Saturday, September 24, 9707

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Monday, September 5, 2011

A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)

Genre : Horror, Thriller, Tragedy, Mystery, Drama.
Language : Korean
Country : South Korea
Cast : Su-Jeong Lim, Moon Geun Young, Jung-Ah Yum.
Directed by : Kim Ji-Woon
Run Time : 115 min
Release Date : 13th June, 2003

Synopsis :
“A Tale of Two Sisters” (Korean: Janghwa, Hongryeon a.k.a Changhwa, Hongnyŏ; Literally means, "Rose Flower, Red Lotus") is a 2003 South Korean psychological horror film directed by Kim Ji-Woon. The film is inspired by a Joseon Dynasty folktale entitled "Janghwa Hongreyon-jon", which has been adapted to film several times.
Director Kim Ji-Woon’s “A Tale of Two Sisters” has been hailed as one of the best Asian horror films of recent years, and has been snapped up by the Hollywood machine for a Western release and pointless remake. Although the plot and central premise may at first sound suspiciously familiar, and though Asian ghost stories are rapidly outstaying their welcome, the film succeeds not so much through its supernatural aspects, but rather its fascinating psychological examination of grief and sadness!

Plot :
The film begins with Su-Mi being brought to a psychiatrist. She is unresponsive until a picture of her family is shown in front of her. She is taken home by her father, Moo-Hyeon, along with her timid sister, Su-Yeon. There, they are met by their difficult stepmother, Eun-Joo.

That night Su-Yeon awakes to find somebody in her room and she flees to her sister. Su-Mi promises Su-Yeon that she will always be there for her and they fall asleep.

Su-Mi awakens after a nightmare to find that Su-Yeon has begun her period, as has her stepmother, on the very same day. The girls look at some old photos, which reveal that Eun-Joo was a doctor and a co-worker of Moo-Hyeon. Su-Mi sees bruises on Su-Yeon's arms and accuses Eun-Joo.

At dinner with guests (Eun-Joo's brother, Sun-Kyu, and his wife), Eun-Joo acts strangely. During dinner, Sun-Kyu's wife begins to choke and convulse on the floor. After they leave, Eun-Joo investigates around, only to be startled by a hand that reaches out as she tries to pick up a pin.

Eun-Joo insists that strange events have become frequent since Su-Mi and Su-Yeon returned. Her pet bird is slain and found in Su-Yeon's bed. In a rage, she locks Su-Yeon in the wardrobe, and after Su-Yeon is freed, Moo-Hyeon asks Su-Mi why she is making trouble.

Su-Mi insists that the stepmother harasses Su-Yeon, locking her in the closet. Moo-Hyeon informs her that Su-Yeon is dead, and that she is not getting better. The scene ends with Su-Yeon emotionally screaming.

Su-Mi wakes to find her sister missing and believes she sees her stepmother dragging around a bloody bag through the corridors of the house and beating it. Su-Mi runs to the kitchen to grab scissors to free her sister but Eun-Joo attempts to stop her by splashing boiling water from the kettle onto her. A fight ensues and Su-Mi is rendered unconscious.

Moo-Hyeon returns home to find an injured Su-Mi, however all evidence is suspiciously gone as are the stepmother and bag.

The scene shifts, Su-Mi is now shown as the stepmother. She looks up in surprise, and the camera rotates to show the real stepmother, standing in the door way, looking sympathetic. When the camera turns around again, Su-Mi is back where she was. All memories flash through her mind that gives evidence of her illness.

It is revealed that all along Su-Yeon really has been dead, and the stepmother was absent. Su-Mi was acting as the stepmother and imagining her sister throughout the film because of a severe dissociative identity disorder.

Su-Mi then flashes back to a time when Eun-Joo was a live-in nurse caring for the girls' sick mother. The girls sense that Eun-Joo and Moo-Hyeon are flirting. Su-Mi displays her disapproval toward Eun-Joo, who in turn takes her anger out on Su-Yeon. Su-Yeon, then returns to her room and collapses on her bed in tears. Su-Yeon's mother is shown trying to comfort her as she too starts crying.

