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Pretty 'Daisy' Pretty Flimsy

2006/03/09 | 151 views | Permalink | Source

By Kim Tae-jong
Staff Reporter

At a glance, Daisy seems to be a pretty and attractive concept, with big, good-looking stars Jung Woo-sung and Jun Ji-hyun and acclaimed Hong Kong director Andrew Lau. It also gets an exotic touch from the beautiful backdrop of Amsterdam.

But despite of all these seemingly good ingredients, which suggest it could become the next pan-Asia movie hit, the film falls flat due to its weak and somewhat predictable story.

The film tells the story of a love triangle between three Koreans living in a foreign city _ a female painter, a professional killer and an international detective _ whose fates are intertwined.

Hye-young (played by Jeon) is a street painter and works at her grandfather's antique shop. She starts receiving daisies from a mysterious stranger at 4:15 p.m. every day. Curiously, she waits for him to show up.

Pak-ui (Jeong), the sender, is a hitman belonging to a Chinese crime gang. He falls in love with Hye-young for her pure and innocent appearance, which contrasts with the cruel world he inhabits. However, he can't confess his love and simply sends her flowers every day, instead.

But this routine is broken when international detective Sung-wu (Lee Sung-jae) enters the scene. As he happens to show up with daisies in his hand, Hye-youg mistakes him for her mystery man, for whom she has long waited.

Apart from the overused storyline of the love triangle, the movie does offer several items that differ from what audiences might expect.

Director Andrew Lau is moderate in his use of action scenes compared to his previous action-packed films, such as the "Internal Affair" series and "Initial D", instead focusing on portraying the complicated emotions and inner conflicts of each character.

Most interestingly, Jun, playing a girl devoted to her love in this film, emerges from her somewhat stereotyped image and shows a different side from her previous roles in "My Sassy Girl" and "Windstruck", where she played a wacky girl with tomboy characteristics in her beautiful face.

But it seems that some part of the film's limitation comes from the script written by Kwak Jae-yong, who wrote and directed "My Sassy Girl" and "Windstruck". He may know how to appeal to Asian moviegoers, but this time he seems to have repeated the formula once too often. The result is that the film just gives the impression one is watching a commercial or a trendy music video featuring big stars, far from being original.

The film once again proves that even superb ingredients and a famous cook can't make a delicious meal if the recipe is bad.

Daisy is now being shown at local theaters and will be released in Hong Kong and China on April 13 and in Japan on May 27.

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