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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Rockin' on heaven's door (2013)


Country:
South-Korea
Format: movie
Genre: life&death, music
Cast: Lee Hong Ki, Baek Jin Hee, Ma Dong Seok, Lim Woo Hee, Jeon Min Seo, Lee Min Ah, Kwak Ja Hyoung, Yoo Jae Myung, Kim Hyeon Ah,
Synopsis: Chong Ui is young idol whose temper gets him on the wrong side with law, for punishment he is made to work as an volunteer at hospital, where all patients are terminally ill. With ups and downs he starts to understand how to cope with life, death, grief and fulfilling everyone's dreams.
Rating: 4/5
If you want to cry then this is the movie. You better buy a lot of tissues before watching it. I waited this movie to finally have subs for so long that I felt that I go insane, but the wait was worth it. This is definitely one of the most heartwarming movie about life and death.. and I start to cry again..

Chong Ui at first is cocky full of himself idol, who finds all chores disgusting and wants to run away from there. After getting to know patients stories, their laughs and worries, he grows attached to them and the way he sees things changes. He rediscovers himself, music and the meaning of life. I must say that with his character it is a bit usual "bad guy with childhood trauma turns to good" in the end.
Of course this trauma still haunts his memories, but only after staying some time in hospice he starts to see things from the other side. Lee Hong Ki has a habit of picking roles where he still can be an idol ("Bride on the century" is a big exception) which is kind of a sad thing as it does not show the variety of his acting skills, but maybe it is just his way to show the world which kind of life he is living most of the time.. though it is more understandable when he takes those roles because he just knows how to act it.
The leading lady Anna was with much more surprising story than it seemed. She is not impressed by Chong Ui and makes him do things that go against his will, but at the same time she is one who makes him change the most. Despite acting out as another volunteer, in reality she is also a patient in the hospice with last stage cancer. Her view of Chong Ui changes as he starts to show what kind of guy he is deep inside. I really enjoyed watching Baek Jin Hee in this role, but I think many others can pull it off also.
Ha Eun is the youngest of the patients, but she tries to look things in the brighter light. She starts to like Chong Ui from the first day, because she is amazed that she is able to meet with an idol in her life and well.. she does catch on camera him peeing on the field. But with her character writers bring us the parents decision "whether it is better to keep going under chemotherapy and get even 1% of hope, but let her suffer from side-effects, or let her live as long as she can? It is a difficult decision to make and there is no right answer. I think she made me cry the most. Jeon Min Seo makes a marvelous performance, I do not know if it was acting or just her charm, but I think she starred the most.
I think the next actor who ruled this movie was Ma Dong Seuk in role of Moo Sung. Moo Sung is former gangster, who makes Chong Ui clear on the first day who is the boss and Chong Ui basically becomes his cigarette-machine. He does not have much patience and sometimes over-reacts due to it, but under Moo Sung's harsh appearance, he has a big heart. Even his constant fights with Bong Sik come out of friendship.  
Bong Sik wanted to be an singer, but he never got his big break. After becoming ill, he started to regret not being there for his wife and his daughter, which makes him now work hard to earn money for her school fees. Actually the in first scenes I though that he is gay, but turned out not to be.
Him-Chan and his mom aka Power mom were also characters who made me cry a lot. In a way, they reminded Chong Ui his past and Power mom reminded his mom. I think that after talking to her, he become to feel things differently. In their case we can see the feelings of when parent is ill and needs to leave her child. It is again really difficult every parent wants their children to have a happy secure life and to protect them, but how can they do it when they are fighting with time.
But as it has been said before by some others, this movie is really not so much about the death itself as we all die someday, but it is about how we live. I hope that all my readers will live a happy life without regrets and watch a lot of movies/dramas :P It is really great movie and definitely worth watching.



SPOILER-review: If there was something that I did not like at all, it must have been the confession. I know that it was just to express his feelings and he knew that there is no possible way for them, but it felt too out of blue and not so important in this scene context. Though, the real end was the saddest - to see the people on the photos changing..

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