- Bring a box of tissues....or two 4/25/2011 12:00:00 AM by alex_kule
Whew, talk about an unexpected surprise! Cha tae-hyun (of My Sassy Girl fame) seems to be involved in a never-ending list of box office hits, from the aforementioned title to the more recent My Speedy Scandal. With Hello Ghost, he can add another one to his belt.
Marketed and billed as sort of a screwball comedy involving ghosts, the movie is surprisingly light on comedy and more heavy on scenes of a more touching nature.
The movie tells the story of a suicidal man (played by Cha) who is a complete failure in life, with no family to speak of and no friends to comfort him. Following a close brush with death, he starts to see 4 ghosts who can inhabit his body at will. A woman who is always crying, an old pervert, a middle aged smoking taxi driver, and a young boy with a penchant for sweets.
The movie goes through the expected motions of each ghost practically instilling him with a different value and newfound appreciation for life, HOWEVER, it is the climax of the movie that ties EVERYTHING together in a way that will not only make you think back and go "ahhh, that makes more sense now" but also, will create an a flood of never-ending tears and sobs (...at least on my part).
Give this movie a chance and stick with it to the end, you'll be glad (or sad, depending) you did.
- Very touching movie... 6/13/2011 12:00:00 AM by hoang_hai_linh97
And I almost missed it. When I saw the poster, I thought to myself "Another stupid comedy making fun of ghosts". But due to the fact that Tae-hyun Cha is a very good actor, and he has never failed to impress me, I decided to force myself to watch it. And that is a very brilliant decision of mine.
Cha successfully plays the role of a hopeless guy, Sang-Man ,who doesn't have a family, friends, goals and desire to live. After a few attempts to commit suicide, he was stuck with 4 ghosts. While trying to fulfill their wishlist to free himself from those ghosts, he was helped by them to get close to the beautiful nurse Jung Yun-soo (Kang Hye-won). The movie moved at quite a slow pace at first but I didn't really mind. Every minute passed and you find yourself in more and more confusing questions about the ghosts and their stories that you couldn't wait for the next part of the movie to answer them.
The most shocking part is the ending. It is completely unpredictable. I watched the ending with my mouth wide open (because it was absolutely against what I thought it would be), tears keep falling from my eyes and I finished the movie with a very satisfy smile.
Excellent movie. I would highly recommend it. If you are searching for a light, touching, emotional (and sometimes hilarious) movie, this one is definitely for you.
- Another winner from Korea 5/31/2011 12:00:00 AM by roofspace
I am not a movie buff I just like watching films in any language as long as they fit my criteria. I don't usually go for horror, action or thrillers. I really like sci-fi, fantasy and romantic comedy. And this film ticks a lot of boxes for me. Being in my mid sixties I have got past being an adrenalin junkie and have had enough of crash- bang-wallop films and ones that attempt to give me a heart attack. I want films that make me feel warm and cuddly and put a wistful smile on my face. How Korea keep making films like this to such high standards of photography storyline and character development is beyond me. Hollywood is so predictable and boring that they are bottom of my list when checking out new releases, if they do by accident make an original film instead of a remake of some other countries they don't change the formula until all the other studios have made their version of the same or very similar film all of them crap by comparison. This film is straight into my list of all time favourites. It opens with a young man sitting in a sparsely furnished room shovelling handfuls of pills into his mouth when the phone rings......... He ends up with four ghosts as companions - an old man who has lost a camera another who has been looking for a car, a woman who can't stop crying and a small boy. They are all quirky and endearing and we begin to care about them as their stories unfold before us.........
- A single word can describe this movie: WOW... 10/16/2011 12:00:00 AM by paul_haakonsen
Wow, this movie turned out to be quite a surprise. Initially I had expected it to be an ordinary Korean comedy, but "Hello Ghost" is so much more than just that. Yes, there were moments in the movie that really had me laughing out loud - some really hilarious scenes. But what took me by surprise was the depth of this movie and the brilliancy of the storyline.
About halfway through the movie, I must admit that I thought it was just going to be a so-so comedy movie, then suddenly the story turns up a notch and in the last quarter of the movie you are really in for a surprise. And a word of warning, you might want to have some tissue at hand.
The Korean film makers usually make great movies, and "Hello Ghost" is not an exception. Sure, the movie can seem to drag on about halfway through, but don't give up on it, because this movie will really make an impact and stay with you for quite a while. And the combination of humor and drama is mixed together in such a unique way that it sweeps you off your feet.
Despite not recognizing any of the actors or actresses in this movie, I will say that people in the movie did a good job and really brought the movie to life and made their characters stand out uniquely.
