Korean Movie: …ing (2003)
“…ing, oddly as it sound but yet a highly engaging romantic melodrama about living life one day at a time. Kang Min-Ah (Im Soo-Jung from A Tale of Two Sisters) is a pretty teenager who has had the misfortune of spending most of her life in hospitals, especially during her formative years. Min-Ah has a deformed hand, and unbeknownst to her, a terminal illness within her. However, Min-Ah’s single mother Mi-Sook (Lee Mi-Sook) does know the truth and keeps it hidden from her daughter, instead trying to turn this negative fact into positive motivation. Although hurting on the inside, Mi-Sook puts on a brave face, encouraging her daughter to take life by the horns and live in the here and now. Min-Ah is skeptical, but soon finds the possibilities of life re-opening to her.
Soon enough, a photographer named Young-Jae (Kim Rae-Won from My Little Bride) enters both of their lives by moving into the downstairs apartment. Upon seeing her, Young-Jae immediately does his best to win Min-Ah’s attention, engaging in a series of well-intentioned, but slightly juvenile acts that he hopes will make her change her mind about him. Although highly resistant at first, Min-Ah eventually caves in to Young-Jae’s goofily charming persistence, and the two embark on a tentative friendship. Much to the delight of her mother, the friendship between Min-Ah and Young-Jae eventually turns to love (albeit chaste), and they soon plan a trip to Hawaii together. But with the bitter realities of Min-Ah’s fatal illness looming low on the horizon, one begins to wonder if the budding couple will be able to make it to Hawaii before it’s too late.”
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…ing is a nice and romantic movie. But beware, this movie is at the lower end of the happinesd-o-meter. The film’s plot doesn’t rely solely on the romance element, but instead gives equal, if not more time, to the unconventional mother-daughter relationship. Because Min-Ah was deprived of friends her own age due to her constant trips to the hospital, her mother asks to be called by her first name, becoming, in effect, Min-Ah’s “best friend” from an early age. Yup, you can try calling your mom or dad with their first name. Hehe. But even so, the way in which the two characters interact as mother and daughter comes across rather realistically, and Mi Sook’s occasional deadpan “revelations” to her daughter always make for entertaining comic digressions. This movie also shows how a photographer captures the beautful moments of the girl’s life. Although the specter of Min-Ah’s possible death is ever-present in the narrative, …ing is still able to convey a real sense of warmth, humor, and believability, thus making …ing a poignant, yet highly enjoyable cinematic experience. If you’re a fan of this type of movie, then …ing won’t disappoint. A nice movie worth watching. Oh ya, I like one of the songs in the movie.
Rating: 8 out of 10