KOREAN FILM FESTIVAL 2017 REVIEW: Because I Love You (SOUTH KOREA, 2017)

It wouldn’t be KOFFIA without its headline romcom! 2017’s is Because I Love You (사랑하기 때문에), a film that was quite heavily promoted earlier in the year because of its all star cast, touching storyline, and feel-good exploration of love at all stages of life.

The protagonist Lee-Hyung (My Sassy Girl’s Cha Tae-hyun) is on the way to propose to his girlfriend when he is suddenly involved in a terrible accident. When he wakes up he finds himself in the body of a teenage girl- lost and very confused! But as Lee-Hyung begins to understand the owner of his body, he comes face to face with a very pressing situation that he now has to tackle.

It is a situation that repeats itself, landing Lee-Hyung in the bodies of a workaholic cop, a sweet but awkward single teacher (my favourite side story!), an elderly couple, and his own work colleague. As he learns more and more about the people he inhabits he learns more and more about relationships, which leads him to begin to remember his own love. It is an experience all about “connecting people with love”, and it is Lee-Hyung’s seeming role to make sure these connections are re-forged before he’s allowed to move on.

The title comes from late Korean singer Yoo Jae-ha’s song “Because I Love You”, and it is to this masterful lyricist that the film is a tribute to. The film features lots of truly delightful moments- the “bromance” between Lee-Hyung and Scully (Kim You-jung) is hilarious as they try to make sense of the situation, the resolutions for each “body” he inhabits are very satisfying, and there probably wasn’t a dry eye in the theatre for the touching arc of the elderly couple. The structure of the film also played out very smoothly- jumping between Lee-Hyung’s body-switching and paralleling this to his own love story and the current struggles of the girlfriend he left behind (for the moment ;)). Also handled smoothly were the transitions between the audience seeing people as themselves or as Lee-Hyung, moments carefully chosen as holding greater emotional importance for each.

Fans of the romcom genre will leave the theatre feeling that satisfied feeling that only watching a good romcom can bring. Although it may not be anything groundbreaking, Because I Love You is most definitely worth a watch!

Review Score: FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Because I Love You is being shown as part of the Korean Film Festival in Australia. It will be screening in Adelaide on 2nd September, Perth on 3rd September, Brisbane on 8th September, Melbourne on 9th September, Canberra on 17th September and finally Darwin on 23rd September.

For more information and to book visit www.koffia.com.au