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Original Title:
Nae yeojachingureul sogae habnida

South Korea 2004

Comedy, Romance, Action, Drama

Kwak Jae-young

Jeon Ji-hyun
Jang Hyuk
Kim Su-ro
Lee Ki-woo

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Story: Myung-woo (Jang Hyuk), a physics teacher, witnesses a woman getting stolen her handbag. Being the a duteos man he is he begins chasing the thief. But he didn't think of police woman Yeo Kyung-jin (Jeon Ji-hyun), who is off duty, yet also starts chasing the thief. Unfortunately, she wrongly takes Myung-woo for the culprit, and so Myung-woo finds himself at the police station after being hit by Yeo Kyung-jin several times. After every inconsistence has been resolved, they both go seperate ways again.
Later on, Myung-woo participates in a program that disciplines pupils. For this he has to go on patrol on the streets with an superior policeman. As chance would have it his superior is Yeo Kyung-jin, who doesn't waste any time to bust a drug deal, while at the same time she had inconsiderately handcuffed Myung-woo with herself so that he couldn't flee his "duty".
As Kyung-jin lost the keys, they both have to hang out together for a while and things start to evolve as they had to - the relationship between the two grows.

Review: Beforehand, I have to say that I wasn't aware while watching that "Windstruck" is from the same director who made "My Sassy Girl", namely Kwak Jae-young,. Accordingly, I didn't have any expectations and therefore wasn't disappointed by the movie as some other Kwak Jae-young fans surely were. Nevertheless, subsequently I can confirm that "Windstruck" isn't on the same quality level as "My Sassy Girl", but to be honest, that's rather difficult...
However, the movie doesn't get lost in the flood of trivial romance-movies that still hit Korea. For this the movie is just too... different...

The most obtrusive thing about "Windstruck" is that it's not your typical romance. And this is also one of the movie's upsides! At the same time, the genre-mix sometimes just seems to be too forced and gives the work a feeling of discontinuity. While the first two thirds of the movie are about the relationship between the two main protagonists, whereas neither stereotype moments nor some funny scenes are missing, the movie then suddenly turns into a drama. Anyway, let's start at the beginning.

The movie has a top-class cast and it shows.
Jeon Ji-hyun's role of police woman Yeo Kyung-jin at some points reminds us of her similar performance in "My Sassy Girl", mainly because of her harsh behavior and her vigorous appearance. Nevertheless, this provides us with some pretty good chuckles, but luckily in the course of the movie she proves, that her character isn't just a sort of stereotype of a role she already performed once. Nonetheless, the fact remains that no one looks that good being pissed off and furious as Jeon Ji-hyun!
Jang Hyuk also gives a solid performance and at some points he even surpasses himself. For example, there is the scene at the police station, where he acts as a lunatic criminal to get rid of a drug lord who threatens Yeo Kyung-jin.
All in all the chemistry between the two main protagonists is just right, and in the end that's essential for a good romance. But for some reason the final spark doesn't seem to ignite between the two.

"Windstruck" proves to have a great eye for details, and this leads to a relationship that grows within a believable setting. Even fantasy-elements have found their way into the movie, e.g. the tale of the prince and the princess (another example for the genre-mix), which shines with great settings and costumes.
Above all else, "Windstruck" knows how to charm you with its fantastic look, and proves once again that the director knows his stuff. Sadly, at the same time you have the impression that Kwak Jae-young didn't always knew where to go with his movie. There are a few dark and distressing scenes concerning a serial killer, and at some points there are scenes that pretty much remind us of a Michael Bay movie, including the typical overdone slow-mo and coolness. However, as already said, it's the small things that will keep the movie present in your mind for quite a while. A special mentioning deserves the good soundtrack, which can entertain with some familiar western pieces.

The only thing that really has to be criticized is one scene at the end, that seems to go on forever and which tries to go for some tears by shifting the mood and delivering absolutely overdone melodrama. Which ends up being nearly totally ludicrous...
Apart from that, the ending in general is far too conciliatory and feels artificial.
Opposite to that, a special cameo at the end of the movie is pretty charming. Anyway, it also leads to the question why Kwak Jae-young didn't work towards a little different ending that would have build a perfect bridge between "Windstruck" and one of his previous movies. Why he didn't go this way, retrospectively is very odd and disappointing for the viewer.

Even though "Windstruck" sometimes seems to be a little bit cheesy and also gets lost in too many different genres, the movie still has its moments and will stay in your head for at least a little while.
Great actors and a wonderful eye for details are the reasons why you will be entertained pretty good, although the movie proves to be not working that successful as a "sequel" to "My Sassy Girl". Anyway, it's recommendable!

(Author: Manfred Selzer)
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