(Korean with English subtitles) Eun-Soo is a librarian. One day she sees a man mysteriously tearing off the pages numbered "198" of several books and immediately busts him for vandalism. ... See full summary »
In-gu is a full-time gangster aspiring to be a full-time husband and dad. Shunned by his daughter and wife, his only goal is to live a quiet life with his family out in the country. But ... See full summary »
Two boyhood friends are separated due to the disappearance of the sister of one of them, then later meet again as teenagers, when one of them has become a pop singer, and they discover feelings that they did not know they had.
Wanee, a young animator, and Junah, a scriptwriter, are lovers leading a peaceful life together. And one day, an old friend of Wanee's pays her a visit and unearths Wanee's hidden memories of her first love, her stepbrother.
Korea, 1724. Once upon a time in the Choson Dynasty, Chun-doong falls in love at first sight with a beautiful woman whilst in the middle of a fight. Her name is Seol-ji and she works as a ... See full summary »
The younger brother, Jong-hyeon (Won Bin) is a good-looking, class-A fighter. The older brother, Seong-hyeon (Shin Ha-gyun) is unbelievably tender and pure, a class-A student. They've been ... See full summary »
It has the charismatic, world-class actor Shin Shin Ha-kyun (SAVE THE GREEN PLANET, MY BROTHER, NO MERCY FOR THE RUDE) and the story is deeply emotional.
However, the first part of the film plays too much like a TV romance despite the great acting. The music is incredibly sugary, and kept hammering that "this is an emotional scene." OK! We get it! Trust the actors and the story to get us there. Unless it's a musical, soundtracks in modern films should be nearly subliminal, added only as subtext.
This film must have been adapted from a novel (a good one, I imagine). It abruptly jumps POV to Soo-hee's life in Seoul, several times, which is fine in a novel, but disrupts the flow in this film. There are jump cuts in time and character's mentioned that are never shown so it's hard to keep the relationships straight. I'm a careful viewer, yet did not realize till midway that Soo-hee and Seung-jae were cousins-- I thought they were just friends/neighbors.
That said, the last 20 minutes of the film (starting shortly before the magical and heartbreaking underwater sequence) are brilliant, and make up for any defects in the rest of the film.
I'd recommend a watch simply on that sequence-- yes, it's THAT good. (I watched that part three times)
On a tech note. The DVD I rented said it was 174 minutes (almost 3 hours!) Fortunately, that is NOT correct. It's actually slightly less than 1 hour, 45 minutes.
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