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A girl named Jung-min writes to a young man named Hyun-jun, who is serving in the army. She lies about her age and claims to be a teacher. As Jung-min turns twenty, a 30-year-old man, who has eyes filled with sadness moves into her village. Every night, he sends letters through a pigeon to a deceased woman he loved dearly. He sends them high up in the sky, knowing that he will never get a reply. Then one day, like magic, he receives a letter. The letters sent through pigeons reveal someone's loneliness and sadness. And the two people meet each other by sheer chance...Written by
Starring: Park Shin-yang, Jun Ji-hyun Directed by: Yang Yun-ho
Korean cinema has taken off over the past few years and has begun to reach untraditional audiences, a category in which I'd include myself. There have been some movies with very good scripts and imaginative direction, such as One Fine Spring Day, Failan and My Sassy Girl.
White Valentine, meanwhile, is the debut film of Jun Ji-hyun, who has since gone on to star in My Sassy Girl, which became as massive Asian hit. In White Valentine, she plays a girl in a remote town helps run a bookstore with her grandfather. A high-school dropout, she has a talent in drawing and has ambitions to become an artist, much to the dismay of her grandfather. Meanwhile, a young bird-store owner (Park Shin-yang) moves into the town. Heartbroken and love-lost, he longs to see his girlfriend once more, and sends messages to her via a dove. The dove, however, arrives at Ji-hyun's window. And so she writes back and returns messages via the dove.
White Valentine is a traditional love story, and whilst it's not extravagant, its beauty is in part down to its simplicity. There are some beautifully constructed scenes, with gorgeous camerawork and direction. And the two central actors do bring the brightness out of the plot.
White Valentine isn't outstanding, but it is a gorgeous story. One I recommend to see.
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