Bungee Jumping of Their Own
"I can't call it completely original, but it was intriguing to be sure."
Bungee Jumping of Their Own (2001)
Director: Kim Dae-Seung
Writer: Go Eun-Nim
Cast: Lee Byeong-Heon, Lee Eun-Ju, Hong Su-Hyeon, Lee Beom-Su, Yeo Hyeon-Su, Kim Won, Namgung Min, Bang Jin-Yui, Kim Gap-Su, Oh Ji-Hye
Running Time: 101 min.
Plot: See review below.
Availability: This title is available at HKflix.com
EQUINOX21'S REVIEW: Do you believe in love at first sight? How about destiny? What does it mean if you're destined to meet the love of your life and it turns out to be a member of the same gender, even though you're not gay? These are subjects that are at the heart of Bungee Jumping of Their Own.
On a rainy day in 1983, college student In Tae-hee (Lee Eun-ju) escapes the rain while waiting for a bus by running under an umbrella being held by fellow student Suh In-woo (Lee Byung-hun [J.S.A.]). For both of them it is love at first sight. Over the months, they become deeply enamored until the time comes for In-woo to serve his mandatory military service; he asks Tae-hee to come with him, she agrees and tells him to wait for her at the train station. She never shows up.
Now, in the year 2000, In-woo teaches language classes in high school. He begins noticing strange things about one of his 17 year-old students, Lim Hyun-bin (Yeo Hyun-soo). Everything that Hyun-bin does reminds In-woo of his first-love, Tae-hee. Despite the fact that Hyun-bin is male, In-woo finds himself falling for him, with terrible consequences to his career, marriage and reputation. But what is the link between Hyun-bin and Tae-hee, and what will it mean for In-woo's future?
Lee Byung-hun does a terrific job in his role as In-woo. His inner conflict and the questioning of his sexuality as he finds himself attracted to Hyun-bin really show through. Lee Eun-ju does a very good job as well, in the limited role she has. I can easily understand why he would have fallen in love with her at first sight, because she is stunningly beautiful. While the story was interesting, it felt to me a little too much like the movie Il Mare, to the point of my being able to predict some key moments in the film. I wouldn't say it wasn't good because of it, but it did take away from the originality that was established. Though the film was darker as a whole, it still ends on a positive note.
If you're a fan of Il Mare, then check out Bungee Jumping. If you like unique melodrama or movies that address controversial issues (by Korean standards, obviously) then this is an interesting one to see. I can't call it completely original, but it was intriguing to be sure.
EQUINOX21'S RATING: 7.5/10