I’ll start off by saying that my standards for Korean films are really high at the moment, so it becomes difficult for just any ol’ film to become something that I consider to be fantastic. That's what they get for being so much better at film-making than other countries.
This movie has Its moments but for the most part it kind of drags on and becomes boring.
The film follows a talented, reclusive photographer named Jung-Ho. It is believed that Jung-Ho has the ability to read people’s minds as is presented to us at the start of the film where he is featured on some sort of TV show. Some unnamed girl hangs herself while watching this TV show and it gives the wrong impression about what the film is actually about (This suicide has nothing to do with anything else that happens in the film and I have no idea why it was included.)
In the very next scene Jung-Ho is visiting his uncle and suddenly finds himself in the care of a 9-year-old orphan girl named Soo-Yeun. His uncle has adopted her yet conveniently isn’t in the country to greet her nor did he mention this to his nephew. This is absurd because well, there is no way that the child-protection-agency would just be like “oh, the person who adopted you isn’t here so we’ll just leave her with whoever.” I think in real life that the fact that uncle couldn’t be fussed with actually being around when the adoptee arrives would likely negate their opportunity to adopt her.
Anyway, Jung-Ho at first completely ignores her but as is expected in films that have this sort of setup, they begin to get along and he ends up caring for her. He seems to get real joy out of making her smile including a very touching scene where he attends her school’s talent show, surprising her and putting a huge smile on her face.
In the meantime, there is an ongoing investigation about young orphan girls being kidnapped and murdered and, you guessed it, Soo-Yeun ends up getting taken as well. The cops are not very useful in determining where she might have been taken to but Jung-Ho figures it out right away, perhaps because he can read minds although I don’t know whose mind he is reading to obtain this info.
He arrives and rescues Soo-Yeun and a lone police officer arrives shortly thereafter to help out once the abandoned orphanage is in flames and Jung-Ho is trapped under some debris. An army of police and firemen arrive shortly thereafter - right on cue. The presence of the firemen is interesting since no one knew the building was on fire.
This aspect of the film made me mad and the absence of crap like this is why I tend to enjoy Korean movies. The culmination of coincidence at the end is something I have come to expect from Hollywood but normally I enjoy Korean movies better because they don’t have this aspect of ridiculousity (and yes, I know that isn’t a word.)
The movie is predictable. When the villain is revealed not only are you not shocked but you are completely indifferent. There are some touching scenes in the movie about family life and how some people (like Soo-Yeun) are dealt a bad hand in life and it kind of makes you reflect on the good fortune that those of us have in life. It makes you feel like you need to call your mom just to say hello, which is something we all should do more often than we do. That gained it some points.
Overall, I would say that you should watch this film only after you have completely run out of things to watch. It's still better than a vast majority of the junk that comes out of Hollywood, but compared to other Korean films, it falls flat.
5 / 10