The Harmonium in My Memory (1999)

Director: Lee Young Jae
Casts: Jeon Do Yeon, Lee Byung Hun, and Lee Mi Yeon
Genre: Romance
Running Time: 143 minutes

Kang Su Ha (Lee Byung Hun), who just graduated with a major in Education, comes to a small country town as a primary school teacher. A 17 year old student named Hong Yeon (Jeon Do Yeon) falls in love with Su Ha at first sight. However, Su Ha is interested in Yang Eun Hee (Lee Mi Yeon) who also comes as a new teacher on the same day as he does. Both Su Ha and Eun Hee share their love for music while Hong Yeon builds her own curiosity towards Su Ha.

This movie brought back to a time at a rural village with kids who want to have fun with education. It does remind you of the good old days of how we used to play around during our primary school. Also, it reminds of our childhood love’s (teachers and friends alike during that time. During the school days, key events were highlighted to help us recall our primary school memories such as sports day and going out for camping.

Su Ha is a sweet person who explores and develops his courage on how he wants to approach his students and love towards Eun Hee. It was interesting to see how he taught his students in improving their writing composition skills. This is done by encouraging them to write their daily lives in journals every day. I was surprised that even when Lee Byung Hun was young, he had a manly voice and charismatic smile that would make the ladies fall for him. He is sensitive and shows us that he can make us laugh.

On the other hand, I was impressed with how well Do Yeon acted even when she was young. She has the capability to portray a young student who falls in love with the teacher shows how jealous she is of what the teacher does. I love how she shares her stories in her diary, these made me smile especially when talking about Eun Hee. It’s the way the words are chosen and spoken that makes the whole film interesting. She portrays a student exploring the meaning of love and happiness in her youthful days. I will be looking forward to seeing what roles Do Yeon will be taking on in the next three months. KCCUK will be showcasing more films starring Jeon Do Yeon soon as she will be coming to the UK as part of the within Year of the 4 Actors.

This is a film with classic memories of our younger days with laughter and tears. Key events in school days were laid out appropriately giving it a good storyline. You have the shy but cheerful young girl and a handsome teacher with a manly voice. You have some old classic songs that we used to listen to when we were young. What more could you ask for? It takes us on a trip down the memory lane.

Rating: 8/10

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