REVIEW: My Annoying Brother (형)

“My Annoying Brother” Director Kwon Soo-Kyung takes the story of estranged brothers who find themselves living together and lets it unfold into a friendship that brings them peace.

Do Kyung-soo of the KPOP band EXO is paired with Jo Jung-suk as half brothers brought together by a tragic judo accident. It renders Do’s character Doo-young, blind and essentially helpless. In a deep depression and alone, Doo-young’s con artist brother Doo-shik (Jo), is paroled from prison to care for him. Doo-shik sees it as a chance for another con. Doo-young just wants to live in darkness.

Slowly the brothers find a way to each other and it’s pretty funny how food plays a role in doing so. Let’s be real, food heals. They go from dry ramyeon to some jjajangmyun that Doo-young recognizes with his new heightened sense of smell. It’s these little bonding moments that inspire Doo-shik to be a better man, but it’s still a trying time. He’s having to let go of the easy conning life he led and incorporate it into being Doo-young’s new set of eyes.

When Doo-young’s judo coach, Soo-hyun (Park Shin Hye) sees an opportunity for him to participate in the paralympic games in Rio, she sets to convince him to do it. She’s not without reservations. She’s been doing what she can to take care of Doo-young, but turns to Doo-shik to help. It is this opportunity that I think furthers the evolution of the sibling’s relationship.

Park’s role as coach is a nice addition for a predominantly male cast. She does get called something like “Beauty Coach” because of her looks, which bugs me, but she plays it off with a performance that shows she’s earned her place on the team.

Some Korean drama viewers might recognize Lee Do-yeon from Let’s Eat in a small, but comedic role. The scene is a little cringeworthy, but the subsequent moments with the brothers help get over it.

I was also happily surprised knowing that Do and Jo are both from music backgrounds and this film doesn’t capitalize on it at all.

Do’s start to his acting career has been nothing short of impressive. It is something that it is not expected from a lot idol actors. He plays a newly blind person well, with the frustration and the stubbornness that comes from losing a part of your senses. To see him make his character take steps into accepting his new life is impressive. As a fan of EXO, I’m proud to see him do well.

Jo continues to be a the type of renaissance actor South Korea needs. His willingness to do roles outside of the norm is impressive. From musicals to dramas to film, he’s excellent and a pleasure to watch. I hope he continues on this path of doing multifaceted roles in his career and I hope others follow suit.

This is not a comedy. This is a drama about overcoming obstacles and seeing family (whether through blood or friendship) go through the process. It is bittersweet and lovely.

[KK Rating 4/5] – Laughter and tears of a real bromance.

Release Date: December 8, 2016 in Los Angeles & Dallas, and Toronto. Check for more info and times.
Production: Good Choice Cut Pictures
Running Time: 110 MinutesNot rated, but possibly PG13 for adult language.

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