Movie Review: The Romance (2006) – Korean Movie

the romance poster

The Romance is the perfect title for this film. It’s an intense romantic drama that implores a fight for love.  Bittersweet, ironic and fateful; perhaps the perfect medley for a forbidden love story. Themes explore opposite attractions, unlikely connections, deep attachments and the almighty “power of love”.  The character development and on-screen chemistry are just the cherry on top of an already entertaining melodrama.

“Yoon-hee is so harassed by her husband’s obsession and frantic love, that even breathing is painful to her. One day, her sudden suicide attempt is foiled when someone takes her in his arms and saves her.” (HanCinema)

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Directed by: Moon Seung-Wook

Starring: Jo Jae-Hyeon // Kim Ji-Su  // Kim Young-Pil

Reviews: Koreanfilm.org

aparoo’s says 4/5

Download: Asia Torrents

Stream: MySoju

photo credit: asianmediawiki.com // hancinema.net

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Movie Review: Sawako Decides (2010) – Japanese Movie

sawako decides poster

Sawako Decides is as colourful a film as it is bleak. The story is a lighthearted drama with witty humour and satire — and a bit of a romantic subplot. It’s more of a ‘coming to terms’ (with life) story than it is ‘coming of age’ as it’s about personal transformations and decisions. Hikari Mitsushima plays an unlikely and quirky heroine who is enjoyable to watch throughout. Equally enjoyable are the unfolding events on-screen, often slow but substantial,  and her character’s reactions to them. Audiences will laugh at her and cry with her.

“After 5 years in Tokyo, 5 part-time jobs, 5 boyfriends, Sawako’s life is going nowhere. When her father gets seriously ill she [has] to take over his struggling factory. Gradually she becomes the decider of her own life.” (IMDb)

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The film celebrates mediocracy in complements to a backdrop of a global economic crisis, political class systems, social humiliations, fishery (clam) farming & the environment (ecology), relationship issues and more. Together, the composition of story elements are a huge but subtle weight and it’s interesting to see the heroines’  struggles and triumphs along the way. Similarly, everything is told in clean and soft satirical form — irony is the best medicine after all. And it’s exactly what the heroine, Sawako, needs to take hold of her depleted self-worth and decide her life. Maybe it’s what we all need sometimes.

Synopsis

Directed/ written by: Yuya Ishii

Starring: Hikari Mitsushima // Masashi Endo // Kotaro Shiga // Ryo Iwamatsu  // Kira Aihara

Reviews: Empire // The Film Pilgrim // Global Comment // Twitch Film

aparoo’s words: drama, comedy, dramedy, romance, romcom, life

aparoo says 5/5

Download: Asia Torrents

Stream: Dramacrazy

photo credit: asianmediawiki.com

Movie Review: The Road Home (1999) – Chinese Movie

the road home poster

The Road Home is a soft drama and timeless romance which garnered positive reviews and recognition for its visual style and lead actress’ performance.  Zhang Ziyi‘s outstanding performance also happened to be her cinematic debut, she received further attention from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon the following year. The Road Home is a beautiful humanistic film and a Chinese masterpiece in storytelling.

“Prompted by the death of his father and the grief of his mother, a man recalls the story of how they met in flashback. ” (IMDb)

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This is an ideal love story / falling in love film to watch for anyone inclined to the genre. “The Road Home is the story of a country girl and a young teacher falling in love, and the teacher’s death many years later that brings their son back from the big city for the funeral” (Wiki).  It’s as adventurous and spiritual as it is careful and loving.

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The story is based on a novel, Remembrance, written by Bao Shi who also adapted the screenplay. Zhang Yimou is once again noted for his excellence in direction for The Road Home by way of emotional and endearing undertones, subtle and gentle cinematography, and an overall presentation that is equally heart-warming as it is heart-wrenching. One of his other cinematic wonders that is a personal favourite is House of Flying Daggers.

Reviews: Eric D. Snider // Love HK Film // Rotten Tomatoes // Film Junk

aparoo’s words: drama, romance, love, falling in love, timeless

aparoo says 5/5

Download: Asia Torrents

Stream: YouTube //

photo credit: avistaz.com // filmjunk.com // Google image search