This is what I wrote on DC Jang Hyuk gallery after watching the movie, and I just translated it. It contains a lot of spoilers, and assumes readers have watched the movie. Junki=Jang Hyuk character, YoungEun=high school girl, SeoYeon=Junki’s wife.
Unfortunate that I didn’t get to see JH in person….but I really enjoyed Thorn (Innocent Thing) the movie itself. Almost doubting my own taste lol. I watched it
with a Chinese friend and she also enjoyed it immensely so we were trying to watch it again that night but couldn’t find it playing in the right time in the right
place…so I watched it by myself once again the next day and we came back.
So the beauty…..the beauty…….SeoYeon was pretty, YoungEun was totally a doll, and Junki omfg Junki’s explosive beauty….Minju? was that the fellow
teacher’s name? she was handsome lol. There were only four actors and all those four were beautiful. JuHee was also young and cute…the movie was
definitely an eye candy.
And I wasn’t bored while watching the movie. I read the whole script before watching, but still wasn’t bored. Maybe cuz I could see the characters’ emotion
visually…actors’ acting was amazing, all three of them.
SeoYeon doesn’t care that much about YE in the beginning, and then starts to mind her, and then gets outrageous. I felt that Seon Woo Sun was a great
actress. At least to me, every single scene was convincing. In the beginning she was all lovey dovey to Junki and I felt like, oh she really loves her husband
that’s why they got married, and this is what I didn’t particularly felt in the script. And that emotion made her hostility towards YE more convincing later. She
was all serious and nervous with MinJu, a close friend, about her husband’s issue, so when she started to doubt about YE it wasn’t stoppable. From the
moment she thought YE had sex with him, things totally got out of control.
Some people criticized that the wife’s action at the last was too much and not convincing at all, but I felt differently. At that point, the wife saying “Honey, release” was understandable. It wasn’t morally right in any sense, but I don’t think the character became less convincing because of that. It was not just any random moment, it was right after when YoungEun tried to kill her.
YoungEun tried to steal her husband, whom she loved so much that her dream was to build a family with him, and she kidnapped the baby so dear to her and her dream, and she just tried to drown her, putting her in the water tank and coldly closing and locking the door. She just experienced the terror of water rising up and not being able to get out, so it’s ridiculous to expect her to be in sane and moral state. She’s a human, and I feel like she could easily feel ‘I want that bitch to die’ at that point. It’s also not like she got a knife herself to stab YE. YE jumped herself and SY being like, I’m sick of her let’s leave her to die, that was convincing to me. After YE fell, SY trembled and was totally outta mind, muttering ‘we didn’t do anything, she jumped, you tried to save her, we didn’t do anything.’ That felt also pretty real to me.
YoungEun, on the other hand, is the least ‘real’ character I’d say…but then that should be excused, since the main theme of the movie is her extreme obsession. Movies are not necessarily portrayal of reality, it’s kind of like the caricature of the reality. It captures some aspects and exaggerates, recreates. Anyways, YE might have caused ‘wth, what the fuck is wrong with her’ reaction, but I don’t think it was to the extent that she totally lost all the audience. She indeed was pretty obsessive to begin with, but in the beginning it was closer to the first love butterflies. Her eyes were shining. And then it turns into extreme obsession and her eyes become empty…just as JH said, it felt like ‘addiction’. Made us question, what changed this kid like this. As JH said in interviews, if it was unilateral emotion, this kid wouldn’t have turned out this way. There was definitely something bilateral (and the director kinda failed in showing this).
Junki was not that dynamic character, so rather than seeing his character changing greatly, I saw more interesting details in scenes that showed his character. When they were playing the dodge ball, YE is avoiding the ball pretty well and Junki smiles at that and starts to throw it stronger and stronger. That shows his competitiveness, athlete in him.
When he is talking to his old friends, he cusses a lot too. Altho now Junki is all tangled with reality, these details show how Junki originally was, makes us imagine how he would have been at his young ‘fearless’ (as he described his past self) time.
I also enjoyed all his smoking scenes. At first he cautiously smokes with chopsticks (he was freakin cute here) becuz his wife doesn’t want him to smoke.
And then, in frustrating situations that’s driving him crazy, he just smokes with his hand on terrace. At last, he openly smokes in school with all the kids seeing him. His smoking scenes showed how Junki was struggling from suffocating reality.
