Movie Review: Be With You
It is very easy to see why Be With You broke box office records in South Korea last month.
A remake of the 2004 Japanese film of the same name, the fantasy melodrama is extremely easy on the eyes, and while the story is nothing extraordinary, it is affecting nonetheless.
Perhaps being a parent to a young child allows me to connect with the characters even more.
The thought of my boy growing up without a mother did cross my mind many times. How will my loved ones cope? The story revolves around that but, of course, the topic is heavily sugar-coated.
I'm not a K-movie aficionado, but I remember watching Son Ye Jin in The Classic (2003) and being impressed by her ability to emote.
The actress has hardly aged and her Soo A is a marvel to behold. Her pretty wardrobe works to her advantage too. So Ji Sub plays the devoted dad Woo Jin convincingly.
When the couple's romance - from a high school infatuation to awkward courtship days - is recounted via flashbacks, it is no surprise why Soo A fell for the sensitive Woo Jin.
When he continues to woo his wife upon her return, each scene is designed to make your heart melt despite you knowing how cliched it is.
All this works because of the flawless chemistry between the two adults.
Child actor Kim Ji Hwan is also a wonder. He wins you over with his charming innocence right from the start, when he climbs into Soo A's wardrobe to fall asleep among her clothes. That simple scene is so tender and bittersweet.
The big reveal at the end is puzzling, but by that time, you are already so invested in the film that you don't even question it.
At 132 minutes, Be With You - which opens here on April 19 - moves at a leisurely pace, slowly revealing nuggets of information about each character.
By the time it reaches the final act, you'd probably already become a soggy mess, but there's no shame in that as the people around you will definitely be sniffling too.
MOVIE: Be With You
STARRING: So Ji Sub, Son Ye Jin, Kim Ji Hwan
DIRECTOR: Lee Jang Hoon
THE SKINNY: Woo Jin (So) works hard to raise his young son Ji Ho (Kim) after his wife Soo A (Son) died a year previously. But when the rainy season miraculously brings her back to them, the family unit learns what love really is.