The flashback ends, and the stepmother sits alone in the quiet home. A noise comes from Su-Yeon's room. When she investigates, the wardrobe opens and from it crawls out the ghost, presumably of either Su-Yeon or her mother. The scene ends ambiguously with a scream.

The flashback picks up again from when Su-Yeon had fallen asleep, with her waking up and discovering her dead mother inside her wardrobe, who had hanged herself with an article of clothing. Terrified, Su-Yeon shakes the body and screams. A bottle of pills drops and spills open, while Su-Yeon accidentally pulls the wardrobe down on top of herself, causing her to scream again.

Various people in the house hear the bang, but not the scream. Out of everyone, only Eun-Joo (the nurse and future stepmother) goes to investigate. She discovers Su-Yeon screaming for help and clawing at the wardrobe. Eun-Joo leaves rather than helping Su-Yeon, but then changes her mind and heads back for the scene. En route, she passes Su-Mi coming out of her room to investigate the noise. An argument starts between Eun-Joo and Su-Mi. During the argument, Su-Yeon is shown whimpering under the wardrobe.

After the argument, when Su-Mi tries to leave the house, Eun-Joo stops her. Eun-Joo advises her to go and investigate the noise, warning Su-Mi that she might regret it if she doesn't. Su-Mi dismisses the warning as nonsense and angrily marches out of the house. Outside, Su-Mi passes Moo-Hyeon, who was going to investigate. Moo-Hyeon assumes that the noise was Su-Mi's, and he ends up not entering the house.

The scene switches back to Su-Yeon crying out for Su-Mi's help, because Eun-Joo decided not to go back and help her. Su-Yeon continues clawing at the wardrobe until she eventually dies. Outside the house, Su-Mi turns back long enough to exchange angry stares with Eun-Joo, who is standing on the balcony. The film ends with Su-Mi continuing to walk away from the house, but stopping to pause and think.

As the credits scroll, an image is shown of Su-Mi sitting on the dock by the pond. She is in the same outfit as in an earlier scene: The day she had come home and had done the same with Su-Yeon. However, this time, Su-Mi is sitting alone!

“The Uninvited” (2009), is an American remake of this Korean thriller drama starring ‘Emily Browning’ as Anna Ivers (Su-Mi), and ‘Arielle Kebbel’ as Alex Ivers (Su-Yeong).

Cast :
■ Su-Jeong Lim - Bae Soo-Mi (Janghwa)
■ Moon Geun-Young - Bae Soo-Yeon (Hongryeon) 
■ Jung-Ah Yum - Eun-Joo (Step Mother) 
■ Kap-Su Kim - Bae Moo-Hyeon (Father)

Awards :
1. It won the 2003 Blue Dragon Award for the Best New Actress – Su-Jeong Lim.
2. It won the New Currents Award for the Best New Actress - Su-Jeong Lim at the Pusan International Film Festival in 2003. 
3. It won the Festival Trophy for the Best Picture at the Screamfest Awards in 2003. 
4. It won the Silver Raven Award for the Best Supporting Actress – Jung-Ah Yum at the Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film in 2004. 
5. It won the Most Popular Film Award at the Fant-Asia Film Festival in 2004. 
6. It won the International Fantasy Film Award for the Best Film, Best Director & Best Actress – Su-Jeong Lim at the Fantasporto Awards in 2004. 
7. It won the Orient Express Section Special Jury Award at the Fantasporto Awards in 2004. 
8. It won the Grand Prize, Prix 13ème Rue & Youth Jury Grand Prize at the Gérardmer Film Festival in 2004. 
9. It was nominated at the 2003 Sitges - Catalonian International Film Festival for the Best Film. 
10. It was nominated at the 2006 Chlotrudis Awards for the Best Supporting Actress – Jung-Ah Yum.

