Finding Kim Jong Wook Review

Photo credits: mydramadiary

I think I’ve been watching AND loving too many stuff lately. Having Drunken To Love You occupy my mind all round the clock lately obviously isn’t enough. And now I’ve just got myself into another MESS! But I shamelessly profess that it’s a shorter (but HAPPIER) mess this time and I thoroughly enjoyed the 2-hour ride with immense laughter and joy. Finding Kim Jong Wook is just pure CUTE and BLISS. ^___^

The concept of First Love has always been an interesting one. Why is one’s first love so important? So precious and so unforgettable? Why is it etched so deep in one’s heart for one to keep the him/her treasured forever? Why do people (especially men I’ve noticed) keep going on about setting standards according to their first loves and make comparisons? What is the intrigue about “first love”?

Finding Kim Jong Wook is based on a musical play (2006), starring Im Soo Jung as Ji Woo who embarks on a journey to find her first love with the assistance of Ki Joon (CEO of “Search For Your First Love” Agency) played by Gong Yoo. Sounds awfully simple and cliche right? I don’t want to spoil.  But any normal K-movie viewer would have predicted the whole plot by the time the couple met. The man and woman work together to find the woman’s first love so that she can relive her memories and move on with her life. They fall in love. But before they get together, the first love reappears. And the rest is pretty much a given.

The tone of the film is extravagant,eye-catching and breathtaking. The colors used, mostly bright and vibrant, give viewers a very wide-eyed and picturesque view of the setting and background of the film (both in India and Seoul). Execution is moderate paced but filled with moments of serenity and calmness that make you want to stop whatever you’re doing and just indulge in the coolness of the wind and in the colors of music. Scenes transit from India to Seoul at the oddest of sequences but yet you don’t feel the disjointedness. The development of the characters, from their individualistic traits to their common features are brought to the screen gradually and beautifully, added with touches of banter and humor so cute that you’d not realize that you’re laughing by the end.  Moments of heart come by and make you feel so satisfied and happy. It’s all in the simplicity within things.

What made the film so lovely and enjoyable for me – Im Soo Jung and Gong Yoo. They are definitely the heart and soul of the film, the moving and elevating force to what could have been a cliche and plain story about the journey to finding love. Im Soo Jung is such a fine actress. I think she could do any role and make it hers and hers alone. Her liveliness and cheerfulness as Ji Woo done with such utter ease made me envious of her character. The earnestness  she injects into Ji Woo is just infallible. How can she just immerse herself in such free spirit and make the role so… so endearing and lovable? It’s pure bliss and amazement on my part. And it’s not something you can emulate and act out. It’s something that she has.  Gong Yoo is equally in his finest in here. I must say that I was never fascinated or blown away by him (yes, even in Coffee Prince). But he really gave a very convincing  and  heartfelt performance as the honest and clumsy Ki Joon who goes all out to support and help Ji Woo in her quest to finding Kim Jong Wook. His comedic timing coupled with Im Soo Jung’s effortless teasings made their interactions a wonderful treat to watch. Their constant clashes (not in any way abrasive or aggressive) bring lots of laughter and fun to the plate.You just feel the level and comfort and ease that they have with each other. Definitely not acted out or created out of the blue, but just there. From the beginning. ❤ (Perhaps their real life close relationship/friendship had a great influence on their on-screen chemistry. You just feel it’s been there for a long long time hehehe…)

Ji Woo and Ki Joon’s relationship is nothing fresh in Korean film/drama standards. It’s the usual and typical “opposite attracts” based relationship. I am sure we’ve seen enough to predict the dynamics which can possibly come out between the 2 characters. But I really liked how the film took this concept a bit further and modified it in some ways. Here Ji Woo is seen to be the more dominant and outward character while Ki Joon is portrayed to be the dorky, shy and neat-freak character. He wears really frumpy-looking outfits (and glasses), dons a dorky hairstyle and acts like a shy chick who needs prompting to do something big. He constantly gets it from Ji Woo but continues to support her (in his quest to complete his first case as well). Ji Woo on the other hand starts to open up her restrained perceptions about love (due to her being too hung up on her first love) and begins to see things differently. Ki Joon may not be handsome, dashing, confident or smart, but he has integrity and heart. It’s the heart that Ji Woo has been too blind to see all this while due to Kim Jong Wook. A heart which will change her perception of love forever…

If you’ve not seen the trailer, here goes: –

As cliche and typical as the film may have been, I do not think anyone will not like this film. Or at least not enjoy watching it. The message conveyed is pretty simple – in that first love is always memorable, but not always the one. The journey to finding your first love does not signify that one must be with him/her in the end. But it’s for one to have total closure and to move on for good. The film manages to get that across, effectively and at the same time, brings to us wondrous joy, laughter and warmth thruout.

If you need a film to soothe and relax your mind, no doubt I’d recommend this film.

Just bypass all expectations, cliches and predictable factors – and you’ll enjoy the film to the max. I assure you.

Rating: 7.5

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