k-movie · review

So Ji Sub and Han Hyo Joo Make Lovely, Bittersweet Always Worth Watching

We are finally bringing you the review of a classic romantic movie Always starring the amazing Han Hyo Joo and So Ji Sub – the movie which gathered more than a million of viewers in 2011.

This was yet another movie on the to-watch list my mom and I have and I’m so glad we finally got around to watching it because it’s one of the simplest yet loveliest movies I’ve seen in a while. Both So Ji Sub and Han Hyo Joo are amazing actors and I had my expectations positioned high due to this fact but the plot also seemed rather simple so I wasn’t sure what Always will actually bring. In the end, Always not only exceeded my expectations but it also made me cry on several occasions. If you like heartfelt movies about people just trying their best in this weird world – this is your film. Let’s review.

From MyDramaList: Having closed himself away from the world, former boxer Chul Min starts a new job as a parking lot attendant. One night, a visually impaired young woman, Jung Hwa, walks into his tollbooth to watch television with him. Jung Hwa’s bright spirit and smile in the face of adversity reach through to Chul Min’s heart and shine a ray of hope into both their lives, but their love and happiness may be short-lived.

No spoilers ahead – proceed freely:

Source: dalpengi on Tumblr

The best thing about Always has to be the acting. So Ji Sub was great in his role of a lone and tormented wolf but Han Hyo Joo definitely stole the spotlight as the sweet Jung Hwa who, despite her own issues and rapidly deteriorating eyesight, manages to bring sunshine into his life and something to hope for. Always starts rather abruptly with the characters meeting right away for the first time and while this might not be the approach I expected Always definitely knew what it was doing – the slow progress of their relationship, the ups and downs when they’re alone and when they’re together, the uncertainty regarding future… everything was done so well.

I really liked the way the backstories and characteristics of both Jung Hwa and Chul Min were coming to light the deeper we went into the movie. Regardless of the fact that we don’t know these characters right away, it was impossible not to like them – you will just have to root for them both individually and as a team. Chul Min gets his icy, reserved mask melted more and more while Jung Hwa tries to come to terms with her own issues and progressively deteriorating eyesight which was really sad to witness. For every sweet moment, there is another, realistically gutting one that reminds you the world isn’t such an easy and nice place. Seeing them encounter obstacles which could’ve been fatal for both of them was heartbreaking and the dramatic aspect of the movie.

Source: dalpengi on Tumblr

In the end, Always reminded me that the point in life might be just living and experience those small moments and segments of happiness that come in between realistic sadness and obstacles. Simply finding this fundamental, seemingly simple happiness and peace could be enough to go through everything and endure all the pain. Han Hyo Joo’s portrayal of Jung Hwa especially blew me away and made me truly connect with this character and her story – her happiness felt like my own, her pain and issues raw and relatable. The last section of the movie when everything reaches its ending truly showcased her acting talent and made me cry both from sadness and relief.

Always is a lovely, realistically bittersweet movie worth your time, especially if you like this kind of stories – the acting done by our main actors was amazing and the chemistry and connection between them fantastic. Even though it might be simple in its story Always definitely ranks high on my favourite k-movies list with a 9.5/10 rating. This is one of those films I’d gladly rewatch no matter how sad they’d made me feel.

Header Image Source: HB Entertainment

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4 thoughts on “So Ji Sub and Han Hyo Joo Make Lovely, Bittersweet Always Worth Watching

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