Remember that movie called The Lake House starring Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves? Well, it’s actually based on a Korean love story, Il Mare, where a magical mailbox allows two individuals to communicate despite being two years apart in time.
The overall theme in Il Mare is that love transcends temporal restrictions. While the movie did have some good elements, it was generally average.
These are the worst and best aspects of the film:
Directed in 2000 by Lee Hyun-seung and starring Ji-hyun Jun and Jung-jae Lee, the narrative is pleasant, but nothing is truly astounding about the film. A bit clichéd and predictable at times, Il Mare – which translates to “the sea” in Italian – is, at its core, a romance.
The acting by Ji-hyun is rudimentary at the beginning but gradually improves as the plot progresses; Jung-jae is far more natural in his delivery.
Overall, the storyline develops quite slowly, but this is a trait of most films made in the 1990s and early 2000s. The camera techniques that are deployed are intriguing but sometimes also dizzying for the audience to watch. For example, there is a scene where Sung-hyun (played by Jung-jae) runs up the bridge leading to the house and the camera follows him at a fast pace, showing the floor of the bridge as it blurs with the movement. This is difficult to view and makes you slightly motion sick.
In Il Mare, the supernatural elements are subtle enough to remain marginally believable, and the scenic shots of the beach and Ji-hyun riding her bicycle make the film aesthetically enjoyable.
That said, one of the best parts of Il Mare was the script. Poetic and heartfelt, it is well-written, featuring descriptive lines such as, “We’re tormented because love goes on, not because it goes away.”
If you want to watch Il Mare, you can catch it on 8 July at 4pm at Olive Schreiner Hall at the Monument.
By Kayleigh Damita