Fly High (사랑하니까, 괜찮아 - Bisang) (2009) Review

Many people have dreams, the fruition of these dreams is often challenged by the realities of life. Persistence is the key and you won’t find a more persistent person than the lead character in Fly High. Fly High is a Korean film that depicts one determined young man’s journey in his pursuit of happiness. He manages to reach most of his goals while avoiding an Icarus-like ending.

The movie has an uncommon way of telling a common story. Si-Bum wants to be movie star and is trying to work from being Dead Guy #3 to leading man. While making plans, life happens and he falls in love. The expected bumpy road to happily ever after, however, is a little more extreme than I’m used to seeing in most North American and European movies. This is no Sleepless in Seattle. Si-Bum and his lady love Soo-Kyoung must overcome many hurdles including multiple beatdowns (well Si-Bum has more of a problem with this than Soo-Kyoung), suicide, mental illness, and prostitution (also a Si-Bum only problem), just to name a few. This being my first Korean film, I'm not sure if most Korean romance movies are usually so violent or filled with such heavy topics, but it does make for a fast-paced movie that should hold most viewers attention.

I enjoyed the acting and the storyline as a whole and it is visually appealing without the story be overwhelmed by it. It reminded me of a dream. It often jumped from one scene to the next without a lot of transition or explanation. I like this to an extent because it forces the viewer to be more engaged and to think. Kind of like the choose-your-own-adventure young adult books that allow you to choose the direction of the story by giving the reader options every couple of pages. This directing style, however, does become a bit of a nightmare when the options are not clearly explained. For example, Si-Bum robs a woman to pay for Soo-Kyoung’s hospital bills, the woman naturally seems to have enough pay off the bill. Soo-Kyoung's victim quickly finds him, and he becomes a gigolo/escort. The movie doesn't explain how she finds him or why he becomes a gigolo/escort. The woman is obviously involved in the business, she was walking around with a lot of money in her pocket and Soo-Kyoung is probably forced to join to pay for his crime, but that's never completely clarified. The director sometimes speeds over important parts of the movie and spends too much time on parts that don't seem important.

No worries though, despite some confusion, you don't have to worry about getting lost in translation. The story is simple enough to follow. You can look forward to some E rated love scenes and R rated language and violence. I give this movie 3 stars and recommend it to anyone who feels that the only way to make it right, is to start a street fight. Let me what you think of the movie and what movies you want me to review @EstherScreen.

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