by Yoon Na Rae, January 30, 2015

Fly High


Country: Korea     Year: 2006     Genre: Drama, Romance

No matter how many works I watch about this theme, I end up crying every time. Do they really have to portray love stories this tragically?! I mean, just leave them alone. Dear life; until lovers grow sick of each other on their own, can't you just leave them alone?! I'm frustrated right now.

So Kang Min Hyuk (Ji Hyun Woo) is a bright, carefree and humorous high-schooler who has only eyes for manhwa (Korean manga). One day he meets a girl, Han Mi Hyun (Im Jung Eun) in the gents' bathroom and despite the awkward situation falls in love with her. Mi Hyun, who already knows that she's terminally sick and who suffers from childhood scars, tries to ignore her feelings towards Min Hyuk and gives him the cold shoulder. Trying to find a treatment, she leaves to the U.S. leaving Min Hyuk behind. She comes back after two years dying and clinging to her love.

Some people might say this is another version of A Moment to Remember. Well, any work with a dying person in a love story is a version of the film for them. Honestly, it has many similarities: Mi Hyun's love for auroras and the stars especially, but it doesn't matter. The film is a good film and that's all.  It's another film about another heartbreaking love story. The film is sweet in every way; bittersweet. For a good cry in the weekend; keep your tissues handy and watch this.



Gangster High


Country: Korea     Year: 2006     Genre: Crime, Action

I'm still wiping out my tears. A great film with an awesome cast, amazing production and embedded issues that will leave you scratching your head. Violence, pain and suffering are everywhere in this film as well, so…

Six friends meet in high school. Football as a base, they start meeting. As their friendship develops, they decide to form a club called Tiger. The friends hang out together, play football, talk politics and play games. While they drink and smoke, their leader Sang Ho (Jung Kyung Ho) doesn't. Sang Ho is an exemplary student who wants to follow in his father's footsteps and enter the military academy. Some seonbae gang keep provoking the friends, hitting them, robbing them off and swearing at them. The friends avoid the gang as much as they can but eventually find themselves in a gang war. When matters become terrible, Sang Ho leads the friends to fight the gang head-on.

The film is a complete gangster film, and the violence and the bloody scenes are no joke. It depicts friendship, sacrifice and loyalty. It tackles a universal phenomenon in high schools: Bullying. If you're nice and committed, you're not left alone. On the contrary, you'll be victimized, provoked, and bullied. The people in charge never hear both sides of the stories and the kids are left on their own. Gangster High doesn't exaggerate how bad the situations are. In High Schools. kids do literally and metaphorically kill each other, and many people are to be blamed.  


The Fate

Country: Korea     Year: 2008     Genre: Action, Drama     

For people who haven’t watched this film and will because of my recommendation; I apologize in advance. It’s a great film based on the most tragic story.

Five best friends - Kim Woo Min (Song Seung Hun), Jo Chul Joong (Kwon Sang Woo), Jung Do Hwan (Kim In Kwon), Cha Kang Seob (Ahn Nae Sang) and Park Young Hwan (Ji Sung) has lived their lives together for better or worse. When money and greed comes in between them, misunderstandings and betrayal follow. Scarred, deceived, insecure, petrified and lonely, the five friends attack each other to wipe out the feeling of treachery. With tears in their eyes, the friends turn their backs to one another.

Be it literal or metaphorical, the film portrays friendship in the most agonizing way; where everyone is a perpetrator AND a victim.

I read once that the five actors actually became best friends after shooting this film. No wonder!