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Remember You - Movie Poster
Original Title:
Na-leul ij-ji mal-ah-yo

South Korea 2016

Genre:
Drama, Romance

Director:
Lee Yoon-jeong

Cast:
Jeong Woo-seong
Kim Ha-neuln
Bae Seong-woo
Jang Young-nam
Jo I-jin
Lim Joo-eun


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Remember You

Remember You - Film Screenshot 1

Story: Seok-won (Jeong Woo-seong) can't remember the last ten years of his life. He had a car accident and since that day his memories of the past ten years have been erased. He feels like a stranger in his own apartment and when his friend Kwon-ho (Bae Seong-woo) comes over he first doesn't recognize him. Since both of them also studied together he eventually can put a name on his face, and that he works with Kwon-ho at a law firm doesn't surprise him either since he remembers that they had their exam together. Seok-won lacks experience in his job, but he still has all the tools he needs. His most recent case revolves around a husband who vanished in thin air and probably has been murdered. The case gives him quite some headache and his client wants him to get a certificate from a doctor that he is really able to work. At the psychiatrist Seok-won meets Jin-yeong (Kim Ha-neul) who eventually leaves her pills behind. The next day Jin-yeong visits the lawyer and wants to fetch her pills he took. There is soon a strong intimacy between the two and their relationship develops very fast. However, Jin-yeong behaves quite strange and Seok-won is still trying to regain his memory.

Remember You - Film Screenshot 2 Remember You - Film Screenshot 3
Remember You - Film Screenshot 4

Review: Let's be absolutely honest. When a movie is titled "Remember You" we know way in advance that in the end everything will become quite melodramatic. Put against this background you could almost say that this drama sort of pulls itself together and isn't as corny as it could have been. But as always with Korean dramas this doesn't mean much. Well produced and with well familiar faces leading the cast the movie actually can't truely disappoint, even the less since it is clearly tailored to genre fans. There is still a lack of depth, though. Furthermore, the movie loses its focus way too often and in a carefree manner heads into just any direction, until the screenplay sets another focal point. On the one hand that's irritating and on the other hand it also doesn't aid the screenplay to really capture the audience with the story.

Port of Call - Film Screenshot 5

Seeing Jeong Woo-seong with his devoted puppy eyes as he is wandering through the streets desoriented while playing the narrator and telling us that he has serious problems with his memory, you will instantly feel reminded of "A Moment to Remember" in which he played the lead as well, with the small difference that back then his female partner played the one suffering from Alzheimer's disease. As soon as the story unfolds question marks start to pop up, though. The way the different individuals act is very odd. Jin-yeong visits a psychiatrist and has to take medicine which is why we can somehow understand her strange behavior. But Seok-won suffers from amnesia, which is why it's everything but plausible that he engages in a romantic relationship with a woman right away. Especially since that relationship develops with an enormous pacing. That's simply alienating.

Port of Call - Film Screenshot 6

At least there is an explanation for this towards the end, which is somewhat plausible - within the framework of a drama, that is. But until the resolution the pacing the relationship thrives is just too fast as if playing something three times the normal speed. And let's talk about the resolution some more. It tries to explain all the events leading up to it and of course it also resolves the trauma which is responsible for Seok-won's amnesia. After all, it's pretty obvious that it's not just an accident which caused it. Ultimately, we watch dramas to be drowned in tears, right? Well, most people anyway. Everything ultimately leads to those tears. Yet, it all seems so fake and melodramatic that you can't really consider it a well done resolution. Only the many scenes along the way can be understood as some nice hints to Seok-won's past retrospectively.

Port of Call - Film Screenshot 7

Kim Ha-neul ("Blind", "Almost Love") delivers a neat performance with her portrayal and shows the necessary amount of emotional vulnerability. Jeong Woo-seong ("The Divine Move", "Cold Eyes") is overrated as an actor and his emotional moments are proof of that. Furthermore, his personality doesn't leave a homogeneous impression, although this might also be the ascribed to the screenplay, which simply misses elaborating Seok-won and leaves most things merely hinted at. At least, there is nothing to criticize in technical respects. The pictures look polished and a neat drama atmosphere is created. Although, a lack of homogenity is apparent here as well. After all, the occasionaly added humorous moments are welcome, but they don't fit to the otherwise rather dismal tone, which every now and then is lightened up by romantic elements.

Port of Call - Film Screenshot 8 Port of Call - Film Screenshot 9

Port of Call - Film Screenshot 10

Moreover, "Remember Me" lacks well elaborated supporting characters. If no one else, Seok-won's friend seems to be quite interesting concerning his relationship to Seok-won. Still, he is a rather a heavy-handedly utilized gear in a story which focus lies solely on the two protagonists and directly aims at delivering a dramatic resolution. Taking a closer look, though, this very resolution turns out to be heavy-handed as well since it deliberately excludes a lot of alternative solutions for the then obvious problem, only to not pull the rug out from under whole story. This may be sufficient for the not so demanding drama fan, but it eventually shows that "Remember Me" really could have been more, if it hadn't relied too much on its premise and a resolution which probably has been considered smart by the director.

(Author: Manfred Selzer)
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