“The most beautiful day in my life” – Rediscovering ‘…ing’ (South Korea 2003 – 104 mins)

Posted in Rediscover by - July 14, 2014
“The most beautiful day in my life” – Rediscovering  ‘…ing’  (South Korea  2003 – 104 mins)

Moving, without being overly sentimental, the rather cryptically titled drama ‘…ing’, is another of those beautiful life-affirming movies that South Korea seems to be so good at making.

Living with a genetic disease, young Min-ah has been in and out of hospital for most of her life. With a deformed hand and terminal illness, she lives an orderly existence with her mother, knowing that each day is precious to them both. When a brash young man moves into the apartment downstairs, and begins showing an interest in her, Min-ah is slowly brought out of her shell, but reluctant to further this budding friendship, due to the uncertainty of her own future.

A simple story that says so much about relationships and love, ‘…ing’ never goes for the easy syrupy option, but layers the story with much warmth and humour. However, there is a rather moving sub-plot involving the often sad and mournful crossing-guard at Min-ah’s school. This character seems to be a metaphor for lost and enduring love, as he ensures that the students arrive safely at their destination, while he himself is stuck at his own life’s crossing.

Looking younger than her 23 years, Su-jeong Lim is wonderful as Min-ah, portraying the right amount of sadness and vulnerability to her loner character. Su-jeong’s other big film that year was the hypnotic horror- mystery ‘A Tale of Two Sisters’, only this time she was involved in a rather less loving family situation. As Min-ah’s devoted and rather ‘hip’ mother, Mi-suk Lee is wonderful, and between them, they portray a lovingly realistic mother-daughter relationship. A lovely, poignant moment has Min-ah, being driven home by her mum, glancing over at her before smiling, then gently resting her head on her lap. A simple moment that says so much. This movie was also a far cry from Mi-suk’s other role that year, in the controversial ‘Untold Scandal’, a very good Korean take on ‘Dangerous Liaisons’. As Min-ah’s photographer boyfriend, Kim Rae-won is extremely likable, providing most of the film’s humour, while giving Min-ah some hope and optimism.

‘…ing’ was the debut feature for young director Eon-hie Lee. Her only other movie to date is the 2007 chick flick ‘Love Exposure’. The movie also features a gorgeous piano soundtrack which is put to good use during a scene in the rain where Su-jeong breaks down, not for herself but for the sad story of the school’s crossing guard.

The title’s meaning is unsure, but it may represent the movie’s main themes of ‘Living’, ‘Loving’, and sadly; ‘Dying’. Whatever its true meaning is, ‘…ing’ is another emotional roller-coaster from South Korea, and it remains one of my favourite foreign language drama’s. A beautiful film about living in the moment, for the future for us all is never certain.

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