Wednesday, February 23, 2005

A Flash Fiction by Marcelle T. Fabie, inspired by Tae-Hyun Cha’s “Crazy First Love”

How could you? I lived my life for you!

I love him.

He doesn’t love you! He just…

I don’t care.

Please. Don’t go through with this.

This isn’t the first time I’m sleeping with him, you know.

Fine! Be that way, then! I hope you’re happy now with what you’ve done to me, after all these years I’ve pined for you!

As he turns to walk away, she lightly wipes a tear from her eye with her handkerchief. The unmistakable stain of blood on the cloth was beginning to spread all over the erstwhile white handkerchief.

.:Film Review: Crazy First Love:.


Crazy First Love
What's with all these three-word titles for these romantic flicks?

In the tradition of the mentally deranged yet endearing male lead characters of Korean romantic comedies, Tae-hyun Cha stars as Sohn Tae-Il in this wackily endearing film, “Crazy First Love”.

The premise is quite simple: Tae-Il and Il-Mae were childhood friends who were both breastfed by Tae-Il's mother. One time, Il-Mae's father promised his daughter's hand to Tae-Il the moment he had reached, err... puberty. Tae-Il kept that promise to heart and took it up with his would-be father-in-law the moment he was thirteen, and then took it upon himself to revolt against Il-Mae's father every chance he got, as he was Tae-Il's homeroom teacher.

Tae-Il was brash, unruly, but affectionate. He really liked Il-Mae and took on Il-Mae's father's challenge: if he were to reach the top 3,000 of the students who'd take entrance tests in Korea, then he would finally win Il-Mae's hand in marriage. Lo and behold, after eating hundreds of pieces of paper and bleeding his nose for two years, he finally succeeded in matching Il-Mae's scores, and even ended up in Law School. In between, he attempts to kidnap Il-Mae because her dad attempted to balk on his promise again, and even had a run-in with a gang boss who laments the sad state of the education system now. At least he finished high school before becoming a gangster...

In college, Tae-Il made a promise to Il-Mae's father to watch his daughter like a hawk and keep her a virgin until Tae-Il could marry her. This situation led to a funny role reversal where Il-Mae was the one who had “too much testosterone” and Tae-Il was the one successfully suppressing his desires.

After some time and Tae-Il finally took the first level bar exam and passed it, he tried to surprise Il-Mae by proposing to her only to find out that she already wants to marry someone else. What Tae-Il doesn't know is that Il-Mae was actually dying of the same sickness that her mother died of. From here, the film turned into a genuine romantic comedy with a heart that really just hit me.

Tae-Il lived his life for Il-Mae, only to find out that she wants to be married to someone else. He never knew of Il-Mae's situation, and decided to let her be happy and leave her alone.

But you see, if you knew that one person you're willing to love for the rest of your life were dying, would that be enough reason to stop you from loving that person? Would you just live happily if you let that one person you truly loved pushed you away to spare you from that kind of pain? Of course not, on both counts.

I really think that this film was a perfect mix of romance, comedy, and drama, although the comedy side left a lot to be desired. Truth be told, I found Tae-Il's brash approach to things to be rather overacting, and I didn't especially appreciate it when he hit Il-Mae at one point in the film, although I realized it was a necessity to advance his character as someone who did all that he did because he loved her. There truly are few people on this planet left who would be capable of doing what he did for her, and sadly, those few people are the very same people who never get loved in return, so his ending was perfect, as they never showed if Il-Mae got cured of her disease.

The film was heartwarming, for the most part. It wasn't heavy on the drama the way “Windstruck” was, nor was it heavy on the theme itself the way “Sex Is Zero” was. In my opinion, though, my favorite character in this film was Il-Mae's father, who loved his daughter and his late wife like no one could. I was amused at how his character progressed from being antagonistic yet fatherly towards Tae-Il to being practically a pimp to his daughter for Tae-Il, although without compromising his clear affection for his daughter, to the point that Il-Mae wished Tae-Il would not be like her father, because she knew that her death would devastate her father. This dad reminds me of someone in real life, though, if only for how wacky this real-life dad really is...

If only the comedy were up to par with this film's heartwarming moments, then maybe I'd have liked it better. I think that the slapstick comedy and the tired and old way of getting laughs from the audience didn't do the trick here, although I'm curious as to whether or not Koreans really eat pieces of paper when studying to memorize it. I saw the same practice in “Please Teach Me English”. Regardless if the comedy wasn't so great, though, the rest of the film worked and delivered quite a strong performance.

Marcelle's “Fun” Rating: A/A+
Marcelle's “Critical” Rating: B+

No comments: