Oct 21, 2009

South of The Border

I wouldn't pick up this dvd if it wasn't because of Cha Seung Won, and this movie wouldn't make an impression to me if I have watched before I watch City Hall.
The movie plot follows Sun Ho (Cha Seung Won), a bumbling kind French horn player in a North Korean propaganda band, who falls in love with straight talking museum guide Yeon Hwa (Jo Yi Jin). Unfortunately, just after he asks her to marry him, his family receives news that their communist hero grandfather is not actually dead, but is alive and well in South Korea . Terrified that the government will send them to a concentration camp, the family flees across the border. Sun Ho wants to bring Yeon Hwa with him, but Yeon Hwa asked him to go ahead first and then send someone to fetch her and her parents later when he reached his grandfather; as his grandfather is well off there it wouldnt' be hard to hire someone.

Unfortunately, as they finally arrived safely in South Korea, they found out that the grandfather had already passed away. So Sun Ho had to work hard and saving and scraping to pool up funds to hire someone to get Yeon Hwa. Luck was not on his side, when he finally save enough and loan some, he got swindled by some gang who targeted people like him who wants to bring family from the north. He had to start from scratch all over again, which takes years. His sister seeing his gaunt face, told him to just forget Yeon Hwa but he stubbornly refused so she hadto tell him that she heard from a passing missionary that Yeon Hwa was already married.

After some tears, beers and years later, Sun Ho married the kind lady who had helped him. They modified her restaurant to cater to north cuisine delicacies. Just as Sun Ho was settling in to be a husband, he received good news - some north korean refugees has seek asylum in third countries and now have reached the south, among them is Yeon Hwa.

What was he supposed to do? In one hand he still can't forget his first love and feels guilty of the hardship she had to endured to get to him on the other hand, he was a kind and responsible man, how can he just abandon his wife and family now for his selfish heart?

I know this is typical, separated lovers who believe the other half is dead or had moved on so they too had moved on but later find out it wasn't so. So that person had to make decision which path they would choose, the path that hurt many or the path that hurt two? Hmmm... would I hate Sun Ho character for being so weak in deciding his life if it wasn't played by Cha Seung Won? I don't know, haha...I'm soooo a-little-too-much-into him now, darn City Hall's Ju Gook.

You would think that from the title it will have some demoralising view of one country's politocs and lifestyles over another, but I found none, just human tragedy without any finger pointing on which regime is wrong or right. I do find it funny though when Sun Ho point out similarities in religious preaching in the South and propaganda speeches in the North.

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