Tuesday, August 01, 2006


A MOMENT TO REMEMBER (Korean love story)
Cast: Woo-sung Jung, Ye-jin Son, Jong-hak Baek. Sun-jin Lee and Sang-gyu Park
Director: John H. Lee
Time: 115 mins
Rating: * * * (out of 4)

Poster of the Korean tear-jerker
WHAT’S IT ABOUT? Kim Su-jin (Ye-jin Son) has just being dumped by her married colleague Yeong-min (Jong-hak Baek) when she accidentally bumps into construction foreman Cheol-su (Woo-sung Jung). When she next meets Cheol-su at a building site, she recalls their encounter and they gradually fall in love despite their differences in social stature.
Somehow Su-jin’s loving father (Sang-gyu Park) sees the potential in the rough-diamond Chol-su and agrees to the marriage. Indeed, through hard work and self-study, Chol-su becomes an architect and they seem to be heading for a bright future. Then a genetic problem crops up. The often forgetful Su-jin is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and, inevitably, her memory will be gradually wiped out. She may not have long to live but she is determined to make the most of her remaining moments with her loving husband…

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL? This 2004 Love Story may sound as morbid as that famous Erich Segal adaptation of 1970 (like, Love means never having to say ‘I don’t remember’?) but it has everything going for it in terms of screen chemistry, romantic sparks and tragic overtones.

HIGHLIGHTS: Korean heart-throb Ye-jin Son has us eating out of her hand the moment she appears onscreen. Her Su-jin is what most young girls of today aspire to be –- rich, beautiful, stylish and impetuous – and her suitor, Cheol-su, is just the type of guy any women would love to possess. Under director John H. Lee, the romantic plot is well stocked with memorable situations and human foibles that most viewers can relate to – like, how Su-jin packs her hubby’s lunch box with two boxes of rice but no meat or vegetables. Also, the subplot about the return of Yeong-min into Su-jin’s life helps to add an interesting dimension to the relationship.

LOWLIGHTS: The romantic sparks all but fade when Su-jin learns about the disease and the tear-jerker segment of the movie kicks in. These are the moments we would want to forget. Another complaint viewers may have is that the narrative is overstretched at almost two hours. Sure, director Lee wants to wring every drop out of our tear-ducts but he would have done well to trim down the sequences a bit. The ending is well thought-out though.

THE LOWDOWN: This movie won the Grand Bell Award of South Korea in 2005 for Best Screenplay. Recommended for lovers and dating couples, only don’t forget the tissue paper.

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