December 8, 2021

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Towards the end of 2020, prepare yourself to be “beaten” by a romantic drama film titled Josée

Towards the end of 2020, prepare yourself to be “beaten” by a romantic drama film titled Josée, a genre that is already familiar if produced by South Korea, the country that is the best at stirring up emotions for this one affair. The typical characteristic of Asian romance films is felt here, knowing that this film is a remake of a Japanese film of the same title which was released in 2003 but with a South Korean style of narrative. Josée itself is a short story by Seiko Tanabe entitled Joze to Tora to Sakana-tachi (Josée, The Tiger and The Fish) which was published in 1985. This short story by Seiko was actually also made into an anime version which was released on December 25, 2020. For Korean adaptation, this film has Kim Jong-kwan as director (Worst Woman – 2016; Persona – 2019). The film was released in South Korea on December 10 and will be shown in Indonesian cinemas on December 30. Until this article was written (Dec 28) this film occupied the third position at the South Korean box office and has earned a total revenue of more than 1.4 million USD with ticket sales of 176 thousand. Josée film starring Han Ji-min and Nam Joo-hyuk who is also their reunion after appearing together in the drama series The Light in Your Eyes (2019)

In a suburb of Seoul, college student Lee Young-seok (Nam Joo-hyuk) meets Josée (Han Ji-min) a disabled girl who fell from her wheelchair. Feeling sorry for Young-seok helping him and driving the girl home. Arriving at Josée’s house, he finds out that Josée only lives with her grandmother who lives by selling used goods. From that first meeting, Young-seok begins to fall in love and wants to get to know the girl deeper. Young-seok occasionally comes to visit and helps the grandmother carry used goods to their home. Josée, who was initially reserved, slowly begins to reciprocate the attention that Young-seok gives him. The intensity of the relationship between them is growing and creates a number of unforgettable moments.

The duration of 116 minutes makes this film feel long, you know that the pace of this film is slow and the focus of the story is only focusing on the life of two lovebirds, Josée and Young-seok. Other characters are just supporters or just passing by because the audience deliberately wants to be immersed in their daily life and love journey. The character of Soo-kyeong (Lee Soo-Hee) who is Young-seok’s classmate and Hye-seon (Park Ye-jin) as a professor who teaches Young-seok is less explored even though both of them have a close relationship with Young-seok and can add to the dynamics of the film’s story. . Josée invites the audience to interpret love relationships more deeply and humanly through two individuals who come from two different worlds.

Unusual relationships and how true love can change the two partners involved are well represented in this film. This film can be said to have no climax and minimal conflict, let alone twists, only for the conclusion that it might be a bit difficult for the audience to interpret it without reading the original story because it seems that it was deliberately made for an open interpretation of why in the end Josée and Young-seok’s relationship turned out like this. If you have watched 500 Days of Summer then you know what type of ending I mean what happened to the two main characters of this film. If the tone of 500 Days of Summer is more cheerful in some ways, but Josée feels more moody and mellow.

only for the conclusion itself it may be a bit difficult for the audience to interpret it without reading the original story because it seems deliberately made for an open interpretation why in the end Josée and Young-seok’s relationship turned out like this. If you have watched 500 Days of Summer then you know what type of ending I mean what happened to the two main characters of this film. If the tone of 500 Days of Summer is more cheerful in some ways, but Josée feels more moody and mellow.

only for the conclusion itself it may be a bit difficult for the audience to interpret it without reading the original story because it seems deliberately made for an open interpretation why in the end Josée and Young-seok’s relationship turned out like this. If you have watched 500 Days of Summer then you know what type of ending I mean what happened to the two main characters of this film. If the tone of 500 Days of Summer is more cheerful in some ways, but Josée feels more moody and mellow.

If you have watched 500 Days of Summer then you know what type of ending I mean what happened to the two main characters of this film. If the tone of 500 Days of Summer is more cheerful in some ways, but Josée feels more moody and mellow. If you have watched 500 Days of Summer then you know what type of ending I mean what happened to the two main characters of this film. If the tone of 500 Days of Summer is more cheerful in some ways, but Josée feels more moody and mellow.

The cinematography of this film is top notch and is able to capture details that add to the dramatic impression of this film, especially with the addition of a mellow music score that takes our mood away. The setting of the place is deliberately focused on the space (world) Josée spends most of his life at home and the place where he is carried around by Young-seok. Here we are invited to empathize with Josée’s life and limitations and the metamorphosis she goes through after she decides to open up and connect with Young-seok. The scene when Josée and Young-seok are at the amusement park and aquarium is a powerful and memorable scene because it illustrates that sometimes we don’t want the happy moments in life to end, we can also feel Josée’s struggles at that moment.

Nam Joo-hyuk and Han Ji-min’s chemistry is very strong from the very beginning of the film. Throughout the film we are also taken to trace the development of their love story from the beginning of their introduction, when they began to fall in love until the two decided to start living together. Actress Han Ji-min must be quite familiar to the audience who watched her act in the drama Rooftop Prince (2012). The sad and fragile look, gestures and cynical reactions of Han Ji-min give soul to Josée’s character as a disabled girl who is in a limited world. His love of reading books as a way to overcome limitations is very well done. Meanwhile, Nam Joo-hyuk, who recently became famous for his role as Nam Do-san in the drama Start-Up (2020) and The School Nurse Files (2020), also able to portray a man who is actually a playboy but has the quality of sincerity and kindness that we can feel from his speech and body language after he meets Josée and falls in love with him. The way Han Ji-min expresses his love for Young-seok, who is his first love, feels real and close to the audience. Likewise, Nam Joo-hyuk’s expression is immersed in his character as Young-seok who cares and loves Josée.

Director Kim Jong-kwan took a humanist and realistic approach to the Korean version of the film, removing the humor and replacing it with a more mature and melancholic tone than the Japanese version. The core of the story and the central characters remain the same as the original story. This film does not attempt to present a love story like in a fairy tale but aims to give a message that every relationship will have an impact on both parties involved in it, both positive and negative. The title of this Korean version of the film is often shortened by removing the words “The Tiger and The Fish” which is intended to focus on the story of Josée’s character. The tiger (Tiger) is a representation of the fear that Josée feels because the comfort that Young-seok gives is new and he doesn’t think he deserves due to his condition while the fish (Fish) is a representation of himself who has a limited world only accompanied by books and cannot out of his little house. There are relationships that are meant to mature us and teach us how to appreciate precious moments with the people we care about. After watching this film we will see how changes happen to Josée after she accepts love and learns to love. On the other hand, this film also talks about choices when in a relationship to what extent we are willing to fight for true love.