Anyways I enjoyed watching all three characters, and could feel them. The least sympathetic one is YoungEun, but I felt her at the last roof top scene. She’s a crazy bitch that will never be understandable with brain, but at that moment, u know, heart rings. Oh she really loved him, regardless of how crazy her deeds are, at least her emotion was pure, she just purely loved him.
Anyways I did like overall characters and emotions. I think I enjoyed it more than The Flu lol. And there’s good acting, great beauty…But if there’s one thing that could improve, I feel like most of what I felt probably didn’t really get thru the audience, and that probably suggests the movie is not too well-made. I feel like there are some stuffs that I could understand becuz I read the scenario, and probably couldn’t get if I only watched the movie. I feel like the directing could’ve been better…it wasn’t too audience friendly.
First of all, there’s some ‘oldness’ in the way he films. Like, transitioning with dark cloudly sky, or Junki watching rugby and in the TV monitor YE appearing…that scene, I literally laughed cuz it was too bad lol. But I don’t think that’s not that important. He also filmed other scenes really pretty. And if the overall story is interesting, whether the filming technique is old or trendy is not that big of a matter.
But then overall, the movie lacks explanation. I know a lot of people criticized that the movie doesn’t connects well between scenes. To certain extent, the director probably meant it. For example the scene where Junki and YE goes on amusement park date. It didn’t have any explanation before that, it was just juxtaposed with YE’s narration of her blog post.
On the script, it originally was YE asking Junki to go on a date, if he goes with her she will keep quiet for the rainy day thing. These things all get cut out, so the audience feel like events in the movies are not so reasonable. But this scene, I feel like the director intended it. When the date scenes are juxtaposed with narration, audience get confused, is it real? or is it imagination? And the director could’ve intended that confusion.
The scenes looked so happy that they did look like imagination. But then even with getting that effect, he could’ve cleared it up later. When Junki begs YE to “Stop this” later, he could’ve said “We said we would end it when we went to the amusement park” or something like that. To the audience who understood the date scenes as imagination (my friend thought so), when Junki said “let’s stop this”, they go like “stop what? what have u guys been doing??” and get lost.
Overall there are too much blanks that audience have to fill in themselves. He cut off too much that more than giving audience the freedom of imagination, it made some scenes utterly useless. For example, where Junki gets totally drunk and walks back home with Minju. Junki mutters “tellin ya, my heart jumped~” and falls down and stuff, but that scene he filmed in high angle, it doesn’t convey any other message than ‘Junki is drunk’ to audience. Originally it’s supposed to be the most important statement, that his heart jumped. Junki admits that his own heart jumps at YE, and that totally changes the whole emotional line of the movie.
As some other people pointed out, there’s this one scene deleted that shouldn’t have been deleted. The scene where Junki drinks with Minju and have a conversation. There’s a still cut from that scene, so they apparently filmed it, and I have no clue why the director deleted it. I think that’s the most important scene for Junki’s character. My heart jumps for that girl. Junki admitted that, and whether audience understands that or not totally changes the whole movie. The movie audience watched was, YE is just a crazy girl with crazy obsession that’s torturing Junki, Junki just was seduced on a rainy day by this sexy high school girl and kissed her, and he kept try to push her away after that but his life is already screwed.
So when Junki cries at the last scene, audience go like ‘why the hell is he crying?’ and doesn’t feel him. But then actual Junki, at least the Junki on script, and Junki as JH understood, was definitely attracted to YoungEun and acknowledged that he himself was attracted to YE. Becuz Junki was attracted to YE, YE sensed it too, and thinking ‘teacher loves me too’ took her to next level. (JH said in the interviews that if it was unilateral emotion, YE never would’ve crossed the line. It was bilateral and that’s what drove her there). Junki knew he was attracted, but the reality didn’t allow him to be attracted, so he pushed her away even harder.
