In her first feature length film, director Lee Yoon-Jung transforms her short movie of the same name into a tale of romance and loss. Remember You (also known as Don’t Forget Me) stars Jung Woo Sung as Seok-won and in her first film in about 5 years, Kim Ha Neul as Jin-young.
We open with Seok-won in a police station submitting his own missing person report. This segues to a scene playing in reverse to when he has an accident and then the subsequent recovery process. In passing, this is where we first see Jin-young.
Because of the accident, Seok-won’s memories are faded and odd. He feels misplaced with people telling him about his life. He’s taken all the tests and by all accounts, he’s fine. The last 10 years are gone. Only to pop up randomly like getting a word to form from Scrabble tiles.
I lost my memory, but since I had to live, I trained myself to return to my normal life.
Everything else was fine, but strangely enough, cars were still difficult.
The totem in the movie seems to be puzzle pieces. They are woven in with Seok-won’s life. Pieces at work. Pieces at home. Pieces in memories.
When you see Jin-young running into Seok-won, it seems calculated. Their initial “meeting” is at a mental health clinic, but the curiosity is piqued.
Their romance is fast and affectionate. Sometimes bold and knowing. There’s still an emptiness and still questions. Being told how someone used to be without easing them into their memories is interesting as it is frustrating. Woo Sung is gloriously handsome and at the same time he plays the character troubled. When fragments of Seok-won’s former life do come back, he captures it like someone who looks into a mirror, only to see a stranger.
Ha Neul’s role is devastating. As Jin-young, she’s pretty and calm. When you realize the tragic twist, you know she had to play it carefully. It was all a matter of time and space, opportunity and loss.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Lim Ju-eun, who I adored in the 2012 drama Wild Romance and Jang Young Nam who has been in several other dramas that I have enjoyed over the years. If there is anything that I really like about Korean films, it is when I see some of my favorite drama actors in them.
The movie itself is beautifully filmed. The colors are subdued with green tones throughout it. The acting is subtle and raw. This is not a romance. It is a drama about love, tragedy and how people want to remember you.
The movie is 106 minutes. No MPAA rating, but it feels like a PG13 for some language.
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