7.7/10
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Christmas in August (1998)

Palwolui Keuriseumaseu (original title)
Hahn Suk-Kyu suffers from a fatal disease. He meets Shim Eun-Ha and falls in love with her. What will be the fate of this love - will it be a tragic ending?

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Jung-won
Eun-ha Shim ...
Da-rim
Goo Shin ...
Jung-won's father
Ji-hye Oh ...
Jung-sook
Han-wi Lee ...
Chul-goo
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Ji-won
Hye-won Kwon ...
Hyo-jung
Yong-jin Park
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Storyline

Hahn Suk-Kyu suffers from a fatal disease. He meets Shim Eun-Ha and falls in love with her. What will be the fate of this love - will it be a tragic ending?

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Details

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Release Date:

24 January 1998 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

Palwolui Christmas  »

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Jung-won: [Sitting on a rubber tire in his old school playground] When I was a kid I always sat alone in the playground after the other boys had gone. Thinking about my late mother, it struck me that we'd all disappear in the end... my father, my sister, all my best friends.
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Connections

Referenced in The Making of Christmas in August (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

An enchanting love story
22 November 2000 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

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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