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'Over the Rainbow' shows unexpected love

2004/07/23 | 361 views | Permalink | Source

Good-looking lead actors, a pastel colored poster and a haunting melody of "Over the Rainbow" from "The Wizard of Oz" are all stock-standard ingredients of a typical romantic comedy. However, Ahn Jin-woo's directorial debut, "Over the Rainbow" (2002) modifies this formula somewhat by handing a jigsaw puzzle to viewers.

Starring Lee Jung-jae ("Oh! Brothers" and "Interview") as weatherman Jin-soo, the film begins with his involvement in a car accident. Not seriously injured, he quickly returns to work, but during a chat with his friends, Jin-soo realizes he is suffering from partial amnesia.

With the memories of his college years gone, he learns from his pals that he had had a crush on a woman, but because of his secretive character, Jin-soo had kept even his close friends in the dark about her identity. All his friends can tell Jin-soo about the mysterious woman, is that she goes by the alias of "Rainbow".

Jin-soo's memories are scattered like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, but with the help of his friends he begins to meet every woman who was in his life in an effort to discover his "Rainbow". In the process, viewers also begin to gradually piece the puzzle together.

Jin-soo's investigation sees progress after he bumps into college friend Yeon-hee played by Jang Jin-yeong ("Singles" and "The Foul King"). Yeon-hee works for the Lost and Found center at a subway station, carefully handling lost items there, thinking they were once someone's cherished belongings.

It is somewhat natural, therefore, for Yeon-hee to work to help Jin-soo regain his memories. Whenever a funny episode regarding Jin-soo and his faceless lover comes to mind, Yeon-hee shares the stories with him.

Meanwhile, the two begin to feel chemistry between them. However, they soon tumble across conclusive evidence that identifies "Rainbow" and embroils them in a dilemma. Jin-soo, who always forecasts the next day's weather, determines Yeon-hee is more important than a past love he no longer remembers. However, past-oriented Yeon-hee tells Jin-soo to pursue his memories, including "Rainbow".

As the story develops, viewers can easily guess that Yeon-hee is "Rainbow". Nonetheless, the intriguing flashback techniques are worth seeing, recalling scenes from Shunji Iwai's " Love Letter " (1995). And for those who are more into love story and feel-good movies than gangster or thriller genres, "Over the Rainbow" is recommended. Director Ahn also adapted the screenplay for this film.

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