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I always knew that feelings of love would fade - just like old photographs. But for you... you will always remain in my heart, as you are in my last moment. Thank you, and goodbye.
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I am surprised I sit through the whole movie despite knowing the plot.
No earth-shaking romance here and yet this film left me shaken after the credits rolled...
No great lines of declaration of affection from the main characters and yet I was overwhelmed by the quiet suppression to profess their mutual attraction...
No hugs and kisses and yet the undercurrents of passion were strong and intense...
No happily-ever-after ending and yet the soul of the bond lingered even after the departure of the male lead....
Veteran Korean actor Han Suk-kyu and newcomer Shim Eun-ha delivered such a believable performance as ordinary persons in a hardly adventurous setting that I am convinced that this belies the film's beauty and appeal.
Han handled his role masterfully as a terminally-ill photo-shop owner living his last days when Shim came (timely/untimely?) into his life. Hiding his condition from both family and close friends, his agony was pitiful and this was especially expressed in a narration during a night of drinking with his friend: "I finally joked about the truth".
However, his pain of suffering in silence was juxtaposed with his laughter in Shim's presence. She was his light at his most gloomy moments and her friendship was so precious in times of hopelessness and helplessness. Shim was attractive in her boldness when initiating advances on Han. However, this was withdrawn when Han did not respond in a distinct manner that she was seeking. Nonetheless, her persistence was exhibited in her continual wait outside Han's shop without knowledge of his hospitalisation. That was finally challenged when she threw a rock into his shop, breaking the display window (others say it's an uninhibited act of female tantrum but I'll call it "character").... Many moments were captured by imagery (an 'Asian' style?) instead of words, showing that verbal conversations are not the only means to express deep emotions.
There were several sweet moments involving secondary characters as well. For instance, Han and his sister spitting watermelon seeds in a childlike manner, Han writing down video-recording instructions for his hard-hearing father and the old lady who dressed up in her best to take her funeral portrait in advance.
The ending was well done in that it was not overtly sorrowful (as in typical Hollywood tearjerkers) and showed that love was stronger than cancer and love overcame death. Han's last words, although most probably not communicated to Shim, were simple yet heart-wrenching.
While Titanic sank, to me, Christmas in August will float above the plane of time, remaining an endearing, unfinished love story.
If I have to go down on my knees to coax u to watch this film, I would.
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