Korean DVD review: ALWAYS
The sacrifices a single man is willing to make for a loved one are portrayed beautifully in this romantic drama, which first premiered at the 2011 Busan International Film Festival.
Former junior boxing champion Jang Cheol-min (So Ji-sub) moonlights as a parking garage attendant. By day, he uneventfully passes the time as a water deliveryman. When Ha Jung-hwa (Han Hyo-joo) enters his cinema booth to watch Korean dramas, he realizes she is blind and has mistaken him for an elderly predecessor. As time and viewings pass, Cheol-min is smitten with Jung-hwa and they agree to go on a date.
The first night out spells disaster as Cheol-min, ashamed of his mischievous past, inadvertently alienates Jung-hwa. But fate intervenes later when he prevents her boss from assaulting her. After refusing his proposal to become her provider, he secretly looks over her in the shadows until she eventually falls for him.
With Jung-hwa as a new inspiration, and armed with an invigorated spirit, he humbly returns to the ring with unparalleled drive and determination. His main motivation is to provide for her. As the relationship unfolds, viewers realize that the two have ironically crossed paths before, and their meeting, and subsequent bond, may not have been a chance encounter.
The main premise is a love story between two people with an incomparable magnetism toward one another. There is no special cinematography to enhance the viewing, but quality acting from both leads — combined with human emotion — makes this an enticing story. All the qualities and adequate plotlines are contained to produce a feel-good story that shows any obstacle can be overcome with will and desire.
Viewers should expect a pleasing film with a few twists on the path to meeting one’s soul mate.