Follow HanCinema
NewsLetter DailyWeekly
 
My HanCinema | Sign up, Why ? Your E-mail   Password    Auto| Help
HanCinema :: The Korean Movie and Drama Database, discover the South Korean cinema and drama diversity Contact HanCinema HanCinema on TwitterFaceBook HanCinema PageHanCinema on Twitter

Life's Little Melodramas at Age 9

2004/03/25 | 756 views | Permalink | Source

By Joon Soh
Staff Reporter

With their exaggerated relationships and overblown plots, there's something unrealistic, immature and, for many of us, slightly addictive about the romances portrayed in popular television dramas. "Ahopsal Insaeng (When I Turned Nine)", a new film opening today, literally brings out this childish side of melodramas in its look at life and love in an elementary school during the 1970s.

Though ostensibly a children's movie, "Nine" seems more of a film that adults would be interested in than younger viewers. A lot of the poignancy of the story stems from watching children maneuver the complicated waters of their feelings with the seriousness of adults.

The storyline follows your basic blueprint for romantic dramas. Yo-min (Kim Suk) comes from a poor family and has a mother with a disability but seems to have a good handle on his life and who he is. Endowed with an impressive ability to fight as well as a good head on his shoulders, Yo-min uses his powers for good only, protecting fellow classmates from older bullies and generally keeping the peace in the schoolyard.

All is well in our young hero's world until a new student arrives. At first, the children of the rural town don't know what to make of U-rim (Lee Se-young), a prim and proper young girl from Seoul. She seems to exude urban sophistication, but at the same time has more than her share of attitude and pride. However, for Yo-min, who has the luck to be seated next to her, it's love at first sight.

Using many of the conventions of melodramas, Yoon slyly plays off the irony stemming from the innocence of children playing adult games. Yo-min finds himself entangled in a love triangle between U-rim and Kum-bok (Nah A-hyeon), a close companion of Yo-min who has a secret crush on him, and their playground fights and arguments become transformed into little battles of will that can hold their own in any soap opera. The plot twists, romantic or otherwise, are kept relatively simple but remain engaging throughout.

While the film does have fun with the children, "Nine" doesn't stray too much into parody to make the story seem farcical. Director Yoon In-ho nicely complements the cuteness of the romantic drama with scenes from the village that feel more true to life. Especially the classroom scenes, which show the contradictory forces of cruelty and kindness in both students and teachers, give the film enough doses of reality to keep it grounded.

Attention You're reading the news with potential spoilers, make them spoiler free, dismiss


 

 

 Previous news
  • [Local Films With English Subtitles]
    2004/03/25 (Source)
    ▣ Salin-ui Chuok (Memories of Murder) (2003)
    Saturday at noon
    Seoul Selection Bookstore
    With the right combination of entertainment and social awareness, "Memories of Murder" became a huge hit last year, topping the local box office and sweeping most of the major film awards. Based on a r,...
    More

  • Free Outdoor Screening of 'Taegukgi' Rescheduled
    2004/03/24 (Source)
    A free outdoor screening of the blockbuster film "Taegukgi" will take place at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the public square located within Kyongbok Palace, Seoul, a week later than it was originally planned.
    The screening, which is to be held in celebration of the film reaching the 10-million-viewer mar,...
    More

  • Korean Film Highlighted at Philadelphia Festival
    2004/03/24 (Source)
    Philadelphia's film goers will have a feast of Korean cinema to choose from when the 13th Philadelphia Film Festival opens on April 8.
    South Korea is well represented with 11 features out of the 133 to be screened, including a special category called New Korean Cinema. The category's six films incl,...
    More

Subscribe to HanCinema Pure to remove ads from the website (not> for episode and movie videos) for US$0.99 monthly or US$7.99 yearly (you can cancel anytime). The first step is to be a member, please click here : Sign up, then a subscribe button will show up.

Settings

Remove ads

Sign up

Sharing

Activate

Spoilers

Visible, hide

Learn to read Korean in 90 minutes or less using visual associations

X