Friday, April 1, 2011


M: Oh for goodness sake! Korean again?
J: I'll give this a 10.
M: A 10? Intriguing. Since you gave it a perfect score, I'm on.

A Moment to Remember is a great movie depicting a love story being hindered by perhaps the most cruel illness of all-- Alzheimer's disease. 
This is one of the movies that make me cry to the extent that you can't imagine (laughs).
Also known as Eraser in My Head this is an adaptation of a Japanese television drama Pure Soul.

The movie starts with a romantic comedy love story of Su Jin and a man named Chul Soo. 
Su Jin went in a convenient store to buy a can of soda after being stood up in a plan to elope with her boss in a train station. She seemed distracted by her emotions that she just left forgetting her soda and her wallet at the counter. 

She just remember that she forget it when she realized she had no money to pay for the bus fare. She bumped into the super-hot in his rugged look (swoon)Chul Soo who had a soda at hand and without a word, thinking the soda is hers, grabbed it, gulped it, bottoms-up and return the empty can to the  too-shocked-and-amazed -to-say-a-word Chul Soo, only to feel ashamed later when the cashier give her the soda and wallet.

They meet again when she accompany her father to the construction site where Chul Soo also work, as the hard-headed and arrogant contractor. It is followed by other meetings some with Su Jins effort and some seems purely destined. They fall in love, only to be separated again by the threat of their social class.(you know the common you-can't-marry-my-daughter-cause-we-are-rich-and-your-poor stuff)
They married despite her fathers abomination. He had also taken the architecture board exam and subsequently pass and become an architect.
There married life seems to be so perfect until Su Jin displays forgetfulness.A series of events then happen and perhaps the most serious is when  she forgot she's cooking and a fire break out.These lead them to seek medical help. A series of questions are asked by the doctor including her sister's birth date but alas!she doesn't know or if she does, she is unsure. The doctor tell her to come back at a certain date,only for her to forget again. She come back, not as the agreed date and the doctor is now certain that it's Alzheimer's.
Su Jin distracted with emotions decided to hide the fact from her husband until she fainted in the street and seen by her ex-boyfriend/boss ( I forgot the name),who now realize that he love her and wanted her back. Due to her illness, she thinks that today is two year's ago when Chul Soo does not exist yet in her memory and her ex-boyfriend is the one she love.
Her disease become worst (as worst as forgetting where she lives) as time goes by.
These make Chul Soo asked the doctor himself. 
The doctor tell him everything about Alzheimers. How cruel it is by taking one's memory and which ultimately leads to death. As a usual reaction for someone who hear a bad news,he rejected the idea and blame the doctor for telling Su Jin the truth. But upon hearing the doctor (who look like Einsten, burrying himself to find cure for Alzheimer) said, "Believe me.... cause my wife was taken by it too" he seems no choice but to accept it and be ready.

By being ready we now see their house full of small papers and pictures of them stick to the walls with notes and reminders. Even their stove was change by Chul Soo.She was also advice to just stay home and resigned at her job.
But worst come to worsier when Su Jin call him in her ex-boyfriend name and worsiest when as Chul Soo fight fist-to fist with her ex-boyfriend Su Jin takes her ex-boyfriend side and stab her dear husband by her cooking knife.(I can't help but to sympathize with Chul Soo, I feel his heartache.(sobs))
(And just when I stopped crying comes this scene)A lucid interval (not that she's crazy but because I'm at lost for word at the moment) come to Su Jin's senses and make her remember what she had done.She started to write a letter to him asking for forgiveness...explaining...and saying good-bye (guess you have to watch it for yourself  cause you'll greatly appreciate it with the background music). Then to not burden him anymore, she decided to leave him and live afar (as in both literally and unliterally)

