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  Publicity Stills of "Now and Forever"
(Courtesy from Cathay-Keris Films)

In Korean with English & Chinese Subtitles
Director: Kim Seong Jung
Starring: Choi Ji Woo, Jo Han-sun
RunTime: 1 hr 45 mins
Released By: Cathay-Keris Films
Rating: PG

Opening Day: 27 July 2006


Min-su, a playboy who believes there's no true love and it's just like a game, can't stand even a single relationship as it continues long. However the fate takes him to a dazzling beauty. Hye-won, who just escaped from the boring hospitaland she leaves a strong impression on Min-su. Again, chased by a nurse, as Hye-Won sneaks into the men's room at the hospital, their 2nd encounter is made. And Min-su gets totally captivated by this bold lady, although Hye won tries to resist him worrying that their love might expire soon due to her terminal disease.

Movie Review:

From afar, a tree stood alone at a small hill, overlooking a vast canvas of clear blue skies and sea beyond. Leaves are rustling and the tree’s swaying in the wind. In the next split second, the audience was introduced to Min-su (Jo Han-sin), the lead character, a playboy. And from there, the pace is set.

A guy from being an initial non-believer in love and a heart-wrecker, finally meeting his destiny match by falling in real love with a girl for the ever first time, yet fate cruelly plays out, not just either of but both; such a story may dauntingly seem like one of the many sad love movie out there. But there is always fresh way of thinking in story development and portrayal, and in certain situations, they're downright innovative. All thanks to the creative juices of the scriptwriter and the director – “Now and Forever”.

Be it Korean drama series or big-screen movies, excellent cinematography has always able to capture and deliver the extraordinary element out from ordinary, subtle backdrops. This movie was no exceptional too.

The first half of the “Now and Forever” was enjoyably hilarious and fun-filled with Hye-won’s occasional tricks of sneaking out of the hospital in disguises to avoid the security guard, subsequent bickering between the two love-birds etc. Besides the lead roles, Choi Ji Woo and Jo Han-sun being a compatible dynamic duo, the supporting cast e.g. the doctor and the matron are a good funny lot. Ji Woo and Han-sin had demonstrated great chemistry.

Just when the audience is having such a great time having gales of laughter, for a moment forgetting that it is not a comedy, this is when one is unabashedly brought back to the harsh reality. Sadness silently seeps in so quickly in the second half of the movie that you felt the heart helplessly falling into the endless pit.

Choi Ji Woo, last seen on our local TV in “Stairways to Heaven”, returns to Singapore with her latest work, this time on the big screen. Undeniably such genre is her unbeatable forte – it is not an understatement for her crown as its reigning Queen. Nevertheless, we would also like to see her venturing into different and perhaps more refreshing roles.

Tears flow as audience watched both the lead characters begin to lose the battle with the illness over the time and they are maximizing their remaining precious time together. More surprises and development begin to unfold.

Once again, the wind begins to blow and the director brings us back to the first scene. Walking towards the same old tree on the small hill, at a closer range, it was not just a tree but two trees that have grown so closely that they just seem like one whole big tree. Like an analogy of an endearing couple.

And the ending is astonishing!

Movie Rating:

(An amazingly sad love story unrivalled with its surprises and humour)

Review by Alicia Tee


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