Thursday, March 19, 2009

슬퍼도 행복합니다

I watched 슬픔보다 더 슬픈 이야기 at Megabox Dongdaemun yesterday. I must say I went into the cinema with a lot of bias. There was so much publicity and hype surrounding this movie before it was even open and usually such movie disappoint more than impress because of heightened expectation. It didn't help when we all knew that it is going to be a sad movie and someone is going to die in the end - a theme that is cliched by many other Korean movies and dramas of similar theme. I was predicting that I would feel cheated of my 7,000won but even that, I was ready to find out how much more sad can sadness be. I have a simple litmus test for this movie - make me cry. If my tears don't flow, it is a flop.

Singer, 이승철, made a cameo appearance in the movie. At the start of the movie, he played himself - a singer, trying to record the song - 그런 사람 또 없습니다 (the movie's title track) but somehow he felt he fell short of conveying the sadness in the song. That provided the stage for the sad love story between K and Cream to be told to him. Touched by their story, he returned at the end to sing the song again but this time with the right sadness that befits the sad story behind the song.

I would hesitate to call this movie a classic because it has nothing new to offer. Its plot about love and separation offers no surprises. However, the movie can still be considered a better movie because of the acting and more importantly, the way the story is told. Kwon Sang Woo should be credited for acting out his role convincingly with his pair of soulful but yet melancholic eyes. Word is a luxury for a person like K because there are so much things which he could not say. As for the story-telling, I like the part on time stop and time reversal. Imagine yourself losing everything you have in this world, it is almost like time has come to a standstill. It is like saying the time has stopped since the day you left. The movie presented this part quite well. And when the time starts reversing, you would be made to realise why this is a sad movie because all the details that were not previously shown or emphasised would be flashed.

What the movie or the director wants to say is in the song "슬픔보다 더 슬픈 이야기". The music video below has a lot of scenes that are not shown in the actual movie unless what I saw was an abridged version. The dying scene is downplayed in the actual movie probably because it is a known fact. Even that, the sad part is not about dying but the feeling of separation and the deep sense of regret. Just like the lyrics of song says, "Because love is giving. Because love is just giving. Even though I am sad, I am happy.". The lyrics totally make sense. Love comes with happiness and sadness. They are inseparable. For people who want love because of happiness don't understand love. You can only understand happiness if there is sadness and vice-versa. So what can be sadder than sadness? It can only be happiness. I think I feel so much happier after watching a sad movie.

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