Reviewed by: sukting

July 10, 2005

Rating: two-point-five

Year produced

How does Byung Hun look with 'Empress Ming Cheng' Lee Mi Yeon? How can a brother-in-law fall for his sister-in-law and win her heart?

Ho Jin (Lee Eol) and Dae Jin (Lee Byung Hun) are brothers. Ho Jin is a wood carpenter while Dae Jin is a car racer. Although both brothers are close, Ho Jin doesn't approve of Dae Jin risking his life in car racing. Ho Jin has married Eun Joo (Lee Mi Yeon) for 3 years and the three live together. Eun Joo is a stage manager for concerts. Dae Jin has a close girlfriend, Seo Joon (Park Seon Yung), who is his personal trainer. Ho Jin fetches Eun Joo from the MTR and gives her a necklace on their 3rd year wedding anniversary. Her colleagues are touched that Ho Jin still write love letters to Eun Joo.

Suddenly the necklace breaks one day. Dae Jin is involved in a racing accident while Ho Jin is also hurt in a car accident while on the way to the racing ground. Both brothers are in a coma for months. Dae Jin awakes and starts behaving like his brother. He used to dislike cooking but now fixes meals for Eun Joo. He also starts doing woodwork and watering the plants too. She feels that he is possessed by Ho Jim - his way of talking, his tastes and habits.

Eun Joo brings Dae Jin to see the doctor as he has headaches. He keeps thinking that he is his brother and hurts his hand while doing the wood craving. She is later in tears when he fixes the necklace back on her neck. The psychiatrist treatment shows that he remembers part of the accident. She brings him to see Ho Jin who is in the intensive unit.

Seo Joon brings Dae Jin to the countryside, hoping to trigger his memory. But he avoids her kisses.

Eun Joo is depressed to see a rainy day again and Dae Jin comes to fetch her with an umbrella. She is stunned and recalls how Ho Jin works hard to support Dae Jin through his studies. He even knows where the couple keeps their love coins. She hugs him - her husband is finally back. They sleep together for the night.

Seo Joon is saddened by the news and looks distastefully at their relationship. She lets him go and flees in tears. Ho Jin is pronounced dead and taken off life support. Both scatter his ashes at sea and Dae Jin is in tears. Dae Jin holds an exhibition displaying his and his brother's works. He hugs and kisses Eun Joo before she goes home. Onlookers discover it but he is past caring over it.

Seo Joon sends a package to Eun Joo. She can never accept their relationship and decides to kill herself. She sends the necklace back to her as found in the working room. Eun Joo is shocked - that means that she isn't wearing the original necklace as she discovers the same damage on it. She goes to the working room frantically. She finds photos of herself secretly taken by Dae Jin. She has been deceived all along. He has been secretly in love with her and takes shoots of her whenever she is cycling past him.

Eun Joo comes across his diary and reads it. When Ho Jin introduces him as his girlfriend, he is totally shattered. Eun Joo is supposedly to be his - how can she be with his unromantic brother? He is so shocked and angry but he even has to be the couple's best man. He can't understand this - why is Ho Jin's life complete with her? He even has to teach Ho Jin to write romantic letters to please her.

He nearly goes mad upon seeing them together daily under the same roof during the years. Eun Joo is badly shaken and yells. But she still keeps her calmness to pretend that nothing has happened as she is now pregnant. She returns to the exhibition venue and listens to his introduction of his works. One of the furniture's theme is to give life and forget grief. He thinks of their unborn child.

The day when he is extremely upset when scattering the ashes - he promises himself that he no longer exists in the world but must live like Ho Jin to love Eun Joo. He has discovered that there is no way to get close to her as her heart is only with Ho Jin. She will never forgive him if she knows the truth. That is why he bades goodbye to his brother and his past.


There is nothing special about this movie. Only a few artistes are involved in the acting so there is nothing much to rave about. It is said to have broken box office records but I wonder what the fuss is about. The story is very plain although the outcome proves to be a surprise. No one will expect the younger brother, Dae Jin, to deceive all the people around him - just to get his sister-in-law's love. But who can blame him for doing so - to take advantage of his brother's situation to win Eun Joo's love?

But still he will have to bear with his guilt and worry burden for the rest of his life for trying to keep the truth from her. It is not using sincerity - it is just taking advantage of her pining for her husband to make her let down her guard. This story tells us: using inappropriate methods will only cause anxiety.

I don't think the cast did very well - even Byung Hun looked restless and tired although Mi Yeon is natural in her acting. To my surprise, Lee Eol compliments Mi Yeon well. Although his screen time is limited, he does appear as the loving husband well. I will only recommend this to die hard Byung Hun fans. I still think that his forte is his serials after watching a few disappointing movies from him.

Sukting's ratings :

On acting : **1/2 (Scale of 5)

On story : **1/2 (Scale of 5)

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