#pain #korean #kwakkyungtaek #kwongsangwoo #jungryeowon #kangfull
Country of origin:South Korea
Directed by:Kwak Kyung Taek
Story by:Kang Full
Starring:Kwon Sang Woo,Jung Ryeo Won
Released:7 September 2011
This was a movie that I had for quite some time, kept avoiding to watch it because I did’nt see any impressive ratings on this one. But once I did watch it, I found that it was not a usual romance story but something different. The South Korean film industry is quite well known for films that think “out of the box”, and this happens to be just that.
Nam Soon is our lead character. What’s special about him, is that he cannot feel pain. After facing a traumatic incident in his youth, where he lost his entire family in a car accident,he has been diagnosed wih a brain condition that does not allow him to feel any pain, taste, etc.
As a means to make a living, he becomes an assistant to a debt collector. Instead of threatening people to pay up money, Nam Soon beats himself up in front of those people, so that the people will hand over the money, out of fear. Every other day, he gets bruises all over his body, but he does’nt feel a thing and just keeps doing it. It’s not just that he does’nt physically feel pain, but he is portrayed as an emotionally distant man as well.
This is when he meets Dong Hyun, a street vendor who makes hand-made jewellery and sells them on the street. She lives alone and has incurred a lot of debt from many people, after the death of her father. She struggles to pay back the loans, which is when, Nam Soon arrives at her doorstep to collect money. Both of them get into a fight and they end up at the police station. It is then, that we discover that she is haemophelic. (For those who don’t know what that is-a heamophelic person’s blood does’nt clot. Which means even a small injury or cut could lead to death.) .
To repay that month’s loans Nam Soon had taken the deposit of her home, rendering her homeless. He feels pity for her and he offers her a place at his home so that she can repay the rest of her loan.
When she reaches his home, she sees that he lives in his parent’s home leaving everything untouched-the crockery,the furniture etc. He does’nt even clean the place up-an obvious sign he is still lonely and depressed after losing his family. As time passrs, she cleans up the place, and helps him acquire his taste by describing to him how everything tastes. Eventually, the two bond, and fall in love.
He stops collecting debts because she does’nt want him to get beaten up. Instead he uses his condition to become a stuntsperson in films and dramas. Life seems to be moving smoothly and happily, but not for long. Dong Hyun faints and doctors inform Nam Soon that her disease is progressing and she is growing immune to her medicine. The only way now, is if they get new imported medicine which is very expensive. Fearing that, Nam Soon will go back to his old profession, Dong Hyun breaks up with him.
But, that does’nt hinder Nam Soon. His boss gets into a problem with an even bigger loan shark and he requests Nam Soon to do a dangerous task from the top of a multi-storeyed building, where he has to jump off the top onto a soft landing spot to create an issue and grab media attention. But things go wrong, and his boss does not get the landing area ready for him. Dong Hyun realises what he is about to do and tries to stop him but gets injured on the way.
In the end, Nam Soon dies from his fall and Dong Hyun is bleeding heavily from her injury and crying while holding his body, her death imminent.
Soubds sad huh? Well it is. From what I was able to find about the director, this was his first “romantic” venture after directing a series of thrillers. His attempt was not as bad.
What I liked about this movie is that, on the surface, its a boy-meet-girl, fall in love kind of tragedy story. But they twisted it around quite a bit with the man not being able to feel pain, and the girl under no circumstance should feel pain. It was an exemplification on the whole “opposites attract” theme which made it good.
A special mention should go to the actor who played Nam Soon who was very convincing in his role. They placed enough details on the plot and the way their bond formed was very good. I liked the fact that, just because these two people are totally different, they did not undergo any unwanted character changes just to fall in love. Both of them fell in love, with who they are.
The picturisation was a little shaky here and there, and the whole situation with the boss landing in trouble with another team of loan sharks did not fit in as good compared to how well the story was moving otherwise.
Some of the best love stories we know are tragic ones. There’s something about those sad heart wrenching moments that help it stick closer to our hearts.
All in all, if you want a nice but sad, romance thats not too sappy and unrealistic, but still have a difference from the cliché rom-coms, I would suggest this.
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