Woo Sang is a national swimmer who's always pursuing the number one spot. Won Il is a swimming prodigy who stopped participating in the sport, and now wants to make a comeback. Not only do they become rivals, but they also fall for the same girl, Jung Eun, an aspiring musician who is their childhood friend. The three lifelong friends suddenly find themselves having to juggle love, friendship, and competition, as they undergo the rite of passage of growing up.
Cast & Credits
The story is not a complicated one to follow: Seo In Guk plays an orphaned teenager who once was a competitive swimmer but who quit after experiencing a trauma. This trauma left him unwilling, and perhaps unable, to enter the water. Lee Jong Suk, on the other hand, plays an Olympic-bound swimmer with the typical rich, overbearing, and distant father. Rounding out the main cast is SNSD's Kwon Yuri who doubles as the boy's mutual childhood friend and current "love interest" (in scare quotes because the romance was hollow and weak). The soundtrack of the film is most provided by Yuri, whose character is a hopeful on a Superstar K-like show, meaning that the music is bland pop-rock carried by Yuri's weak vocals. For someone in such a renowned pop group, Yuri's music moments were extremely awkward.
Acting-wise, the cast did their job well. Yuri did her best to pretend to be an actress. Lee Jong Suk was his typical angst-ridden teenager (is there a single role this kid has where he isn't moodily listening to music through oversized headphones?). Who really blew me away was Seo In Guk. Yes, his character was a little over the top, but he committed to every moment, making for a hilarious and lovable portrayal of Won Il.
As we were walking out of the theater, my friends and I all agreed that this is one movie we would watch again when released with subtitles. It was fun, a dollop of drama to add the right amount weight to the story without bogging it down, and a bit unpredictable, which is a rare thing in the wold of formulaic Korean dramas and light films. A definite watch, with or without subs.
Story- I love sport movies, and this one was no exception. I loved both main characters, one who was very talented but didn't wamt to swim and the other one who was less talented but trained a lot and was pressured by his dad. I specially liked the bromance between Wu Sang and Won Il, it was my favorite part of the movie. The weakest part of the story for me was the romantic part. The female lead was shallow and poorly written so I could never understand how they would fall in love with her? What did they see in her?
Acting - I already knew both SIG and LJS could act really well, they have proven it before, and this movie was no exception. Seo In Guk nailed his performance of an orphan rebel kid, bringing life and joy to a character who could've been very tragic and Lee Jong Suk also excelled in his role of a pressured kid who doesn't know how to have fun. Sadly, I can't say the same thing about Yuri. Saying that I suffered watching her acting was an understatement. I understand that the producers were trying to attract a younger audience and that's why they chose an idol for the love interest, but why did it have to be Yuri? She barely knows the basics about acting and her character seemed too plastic, taking credibility from the love story.
Music- Again, it was a weak part of the movie, way too mellow and pop-ish.
Rewatch value- I will definitely rewatch this again because it's the kind of movie that you enjoy watching several times
Overall, if you're looking for a good sports movie about friendship and bromance, this is your movie! PLUS! Lee Jong suk and Seo In Guk shirtless 95% of the movie! :D