Foreign Film Friday -My Love Eun-dong (2015)

SUMMARY

As young teenagers, reckless behavior on his part brings Hyun-soo and Eun Dong together. After Eun-dong’s lie spares him a criminal sentence, Hyun-soo determines to repay his debt by looking out for her. His debt of gratitude quickly turns into one of friendship, and Eun-dong challenges him to live a better life. Their strong connection is shattered when they are unexpectedly separated and lose touch for a decade.

Neither Eun-dong nor Hyun-soo forget each other and eventually another random meeting brings them back together. This time their friendship deepens into something much more. After falling in love they are once more accidentally separated. But Hyun-soo holds fast to his promise to wait for Eun-dong and never gives up hope they will be reunited.

Another ten years passes and Hyun-soo is now known as the famous actor Eun-ho. He decides to use his fame to search for his lost love by publishing their love story.  His manager hires young wife and mother Jung-eun to ghost-write the book. Jung-eun finds herself utterly charmed and moved by Eun-ho’s memories of Eun-dong, but also finds them strangely familiar.

Meanwhile, Eun-ho is being stalked by a powerful, beautiful woman who wants him for herself and will use any means to achieve her goal.

First love
MY THOUGHTS

K-Dramas have been on my radar for a while. In my little corner of the internet, people have been raving about Korean television series and the excellence of their story lines, characters and production quality. I won’t lie. I was a bit intimidated to watch one because Asian culture is so very foreign to me. But that is one of the great things about foreign films and productions -they expose us to other cultures, showing us we have more in common than we think.

My Love Eun-dong may be not only one of my favorite television series, but one of my favorite love stories ever. I mean, c’mon, the story of two soul mates who despite separation, stay true and never give up hope of finding each other?? The first episode which tells the story of Hyun-soo and Eun-dong’s first meeting left me in tears and hooked me into the remaining 15 episodes.

Second Chances

As this is my first K-drama I can’t compare it to others, but I loved everything about it. The plot and the emotional connections of the characters were complex and felt very true to life. The first two episodes set up the story with our lovebirds’ history but additional history was slowly revealed as Eun-ho’s search for Eun-dong continued. We not only see their memories, but those of others who are part of their story.

The acting in  was extremely well done. I fell in love with the two youngsters who played the young Hyun-soo and Eun-dong. And the adults who played the mature versions of their characters were fabulous too. I was impressed with Jin-mo Ju who plays the adult Hyun-soo/Eun-ho.

Is the third time truly the charm?

One thing I appreciated in My Love Eun-dong is how the villains are portrayed. They are not caricatures, but real people whose motives influence their choices.  While Eun-ho’s stalker was a bit two dimensional, she was never portrayed over the top, but more as a cold, calculating woman used to having her way. The other villain which I won’t name for fear of spoilers, was more selfish than evil, but even his decisions are motivated by love. Or at least his version of it. Neither antagonist is inherently evil, which makes them human and much easier to relate to and sympathize with.

It is not just the villains which are realistic but the obstacles between the two lovers. They aren’t hindered by lack of communication and other silly hindrances which many shows utilize. No, they face legitimate roadblocks which challenge their desire and fate to ultimately be together. Their challenges don’t just revolve around their relationship and what they want, but take into consideration others who will be impacted by their choices.

I was also impressed with the version of Korea that I saw in My Love Eun-dong. If it’s as clean and beautiful in real life, then I am moving it up on my travel bucket list!

I must also give a shout out to the film’s costuming. Both stars’ wardrobes were timeless and chic. Eun-ho’s sunglasses options alone made me drool!

But once again, it is the story that is the real selling point of this series. I didn’t think I could cry any harder than I did over the first episode until I reached the last one and saw all the little story threads weaved into the whole. It is a beautiful love story which also challenges viewers with themes of selflessness and forgiveness.

I cannot recommend this series enough. It goes by various English titles including Beloved Eun-don and My Love Eun-dong. But you can find it on Netflix under This Is My Love. There are 16 episodes which run around an hour a piece. If you’ve never watched a Korean drama before or a foreign film for that matter, you can’t go wrong with this one.

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