Somewhere in Seoul, Jung-Won runs a small shabby photo studio. A humble shack passed down from his widower father, the studio is a space where Jung-Won goes about with his daily routine of dealing with fussy customers, enlarging photos of class heartthrobs for the neighbourhood kids and photographing pictures to place on funeral altars. For Jung-Won, life seems to be a series of peaceful events, but in reality his time on earth is too limited for comfort. Barely in his mid-30's but perhaps too aware of the meaning of death, Jung-Won accepts his fate despite the subtle gestures of concern coming form his old father and younger sister. Life goes on as usual until one day he meets Darim who works at the Traffic Control Division of the local district office is a regular customer at the studio. Her daily visits to develop snapshots of parking violations and her somewhat bold attempts to capture his attention stirs a feeling inside Jung-Won with which he deals in anticipation. As his health gradually deteriorates, Jung-Won is faced with the painful duty of bidding farewell to family, friends, to the studio and to Darim......
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My verdict? It won't be long before I see it for a third time, which might make you wonder why I gave it pathetic music rating. I gave it a pathetic music rating because there is no music to speak of, none, zilch, nada, not unlike_No Country for Old Men_. Alas, unlike _No Country for Old Men_, _Christmas in August_ has nothing to commend itself in terms of a suspenseful plot, cinematography-rich settings,or a villain so compelling as to make your skin crawl.
What it does have is a reality which you would not have known could ever have existed and conveyed with such subtlety and nuance that you're reaction upon viewing would probably be along the lines of "What?!" To be sure, it's a thinking man's film,one if you could ever get your head wrapped around, you might experience what I did the second time around: an ineffable sorrow which shedding tears for would be vulgar in the extreme.