One day a lawyer calls him, thinking he is the heir to a mountain of fortune. They meet and soon the lawyer and the family are convinced that he is the heir. Everyone except for the real heir, a blind girl name Ryu Min, knows that he isn't. Julian tries to hatch a plan to kill her, but ends up falling in love with her instead, complicating things somewhat.
This film marks the first full-fledged adult role for Moon Geun-young, the actress that has demonstrated fantastic drawing power in her past films which include My Little Bride. Co-starring with her is Kim Ju-hyuk, last seen in Blue Swallow" and "When Romance meets destiny". The film is also the feature film debut of music video director Lee Chul-ha.
While he has to cope with high-level corruption that forces him off a case he's about to close, film starts to intro the third character, a young woman name Yun Se-jin (Eom Ji-weon, from Hong Sang-soo's "A Tale of Cinema"), who suffers from unexplained panic attacks. They meet on Hyeon-Woo's trip and fall into a romance which transends time and place.
The part of Hyeon-woo is played by Yu Ji-tae ( Oldboy, Antarctic Journal) and he is costarred in this film by Kim Ji-su (Romance, This Charming Girl) and Uhm Ji-won (Running Wild, Scarlet Letter). It was directed by Kim Dae-seung, responsible for both Blood Rain (2005) and Bungee Jumping On Their Own (2001).
The more interesting aspect is the female characters in the film. His mother, who is in a coma for most of the film, seems to affect Han-Su the most as he keeps a daily vigil next to her bed. He is often seen bathing her tenderly and the most pivotal scene comes when he finally gets the courage to stare at her vagina and cry, as if in an attempt to climb back in the womb.
The other pivotal character in his life is his new neighbor, Yu In-heui, played by Kim Ho-Jeong. She is a married music teacher who Han-Su develops a crush on. When a pair of her underwear flies off and lands in his backyard, he takes them and masturbates to them. When she confronts him about it, he confesses what he did and how much he wants to sleep with her. She doesn't give in, but begins coming over for regular handjobs. While this may sound crude, the scenes are actually touching, as he often pleads with her to sleep with him.
The movie often focuses on simple body functions. Often highlighted are Han-Su bathing his comatose mother, or pouring her urine out into the toilet. His masturbation scenes are also quite long, which gives the viewer a chance to see why he was masturbating: is he sad? Does it comfort him?
There are other characters that add to themovie. In-Heui's stepdaughter, Min-ji, played by Park Min-ji, is obviously taken by Han-Su. However, her part is sadly underdeveloped, which is a shame considering she was one of the more interesting characters in the movie. She was at a sanitarium after she was raped, which she alluded at one point didn't really happen at all. Another character is Mi-jin played by OK Ji-young, another woman at the hospital who is taking care of her comatose mother. Her decision to end her mother's life influences Han-Su to do the same much later in the film.
Males play a very small role in this film, which was probably done to highlight the fact that Han-Su's own father left him when he was a child. When Han-Su finds him, his father denies this, although they both know the truth.
The acting is superb, but On Ju-wan is clearly the star. He acts much more with his body than his words; whether he is running through the streets, watching his neighbor, or swimming, one can feel the intensity this boy carries, and yet he keeps his face a blank, hiding all the emotions like any good Korean male does.
The film is excellent, although it did drag on a bit at times. It has already been exhibited here in Montreal, but look for it on video.
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