My interest in cinema is rather diverse. Korean, Japanese, German, French and Italian films – love them all. For now, I’ll just share a category I always enjoy : Korean chick flicks.
Il Mare with its unprepossessing title is a beautiful cinematic tale of two lonely people who find each other through a mail box which transcends the space-time barrier. The intricate plot is made memorable by the love story between Eun-joo (Jun Ji-hyun) and Sung-hyun (Lee Jung-jae) at its heart. Director Lee Hyun-seung conveys a setting of melancholy interspersed with specks of warmth through his cinematography to generate tension between the two leads during their budding romance. The appeal for the film lies in its innocence in portraying the attraction of the protagonists.
The story starts off with voiceover actress Eun-joo leaving her seaside residence of Il Mare to a newly built apartment complex. Her letter in the mailbox asking the next occupant to forward her mail drives the storyline when it is received by someone who lived there two years earlier. The intricately detailed narrative performs wonders in incorporating the two separate time periods as they begin sharing what each other enjoys. Since their interaction is limited to this mailbox , they orchestrate a date for meeting which in its culmination is haunting and powerful.
In Heaven’s Postman, we have another romantic movie involving a special mailbox that transcends the heaven-earth barrier. But here the themes are different because the film explores grief , the ways in which people come to terms with death and how they seek consolation with whimsical humour. Despite the subject of the film, some dialogue regarding love in here across can span across continents.
Shin Jae Joon/ Yuu (Hero Jaejoong from DBSK) is involved in an accident that puts him in a coma and is given the ability to travel back and forth between the real world and heaven in spirit form. He becomes a postman who delivers letters to the dead in heaven from those grieving for their loss and meets Jo Ha Na/Saki (Han Hyo Joo) by coincidence as she is trying to send her late boyfriend an angry letter. Saki is one of the few who can see the spirit of Jae Joon.
Working together with her new companion, Saki slowly starts to forget the person whom she was mourning and starts to fall for Yuu. This makes things complicated for their relationship because only those who feel the loss of a loved one deeply can see Jae Joon but as she falls in love with him, his spirit starts to fade. Nevertheless because they truly love each other, fate has other plans and ends on a happy note.
100 Days with Mr Arrogant
100 Days with Mr. Arrogant on the other hand is a romantic comedy in a different vein. It goes down a fairly silly route trying to emulate the magic of My Sassy Girl but fails because of overt cheesiness. But if a romantic at heart, you’ll most likely enjoy it anyway.
It begins with Kang Ha-yeong (Ha Ji-won) being dumped by her boyfriend on the 100th day of their relationship. While walking, upset by his rejection, she angrily kicks a soda can in frustration which hits a luxury car and startles its wealthy owner Ahn Hyung-jun (Kim Jae Won). He consequently loses control of the vehicle, drives it into a wall and it gets scratched. On learning Ha-yeong cannot pay for damages, he convinces her to sign a contract to be enslaved to him for 100 days. She finds out he lied to her about the repair costs and revenge ploys begin. Over this period, they somehow begin developing romantic feelings for each other.
This is very cute and fluffy in its execution with a dash of cringe-worthy comedy. But as a movie that does not seek to declare a profound message, it is passable. This one takes the most formulaic approach out of the three but at least you’ll get a few laughs.