My Sassy Girl Review – My Sassy Girl is a South Korean romantic comedy movie released in 2001. Gyeon-woo an engineering college student meets a girl who is very bizarre. But circumstances make them meet frequently and he falls in love with her. Will they get together is the plot of My Sassy Girl.
A feel good romantic comedy script’s success depends upon the uniqueness of the characters and the situation although the overall plot is going to be the same. The script should introduce the lead pairs and make the audience want them to get together. My Sassy Girl does that perfectly. The movie is so fresh due to the characterization of the lead characters and the unique situations they are seen in. The movie throws a surprise to the audience in the way the characters react at every scene. It thus makes it a very interesting watch. For instance, the habit of the girl to create screenplays for movies based on some popular blockbusters and bringing in a twist to the ending is a brilliant ploy. The director Kwak Jae-yong has not given into the temptation of creating the usual cliches of a romantic movie. Rather he has travelled along with his characters throughout and the suspense he has held till the end makes it a very interesting watch.
The script also brilliantly leaves certain aspects to the viewers discretion. For instance, the girl’s name is not told throughout the movie and if she actually meets an old man at the end is left for interpretation.
High Points: The plot situations are crafted well, The characterizations of the lead protagonists are done well. The suspense held till the end gives a high degree of satisfaction to the viewers, the fresh visuals are of a great strength for the movie. The flash sequences of the story written by her.
Low Points: Not much of low points here
Overall My Sassy Girl is a great example of how a romantic comedy script should be. This is a must watch for all romantic comedy lovers.
Seven Days Review – Seven Days is a South Korean crime thriller movie released in 2007. Yoo Ji-yeon is a successful lawyer. Her daughter is kidnapped and she has to win a case to release a convict with death sentence for a murder to save her daughter.
The movie is very slick and engaging throughout. The suspense of the plot is maintained throughout and keeps you guessing on what is going to happen next. Yunjin Kim has performed her role very well. She comes across very convincingly for a lawyer and a mother trying to save her daughter. The scene in which she is interacting with the criminal with utmost confidence and the scene in which she breaks down for her daughter there is a sharp contrast and powerful.
The script keeps building up well and knots tighten as they try to break it. In the end everything falls in place. The movie has a strong take on the moral values and the conflict between moral values versus the selfish benefit for one’s own family.
High Points: The script is very thrilling and engaging throughout, Yunjin Kim’s performance, suspense maintained throughout the movie.
Low Points: Not many for this movie.
This movie is remade in Bollywood as Jazbaa featuring Aishwarya Rai and Irrfan Khan. From the trailer it seems to be neatly done, maintaining some of the core essence of the movie. It definitely promises to be a good movie and has a very promising cast for the roles that had been in the original.
Overall Seven Days is a treat for crime thriller fans and it does go beyond dealing with emotional dilemma of ethics. If you love crime thrillers, this one is a must watch for you. This one has some explicit violence scenes and viewers discretion is required.
The Chaser Review – The Chaser is a South Korean psycho thriller released in 2008. Eom Joong-Ho is a corrupt ex detective turned pimp. He is worried as two of his women have gone missing. He thinks someone is selling them and tries to track him down as he send one of his women Mi-jin to the customer who was the last to see the other two missing women.
The Chaser is yet another brilliant psycho thriller that is engaging throughout. Director Na Hong-jin has narrated a story that has a strong take on the corrupt politics in South Korea. The scene in which the Mayor comes out of the hospital and complaints why there is no press and then run away seeing an injured men walking towards the hospital is very cleverly done. The characterization is done very well, as per the theme of the story every character in the movie has their negative shade. Kim Yoon-seok has performed very well in the role of a corrupt ex-detective and a money minded pimp. The sound engineering for the movie is very well done. Not using background score but the use natural sounds from the surrounding is very effective in keeping the thriller on. Overall if you have enjoyed movies like Old Boy and I Saw the Devil you would like this one too.
I Saw The Devil – is a South Korean psychological thriller released in 2010. A psycho serial killer Kyung-chul kills the fiancé of a secret service agent Soo-hyun. Soo-hyun takes a painful revenge on Kyung-chul by injuring him and then let him get treated to get well and then again injuring him.
The film is strictly for those who can with stand gory movies and is not suitable for kids. The movie is shot boldly with very explicit violent scenes. Director Kim Jee-Woon has given a different genre of movie after his star studded The Good The Bad The Weird. Choi Min-sik has performed the role of a psycho killer very well and is very scary. Lee Byung-hun is very convincing as a secret agent out to take revenge. The scene where he sees the body of his fiancé and tries to control his emotion is a notable performance. He has maintained the mood throughout as he is on the run to chase the killer. He is good at playing negative shade character and as this character has the negative shade it had aptly fitted him very well.
The recent Bollywood movie Ek Villain is very similar to this plot. Although the makers have denied that it was adapted from this. There are lot similarities between the two although the Bollywood version is a mellowed down version of this movie. The Bollywood version goes into giving a reason for the serial killing which is not there in this movie.
Watchable – for psychological thriller fans
Memories of Murder – is a South Korean crime thriller released in 2003. The movie is based on true incidents of serial killing that occurred between 1986 and 1991 in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province in South Korea. In a small city, a woman is raped and murdered. Soon the detectives realize it is just one of the many serial killings that occur. A local detective and a detective from Seoul with conflicting personalities have to team up to track down the killer and stop future murders.
This movie is directed by Bong Joon-ho prior to The Host. If you are fan of crime thrillers and serial killings this would be a must watch for you. The story is so intriguing and plots open up with even more complicated knot as the movie progresses. You might have seen similar plots in many movies in the recent times (I will leave that for your guessing :)) . But still this one is class apart from all those I have seen. As you see in The Host even in this movie there are some strong social takes. Weaving the current state of affairs into a script is brilliance of Bong Joon-ho. The lead actors Song Kang-ho and Kim Sang-kyung have given very engaging performances and the transfer in their personalities as the movie progresses is brilliant.
Overall this movie is one of the best movies made on serial killing. This one is a must watch for all movie buffs.
The Host – is a South Korean science fiction and thriller released in 2006. As a side effect to the release of toxic waste into the Hans River an unknown mutated giant creature originates and starts attacking people. An affected family stands against all odds to fight the creature.
I was not very fascinated by the plot of a creature coming out of a river but still wanted to watch this because of the rave reviews it has got. I ended up liking this movie! For the firsts, it is not another Godzilla type movie. This has a very strong political statement against the US military dumping toxic wastes into the river. The movie has it scary, satirically funny and emotional moments. Apart from the socio-political statement what stand out in the movie are the way the screenplay has been written and the characterization of the people in the family. Everyone character is carefully thought and is a representation of various people in Korean society. There is a scene where in the father describes why his first son is so dumb and blames himself for the upbringing of his son. You would see many such instances which have been crafted in a satirical fashion. The lead characters Song Kang-ho and the girl Go Ah-sung playing his daughter has performed very well. Director Bong Joon-ho should be credited for taking up such a subject and telling a compelling story!
If you do not watch this movie superfluously but pay attention to the details of the scene and the plot you would enjoy it. This one is yet another master piece of South Korean Cinema.