Who Are You?

Video review:
English Cantonese

This was just wow. What a concept. Doing a little bit of reading, I realized this was based off a social film done by Intel and Toshiba back in 2012.  Even though it is not entirely original, this movie was just really enjoyable. It amazes me further when I find out that this is the director’s debut. This is such an accomplishment.

Anyway, onward with the movie.

The plot is pretty straight-forward. Flashbacks are use to cement in the shock and surprise Woo-jin when  he first experiences his changes.  But beyond that the film doesn’t dwell too much in explaining the phenomenon which is a good thing. There are many inner monologues throughout the film as Woo-jin has to process what happened or what he is about to do.  I normally don’t like inner monologue but here it is justifiable through the story and character motivations.  I did appreciate when the film change this set-up near the latter half of the film and it really added to the experience altogether which was a great addition.  The plot does get into places where it seems like generic Korean storylines but it just sets up that way and delivers a much more meaningful message. Just so glad that it didn’t play out how Korean films stereotypically usually does so it somewhat had me on the edge of my seat cause I didn’t want this film to fall into that category of plotting.

Okay, enough about the plot.

The performance. Wow, just wow.  Having so many different actors/actresses yet to retain the established main character vibe and atmosphere is very impressive. I have not seen a film done this ever. Then again, I have yet to see a film have more than a couple of actors play one character. So props to everyone as Woo-jin. Another greatly impressive thing is their chemistry with Yi-soo. I mean, it is one thing to have everyone act a certain way but to have everyone really have that ‘same’ chemistry with the lead actress is just beyond words amazing. Everyone’s chemistry with Yi-soo felt right and never really out of place and even if it did, it was done so to reflect the emotions and troubles of Woo-jin.  And that is what makes this film so much more than just simply a love story. The layers of character development and struggles is very evident in each of the actors/actresses who plays Woo-jin. I am greatly impress by this cast and casting.

So now, with everything said, this movie is just such a great film is due to the fact that the director did very well in terms of establishing the characters and really letting audiences grow with the characters.  First off, the premise is already far-fetch but it is shown in a way that you just believe and you go with it. And go with it you must because if you can’t get over the fact that there is no real ‘science’ behind it all or some ‘magic’ entity or whatever, the rest of the film is going to fall flat for you.  But then again, the director sells it really well, no one knows what happened, so why should the audience? And plus, the change itself isn’t the real key here but rather the lifestyle and the relationship issues this change has made for Woo-jin. And all that is much more interesting than trying to explain how this thing works.

If I had one thing against this movie, it would be the character of Sang-baek, Woo-jin’s best friend. He shows up and has a really great scene in a flashback and its hilarious and pretty much every time he shows up, its comedy. However, as the relationship progresses, he shows up less and less and when he does show up nearer to the end, the impact is less as it feels like he was just written out of the story and then shoehorned in at the end. I feel like as Yi-soo gains more screentime, Sang-baek should have retain his comedy lines and appear more often than he did in the actual film. I believe this would have made the film feel a bit more ‘realistic’, though it is addressed that Woo-jin ends up spending a lot of time with Yi-soo and sort of ditches his friend. However, I feel like if you only had 3 people in the world who knew about your condition, you would see that person a little bit more despite the fact you feel like you just found your one true love. But that’s just me being me. #notcomplaining.

But despite that said, really this movie sells itself, from the plot to the acting to the directing, everything is done well and its easily digested and appreciated.  I am very glad that I can finally, after all these years, say a movie has gain the level of My Sassy Girl, personally anyway.  Then again, I wasn’t actively looking out for a movie to be placed in the greatness of My Sassy Girl and it is a totally different film but one I would recommend alongside My Sassy Girl. And another thing, since I’m not into the ‘know’ of Korean showbiz culture, a lot of the cameos went over my head. So if you are into the ‘know’, expect to have some nice surprises; well, surprises that made ladies in the theatre shriek with delight and the such.  Anyway, go watch it.

Extra tidbit: according to the wiki page for this movie, there was 31 actors/actresses who plays Woo-jin.


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