Ratings : = 7.4/10; = 7.2/10
[Source : Wikipedia, IMDB, RottenTomatoes, HanCinema, BeyondHollywood]

Gallery :

Monday, August 15, 2011

...Ing (2003)

Genre : Romance, Comedy, Melodrama.
Language : Korean
Country : South Korea
Cast : Im Su-Jeong, Kim Rae-Won, Lee Mi-Sook.
Directed by : Lee Eon-Hie
Run Time : 104 min
Release Date : 24th November, 2003

Synopsis :
...Ing” (Korean : Ai En Chi), also known as “The Guy Was Cool” or “The Cool Guy” is a 2003 South Korean film that follows the life of young woman who has become reserved and indifferent to the world as a result of her chronic illness and deformed hand.
The film quietly portrays the unconventional, yet endearing relationship between mother and daughter Min-Ah (Im Su-jeong) and Mi-Sook (Lee Mi-Sook) as well as the development of Min-Ah as she is befriended by the high spirited and carefree photographer Young-Jae (Kim Rae-Won) who moves into their apartment complex.

Plot :
…ing”, oddly as it sound but yet a highly engaging romantic melodrama about living life one day at a time. Kang Min-Ah (Im Soo-Jung) is a pretty high school girl who has had the misfortune of spending most of her life in hospitals, especially during her formative years. Min-Ah has a deformed hand, and unbeknownst to her, a terminal illness within her. However, Min-Ah’s single mother Mi-Sook (Lee Mi-Sook) does know the truth and keeps it hidden from her daughter, instead trying to turn this negative fact into positive motivation. Although hurting on the inside, Mi-Sook puts on a brave face, encouraging her daughter to take life by the horns and live in the here and now. Min-Ah is skeptical, but soon finds the possibilities of life re-opening to her.

On the way to school, she finds a person who lost his love in a road-accident at the front of Min-Ah's high school. For this reason, he helps the school girls to cross the road. Min-Ah heard from the teacher that the man lost his girl-friend in front of the school on a rainy day, so in the rain the man cries missing his love. According to Min-Ah, "TRUE LOVE IS NOT ABOUT GETTING, BUT IS GIVING!"

Soon enough, a photographer named Young-Jae (Kim Rae-Won) enters both of their lives by moving into the downstairs apartment. Upon seeing her, Young-Jae immediately does his best to win Min-Ah’s attention, engaging in a series of well-intentioned, but slightly juvenile acts that he hopes will make her change her mind about him. Although highly resistant at first, Min-Ah eventually caves in to Young-Jae’s goofily charming persistence, and the two embark on a tentative friendship. Much to the delight of her mother, the friendship between Min-Ah and Young-Jae eventually turns to love (albeit chaste), and they soon plan a trip to Hawaii together to see the sea turtles. But with the bitter realities of Min-Ah’s fatal illness looming low on the horizon, one begins to wonder if the budding couple will be able to make it to Hawaii before it’s too late..!

Cast :
■ Gang Min-Ah (Im Su-Jeong) 
■ Young-Jae (Kim Rae-Won) 
■ Mi Sook (Lee Mi-Sook) 
■ Kyung-Soo (Yun Chan) 
■ Guard (Kim In-Mun)

Ratings : = 7.4/10; = 9.1/10; = 4.5/5
[Source : Wikipedia, IMDB, HanCinema, SpcNet]

Gallery :

Friday, July 15, 2011

Alexander Nevsky (1938)

Genre : Epic, Historical, War, Drama.
Language : Russian
Country : Soviet Union (USSR)
Cast : Nikolai Cherkasov, Nikolai Okhlopkov, Andrei Abrikosov.
Directed by : Sergei Eisenstein
Run Time : 112 min
Release Date : 1st December, 1938

Synopsis :
“Alexander Nevsky” (Russian: Александр Невский) is a 1938 historical epic drama film directed by Russian master Sergei Eisenstein, made at a time when tensions between the Soviet Union and Germany were high, the film has heavy political overtones and propagandas. ‘Alexander Nevsky’ was the most popular of Eisenstein's three sound films. In 1941 Eisenstein, Pavlenko, Cherkasov and Abrikosov were awarded the Stalin Prize for the film.

