A grieving couple take an interest in the withdrawn young man their son drowned saving in this emotionally intense, but deftly measured drama from South Korea.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2018
This engrossing and startling Korean drama draws us into the lives of grieving parents Sung-cheol and Mi-sook. Their only son drowned rescuing one of his classmates and while the school has posthumously proclaimed the boy a hero, six months on the loss is still palpably raw.
Sung-cheol attempts to cope by throwing himself into his work as an interior decorator while Mi-sook attempts to conceive by artificial insemination. When Sung-cheol runs into Ki-hyun, the boy their son rescued, he starts to take an interest in the withdrawn young man. Ki-hyun has dropped out of school and doesn’t seem to have a family of his own. Eventually Sung-cheol takes pity on the boy and decides to take him on as an apprentice. At first Mi-sook objects to the idea, but soon begins to form her own attachment to Ki-hyun. Before long the couple are treating Ki-hyun like their own kin, but there’s something not quite right…
First time director Shin Dong-seok skillfully navigates the weighty subject matters of grief, reconciliation and community healing with arresting insight, delivering an intensely emotional drama driven by a trio of powerhouse performances. — MM