Wednesday, January 24, 2007


My Brother (우리형)

Tonight, I watched a South Korean film "My Brother" ("우리형") which I checked out from the San Francisco Library.

우리형 How come the San Francisco Library has this Korean film on DVD even this film is not released in the US? My little finger tip research reveals the trail.

This South Korean film is put on Chinese subtitle and sold on DVD in Taiwan (either legally or illegally). Thanks to the California State Library Global Languages Materials Grant, San Francisco Library purchased this DVD (for $21) from Taiwan.

Now I have a Korean film on my table with Chinese subtitle (no English subtitle) in San Francisco, perhaps the only place we can see this film in the US. I am grateful because I really like this film.

Anyway, "My Brother" tells a story about two brothers raised by their mom alone after their father died. The elder brother Sung-hyun is quiet and shy who is very good at school. Sung-hyun was born with a cleft lip, so naturally, mom shows more affection toward him and becomes very protective. On the contrary, the younger brother Jong-hyun is rebellious and active, not very good at school, but quite savvy at picking up fights at school.

Jong-hyun is bitter at his brother and mom because he feels that he is left out, but eventually they regain their brotherly bound and realize how much they love each other as a family.

This film is different from most Korean tear jerker dramas that always involve some love stories of good looking boys and girls. Alright, there is an incredibly cute guy in this film. Jong-hyun is played by a Korean heartthrob Won Bin (元彬). who also staring in "Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War" (太極旗 휘날리며). It might sound shallow, but I will give up everything I have if Won Bin asks me to run away with him. Going anywhere, I don't care. Even Iraq. Not only because his look, but because his talent in acting, although I don't know what I am gonna do with it. Making a film?

This film is fully charged with raw emotion and at one point, I had tears in my eyes. It's so realistic that each character says exactly what they should speak and acts exact the way they should behave.

The editing of this film is so precise that it's like a mathematician's work. Each frame explains something, and also each frame exists because it's a prelude for the next event. The filmmaker's thoroughness is very impressively throughout the entire film.

I really enjoyed this film, especially watching the eye candy Won Bin (元彬).

My rating: 8 out of 10.

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