This film depicts the attempted invasion of Novgorod in the 13th century by the Teutonic Knights of the Holy Roman Empire and their defeat by the Russian people, led by Prince Alexander, known popularly as ‘Alexander Nevsky’.

Plot :
The film opens in a rural setting, with Prince Alexander toiling away in an implausible fashion among the fishermen. "Hack their ships we did nigh to smithereens", they sing, referring to the teenage Alexander's earlier triumph over a Swedish invasion at the River Neva (which lent him the commemorative surname ‘Nevsky’). A Mongol emissary from the Golden Horde appears and offers Alexander a job as commander in his army, but he refuses.

Back in Novgorod, news arrives of the crusading Teutonic knights' capture of nearby city of Pskov with the help of the traitor Tverdilo and brutal massacre of the population (including a scene in which the knights casually drop children into a fire), which adds fuel to Nevsky’s cause.

Prince Alexander is sent for to lead the troops because he’s well known for his bravery and intelligence and for his ability to rally the people. He devises a plan to lure the knights into a fight on the ice, reasoning that their heavy armour will eventually lead them to catastrophe.

In the face of resistance by the boyars and merchants of Novgorod (urged on by the monk Ananias), Nevsky rallies the common people of Novgorod in a decisive Battle of the Ice, on the surface of the frozen Lake Chudskoe on 5th April, 1242.

Running parallel to Nevsky’s story is a subplot involving two soldiers, Vasili Buslai and Gavrilo Oleksich, two famous warriors from Novgorod and friends, who have used the war as the pretence for a wager. Whichever shows the most courage and skill during the Battle on the Ice will win the right to marry Olga Danilovna, a Novgorod maiden whom both of them are courting. After both of them have been seriously wounded, Buslai publicly states that neither he nor Gavrilo was the bravest in battle: that honor goes to Vasilisa, the daughter of a boyar of Pskov killed by the Germans who had joined the Novgorod forces as a front-line soldier; and that after her came Gavrilo. Thus Gavrilo and Olga are united, while Buslai chooses Vasilisa as his bride-to-be (with her unspoken consent)!

“Eisenstein doesn’t get terrifically experimental with this film – it’s pretty straight forward narratively, though there is a lot of visual symbolism. It can be a difficult story to engage with at times because the characters are so thin, but I can see how it would have worked as a rallying piece at the time it was made and especially at the time of its re-release in 1941. The Battle on the Ice is the film’s big set piece and is one of the best and most memorable large scale hand-to-hand combat sequences I’ve ever seen. The story can be a bit plodding as it wades through layers of political commentary, but this battle sequence makes the film worth watching!“

Cast :
■ Prince Aleksandr Nevsky (Nikolai Cherkasov)
■ Vasili Buslaev (Nikolai Okhlopkov)
■ Gavrilo Oleksich (Andrei Abrikosov)
■ Ignat, the Master Armourer (Dmitri Orlov)
■ Pavsha, a Voivode of Pskov (Vasili Novikov)
■ Domash Tverdislavich, a Novgorod Boyar (Nikolai Arsky)
■ Amelfa Timoferevna, Buslay's Mother (Varvara Massalitinova)
■ Olga Danilovna, a Maid of Novgorod (Vera Ivashova)
■ Vasilisa, a Maid of Pskov (Aleksandra Danilova)
■ Hermann Von Balk, the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order (Vladimir Yershov)
■ Tverdilo, the Traitor of Pskov (Sergei Blinnikov)
■ Anani, a Monk (Ivan Lagutin)
■ The Archbishop (Lev Fenin)
■ The Black-Hooded Monk (Naum Rogozhin)

Awards :
1. In 1941, Eisenstein, Pavlenko, Cherkasov and Abrikosov were awarded the Stalin Prize for this film.
2. In 1939, it was nominated for the Best Foreign Film in the National Board of Review.

