This was this year's first Korean film I saw that was dealing with family matters, which happens to be one of my favorite themes in movies. The fact that this wasn't made into a serious drama or a laugh out loud comedy - considering its sensitive subject, made me want to see it even more.
So we meet the family, consisting of two brothers; one married with a kid, the other an amateur film maker, and their mother and father. The father, Mr. Kim, played by Goo Shin, strives to meet his first wife and daughter who he left behind during the separation of North and South. His health problems suddenly arise and halt his plans for the long awaited reunion. During this time his elder son finds out that his father has bought a piece of a land years ago, which now has come to hold a great value. But it could all go to waste by Mr. Kim's desire if the Koreans don't unify.
This propels the family to put on a little show for Mr. Kim, as a parting gift and as a ploy to inherit the land. They decide to create an illusion through various means that the North and South have finally unified, which to their surprise breathes a new life into Mr. Kim and gives him something to live for. All of this is acted out in a way where not one family member is portrayed as ruthlessly conniving or shallow, because at the end of they day they all very much care for him and only decide to go on with the scheme because of the reversal of his health and spirit for the better.
As a non Korean I can't speak on everyone's behalf, but I personally found the comedic substance here to be quite suitable for a film dealing with a subject of this magnitude. The expected sentimental part of the film resurfaces close to the end, but the transition of the story isn't ruined and takes nothing away from its good intentions and light humor. At no point does the film tries to preach or debate politics, it simply shows the struggles and triumph within a small family that genuinely cares for one another. It's all pleasantly conveyed thanks to the great acting provided by Goo Shin.
Although the story seems rather far fetched at times, fans of the Korean family dramas should be able to enjoy this little film both on comedic and dramatic levels, mainly because even in its lightness, it just never feels too contrived.
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