by ParkChohwa, March 27, 2015

Hansel and Gretel

Country: South Korea     Year: 2007     Genre: Horror, Drama, Fantasy

I never watch horror; like NEVER. I’m scared of nothing in real life, but I freak out watching horror films. But, as I realized that Korean horror is not really horror, I don’t just skip any movie categorized as horror. This film is an example.

In this brilliant adaptation of the famous fairy tale, Eun Soo (Chun Jung Myung) finds himself in a dense forest after a car accident. He wakes up to see Kim Yeong Hee (Shim Eun Kyung) in front of him. Kim Yeong Hee leads him to her magical house. When Eun Soo tries to leave, strange and ‘’scary’’ things start happening.

If I were in Eun Soo’s place I would definitely be scared. But, for the watcher, it is not scary at all. The house is creepy, and awesome! I wonder how they designed and decorated it. The children’s acting is superb, added to CJM.

The film addresses the universal and unsolvable issue of child abuse; painfully. When the children only need some adults’ attention, how come they’re mostly scarred and conflicted?! What the children want, and expect from adults, and how many adults perceive children as insignificant and annoying. The world is rotten, and the children are unhappy everywhere. And, if the child misbehaves or commits a crime, we deem the child to be ‘’bad’’.

The film is touching, deep and loaded.

My Teacher, Mr. Kim


Country: South Korea     Year: 2003     Genre: Comedy, Drama

‘’I didn't teach the kids; instead they taught me.’’

Kim Bong Du (Cha Seung Won) is an irresponsible elementary school teacher, who only concentrates on getting more bribes to pay for his dad’s hospital fees. His corruption gets revealed, and he finds himself transferred to a rural school. The school is planned to be shut down because of the limited number of students. Trying to quicken the process, Kim Bong Du unintentionally builds a healthy educational environment, wins over the children’s hearts, and gives them and their parents the power to dream. In the same process, he transforms into a different person because the children’s honesty and pure hearts get to him.

It’s a touching story of the personal development of one person. People don’t necessarily change because they want to. Honesty gets through no matter how hard we push it. Another – if not one of the most - outstanding performances of Cha Seung Won and his all time favourite. Prepare to cry a river.


Happiness for Sale


Country: South Korea     Year: 2013     Genre: Comedy, Drama

‘’To be OK, follow your heart.’’

Kang Mi Na (Choi Kang Hee) is a tax collector in Seoul. She realizes her boyfriend has used her, and is suffering because of her job. At the same time, her sick dad needs the hospital fees but keeps borrowing money to revive his stationery store. She is determined to sell it. Using the two-month suspension she receives from her job, she goes back to the hometown she hates, and does her best to sell the store. While trying to sell it, she grows close to the kid customers and meets her only childhood friend (Bong Tae Gyu). Her life starts changing in the one place she hates.

The film is about reconciling with the past, the subjective memories, and family. Is what we remember really all? Can we forgive and forget all the scars just because we find out the truth? What is happiness? How much is it connected to a place?

All we need is one person to hold their hand to us; to help us back on the right track of finding our happiness.

I watched this film for CKH whom I officially fell for in Heart to Heart and was glad I did. It was a pleasant journey.