Ratings : = 7.8/10; = 4.5/5
[Source : Wikipedia, IMDB, AllMovie, Criterion, RussiaBlog]

Gallery :

Monday, April 25, 2011

Too Beautiful to Lie (2004)

Genre : Romance, Comedy, Melodrama.
Language : Korean
Country : South Korea
Cast : Kim Ha-Neul, Kang Dong-Won.
Directed by : Bae Hyeong-Jun
Run Time : 115 min
Release Date : 20th February, 2004

Synopsis :
Too Beautiful to Lie” a.k.a. “Don't Believe Her” (Korean : Geu-nyeo-reul Mid-ji Ma-se-yo) is a 2004 South Korean romantic comedy film starring Kim Ha-Neul and Kang Dong-Wan. It’s a romantic, melodrama comedy film about a beautiful and cunning ex-convict girl, and an innocent and naive village guy!
Too Beautiful to Lie” is Kim Ha-Neul’s second venture into the comedy genre after ‘My Tutor Friend’, and Kang Dong-Wan’s movie debut. This film was not a big blockbuster or a box office hitter in South Korea, like ‘My Tutor Friend’, but was praised elsewhere in Asia and abroad for its subtle and funny humour!

Plot :
‘Ju Yeong-Ju’ (Kim Ha-Neul) is a cute and innocent looking ex-con artist with excellent deception skills who is imprisoned for fraud. But using her talent she managed to go through the evaluation and able to receive a parole for attending her only sister's wedding. While on the way, she runs into a shy and confused young guy, ‘Choi Hee-Chul’ (Kang Dong-Wan) who is on his way to see his girl friend in Seoul by train. He is a country bumpkin, and physician who is the only son of the mayor of a sleepy countryside.

However, Hee-Chul accidentally drops his engagement ring awkwardly under the legs of sleeping Yeong-Ju and while trying to retrieve it, creates a hilarious misunderstanding. After clearing up the misunderstanding with Yeong-Ju, he gets up to leave, but Yeong-Ju notices a pick-pocket stealing his ring at that very moment. Keeping herself safe from any legal trouble, Yeong-Ju gets out of the train to retrieve the ring, which she successfully does. But unfortunately, she misses the train and leaves her bag which contains her sister’s wedding gift in it with Hee-Chul!

Determined to find her bag and return the ring, she tracks down Hee-Chul and reaches his hometown. While carrying his engagement ring, she unwittingly gets mistaken by Hee-Chul’s family as his girlfriend. This leads to a lot of hilarious moments where unwilling to tell them the truth due to her own safety, Yeong-Ju even manages to convince Hee-Chul’s family that she is pregnant with his child. The situation gets more complicated when Hee-Chul finally returns home after failing in his marriage proposal because he has lost his ring. He is shocked to find everyone treating Yeong-Ju as his wife-to-be and even blaming him for ignoring her after getting her pregnant. He even gets beaten up a lot by his family and kicked out of the house making his life more miserable!

However, following the many romantic and hilarious twists, the bitter enemies that are Hee-Chul and Yeong-Ju start to fall for each other and Hee-Chul begins to see that behind Yeong-Ju’s deceptive and cunning exterior, there is actually a sweet and vulnerable girl. However, the truth is revealed to the family, which causes more chaos in the situation. But after all the upheavals in their life, everything works out well in the end!

Cast :
■ Ju Yeong-Ju (Kim Ha-Neul)
■ Choi Hee-Cheol (Kang Dong-Won)
■ Hee-Cheol's Father (Song Jae-Ho)
■ Hee-Cheol's Grandmother (Kim Ji-Yeong)
■ Husband of Hee-Cheol's Paternal Aunt (Lim Ha-Ryong)
■ Youg-Deok (Lee Cheon-Hee)
■ Doctor (Lee Ju-Seok)
■ Soo-Mi (Lee Yeong-Eun)
■ Hwa-Sook (Myeong Ji-Yeon)
■ Jae-Eun (Nam Sang-Mi)

Awards :
1. It won the 40th Baek Sang Arts Award for the Best Actress - Kim Ha-Neul in 2004.

