Thursday, June 15, 2006
Call me crazy, but I liked it better than Il Mare.
I don't know why, but for some reason, I didn't really like Il Mare as much as I thought I would since, after all, its story plays with time, and I always like movies like that. I don't know. I can't put my finger on it, but anyway, this review is about the remake of Il Mare (though if you'd like to read my review on Il Mare, please visit the **nocturnal screen).
The story is of course, the same. Two people who lived in the same house send letters to each other through a magical mailbox that apparently transcends time because Alex (Keanu Reeves) and Kate (Sandra Bullock) are two years apart. And the biggest changes that they made from the original are the following: (Some spoilers, highlight to read.)
- Kate is a doctor - I guess this became somewhat relevant to the Hollywood version of the story, but Jeon Ji Hyeon's character's job was so cute (voice talent for radio/cartoons) in the original, I'm kind of sorry they changed it.
- Alex has a younger brother - I don't remember if the guy in Il Mare had any friends or siblings, but in this film, the addition of this character also worked to its advantage (I'm talking about the part towards the end where Kate hires him (the younger brother) as her architect and then realizes that he's related to Alex).
I'm not saying that this one kicks Il Mare's a**, but I'm way relieved that they didn't mess anything up when they applied it to the American setting, and it gives me hope that perhaps Hollywood remakes might not be so bad after all. I'm so glad it's another movie that's highly recommended. XD
- The dog is bigger. My sister said that it's because big dogs look better in Hollywood films because they usually portray small dogs as the kind that ditzes (i.e. Elle Woods of Legally Blonde) own, and I guess I agree. I think the dog here was perfect for the setting, and the dog in Il Mare was perfect for that setting, too.
- The audience sees Alex die at the beginning of the movie - this was kind of a bummer for me because if you already knew the story of Il Mare, you'd already know that it was him who died at the Plaza, in Kate's arms, right at the beginning of the movie. But I suppose Hollywood wasn't expecting anyone in the US to actually have seen the Korean film, and I guess Kate's being a doctor, instead of a voice talent, is an advantage here, too, because since she is a doctor, then people dying in her presence wouldn't look too fishy, even if it's at the beginning of the movie.
- Kate and Alex actually meet and have a conversation, before Kate knows anything about Alex - in the original, although the guy had seen the girl in his time several times (2 years ago), he never actually talked to her. Here though, they already have a romantic encounter, only, Alex doesn't reveal who he really is.
- The time thing in Il Mare was more realistic. It was just weird how Alex and Kate had conversations like they were talking face-to-face, and just used digital effects to show the time difference, because that's not really possible when you're just writing letters to each other, even if they waited at the mailbox for each other's replies (this part was hilarious, by the way, and I liked how they changed the mailbox from the wooden thing to the one with the red stick that you raise to indicate that there's mail inside). But since time travel in itself isn't a very realistic concept, I guess this doesn't matter too much.
- Alex had to wait 4 years before he and the Kate he knows, actually meet, and this is even less realistic than time travel. :P Okay, okay, I'm being angsty and cynical, but I just really don't think that a guy would wait that long and wouldn't have done anything in the 2 years that he knew that the girl already knew about him. But whatever, it's a movie, and I guess it can't hurt to continue giving people false romantic notions.
- The ending was just so cool. I mean, I like how they ended Il Mare with the opening scene because it rounds up the story and makes it whole, and I'm not too crazy about how long the kissing scene of Keanu and Sandra was, because you can totally make a romance movie without a kissing scene, but that part where Kate was crying near the mailbox, and then you see Alex's car behind, driving up to where she is, just... It brought me to tears, and that was something Il Mare did not do.