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FilmsAsia: Asian film reviews
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   Someone Special  



 

Someone Special

Reviewed by Adrian Sim

Director: Jang Jin
Writing Credits: Jang Jin
Starring: Jeong Jae-yeong, Lee Na-yeong, Kim Hye-na
Genre: Romantic comedy
Country: South Korea
Language: Korean
Year released: 2004
Runtime: 107 min

Someone Special is that special movie about people who normally wouldn't be regarded as "special." Playing against the tired conventions of the typical Korean romantic comedy, Someone offers a lot of refreshing ideas that sometimes, aren't as well executed as they have been ebulliently conceived.

Presumably, to really enjoy and appreciate Someone, one needs to have a good idea of how the Korean romantic comedy works as Someone's fun lies in skewing these preconceptions. For a start, the two romantic leads are exceedingly ordinary. They look bland and definitely people whom you would not take a second look on the streets (ok, I think the female lead is gorgeous but just made up to look really dowdy). They lead boring and lonely lives. They do not have high aspirations. They are losers in their love lives. But...the biggest surprise of all is their love affair only starts at the end of the movie.

Someone is at heart, a sharp satire of the Korean romantic comedy genre...and it is certainly a bold and commendable move to offer something new to audiences. However, it tends to sidetrack its noble concerns at times with a few inane subplots and utterly contrived twists.

I would have preferred if it ditched the much too coincidental murder cum theft subplot and concentrated on developing the main love story. What works quite terrifically for Someone is the magical realism, the film-with-a-film references and flashing out the idiosyncrasies of the leads (the boy is bad-tempered and the girl is creepy in a psychopathic stalker way).

Despite lurching at spots, Someone is still worth watching. It is that reassuring film we need once in a while to remind us that life is still worth living, for that special someone out there even when there is nothing much left for us in the world.