Ratings : = 7.0/10; = 9.1/10; = 4.5/5; = 3.1/5
[Source : Wikipedia, IMDB, HanCinema, SPCNet, ZingMovie]

Gallery :

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Classic (2003)

Genre : Romance, Comedy, Tragedy, Melodrama, War Drama.
Language : Korean
Country : South Korea
Cast : Son Ye-Jin, Cho Seung-Woo, Jo In-Sung, Lee Ki-Woo.
Directed by : Kwak Jae-Yong
Run Time : 127 min
Release Date : 30th January, 2003

Synopsis :
The Classic” (Korean: Keulraesik) is a 2003 classic Korean romantic melodrama film starring Son Ye-Jin, Cho Seung-Woo and Jo In-Seong. "The Classic" is director Kwak Jae-Yong's long-awaited follow-up to his 2001 smash hit "My Sassy Girl”.
This film shows the parallel love stories of a mother and daughter, bridging two different time periods. The story of the mother is told partially in flashbacks. It will be justified to say that “The Classic” is an important milestone in the history of Korean romantic melodramas!

Plot :
The film begins in the present day, where the daughter, Ji-Hye (Son Ye-Jin), is cleaning-up around her house when she comes across a box containing an old diary and some love letters belonging to her mother, Joo-Hee (also played by Son Ye-Jin). Periodically in the film, Ji-Hye reads one of these letters, which starts a flashback scene which begins narrating the 1960’s story about the love triangle that formed between Ji-Hye's mother Joo-Hee, her future father Tae-Soo (Lee Ki-Woo), and Tae-Soo's best friend Joon-Ha (Cho Seung-Woo). Though Joo-Hee fell in love with Joon-Ha after a chance meeting in the countryside, she was already engaged to Tae-Soo in an arranged marriage!

Meanwhile, in the present, Ji-Hye has some romantic entanglements of her own to work out. She is in love with Sang-Min (Jo In-Seong), the boyfriend of her narcissistic best friend Soo-Kyeong (Lee Sang-In) and a senior in the theatre club, yet finds herself unable to express her true feelings. On the other side, Soo-Kyeong asks Ji-Hye to do her a favor – write a love letter to Sang-Min. Ji-Hye pours out her own feelings for him on paper, but sadly in her friend’s name. Touched by the letter, Sang-Min is attracted to Soo-Kyeong, and Ji-Hye. Feeling uncomfortable and even guilty, Ji-Hye tries to avoid him. And yet by coincidence or by fate she keeps running into him. Bouncing back and forth, the film draws parallels between the heartbreak, lessons learned, and travails of mother and daughter, whose destinies are inextricably intertwined!

Flashback to the summer of 1968...The mother, Joo-Hee visits the countryside as a student during her summer vacation and meets Joon-Ha. Together they explore the countryside, playing near a small river bridge with the fireflies. When a storm starts they take shelter together under a tree, but not before Joo-Hee twists her ankle and is rendered helpless. Joon-Ha carries her on his back and they struggle home, only to be confronted by her angry parents. Before they separate, Joo-Hee gives him a necklace, which he keeps close as a precious reminder of their time together.

Having parted with Joo-Hee without a word of farewell, Joon-Ha spends the rest of the summer heavy-hearted! With summer vacation being over Joon-Ha also returns to Seoul. At school, his classmate Tae-Soo asks him to write a love letter to send to a girl. And who would it be but Joo-Hee, Joon-Ha’s dream girl. Unable to confess his own summer love story, Joon-Ha reluctantly complies with his friend’s request!

Unfortunately, as often happens in affairs of the heart, a third party prevents any deepening of their relationship. Joo-Hee has been promised by her parents as a bride to Tae-Soo, Joon-Ha's best friend. But Tae-Soo, a noble friend, finds out about Joo-Hee and Joon-Ha's attraction for each other and helps the two communicate secretly by letting them use his own name in place of Joon-Ha's in their letters. When Tae-Soo's father finds this out, however, he beats Tae-Soo. Tae-Soo tries unsuccessfully to commit suicide so that his two friends can be together!

