Friday, October 13, 2023

Keys to the Heart- Filipino remake of Korean film

 Remakes are not always as good as the original, but they always indicate an idea with merit.  "Keys to the Heart" conveys the idea of family reconciliation in a satisfying manner.

 We are introduced to a boxer, Jomo and quickly learn that he has not only lost his license, but also his sparring job.   He does have a bad attitude and at this time his mother has been seeking him.  It turns out he does not want her in his life, but circumstances further conspire that going back to his mother seems his best option.  Gradually we learn he had been a victim of a very abusive upbringing by a father and when his mother left without taking him she was blamed for his misery.

The other main character Jayjay was a brother who was autistic,with the ability to duplicate on a piano any piece of music heard for the first time.  Jomo got disgusted with Jayjay's incontinence and temper fits.  It was awhile before he came to appreciate the musical talent.

In the meantime Jomo was a victim of a hit and run accident.  Surprisingly he was approached by an older man who offered him money not to report the accident.  Not seriously injured he was insulted, but later followed up and found the woman who had hit him.  She was wealthy and it had been her father who earlier offered Jomo money to protect her.  Trying to get enough money to leave the country (for Canada) he is offered a much larger sum of money which he accepts.  After criticizing her cavalier attitude to money she reveals that the accident occurred after her first attempt to drive after losing her leg.

Coincidentally Jayjay who has never taken piano lessons wants to enter a competition, but runs into problems.  Jomo learns that Jayjay greatly admired a female pianist who had won earlier versions of the contest.  It turns out the admired pianist, Annettet is the woman who had hit Jomo and gave him a large amount of money.  Jomo decides to approach her again to help Jayjay enter the contest, but is refused aid because she has bitter feelings about the contest organizers.  

You already have most of the plot ingredients, but I have left out an important element.  And of course there are all sorts of obstacles on the way to a sort of happy ending.  

I found it a satisfying story.  The original Korean version was a hit, but the first Filipino attempt to remake it resulted in the replacement of the three leads and the director.  It takes a crew to put together a good movie.  Here are some of them.

Kerwin Go was the director.  He had studied at the Los Angeles Film School in 2007.  He has three credits as a director, but also worked as cinematographer with 8 film credits.

Pam Miras wrote the screenplay.  She has 21 film credits as a writer, and has won international awards. She also 9  credits as a director and has also been involved as an actress, producer and editor.

Francis De Veyra wrote the original music.  He has 85 composing credits.  He is also a bass player for a group.

Peter Frac handled the cinematography.  He has 3 film credits.

Aaron Alegre and Mark Cyril Bautista did the editing.  They have respectively have 14 and 65 editor film credits.

Zanjoe Marudo played Joma.  He has a strong resemblance to the popular Korean actor, Lee Byun-hun who played the same role in the original.   Zanjoe has 61 film credits.

Elijah Canlas played Jayjay and aside from having to play a savant had to learn to play the piano to be credible.  He has won several awards including being declared "Actor of the Year" by CNN Philippines.  He has 29 film credits.

Dolly De Leon played the mother.  She is theatre trained and now has 51 film credits.  In 2022 without an agent she auditioned for a role in "Triangle of Sadness" (2022) and went on to get nominations for BAFTA and Golden Globe awards.  Since has been booked for more American films.  

Michelle Dee played Annette, a wealthy young woman and former piano contest winner.     She has a psychology degree and earned a certificate from the Harvard Business School.  She won the World Miss Philippines title in 2019.  Since the age of 16 she has been an advocate for autism awareness and recently was made a Goodwill Ambassador for the Autism Society of Philippines.  She also has 12 film credits.

Unfortunately have not seen the original Korean version, but believe this version has high standards. 

Some earlier Filipino movies I have enjoyed: and that  reminded me of a childhood experience with my mother.

No comments:

Post a Comment