Windstruck


Reviewed by: sukting

September 07, 2004

Rating: two-point-five

Foreword
Although the director claims that this movie has no connection with ‘My Sassy Girl’, Jeon Ji Hyun’s image seems to suggest this. Moreover, the title is ‘Ye Man Shi Jie’ – which means the sassy policewoman in Chinese. She still looks threatening in the police uniform. Her co-star changes from Cha Tai Hyun to Jang Hak. Do the two manage to create sparks?

I express my heartfelt thanks to a friend, Hon Wai, who gave me a treat to this movie.

Story

The starting has Yeo Kyung Jin leaping off a skyscraper. Why? She recalls the past.

A woman screamed that someone snatched her handbag. Despite explaining that he is chasing the thief, Kyung Jin doesn’t believe him and arrests him. It is so hilarious. First, she throws her slippers – one hit an innocent passer-by while another hit Go Myung Woo, causing him to stop. Next, she uses her towel to tie him together with a hair brush after spraying hair shampoo at his eyes.

She brings him back to the station proudly but her colleagues suspect her of making a mistake, just like other moments. The victim looks at Myung Woo suspiciously as she also remembers that he isn’t the one. The air is cleared when Myung Woo draws sketches of the robber. The others are impressed and they want him to do for them. And he does for all –except for Myung Woo because he is still angry with her!

He becomes a physics teacher in a secondary school. He joins the police force and is involved in voluntarily work to track down problem students. On his first shift, he is dismayed to pair with Kyung Jin. The two stroll the street and one group of delinquents are attracted to her. They whistle at her and throw cigarette butts on the ground. You will be amused when the timid Myung Woo decides to avoid them but the furious Kyung Jin demands them to pick them up.

When they refuse, she beats them up badly as she can never tolerate their behaviour. She is bent on punishing them so she handcuffs Myung Woo’s hand together with hers. After seeking her revenge, both return to the police station to find the spare key missing. One kid’s father is a ganglord whom the others will not dare to offend. Sure enough, the father comes with his men.

Myung Woo tries to make Kyung Jin apologise to the fellow but to no avail. Upon seeing her going to flare up, he pacifies her. But…..in the end, he gets provoked instead. You will be tongue-tied to see him to be the one seizing the gun to point at the fellow’s head. He demands the man to apologise to Kyung Jin and she is impressed by his guts. Myung Woo is relieved when they get the keys from her colleague.

The following scene have both patrolling the street again. Myung Woo is worried that she might run into trouble again. Sure indeed she sees a drug trafficker and wants to shadow him. Myung Woo has wanted to inform her other colleagues but she is so career minded that she doesn’t wish any to share her credit. The poor soul has to climb walls with her.

Finally, she finds the man with his gang, wanting to exchange a deal at a warehouse. She demands them to stop – even knowing that she is alone. The usual happens – one man starts a gunshot and the rest start killing each other. The mastermind flees and the drug trafficker is fuming mad. He is actually an undercover and demands to know which unit she comes from. Kyung Jin is silent this time because she is in the wrong. They return to the police station and there is no spare key …… again!

This is so hilarious when they have to visit the toilet together. They have to adjust to each other brushing the teeth and washing the face. Even when they are sleeping on separate beds, they are still linked by the handcuff. However, you will have another surprise in store again. Kyung Jin wakes up, yawns and loosens the handcuff! But she doesn’t notice it and slips her hand back again while Myung Woo is still asleep.

Both are in love and Myung Woo’s students tease him when she brings food for him. He is about to see her after work when she informs him that she is running after two robbers. Worrying about her safety and knowing that she is reckless, he rushes to the scene. He tries calling out to her but ends up confronting the robber instead. One of them is already captured while another tries to hide between the walls. He gets stuck there. Myung Woo doesn’t want to lose him and follow suit.

He ends up in the same situation. The robber is initially delighted to get another victim but is dismayed when he can’t reach Myung Woo. The police finally nap him and Myung Woo is miserable when others ask what he is doing there. He visits Kyung Jin’s home and learns that she had a twin sister who died after taking a test on her behalf during her high school days. From then on, she has not wanted to touch the black pieces on the piano again. Myung Woo pretends that her food tastes good although it is too hot for him. He makes a paper plane from papers in her magazine and also teaches her how to make paper windmills.

