What if… Most dramas start with this idea, wondering what would happen if a certain something occurred. But there’s only so much a poor heart can take, right? Here are a few movies that brought out pretty crazy “what if” situations and handled them so well that they still come to mind, long after finishing the movie.
Country: South Korea Year: 2016 Genre: Action, Horror, Thriller, Tragedy, Zombies
So, go with me on this; this is a zombie movie, but it’s also about who you are as a person. The scariest thing I’ve seen in American movies would have to be the zombies themselves. For this movie, whatever you think is going to happen just doesn’t. I love movies where I can’t guess what’s going to happen! It has the famous actor Gong Yoo. If he looks familiar to you, then it’s most likely because you’ve seen him in Goblin as the Goblin! Or, if you’ve been watching classic gender-benders, you’ll recognize him from Coffee Prince or maybe Big. Wherever you’ve seen him or other actors in this movie, just know that they’re bringing a talented cast together to double kick you in the feels.
The main character is going to board a train to Busan that’s a pretty long ride. If you’re in Japan, it’s like going from Tokyo to Osaka. Most people usually sleep during this ride or at least settle in for a long, boring trip. As you can see from the poster, this is not the case! I’m not sure I’ll be able to ride the train headed to Busan and not think of this movie, trembling in fear! He’s slow to connect with his daughter, and it adds to the main tension for when you’re both stuck on a train and in the zombie apocalypse... Nowhere is safe. Especially when the train is ready to depart and someone unwell gets on the train.
Trapped on a KTX train (high-speed, ignores all the smaller stations), what will become of these passengers? I absolutely loved the main bunch, and it honestly crushed me when something would happen.
This movie was so popular that it even appeared in the cinemas! Usually, I have to wait until Korean Film Festivals, but not for this one! The most interesting aspect of this movie was the human element. Is who we live as every day who we truly are? Or is it through the choices we make under pressure that shows who we are as a person? I was certainly on the edge of my seat the whole time.
Country: South Korea Year: 2013 Genre: Comedy, Mature, Romance, Hint of Fantasy
Moving along, imagine there are these two guys, and one of them is absolutely shy. It sounds adorable, right? But actually, he can’t even make eye contact with women, so it affects him at work. Ignore half the population? Yeah, doesn’t work well for a whole range of situations, but that’s his severe shyness for you. So, what happens when he finds a woman unconscious on the ground? This is where descriptions will start to sound like it’s a horror movie or some kind of harassment case, BUT it’s not. This is where I added this tag: Hint of Fantasy. What happens when he tries to help this beautiful female stranger? He wakes up… as that same beautiful woman and with his body on the ground!
Suddenly boosted with confidence as you’re able to look yourself in the eye in the mirror, he starts on a training journey. How to overcome his shyness of women? Suddenly it's not so intimidating when you realize you are a woman, and I mean, we’re all human. The only problem is... Why does his crush choose now to wonder what’s happened to him? How does he return to his body?! Cue the awesome friend.
Hilarious friendship antics ensue as his womanizing best friend is suddenly distracted by his gorgeous body and the possibility of body swaps. Will he ever make it back to his own body? And what’s going to happen with Miss Change?
Country: Japan Year: 2014 Genre: Comedy, Manga, Romance, Youth
Based on the anime and manga of the same name by Akiko Higashimura, this delightful drama revels in the reactions of this colourful bunch! Each character has their own obsession, and these girls live together banded against the outside world. Their fears: the outside world, hipsters and men! First off, here is our princess jellyfish in her natural habitat:
We follow Tsukimi, a shy and plain girl that loves jellyfish. She has great roommates and they all live together in perfect harmony, though with a few rules. No men inside the house. No hipsters either, because her roommates and she will be petrified. Their ventures to the outside world are few and fraught with danger but with their obsessions as motivation, they make it through. One day, Tsukimi sees a jellyfish in danger and rescues the poor jellyfish with the help of a beautiful hipster. A rather pushy one that wants to see the jellyfish's new home and decides it's easier to fall asleep at Tsukimi's place rather than go home. What’s Tsukimi to do when she finds out that the beautiful hipster is actually a man?
This is an adorable movie about friendship, strength, and overcoming what you think is impossible. Each character is likeable, and it is great to see them relying on each other. The dynamic changes when the beautiful hipster arrives and crashes into all their comfort zones. There is something charming for the viewer to see just how much this hipster steamrolls them, and how they are going to react before it even happens. When their only safe haven is in danger, the house where they all live, it takes the efforts of Tsukimi, her friends, and her jellyfish to save their home and bring them outside.
I love that their house is like a nun-run convent and the strange relationship they have with the owner of the house through calligraphy. But it is the roommates that brought this to life for me!
Country: South Korea Year: 2015 Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
When everything in your life is going as you planned but you are not happy, what intervenes? Heaven, apparently! Yeon Woo, a female attorney that knows exactly what she wants her life to be and is succeeding at it, suddenly dies. Accidentally killed instead of someone else, when she gets to the afterlife, she’s given the chance to return to her normal life. But before she can go back to her everyday life, and to help out with the mistake, she returns instead as the person who was meant to die at that time. It's only temporary, and it shows in her behaviour as she can't wait to be herself in her own life again.
Going on a leap with personality, life plans, and what could be, her new and temporary life is a result of what would have happened had Yeon Woo made the same choices as the woman that just died. Now she begins her limbo, living with her new family, with a husband and children!
When you’re used to having everything going your way and not needing to compromise or think of your immediate family’s wants and needs...well. Who said the transition was going to be easy? She makes quite a few choices I thought were rather left-field, but that just made her real as a character. They are her choices and her wants. Certainly not decisions we’d all make but then again, no one lives the same life.
Was it a coincidence or was it a genuine mistake? She certainly has a lot to learn about parenting, married life, and who she is as a person. She also gets this overarching sense of what kind of person the woman who lived this life was. Heaven helps out with a few kinks in this process, as it would normally be impossible to fit into another family without them realizing. She couldn’t have picked the perfect husband even if she tried! Or children! It’s amazing how much they accept that she needs time to herself and is feeling off this week. But who knows what will happen when she returns to her own life.
What are your thoughts on these movies so far? Motivated for more?
Thanks for reading!