Chul Soo beg her father to tell her where she is. But stubborn-daddy won't tell him, instead he honestly say that he opposed to their marriage not because of social class but because of this reason. He added that he know of her illness ever since and don't like her to be hurt and just respect her decision.
Days passed, then a letter was send for him from Su Jin saying she was okey where she is and tell him to not look for her.
But Chul Soo will not just give up.Driven by so much love, he look for the clues in the letter and go from one hospital to another asking for Su Jin. At last he find her somewhere in a hospital in the mountains. She don't recognize him obcourse and so he introduce himself. The hurt is recognizable from his eyes upon seeing her. He saw a picture of them posted in her wall, her nurse saying that its the only one she decided not to tear up and her drawing book full of sketches of no other than- his face.
Change scene and we see them in the canteen. There she smell Chul Soo's unique scent and says that it's familiar. Then she remember bits of her past, the baseball stuff...etc. As she was saying it Chul Soo started to cry but when she ask why he was crying, he just wear his dark glasses and pretend with all efforts to smile.(outch!!!)
Hoping that there is still 'hope' for here to remember even the slightest memory, he decided to bring her to the convenient store where they had first met, re-enacting the same scene of the soda stuff. In the scene we can note that the ones re-in-acting are her family, her mother crying and the doctor himself as the cashier.

The movie ends as they drive in a car, Su Jin smelling his unique scent, finding her mini-face-sculpture and smiling at him, giving me hope that she remembers him as he say....saranghaeyo (i love you!).

M: Since you rate this a 10 and its your Jung Woo-sung movie, I'm expecting lot of pictures.

J: That's the point, since this a 10, I want people to watch the movie themselves. 

M: That's a little bit of weird reasoning. But don't take it against your perfect 10, I found this movie depressing. 
J: When I was young, I also hate the tragic form of arts especially movies cause it can causes my eyes to swell crying, my heart breaks and I feel so depressed after watching them.
M: Exactly! Prolonged agony. Killing you softly. That's self torture!

J: But now it is different, I like them. My eyes still swell from crying, my still breaks but I don't feel depressed, I'm touched and I am inspired.

M: Please elaborate? 

J:The story of A MOMENT TO REMEMBER  is inspiring albeit tragic.

M: It is touchy for me. How comes inspiring?

J: The threat of Alzheimer is real, it can happen,but how a person having it and the people surrounding him will react varies. Su Jin reaction to her illness is in majority normal; forlorn, afraid, hopeless. Thus, in order not to hurt the ones she love she try to escape.

M: Well, death is a horrible topic especially if it is untimely,and yeah I admit my reaction will be like that too.

J: Majority will, but the point is, no one can get away with death. Thus, death per se doesn't matter that much, what counts is how we spend our life living. And Chul Soo's reaction is how it should be; positive and full of hope. Although he know she will  forget him and eventually will die, he keeps pushing and do things to help her remember. He never loses hope, he continue loving her ...and that is what's inspiring. 

M: I'm speechless. 

J: This movie once again prove how good So Ye-Jin as an actor. She's one of only a few actors that can fit to any roles. Her lead, Jung Woo-Sung  also did his job. He can act both the rugged and neat side of his character. His eyes can act. And for that, I'm glad that I'm admiring an actor not just with looks and hotness but with talent as well. The two leads has that certain chemistry. They are not too pushy in executing that they are a loving couple.  

M: Still speechless.

J: The mother of Chul Soo in the movie is my choice for the best supporting character. She acted the character of a mother who seem not to care for Chul Soo but when alone shows  the opposite.The movie used a lot of SYMBOLS and I like it. For me, symbols are actors too,they may no act per se but they shows a lot. Some of the symbols that exudes great impact are the soda stuff, the mini-face-sculpture, the hermit look of the doctor, and the scent of the cologne. 
The music is good and appropriate. Editing is just fine. There are emotion transformation, at the start you'll laugh and fall in love in their love story but on the second half, you'll cry and your heart will break. 

M: The ending is just so open quoted that causes viewers to have different perceptions.

 J:  I guess that's just the writer's point. So, what's your verdict?

M: I'll agree to your 10. It's a much watch. But be sure to prepare a lot of water and tissue paper, you may die of dehydration crying. The air is just too thick, I'm dying here.
 J:  Your OA!

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