She reads a story to him. Be prepared to see how they are dressed as fairy-tale characters. I shall not disclose the story here as I think I have said too much. anyway, the tale is quite impressive in a fantasy mode involving computer effects.

Myung Woo gets a jeep and wants to tour in it. He asks Kyung Jin to join him. They come to the mountain top and he tells her that he will turn into the wind to surround her even though he may not be around anymore. They stay in a village house and he tries to kiss her, closing his eyes. He ends up kissing a piece of burning branch that she holds and his lips get swollen.

They still continue their journey even though there is thunder and lightning. can assure you that this act is so deliberate that you can’t take it. They are the only people on the road and Myung Woo’s car sinks in the sea. His head is injured and he loses consciousness. Kyung Jin tries to revive him by saving him and is desperate when his heart stops. She finally makes him alive again and bursts into tears. I thought the story would stop here…but no……

She comes in face to face with the mastermind. Myung Woo knows it and hurries there. Kyung Jin accidentally shoots him after the mastermind shoots him too. He dies during the operation and she tries to kill herself with her gun. Luckily her colleagues stop her. They transfer her to another unit and she works with another partner. If you think that the cop looks like Jang Hak, you’re wrong. He is a middle-aged man who is 10 years older than her and doesn’t shave himself.

They come to face with criminals and even the police cars can’t stop them. Kyung Jin’s partner is spellbound upon seeing her stopping the car midst in the street and shoot non-stop at the criminals. The oil tank in the criminals’ car breaks and the oil spills. Kyung Jin’s partner is too shocked so he drops his cigarette, causing a big fire and finally an explosion instead. She looks cool in here.

Kyung Jin hasn’t given up killing herself. She goes to the highest skyscraper and wants to jump off from there. You will laugh when you see hooligans harassing her at this moment. They demand her to give them her money since she is going to die. She can’t put up with their behaviour and runs after them. Laugh when they say that her panties are purple in colour but she corrects them!

Knowing that they run away from home, she gives them a treat and some money to return home. She returns to the same place and jumps off from there. She ends up on a float and sees a paper aeroplane leading her home. She recognizes it as Myung Woo and knows that soon the death anniversary of the 49th day is up soon. She waits eagerly to meet him then.

She finally sees the mastermind and gives chase. The fellow takes a baby as a hostage and Kyung Jin is shot while trying to save the baby. The man tries to flee in the lift but her partner comes out from there to shoot him. This is unexpected as her partner has injured his arm and is all along a timid man. What gives him the guts – I wonder too. He pleads with Kyung Woo to wake up – he has something to tell her. which we never know in the end as it isn’t stated but we know that he is married!

Her pulse nearly stops. Suddenly, she can see Myung Woo on a bus. She runs after him to get ignored. Why? He has lost along after the shooting incident and decides not to implicate her to take care of him so he fakes his own death. She is in despair. You are tricked!! She is still in a coma so this is only a dream.

She wakes up and is recovering. She returns home and sees wind blowing in to cause all the windmills to move. The paper plane is still there. Myung Woo appears, telling her to take care of herself. He is always around in the form of wind to protect her from harm but she has to face the fact that he is dead. He will come in the form of another person, hopefully, to take care of her.

She takes the MTR to work, wondering what he means. Her sixth sense tells her that someone is approaching when she is standing too close to the yellow line. The person is afraid that she might try to kill herself and comes to her. She looks at him and smiles. I have expected to see Jang Hak’s face……but I saw Tai Hyun’s face instead. This is the only arrangement that I applaud. The outcome is truly unexpected.

Song
I like the English theme song ‘Knocking Heaven’s Door’ very much. The subtheme song ‘The Wind is Here’ is also pleasant to listen to.

Interesting facts

There was a scene where Kyung Jin ran barefooted to chase Myung Woo because she thought he was a thief. She took many NGs as she ran 10 over times on the street. The two were really exhausted in catching their breath after that. She hurt her feet in the process.

Jang Hak was not having an easy time too. Ji Hyun pounced on him and she used shampoo to wash his eyes and face. The worst nightmare came when she used the towel on his neck. His eyes went through the washing for 10 over times till they turned red.

