Thursday, January 23, 2014

Bomnaleun Ganda

Hur Jin-ho gives yet another fine romantic film, Bomnaleun Ganda (int'l title: One Fine Spring Day); this one charts the course of a love story, from its birth to its death and offshoots. In the process of doing so, the film explores girls' typical changeableness (often bordering on fickleness), guys' honesty and loyalty, and how human lives and loves undergo seasonal changes as much as time and place. If love could heed, it also warns of not to fall in love with someone who is merely feeling lonely.

For that is what Eun-su feels: lonely. That doesn't mean that she will jump into anyone's bed; but when she feels drawn to Sang-woo with his artistic temperament and strong arms, she lets herself drift into it ... which Sang-woo naively thinks as her loving him; for he does love her, truly and beautifully and forever. Sang-woo's giving it a name, of asking her to meet his family, makes the smooth car ride bump: Eun-su realises that she will miss Sang-woo a lot, but she has other priorities. And then starts a very familiar, very often played out story of heartbrokenness and betrayal: it is here that the film stands the strongest. Sang-woo's utter incapability of understanding what's going on, the impossibility for him to make any sense of it and accept it: anyone who has loved deeply and lost, he knows what Sang-woo is going through.

Sang-woo will keep on loving her: but will learn to reject her, and still cherish what they had together, their story. Like his grandmother rejects the older pictures of his grandfather, he also will learn to live with what was beautiful, and reject what is no more so. It does not mean that he has escaped from reality: rather, he invents a multidimensional reality. He has grown up: he now carries all - pain, joy and love - in his heart at a given moment of time, and life has only become richer for him. Maybe more so since he wasn't successful with Eun-su.

There are very few dialogues in the film: Sang-woo plays a sound recorder, and so the film has ample scope for silences and nature's sounds, which gives the film a poetic beauty, just like Jin-ho's Palwolui Christmas had. Eun-su looks pretty but never got my sympathy; however, she does fit the role. The rest of the cast fit their parts very well. The music used in the film is well known, but that doesn't subtract from the charm and pathos it adds here. Korea is again shot in beautiful ways, making the film overall a little gem worth knowing.

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