Because their bilateral attraction wasn’t shown well in the movie, the last scene was less convincing to the audience. And becuz Junki’s attraction was not expanded, the movie’s main theme itself got diluted. The movie is not only about a crazy girl’s love. It’s also about the urge to escape ordinary life, infatuation, heart jumping, etc. but then seems like it wasn’t delivered well and I think that’s becuz the director failed to show Junki’s emotions. To Junki, YoungEun IS the infatuation, escapation, and heart beat. He gets diminished in front of his in-laws, feels bored in the occupation as a teacher that doesn’t fit him, was following his dream but was forced to retire due to responsibility, and now he sees another chance to pursue his dream but can’t becuz of the responsibility as a father…
The movie sets up Junki’s frustration situations. But then it doesn’t mix in well with the main story plot, feels like they are all just separate. Originally, these frustrating situations should contrast YoungEun’s fresh and reckless energy, her innocence that doesn’t consider anything other than love (I have a wife/I know, I’ll forgive you/I’ll have a child soon, too/I know that too, I’ll forgive you), and that contrast will bring out the feeling of ‘attracted to YE=infatuation, escapation’. But then Junki’s attraction wasn’t delivered well, thus the connection doesn’t get made, so the audiene only gets ‘wow YE is crazy’ kind of feeling.
So my biggest problem with the movie is that it didn’t show Junki’s attraction to YE well. It’s not like the movie didn’t show it at all, I did feel it here and there. In the mirror park, the subtle smile Junki has…
How he remained silent when YE asked him, ‘But your heart jumped’. How he cries at the last scene. How he stares at YoungEun during ending credit, how YoungEun is portrayed super lovely in his view. But then it would’ve been better if audience didn’t have to look for these clues and conclude that he’s attracted, it would’ve been better if it was shown so that most audience would catch it. According to JH’s interviews, it’s obvious that JH’s interpretation was definitely that Junki was attracted to YoungEun. He mentioned several times that it’s bilateral, also talked a lot about urge to escape reality….but then it wasn’t shown well in the movie. He has mentioned that Junki he saw as a man in 30s, and Junki the director saw as a man in 50s, were different. If I say since Junki is a man in 30s, they should’ve followed JH’s interpretation…..is it too shallow, lol. But I really do tink so. A man in his 30s, it’s the age where he knows the weight of promise and responsibility, when he has to compromise with the reality, but it’s also the age where the fire in his heart hasn’t quite died out yet, it’s not so far away from the age where he was reckless and passionate. Because there was still that fire in Junki’s heart, and that fire was locked up and didn’t know where to go, this whole movie started. Too bad that it didn’t deliver well.
Anyways, it was a long stream of consciousness, but in the end, I enjoyed the movie. I just wished more people could enjoy the movie as I did….But Jang Hyuk’s character interpretation is always exactly to my taste. And the beauty, oh the beauty. Junki’s beauty is legendary….Especially at the last scene where he extends his hand and says ‘YoungEun-ah, take my hand’, his eyes shine in light brown and it was almost holy, oh my Junki.
PS. some stuffs that were on script and wasn’t in the movie.
There was a scene in the beginning where YE kisses a boy (student) and Junki gets mad.
Junki buys YE steak (they filmed it, there’s still cuts from it) and tells her he won’t see her any more, YE goes to bathroom and throws up, and Junki imagines himself softly stroking her back but decides not to, decides to just turn away and leave.
When YE declares she’s gonna sleep over at Junki’s house, originally Junki said no you can’t, and took her back to her house. Finds out YE’s house lock number is Junki’s birthday. When they entered YE’s house, it was empty, no one was there, and they only had memorial rituals for YE’s dead mom. Mom’s dead, dad doesn’t live here. Junki feels bad for YE and takes her back to his house.
When Junki drinks with Minju, he says “My heart jumped. For the first time in my life, my heart jumped…” when they walk back home he says “Minju~~ I’m sorry~~” and Minju says that’s not something you should be sorry to me, and he says, then who do I apologize? Headmaster? YoungEun? My students? No, the whole students? No no, the entire village. Yes! The entire nation! I’m sorry, I’m son of a bitch!! and then he later says Minju…can’t I just breathe?
There was more tension between Minju and Seoyeon over Junki. SY says “You liked him, didn’t you” to Minju.
When Junki begs YE to stop all this, there was more to the dialogue. Junki tells YE that the world isn’t that simple, you don’t live it alone, there’s family, friend, neighbors, law, and everything. YE answers, You breathe alone, the heart beats by itself. Junki says, you can do it all alone so why do you need me? and YE says, I don’t need you, I love you.
Junki calls YE’s father to talk about YE, but then he can’t reach YE’s father at all.
There are more, but these are scenes I found interesting that wasn’t in the movie.