The main problem was it was winter but the movie’s setting was summer. Under minus 10 degrees, they had to wear thin summer clothes to brave through the cold air. They ran in the mountains till the top and also jumped to swim in the sea. They pretended that it was nothing but they were shivering in secret. Thus once the finished the mountain top shots, they quickly grabbed their coats. After the swimming scenes, their assistants poured warm water on them to preserve the warmth. But still, Ji Hyun fell sick.

Ji Hyun believed in reincarnation and fate so she would not let go of any minor detail to cherish the process. There were many interlink lines. When they are opened, one can see the person he urges to see and walk on the route desired.

Many envied the two leads to be as close as siblings. Ji Hyun is quiet but Jang Hak is the opposite. But they know each other well as they belong to the same managing company. She would discuss with him the details before filming. Because her role was a policewoman, Jang Hak would consider her safety as the first priority. Jeon would also check to ensure that he was unhurt. Jeon took a few weeks to go through police training in shooting and self defence. She also asked female cops for their experience.

When she was free, she would cook noodles for him. She was a great cook – unlike other modern females who were not that good in cooking, she could fix sushi, BBQ meat and make kimchi/ginseng soups. No wonder Tai Hyun and Jang Hak love her cooking so much. Many were worried that Jang Hak might not be able to create sparks because he was comical but he was an emotional person who led her easily.

Many wondered how Ji Hyun acted so well in the crying scenes. When asked to rate her own acting, she said when a person is alive, acting is non-stop so she can’t grade herself. Jang Hak felt comfortable with her. He found the car sinking scene unforgettable. The water was so cold that he nearly froze. The most touching part would be Tong Zhen lying on the bed missing her boyfriend, refusing to believe that he is dead. The most favourite scene would be the male lead appearing in front of her in a dream. To him, this movie is describing how to love the lover in the right way.

The movie company was swift to explain that it was wrong to commit suicide. That was why Kyung Jin failed in her 3 suicide attempts. Moreover, Myung Woo also appeared to persuade her to carry on living so that he could go to another world in peace. It is said to be the first when the Korean authorities allow the Korean movie company to shoot the night scene in Seoul from a helicopter.

Jeon was filled with emotion. When she recorded her voice for the movie, she suddenly cried and the work was stopped for 10 minutes before she could continue. The movie vcd was out within 2 months. It came along with the music cd. My friend, Hon Wai really felt the pinch as he wasn’t enjoying the movie that much and paid S$16 for the weekend tickets.

Conclusion

It is absurd that the female lead tries to kill herself thrice without success. I feel like asking the director Kwak Jae Yong – which direction is he heading? This movie ends up neither being a comedy nor a tragedy. I like the jokes created in the beginning but the change is too drastic. It becomes a romantic comedy to action thriller to sentimental weepie.

The reason for the title becomes clear when tragedy strikes. The story becomes unbearably soppy when Kwak seeks to wring every last bit of schmaltz from the doomed love story. Please……I am not looking forward to watch another traditional Korean drama. Making Yeo a cop offers Jeon a chance to get involved in gun battles and cool car chases in action movie style. But it stops abruptly here – what a pity.

There is also weak chemistry between the two leads. Jeon holds her own amid the wreckage while Jang Hak looks redundant. His character is already weak. Moreover, he disappears almost totally from the second part of the movie. He lacks the charm that Tai Hyun has although he is taller.

The lighthearted comedy of the first half doesn’t establish the emotional connection sufficiently strongly to support the dramatic second part. I find it so boring although there are few dry eyes in the cinema when the second part was shown. I had wished the pace and mood to be consistent but it fails. Thus I will encourage viewers to rent the vcd and watch the first portion instead.

Is this a sequel to ‘My Sassy Girl’? I doubt so – it is more suitable to be before it. Remember Jeon’s character’s boyfriend is dead and Tai Hyun’s character manages to move her? This seems to be the answer to that since his face appears after Jang’s character is dead.

Sukting’s ratings :

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

On story : ** (Scale of 5)


Add your own review and become a featured critic on spcnet.tv!

Or, add your comments below:





Advertise on SPCNET.TV


Buy DVDs

Shop Asian Fashion at YesStyle