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Starring: Jeon Ji-hyun, Hyuk Jang Directed by: Kwak Jae-young
I don't normally do spoilers, but potentially some people may feel I've revealed too much in this review.
* WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS *
As Windstruck reunites director Kwak Jae-young with Jeon Ji-hyun from the extremely popular My Sassy Girl, there will always be a comparison for fans between the two. But whilst My Sassy Girl was outstanding and indeed led to the massive break for Jeon Ji-hyun, Windstruck pales in comparison with the former, and indeed, some may end up disappointed.
Windstruck tells of a novice cop, Kyungjin (Jeon), who mistakenly arrests a stranger, Myungwoo (Hyuk Jang), believing him to be a purse snatcher. Once the mistake is realised, they both start dating, with Myungwoo feeling he has to come to the rescue of his maverick girlfriend. Sadly, one time too many and it all goes wrong as Myungwoo is killed.
Windstruck isn't as well written as MSG. Whilst there is plenty of detail in the film, with great attention paid to sets, costumes, camera angels and so on, it lacks the overall substance to carry the story. Indeed, it's hard to work out what really is the theme of the movie. The characters aren't developed enough and I didn't find enough chemistry being built up in the story before Myungwoo's death.
Windstruck is effectively broken into two parts. The first two-thirds of the movie is much about their relationship blossoming, the last third is about how she copes with his death. In their blossoming relationship, you see sparks of the humour and cleverness that made MSG a success. The ending has the melodramatic tone that actually is somewhat clichéd. But the way it's been set up, neither part ever reaches what you'd think is a completeness, and you end up thinking, we could have had more.
And that's what really bugs me about this film. It is really two full length films, spliced and edited into one. It could be a very funny falling in love romcom, or it could be a very good drama about coping with death. But wrapping the two movie themes into one leaves you thinking it didn't have enough substance. Plus the whole thing could have been more cleverly edited.
Having seen all of Jeon Ji-Hyun's movies to date, I can say that she is a very talented actress. However, the shortening and splicing does mean that I don't feel her talent has been fully used. And much the same for Hyuk Jang.
Overall, there isn't enough magic for it to match MSG nor the brilliance of Jeon Ji-hyun's other films. But having said that, for most, it is still a pretty good film and it's still worth a watch. One for a windy day.
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