"Hello Ghost" has been one of the most impressive surprises I have had this year of watching movies. And being a big fan of Asian films, I strongly recommend that you watch this movie if you like Asian movies or if you like a grand drama.
"Hello Ghost" will make you laugh. "Hello Ghost" will make you cry. "Hello Ghost" will make you open up your eyes to belonging to a family and having a sense of home. "Hello Ghost" will stay with you for a long time even after the movie has stopped.
Thumb up, way up, for this brilliant Korean pearl of a drama!
- A Nutshell Review: Hello Ghost 6/26/2011 12:00:00 AM by DICK STEEL
You can trust the Koreans to come up with a film that pads itself so much that the narrative seems to be never ending, until the final act that sledgehammers the best of emotions, tugging at your heartstrings and realizing that the extended narrative was all worthwhile for the payload at the end. Written and directed by Kim Young-Tak, Happy Ghosts may seem like a lightweight comedy that follows a tried and tested route, but I guarantee you'll be hard pressed not to give it a standing ovation when it continues to veer into melodramatic territory, just as you thought that Kim's pace was off for the most parts, that everything got forgiven for what was the final scenes that made the movie instead of breaking it.
Cha Tae-Hyun of My Sassy Girl fame stars as Sang-Man, a man whom we see in the opening scene trying to commit suicide in a cheap motel by swallowing a number of pills, only for the attempt to be thwarted by the motel owner who intervened on time. A subsequent attempt to drown in a river also got interrupted by coast guards on duty, and a quick trip to the hospital allowed him a second chance at life, bringing him back from the brink of death only to open his eyes to the presence of a number of ghosts who reveal themselves to him when in the hospital, each possessing distinct traits such as a smoker, an alcoholic, a weeping lady and a young boy with an incredibly sweet tooth.
As we soon learn, Sang-Man is depressed for having to be an orphan in the world, and quite fed up at being alone. As the adage goes, be careful what you wish for, as he now has unwanted company in the form of those spirits who each take turn, or sometimes almost simultaneously, to possess him, leading to expected hilarity as he demonstrates the dominant trait to the bafflement of others. Under the advice of a medium, and probably any one of us who have seen our fair share of friendly spirit films, the spirits are in our world using the body of a human as a vessel to go about completing their unfinished business, before they can finally depart the earthly realm.
Thus begins the quest to finish each of the ghosts' outstanding issues in narratively episodic fashion, such as one wanting to watch an animated movie, another wanting a camera back from a policeman, or even a simple requirement of having a meal together. While it will all make sense later on, it will, at this point, frustrate the impatient viewer as the episodes aren't quite ground breaking in any way, having this rather coincidental or familiar feel to them all that you've probably seen something similar in another film. The bright spark will of course be that the ghostly quests also all seem to point to, and help Sang-Man, in his romance of the hospital nurse Jung Yun-Soo (Kang Hye-Won), setting up an avenue for romance as well although it was a rather awkward, though inevitable, inclusion, into the storyline that took quite a while for it to develop.
Thematically, this is a film about belonging and family, where the lack of one drove one to want to kill himself for the lack of love and essential support, while for another character to detest whatever family she has left, albeit the latter not being too pronounced for the most parts. It reminds us of the importance of family and how grudges should always be addressed and not left for too late, reminders about positions that we sometimes lapse into. Kim also had a lot of ground he had wanted to cover with his story, resulting in the setup being quite scattered and a shifting in focus, with characters entering and being left out for the most of the midsection.
Cha Tae-Hyun may have made his name as the male lead opposite Jun Ji-hyun in My Sassy Girl, and while Jun's career may have taken off in relatively stratospheric fashion, I suppose it is now that his will finally make people sit up and take notice, playing a character being possessed by different characters will mean the actor having to impersonate or adopt the various character traits developed by others as his own that will allow for a showcase of acting chops of some sorts, from having to laugh, to cry, even some signs of childishness and slight feminism, contributing to intended comedy thanks to Cha's comedic timing, and hang- dog looks that he exploits.
There are the usual plot element loopholes as well which shouldn't bother the casual viewer, unless one gets perturbed by issues when the filmmakers didn't set their goal posts firmly, such as deciding whether the things the ghosts touch in the real world will affect those items directly, or that they would just be representations in the spiritual realm, although one can argue that such instances are performed through Sang-Man as the vessel, but if you observe closely, it's not being kept consistent.
But don't let that detract you from what makes for a powerful drama that will make you hard pressed not to reach out for that tissue. Little did I expect this to be what it was summed up at the end, and for that, made the erratic pacing for the most parts of the film come with a little bit more gravitas that warrants at least a repeated viewing, and powers its way into my shortlist amongst this year's best. Highly recommended!