goes temporarily insane after dealing with effects of living with a mother struggling with dementia and a brother addicted to gambling.  At the mental institution he meets a nurse named Su Kyung (Lee Bo Young) and falls in love with her.

Though this is one of his least talked-about movies, I think Hyun Bin had one of his best performances here. Man-Soo is a very difficult character, and he handled it so well. When a man is pushed to his limits, what does he become? When he can’t rely on his brain, can he rely on his heart? I think this movie asks the audience to answer this question, and maybe when you finish this film, you’ll be able to answer this and also define what it truly means to be able to say that you’re happy.