Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Haeundae (2009)

Korean title: 해운대 (Hae-un-dae)

What’s popping:

Hands down Lee Min-ki, who portrays Choi Hyeong-sik. Sure, he only has a supporting role in the flick but the model-turned-actor deftly portrays a chivalrous and charming coastguard.

As the simple and kind hearted Hyeong-sik who meets sassy Hee-mi (Kang Ye-won), Min-ki’s character is an absolutely lovable one that turns out to be a selfless hero.

The film looks at the various lives that are affected by a tsunami that hits Haeundae, an extremely popular beach in Pusan, South Korea.

Apart from the affable Hyeong-sik and his new friend, we also witness the lives of simple fisherfolk Choi Man-sik (Seol Kyeong-gu) and Kang Yeon-hee (Ha Ji-won), whose romance is blossoming in the wake of the impending disaster.

There’s also the story that involves the fractured family of Kim Hwi (Park Joong-hoon), the geologist who discovers the tsunami. As their story unfolds, Kim Hwi is given a chance to reconcile with his estranged ex-wife (played by Uhm Jung-hwa) and young daughter.

Estranged: Divorced couple - Kim Hwi (Park, right) and his
ex (Uhm) - tries to communicate through telepathy. It doesn't work.

Expect the filmmakers to milk sympathy from this story for all its worth...and doggone it, it worked on me. *sniffle*

The special effects, which are done by the same people behind the Perfect Storm, aren’t mind blowing, but functional.

The stories are at once touching and hilarious. However, there’s nothing spectacular that makes you sit up and take notice. Everything that you see here, you’ve seen it before in other disaster flicks. On a whole, the film feels like it’s just “going through the motions”.

Walk: 'Yeah, I think I dropped the needle right about here.'

Nonetheless, the comic relief is surprisingly very effective here. It comes in various forms such Hyeong-sik, who is bullied by the outspoken Hee-mi; and the rough around the edges Dong-choon (Kim In-kwon), whose luck is so unbelievable it’s hilarious.

Haeundae is an entertaining movie, but it’s not a tsunami of a loss (heh, heh) if you give it a miss.

The plot:

Haeundae, which is located in the port city of Pusan, draws one million visitors to its beach every year. As holidaymakers bask under the sun one hot summer day, a mega-tsunami barrels its way to the beachfront community at 500 miles per hour!

Happy pair: Even when you're facing doom, put on a happy face!

Watch it:

It started playing in Malaysian cinemas since Sept 17. Support the Hallyu, buy a ticket :-P.

Pics credit: HanCinema

Kang Ye-won of Haeundae at Bandi launch

VIP Premiere of Haeundae

Ha Ji Won on movie Haeundae & marriage
South Korean disaster movie Haeundae
Beaches of South Korea


dokebi said...

Huh. It's the Korean version of the Day After Tomorrow.

Shira said...

gosh,i really love this movie!
just watched it last sunday.
i dont know,it just the storyline is quite good actually.
alot of funny and sad scenes.
and i did cry though :P

Haxim said...

i don't get it.

this movie focuses on the tsunami or the event that occurs around the couple ?

Ayumi said...

Liz, thanks for the super-awesome review!

I know...Lee Minki is so cool.
There's a movie called
'Romantic Island' where he shows off his physique on the Boracay beach ^^ (Youtube & mysoju)

I really enjoyed watching Haeundae.
Saw the flick twice and
even enjoyed it more the second time!!

Unlike English-language films,
of which the language most of us understand, it'll be a bit unfair to judge 'Hae-un-dae' fairly,
in which actors speak Pusan dialect; the lines cannot be fully correctly translated and felt...

Actually, I was extremely impressed by the CG effects of 'Haeundae'...when tsunami was hitting the buildings, bridges and people, it mingled with real water so perfectly I had no idea how they did it. Pure work of art!
I was sitting at the tip of my chair the whole time.

As the hub for IT, LG, Samsung and high tech gizmos,
Korean CG skills are as inpressive as Hollywood's.

The actors were said to have had a hard time.
Ha Giwon said in an interview Haeundae was the most physically demanding film she's ever made and she would never do something like that again.

The only thing I remember about 'The Day After Tomorrow' was only the CG effects.
Shoot, I even forgot the story.

But in 'Haeundae', what I liked the most was the transforming human emotions --
how some get to
undersatnd each other truly,
how others forgive those they hated, how others sacrifice their lives altruistically for strangers in the midst of unstoppable enormous power of nature.

What was more touching was actors' super-intesnse heart-felt acting.

Besides, what I found quite refreshing was the the 'comic relief' moments of the village punk and
how he (who'd betrayed Sul Kyong-goo charcter and others) ended up saving so many people.

But the only person whom he couldn't save was his mother who had been left behind in Busan instead of going on a picnic in order to buy her son's shoes for his job interview (OOps, sorry for the spoiler).

This film made me laugh-out-loud and cry at the same time!
If I had been alone watching this film, I would have howled...

Korean films are hard to dissect and analyze with brain.
My heart responds faster than my brain.
Their actings are so intense...hard to explain.

I remember more memorable Korean films than Hollywood ones.

If you haven't seen this movie,
I wanna recommend to check out da film with your loved ones!!! Two thumbs up.
(Sorry for the long writing.)

Stella said...

hi I saw this movie in k-town in LA a few weeks ago. it was kind of sad yet funny and reminded me a lot of the day after tomorrow.

overall my grandmother & mom really enjoyed watching this korean movie.

아이스Aiseu said...

I love the movie.
It is heavily Korean-scented. ^^
Being always expose to movies that focuses on disasters only, i find this quite different and surprised me compare to the others. It talks more on the human interaction and how tsunami actually comes to destroy it and bring hardships to the love ones.

hanys said...

just watch the movie. i really admit bout K-movie on emotions. how come they can make us fell so funny, we laugh, we annoy, we fell sorry, we fell in love and we fell badly sad.. i love lee min ki's part.. so funny, yet so touching. and i cry on their part a lot, during lee min ki cut his rope, during the watch alarms at 3pm, she cried, i cried too. gosh!

eonjehna said...

'haeundae' was okay. sitting through it reminded me of 'vertical limit', 'perfect storm', and 'day after tomorrow'. the interpersonal stories were pretty good, but at the end, did the ajumma who passed on the bus outing with her friends so she could go and buy her son some shoes ... did she die? the son was cradling her funeral photo at the end, but i could have sworn she didn't die ....


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