Once in a Summer (2006)

Director: Jo Geun Sik
Casts: Lee Byung Hun and Soo Ae
Genre: Romance
Running Time: 121 minutes

Professor Yun Suk Young (Lee Byung Hun) is asked to appear on the show which helps locate long lost persons. The person he wants to see again is based on his past. 1969 is the year when President Park Chung Hee’s dictatorship has provoked a backlash among angry students. Suk Young and his friends decide to go on a summer retreat in the countryside since Seoul is getting intense. In the countryside, they help a rural village to keep up with the modern society. Suk Young met a pretty local girl, Seo Jung In (Soo Ae). Even though she’s not interested in him who is from a well-to-do family, he falls in love with her. Within their love story, her secrets about her family and the history in the village revealed as it affect their relationship. Also, the political climate gets worse which they have to overcome with it.

A sweet and heartbreaking romance which makes my heart goes from happy to sad. At the beginning, Suk Young and Jung In becomes acquaintances, to friends, and then to lovers. Before I talk about this, let’s talk about the community in the rural village and countryside. I, myself a city girl, love to travel and explore the countryside where the wonders of nature and fresh air are. I love how the community are happy with their daily lives. Even the guys from Seoul open their eyes to something which they have never seen before like theatre screens and television. All of them help each other to make the whole village jovial. I would love to experience a little bit at the countryside and enjoy the nature and its community.

Now, onward to the love story of Suk Young and Jung In. At the beginning, it was funny to see the both of them together. Suk Young tries to be the ‘boy next door’ to make Jung In’s smile. Jung In is the shy and sweet person yet he opens his exposure to the countryside. They talk, laugh, and enjoy the sweet moments together. My two favourite parts are by the lake and watching the movie together in their own personal space. Then, the love finally blossomed when Suk Young returns to her and embraces which makes my flutter. But then, my heart starts to break when things start to get rough between them especially during the political breakout and how Jung In leaves him for his own good. I was clenching my heart so tight while watching the both of them break apart. Basically, from there till the very end, I cried. I really cried and it was a good one. So, this love story basically touches me emotionally.

Lee Byung Hun is one of my favourite actors. Besides his manly voice, I can feel his pain when he portrays Suk Young who can’t leave Jung In. Even when he cries, I cry. Seriously. The way how he shows his intense emotions pierce through my heart. I laughed when I see the smile on his face. In his previous films, most of them are action. But for this film, I can see the other side of him with laughter and sadness when it comes to melodrama and romance. He’s one great actor which I truly admired. On the other hand, Soo Ae is another great actress that touches my heart with her smile. If I were a guy, I would fall for her not because of her look but because of her sincere feelings and emotions which portray a shy local girl in this film. She has brightened my day whenever I see her. Like Lee Byung Hun, she’s the ‘girl next door’.

I’m going to be really honest. My mind is blown away and I’m still thinking about that film. My heart breaks whenever I think about it. I can’t forget about that film. I’m even shaking whenever I think about seeing both Suk Young and Jung In separated. This film made me cry in tears. So, I think you should get tissues to wipe your tears and hold on to something. You will be happy at the beginning but you will definitely cry later on.

Rating: 10/10

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