Meanwhile, in the present, Ji-Hye falls for Sang-Min in whom her friend Soo-Kyeong is also very interested, but he seems not to notice. Then, in a sweet scene, they take shelter from the rain together under the same tree. He uses his coat to cover both of them and escorts her to where she needs to go. The moment, while magical, does not go anywhere as she feels his help was only due to his generous nature and not from any feelings for her on his part.

Back in the past, Joon-Ha is guilt-ridden over his friend's attempted suicide and Joo-Hee's own guilt. Determined to prevent any more hurt to her, Joon-Ha joins the army and goes to Vietnam. There he loses his eyesight while he tries to retrieve the necklace Joo-Hee had given him. When he returns to Korea, he meets again with Joo-Hee, and, trying to hide his blindness, convinces her that he has married in the hope she will move on with her life. Though heartbroken that their relationship cannot continue, she does move on and eventually marries Tae-Soo. After they have been married for several years and have a young daughter (Ji-Hye), Joo-Hee is approached by friends of Joon-Ha, who relate Joon-Ha's last wish – ‘that his ashes be scattered by Joo-Hee in the river, now a reservoir, where they first met!’ She then finds out that Joon-Ha hadn't married, but he later did after she married Tae-Soo! She was told that he had a son also. The heart-break is too much and she cries.

In the present, Ji-Hye's own story unfolds. Sang-Min reveals his true feelings for Ji-Hye - feelings that mirror her own! It is also revealed that their taking shelter together during the storm was no accident – he had purposely left his umbrella behind in a shop so that he could join her under the tree. Then, when Ji-Hye pensively reveals her mother's story to him, tears stream down his face. Silently he lifts a necklace from around his neck and places it around hers. It is the necklace that Ji-Hye's mother, Joo-Hee, had given to Joon-Ha when they met. The circle is completed – Joo-Hee's daughter and Joon-Ha's son have fallen in love!

In other words, the eternal love between Joo-Hee and Joon-Ha has finally got its destination across the divisions of time – in the shape of the love between Ji-Hye and Sang-Min! ...The younger generation has accomplished the aspirations in their lives what their parents could not!

Cast :
■ Ji-Hye / Joo-Hee, Mother of Ji-Hye (Son Ye-Jin)
■ Joon-Ha, Father of Ji-Hye (Cho Seung-Woo)
■ Sang-Min (Jo In-Seong)
■ Tae-Soo, Friend of Joon-Ha (Lee Ki-Woo)
■ Soo-Kyeong, Friend of Ji-Hye (Lee Sang-In)
■ Na-Hee, Friend of Joo-Hee (Seo Yeong-Hee)
■ Shopkeeper (Im Ye-Jin)

Awards :
1. It won the 40th Dae Jong Sang Award for the Best New Actress - Son Ye-Jin in 2003.
2. It won the 39th Baek Sang Arts Award for the Best New Actress - Son Ye-Jin in 2003.
3. It won the 24th Blue Dragon Film Award for the Most Favourite/ Popular Star - Son Ye-Jin in 2003.
4. It won the 9th Moscow International Love Movie Award for the Best Couple in 2004.
5. It was nominated at the 2004 Hong Kong Film Awards for the Best Asian Film.

Ratings : = 7.7/10; = 9.1/10; = 9/10
[Source : Wikipedia, IMDB, HanCinema, KMDb, KoreanMovie, MediaCircus]

Gallery :

Monday, February 14, 2011

He Was Cool (2004)

Genre : Comedy, Romance, Drama.
Language : Korean
Country : South Korea
Cast : Song Seung-Heun, Jung Da-Bin.
Directed by : Lee Hwan-Gyeong
Run Time : 113 min
Release Date : 22nd July, 2004

Synopsis :
“He Was Cool” (Korean : Geunomeun Meoshiteotda), also known as “The Guy Was Cool” or “The Cool Guy” is a 2004 South Korean comedy film starring Song Seung-Heun and Jung Da-Bin.
The film is based on a novel written by ‘Guiyeoni’. It’s a funny and romantic story about a clumsy high school girl who falls into an unlikely relationship with the wealthy and arrogant bully of her school.

