[MOVIE REVIEW] “Sky And Ocean” – A Good Movie From A Wrong Time

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Well, not that I’m saying negative things about this movie.   I think Sky And Ocean was just ahead of its time.  I mean, if I watched it in the time it was released, I’d probably say that this is a weird movie.  There were so many unexpected scenes such as seeing Jang Nara flying with butterflies and Juni‘s sudden costume change.  But overall, this movie is like an enjoyable road trip – you see different stuff along the way, everything is colorful, and there are lots of ups and downs.

I’ve read reviews of this movie but all I’ve read is that this movie is bad.  As a Jang Nara fan boy, I didn’t believe it.  There’s still gotta be good stuff that you can find in this movie, something unique in good way.  According to all the reports that arose from this film, I think the movie became bad because of the controversies.  Firstly, the budget is really tight.  All the money paid for this production all came out from Jang Nara’s family’s pockets, especially his father Ju Ho Seong, who co-produced this movie.  Some production staff members filed a lawsuit because they’ve received less to nothing.   But fortunately, an anonymous female fan donated to them 100 million won to promote the movie as well as fulfill the other expenses.  Not to mention the pull-out of this movie from theaters.  There were so many bad things that had happened, but it was actually a cute and sweet movie.  It just.. it just became bad because of controversies.

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As I’ve said a while ago, this is a good movie from a wrong time – it was ahead of its time.  It was supposed to be appreciated by film critics from this time.  Back then at the time it was released which was 2009, there were lots of romantic movies and comedy movies, even action movies from Korea.  Film critics and reviewers from that time probably isn’t ready to see this kind of movie.  It was kind of like a weird movie in a good way.  It was like Trainspotting but not extreme.

Jang Nara plays as a character named Ha Neul (which literally means “Sky” in Korean) who has a mental disease, having a brain of a 6-year old but a fast learner, able to memorize pretty much everything (including serial number of the car that she bought) and really good in music, particularly playing violin.  Now, as a musician, violin is essentially the second most difficult instrument to play with (The first is French horn, you actually have to feel which note to play) and Nara stated in the movie that playing a violin is more difficult than playing a piano.

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She was born this way by his dad who is a conductor and a housewife.  Her parents died in a car accident while heading to a musical performance, leaving the poor Ha Neul in somewhat a very comfortable condo unit.  Her pet cat named Beatles is her only companion, she talks to it very often.

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That’s where Ha Neul’s neighbor comes in, actress Juni playing the role of a depressed musician named Bada (literally translated to “Sea” or “Ocean” in Korean).  The only daughter of mother and father who are in the point of breaking up, she leaves her band in depression and meets Ha Neul, who gives only more headaches because of her mental disease.  But eventually, the two became friends.

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Meanwhile, a guy named Jin Kyu (played by actor Yoo Ah-In) who Ha Neul refers to as the Pizza friend, comes in and steals Ha Neul’s money without noticing a security camera catching his every move.  They became close with each other because Jin Kyu had to return the money because of his guilty conscience, remembering how his sister (played by Jeong Jae YeongJang Nara‘s cousin) used to scold him when he steals something.  He immediately became friends with the two due to Ha Neul’s  motto that everyone is her friend.

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There were lots of unexpected moments, like Bada slapping Ha Neul in the face and Ha Neul slapping her back because she was friends with her.  The movie was kind of showing what it’s like inside Ha Neul’s mind.  Story is very simple, three different teenagers who were left by their parents and chose music to be together.  There is a scene where they will head to her old place where her parents were buried, there were lots of shots of the car they drove which is a Kia.  It was like a TVC for Kia.

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Oh yes, Jang Nara once again showcased her over-the-top acting skills.  You can’t just easily cry and laugh at the same time.  This time, she cried her tears out whilst acting like a child.  Every time I see Jang Nara burst into tears, it’s really convincing.  I end up crying, too.  It was like seeing a little girl cry, and that is already heart-breaking.  Her skills in “violin-playing” is convincing, too.  I know she does not play a violin, but the movement of her fingers while an over-dubbed music is playing is pretty convincing that she’s actually playing the notes.

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Now, I want to emphasize on this review about the ending of this film.  I was like: “What?” I already know that this is kind of a weird movie, but.. this was the first time that I’ve watched a movie and not expect that the movie has already ended, though I think that is good criticism for a movie.  The movie ended without any hints, you only know it ended because the credits have rolled.

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Also, what is that “flying” thing, did they just die and met each other in the after life?  I was going to believe that until I saw her pet cat Beatles flying with them, too.  I was really going to cringe, but laughed at it instead.  It’s really fun, I like weird stuffs.  They leave us questioning ourselves like what the heck is happening?  What is going on?  While I’m writing this, I’ve just only realized that it was just Ha Neul’s imagination.

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All in all, I’ve gotta say, this film is really an enjoyable joyride.  Very enjoying, I should have watched this in theaters back then.  Very sweet and cute movie, not only because of the already-baby-faced-beauty Jang Nara having a cute and child-like (also, childish) image, but it shows how friendship brings completely different people.  I think this movie will be best watched when you’re with a friend.  For the people who are planning to watch this, please set aside the controversies, and enjoy the movie.  You will soon realize the beauty of this film.

Some photos are from Jang Nara’s website.

Special thanks to NR for giving me a copy of the movie! 🙂

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About HanKiTae

I am your average, friendly neighborhood ahjussi who posts everything about our Nara-ssi. :)
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