Review: A Moment To Remember

#amomenttoremember #korean #movie #melodrama #alzheimers #jungwoosung #sonyejin #romance

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TITLE:A Moment To Remember

LANGUAGE:Korean

DIRECTED BY: John H Lee

STARRING:Jung Woo Sung, Son Ye Jin

RELEASED:November 5, 2004

DURATION:144 minutes

‘A Moment To Remember’ is one of the most iconic melodramas to have released in South Korea. It emphasises on the cruel reality of life and about how time was cut short for a couple who definitely needed more time.

The first parts of the films are about how the couple met, and how they ended up together. Su Jin (Son Ye Jin) waits at the railway station to elope with her boyfriend (who happens to be a married man). Realising that he will not come, she decides to go home. She first stops by a convenience store and buys a drink but absent mindedly leaves her drink there. When she goes back for the drink, she sees a scruffy looking guy with a stubble opening a can and drinking. She grabs the drink from him and empties it , bottoms up and hands him back the empty can. The man looks shocked but says nothing. Later when she finds her missing purse she realises she had drank the guy’s drink and not hers.

She later comes to know that he is, Chul Soo (Jung Woo Sung). After a lot of embarrasing incidents they eventually start dating. She tries to get him to open up about his past but he never does. Nor does he ever say he loves her. But after some other incidents the two of them get married and Chul Soo starts working as an architect, which was his dream.

Everything seems to be a cloud of happiness and bliss but Su Jin discovers that she is having memory lapses and trouble finding her way home. When she gets a checkup, she realises she has Alzheimer’s disease. She tries to hide it from Chul Soo, but eventually him and her whole family find out.

Chul Soo tries his best to take care of her but, one day she calls him by the name of her old lover which takes a toll on him. Later when Su Jin realises what happened, she runs away and gets herself admitted to a care facility. Chul Soo finds her ,and as a last attempt, takes her to the convenience store where they first met. She remembers everything then, and he takes her on a long jourey where he finally tells her, that he loves him despite knowing that in a few hours, she is going to forget him and everything that happened.

The plot of the story is a typical story with an Alzheimer’s element fused in. But the brilliancy of the film happens to be in how they depicted their relationship and the disease so perfectly. When they were in a relationship, she used to say that the shaving lotion that Chul Soo uses, reminds her of her father a lot. The same thing she repeats when he meets her at the care facility despite her not remembering him at all. It shows that somewhere inside her, Chul Soo is still there.

The director hit all the right marks in the film. It had the correct measure of happiness, sadness,love and reality. Although Chul Soo tell Su Jim he loves her at the end of the movie, his love for her was felt throughout. The scenes where he wrote reminder notes all over the house so she never forgets, always keeping her optimistic that they can survive this problem, keeping his emotions in check even when she forgot his name. At the same time, the moments were he could’nt hold it any longer-when she urinated in front of all their guests at a party, or when she runs away leaving him a letter, and when she does’nt even recognise him and he keeps his tears hidden by suddenly putting a pair of sunglasses on.

The surroundings and the music played out well too. The Italian opera music, especially La paloma, El Reloj and Nessun Dorma blended in perfectly. The whole setup-the couples’s home, their workplaces, the place where they wanted to build their future home-everything blended in perfectly to give an overall good appearance that felt good on the eyes. Both the lead actors did an amazing job at making us cry and help us feel Su Jin’s and Chul Soo’s pain.

Overall, its a tearjerker. But its worth the tears because its one of those films that touched my heart.

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