Plot :
‘Han Ye-Won’ (Jung Da-Bin) is a sweet, clumsy and cheerful high school girl. On the other side, there is ‘Ji Eun-Seong’ (Song Seung-Heon), a quick with the fist and insufferably rude student from vocational school and well-known as a bully. But beneath his tough exterior, he is struggling to overcome the shadows of his past!

One day, clumsily, Ye-Won leaves a message on the school website in reply to Eun-Seong's impolite message. She is shocked by the threatening calls from a boy named ‘Ji Eun-Seong’ on her mobile. Later, her best friend, Lee Kyeong-Won, tells her who ‘Eun-Seong’ is. He sends Ye-Won a message on her mobile – ‘He will wait for her in front of the main gate!’ While trying to escape, scared Ye-Won and Kyeong-Won decided to jump over the school wall. Unfortunately, the moment Ye-Won jumps, Eun-Seong is standing exactly at the other side of wall. She falls on him and they kissed accidentally. Raising his voice, Eun-Seong asks her to take responsibility; she is astonished. His friend explains that Eun-Seong has never before even held hands with a girl. Since she is the first girl who kissed him, as a consequence, she must marry him! 


At the beginning, Ye-won does not have any feelings for Eun-Seong. She even rejects his invitation to come to his birthday party. Unknowingly, Eun-Seong has fallen in love with her; but he is not the kind of guy who knows how to express his inner feelings. He is jealous when Ye-Won is approached by other guys but he does not know how to be with someone he loves!

Although he is rude and bad-tempered, Eun-Seong always forgives Ye-Won's mistakes and clumsiness. One thing he couldn't bear was when he found out that Ye-Won went out with Kim Han-Seong, his senior and the one he hates a lot. The broken-hearted Eun-Seong decides to leave Korea following his mother to the US.

A year later Ye-Won is seen with Kim Han-Seong, discussing her if she is scared for her SATs. It seems to be that they are in a relationship at this point. During her SAT, the hearing portion of the exam brings up a quote from ‘Romeo and Juliet’ bring Ye-Won back to the memory of her and Eun-Seong in the park in front of the telephone booth where, no matter what, they would re-unite at the first snowfall. At this point Ye-Won stops what she is doing and runs to the park. She waits there as the scene rolls back to the fantasy she had a year ago and she starts to cry as Eun-Seong is not there. As she turns around, a rabbit is hopping towards her, the same rabbit she gave to Eun-Seong. She looks up and Eun-Seong is there. She yells at him saying "Why did you leave without saying goodbye ?" And Eun-Seong replied "True love requires no words!"

The film ends with Eun-Seong‘s childhood memory of some opening event of an elementary school where the only kid that would kiss Eun-Seong was ‘Ye-Won’. An interesting aspect to this is that earlier on in the film, Ye-won uses Eun-Seong's mobile camera to make a video of her bedroom. There she captures footage of an old photo from when she was little, showing her and a friend. It turns out that this friend is actually the little ‘Eun-Seong’, hinting at the connection between the two. When Eun-Seong watches the video on his cell towards the end of the film, he is surprised to see himself and remembers that Ye-Won was actually that little girl who kissed him!

Cast :
■ Ji Eun-Seong (Song Seung-Heon)
■ Han Ye-Won (Jung Da-Bin)
■ Kim Han-Seong (Lee Ki Woo)
■ Lee Kyeong-Won (Ahn Hae-Su)
■ Kim Hyeon-Seong (Kim Yeong-Hun)
■ Kim Seung-Pyo (Lee Min-Hyeok)
■ Kim Hyo-Bin (Kim Ji-Hye)

Ratings : = 6.3/10; = 9.1/10; = 4.5/5; = 3.5/5
[Source : Wikipedia, IMDB, HanCinema, HKFlix, SPCNet]

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