Sunday, November 12, 2023

The Wind Blows

Do you like tear jerkers?  Some do, many don't.  "The Wind Blows" (2019) is a tear jerker, but is also a true love story.

Kwon Do-Hoon and Soo-jin appear to be a happily married couple, but  it turns out she wants to have a baby and he doesn't.  Behind the scenes we learn he had been diagnosed for early onset Alzheimer's and doesn't want to be a burden to his wife who he deeply loves.  He decides it is best to get divorced and disappear.  He doesn't tell anyone.  He pretends he doesn't want a child and that becomes the excuse for a divorce.  Through a sort of a flukey set of circumstances she gets pregnant with his child, although not conscious of it until after their divorce.  

A very close friend from childhood, Hang-seo  stumbles on the truth, but is pledged to keep the secret and comes to believe it is best for all.  We scoot ahead six years and this time Soo-jin is the one who stumbles on the truth.  She is hurt that she was kept from her husband's real reason for the divorce.  After some fumbling the two are reconciled.  He had inherited money from his estranged family and had arranged for the bulk to be set aside for Soo-jin, but didn't want her to know.

The rest of the story boils down to his gradual deterioration supported not only by his wife,  but his new child, Ah-Ram who adores him and two couples.  He gets to the point where he has trouble recognizing any of his supporters or remembering parts of his life.  His daughter inspires him to develop a type of chocolate that has no sugar.  The formula is stolen.

Love is also displayed by the two couples who become very involved with Do-hoon and Soo-jin.  They have some of the misunderstanding common to romance, but are united in their support for the main couple.  Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's is frustrating.  Not recognizing you is one thing, but through misunderstandings they can hurt the ones they love.

 Key figures that helps to leave a strong story.

Director Jung-hwa Chung has 8 film credits.

Joo-Ha Hwang wrote the script for his first screen credit.

Ha-neul Kim plays the wife who thinks her husband agrees to a divorce because he doesn't want children.  Several years later she feel cheated, but also obligated. The personification of love.  She modeled before getting involved with films.  She has 34 film credits.

Woo-seong Kam plays Kwon Do-Hoon who decides to sacrifice his happiness for his wife's.  He plays a man in decline very well.  Studied Oriental Art.  He has 14 film credits including "The King and the Clown" (2005) for which he won some national awards as best actor.  He was a big fan of Celine Dion and was one of the announcers when she did a concert in Seoul.

Kim Sung-cheol plays Brian Jeong a friend of Soo-jin.  He has 15 credits including "Vincenzo" (2021).

Kim Ga-eun plays Brian's girlfriend, Son Ye-rim  both are friends of Soo jin.    She has 22 film credits.  "King the Land" (2023) got terrible rating because of an organized effort to punish unfair role of Arab.  She also appeared in "The Queen's Umbrella" (2022).

Lee Joon-Hyuk plays Choi Hang-seo, Do-hoon's oldest and most faithful friend 54 film credits including "Itaewon Class" (2020)

Ji-hye Yun plays Baek Soo-ah, who was a master chef at Hang-seo's restaurant and later moves in with him.  She has 23 film credits including "Navillera" (2021).

Jeon Gu-hyang  played Soo-jin's mother.  She has 17 credits including "Masquerade" (2012) and "Vincenzo" (2021).

Patience is required, but I believe rewarded.  Not because it turned out the way one predicts, but because you see some very likeable people in love.  Available as a series on Netflix with subtitles.  Highly recommend for those who love tear jerkers and might be worth an effort for the rest of us.

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