Josee – Review

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After the great success of playing the ungrateful Nam Do-san at Start-Up, Nam Joo-hyuk reunited with Han Ji-min, where the two had dueted in one of the most successful and best Korean dramas of all time, The Light in Your. Eyes. Is a remake of the Japanese film Josee, the Tiger and the Fish (2003) which was adapted from the book of the same name by Seiko Tanabe, Josée is a romance that talks about freedom, and of course love. Love that is sufficiently felt, does not need to be understood, nor does it need a reason. Top Movie Site

Lee Young-seok (Nam Joo-hyuk) is a student who never stays in one heart. From juniors to lecturers, all ended up in bed. One day he helped a woman (Han Ji-min) who fell from a wheelchair. The woman brought to his house. A slum house where he lives with his grandmother. The woman introduces herself by the name Josée, which Young-seok finds out later, after the character of Françoise Sagan’s novel Wonderful Clouds. Young-seok starts visiting regularly for free meals and slowly brings his feelings to Josée.

Under the direction of director Kim Jong-kwan, who co-wrote the script, Josée may surprise viewers who come to see Nam Do-san 2.0 or the melodrama melodrama that is touching blue. The film plays softly, with the melancholy reinforced by the snowy backdrop of some parts, as well as the music based on the tinkling piano and guitar by Narae. Plus, Josée always speaks quietly, tends to whisper.


Josée’s orientation is a sense constructed through the mood of the situation. Through the silence, through the coldness of the snow outside the house, through the rays of the sun shining in through the windows, through the gazes, through the love floating in the air instead of being exploded. A style that doesn’t feel suitable for all audiences, but if you can accept it, you will be carried away, and subconsciously drowning in the love of the two main characters. Best Movie

Nam Joo-hyuk’s greatest strength is to make problematic characters likeable. He has shown this achievement at Start-Up, and is able to repeat it here. You would think of Young-seok’s tendency of changing partners as foolishness, but you won’t resent him. Meanwhile, Han Ji-min gave birth to a lonely figure who refused to feel lonely. A figure full of limitations who refuses to be confined. A mysterious figure that continues to invite the audience’s curiosity to understand him more.

Questions (and possibly complaints) are likely to be directed towards the conclusion of the film. After the five-year timeskip, the story provides a turning point for the two characters’ relationship for no definite reason. But if you pay attention, Josée is not a question of certainty. The protagonist lies about his name as well as his background. Because again, it’s about taste. About love. No one can explain the exact reasons why love comes and goes.

Josée’s real weakness is related to the film’s lack of directness in conveying messages about the various faces of “freedom”. That what is often seen as restraints may even be another form of freedom. That a pain that for many people destroys, for others it could give an injection to rise up to pursue freedom. Everything is explained through the ambiguity of allegories (fish, tigers, etc.) which never completely leave an impression. Movie Review

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