So, I finally found this movie! No subtitles as of yet (Not any I have found anyway) but that has never stopped me before and I am damn well not going to let it start now. And so I have watched it in all its raw Korean other-worldly glory and despite not understanding a single word, I was left with one word to describe my feelings afterwards…
Just…Wow! I have to wait until the English Subs come out for the long post but I just have to write about this right now! This movie surprised me! I mean, I mentioned it way back in my first post about this movie but this is no childish story! Well, it is a story about childhood, obviously, but it is so real…so human, that it resonated completely with me.
Honestly, this surprised me still despite having suspected it from the trailers. What was even more surprising was the fact that the director actually had confidence in the young actors. They carried long scenes like they were professional actors. The movie had so much focus on the main girls, especially Seon(the short haired girl) and the adults rarely showed up. I was really surprised and awed!
Adding to that surprise is the level of seriousness and realism of the story. Everyone will feel for this movie. You will have flashbacks to your childhood when you watch this movie, especially those of us who got into these conflicts and situations of finding your place through betrayals and all that.
And while the movie is shorter than other typical S.Korean movies which usually run at 1h50min to 2hrs, the movie was complete! The story rolled from zero to hero without dropping anything. It is one of the main reasons why I loved it so much despite having no subtitles. The visual story-telling was perfect and all subtitles are going to do is confirm my take on what was going on in the scenes and also learning exactly what was being said.
Speaking of visual story-telling, I have to give some advice to your guys and girls planning on watching this (please do). Keep an eye out for moments like the nails (Seon and Ji-ah’s) and also the bracelets. Those ‘items’ play quite a role in the movie. I thought the nail scene would just be there for the sake of being there to just show that they are girls doing girly things but I was so wrong! Not only did the nails stay in play but they did until the end and even played a role in the portrayal of the two girls’ feelings/connection. So did the bracelets. Actually there is a scene with those that near made me cry!
Then there are the characters! Our two main girls Seon and Ji-ah(the long haired one) were so well written and the girls did a great job with such responsibility that I am still awed by their performances! Both characters went through perceivable evolution which they did so well that it was hard to tell who was the villain and who was the hero sometimes. That is how great they were written. But if I am being honest, I was more on Ji-ah’s side than Seon, despite Seon being our main character. I know most will probably be on Seon’s side.
Speaking of story also pay attention to the opening scene and keep in in mind because it will resonate with the ending! Oh My God that ending! Leaves me with tears in my eyes for such a simple thing! I am pretty sure most will miss the impact of that ending but it is simply one of my favourites endings of a movie ever! If you have been paying attention to the things I pointed out to be on the look out for, you will really, really adore the ending of this movie! It goes something like this…
Seon and Ji-ah are no longer close, they are no longer friends. They don’t even talk to one another anymore. They have virtually hurt each other to the point of no return. Seon is the quite type. She never got the courage to be friends with the popular girl in her class or other classmates for that matter. The first person she had the courage to talk to was Ji-ah and that might have been helped by the fact that Ji-ah was new at their school.
By the end these two not only aren’t speaking to one another but they are obstructed by their classmates as well after their debacle! The class in out on PE but Seon and Ji-ah seem to be in hell at the moment. They are simply there for the sake of being there. Seon who is almost right back at the lonely self from the beginning of the movie, a Seon without nothing, goes to bite her nails only to see that despite time having passed, despite almost all the red toner she had on having grown off, there is a small piece of red still left on one finger nail. She sees it and then pauses. Despite everything there is still something her own. There is still a connection to Ji-ah.
She look up in Ji-ah’s direction. Ji-ah who is also faring as much as Seon is. But as Ji-ah raises her head to look back at Seon, Seon looks away. They do this a few times, both looking at each other while the other is looking away. But then finally Seon decided to not look away when Ji-ah turns to look at her. She holds Ji-ah’s gaze. She is once again taking that first step forward and once again it is because of Ji-ah. Ji-ah too holds onto Seon’s gaze and stops looking away! The screen goes black and onto credits!
Like, how beautiful and so original and oh so fresh is that ending?!!! It’s like they were starting all over again. Like, it was a totally new connection being born right there despite having been through everything already before! It’s almost like what I think re-incarnation would feel like. They got a second chance, no, they made a second chance for themselves!
Seriously, I have seen many preachy movies that have been on the nose but failed to deliver the message they were trying to sell and yet here we have a movie that is just being a movie and it has taught be the lesson of confidence, risk and teaching me that chances come because you create them by taking the first step!
What a great movie this is!
And I even just realised that I have not even mentioned the word ‘yuri’ at all and the post is even almost over! As far as I am concerned, this is ‘yuri’ in it’s purest form! And make that 100%! Friendship is what Seon wanted in Bo-ra but never got neither the courage to go for nor the time to build. Actually Bo-ra was more like a catalyst that drove Seon and Ji-ah’s development. But there was always this background shadow of Seon’s feelings for Bo-ra where she would spy her even lies away and even stop listening to Ji-ah because her attention was on Bo-ra. In fact that bracelet she gives to Ji-ah was actually meant for Bo-ra as a birthday present and it does come back later (which made me watery eyed a bit).
Seriously, I so love this movie! When I finally get the subtitles and get to fully comprehend it, I have a feeling that it is going to be pretty high up on my list! Seriously you all, you need to watch this. I am definitely getting this on DVD (Blu-ray if it is available)!