I seldom step into the theatre for movies as I could hardly sit still and concentrate for more than 1 hour. I usually watch movies at home. However, because of the fantastic reviews and box office this show has gotten from Korea, I decided that I would give this movie a chance at the theatre though it was a 2h 5min show.
The show started relatively slowly. For those who are not used to Korean shows, you may find it draggy. However, please keep your mind open. The setting and character building beginning would come useful in the plot in the middle.
I must say that what leaves a permanent impression was the acting of the cast. If I can give 20/10, I would have done it.
Song Joong Ki, best known for pretty and smart boy image, all thanks to Sungkyunkwan Scandal and Running Man, really acted superbly well. One of my friends, who walked into the theatre without knowing much of him, came out exclaiming how good his acting was. One even commented that Song must have done a lot of homework observing dogs. Of course, he was really a good-looker. In the theatre, there were many Song's female fans. They went "aw" and "woah" so frequently that it became quite irritating. If you are those who just like to watch movies without those variety show sound effects, you may want to watch it at home.
Park Bo-Yong's acting was surprisingly excellent. She managed the cold and later warmer character so well that she made me cry. Actually, the plot and acting by Song and Park made me cry. I am usually very controlled in terms of crying in public. However, this show drew out my soft-spot and I cried twice in the show. Park is 22 years old yet she looked 18 in this movie, totally convincing. My friends didn't believe that she started out acting in 2006, perhaps this also explains why she had enough experience to deliver this character so well.
I would very much want to explore and critic about the other characters but they were all so good in the show that this review would become very long. Everyone acted so well that I felt that I was there watching the events unfold. Even a small character of Park's sister was memorable. Till now, I could remember a scene whereby she looked at the caged up Song as her sister left to go to the doctor. Acting would be the key selling point of the show.
Credit must be given to the director, Jo Sung-hee. I think he did a great joy drawing out the emotions of the cast and putting the plot across in a captivating and touching manner. There are many scenes I could still remember in my mind as I type this review. A simple scene of Song carrying one of the children, a simple scene of Song watering the small seedling... I really think it is a successful movie because it creates so many memorable scenes.
Not going to spoil your joy in watching the movie yet wanting to be realistic in my review. The last 10 minutes of the ending can be very touching and you will not be able to dry your tears before the lights come on. Many ladies were still sobbing when the lights came on at the theatre. My friend had to blow her nose. However, on hindsight, all of us who were there decided that the ending was unrealistic due to the time frame the story was set, 47 years and somethings that Song did. Watch it yourself and be your own judge.
Overall, it is an excellent show with great acting and excellent directing. I didn't regret sitting there for 2h 5min. It was better than expected. Daebak!
I am now officially convinced and in love with Song Joong Ki as an actor.