The film opens with a severely beaten Anna (the always beautiful Wang Tei) desperately struggling to come to terms with what led to the death of an, as of yet, unidentified male. Much of the film operates in this fashion, providing the viewer with enough of a taste to comprehend what may have happened, however, rarely definitively illustrating an exact answer, allowing the audience's imagination to fill in the blanks. On one hand, this has the unique feel of independent cinema, and allows viewers much freedom, though at the same time, can become frustrating, considering we, the viewers, long for completeness to quench our thirst for knowledge.
Seven years later, in the midst of a prison sentence, Anna is given a three day furlough to visit her mother's funeral. On the way to Seattle, she bumps into Hoon (Hyun-Bin), who asks her to lend him money for bus fare, and though he promises to pay her back, Anna shows little interest. Ms. Tei convincingly plays a woman who has become disillusioned and pessimistic from her time in prison, while exhibiting melancholy in a city which has changed since she was last there.
By chance, she meets Hoon once more, who offers to take her around Seattle. Hoon is, for lack of a better term, a gigolo, however, his explanation sounds far more advertising, though at the same time, he seems painfully romantic, garnering feelings for some of the women he meets, despite being required to maintain his professionalism.
On the run from the jealous husband of a woman who fell in love with him two years earlier, Hoon is a man whose life has taken a turn for the worse, much like Anna's, yet continues to maintain optimism and confidence, that attracts her to him. Surrounded by judgemental relatives, Hoon is the one man who accepts Anna for who she is.
The chemistry between the leads is especially great, there being a number of equally dramatic and humorous moments to behold. Moreover, a number of scenes are very memorable, including a moment when Hoon and Anna break into an amusement park, alongside another time when Anna discusses some of her past.
The multiple locations are brilliantly brought to life by the cinematography, which further draws us into the experience, while the use of sound and music is just as effective.
By the conclusion of the film, I was left feeling a little empty, for unlike other features, that serenade us with fantastical plots of everlasting love, director Kim Tae-Yong never tries to force anything. Instead, he creates a feature that feels very genuine, right down to the painful reality that not everything is destined to end happily ever after, despite our wishful thinking.
(Half of the film is in English, while the other half is sub-titled).
Drama / Romance
Loading video, please wait...
Select Watch Quality:
Tech specs720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1 hr 53 min