CAST: Jung Woo Sung, Jun Ji Hyun and Lee Sung Jao
Luscious green scenery commences the movie. We see a woman riding her bicycle and finally settling to a field of daisies as she paints a picture of the nature. Her name is Hye-young.
Hye-young finds a waiting shed to hide from the pouring rain as she doesn’t normally bring umbrella because she’s accustomed to living alone. As she waits for the rain to abate, she recalls how her grandfather told her that someday she’ll find the one for her. She smiles at that thought and thinks that she’s 25 years old, and still she’s waiting for her first love to come.
Hye-young takes care of her grandfather’s antique shop on weekdays, and at night she enjoys painting in preparation for her first exhibit. On weekends she does street painting, and it was during one of her street painting jobs where she met a man holding a pot of daisy, she felt so curious of him, it’s as if she has known him all along.
The man, Jeong-woo, stands up and apologizes that he has to leave for an urgent matter. When he confirms that she’s also a Korean, he promises that he will be coming back tomorrow at the same time to finish the rest of the painting. He departs and leaves a pot of daisy.
At night while polishing Jeong-woo’s drawing, she remembers how his attention was focused on something behind her, and convinces herself that it could be her hair. The next day Jeong-woo comes even earlier than their appointed time, she is still working on a little curly boy. He sits down again as Hye-young prepares to continue on his portrait. She again notices that he’s looking at something and approaches the man and reminds him to look at her while they are doing the portrait.
She smiles as she sees a charcoal mark she left on the man’s face. He beams back and then stands again and apologizes that he has to leave again, but she responds not to worry because she’s already done with the drawing. He is surprised that it was done quickly, and when he catches some of her colored painting, he asks if she can do something like that for him next week to which she agrees. He is about to leave when she stops him to wipe out the charcoal mark as he still looks at something behind her back.
Hye-young acts as a subject to her grandfather’s photo session at night and talks about the resulting photographs. Her grandfather reminds her that she cares more of her paintings than dating and worries that her beauty will just be wasted by the time passing like the antiques they are selling. Hye-young retorts that she’s only 25, but grandpa replies that when he was young 25 year old unmarried woman were already as old as antiques. But she responds that she doesn’t care because she wants to stay by grandfather’s side always.
On the day Hye-young is suppose to meet again the man, she is caught again by the rain and rushes to find a shelter. She surmises on a lot of things that could have happened to him that’s why he didn’t show up. The next day he comes in with an injured hand and says sorry if he kept her waiting. They converse like normal friends as they work on his portrait for weeks.
Hye-young often receives a pot of daisy from an unknown person, someone will just shout that flowers are delivered to her, and she will rush to the shop’s door step. On one of this occasion, she gets surprised when she sees Jeong-woo on the door.
She looks at the daisies and he picks it up to give to her. He stares at the works of art and notices a picture frame with Hye-young’s photos. She explains that it’s not authentic except her picture. He says he likes it so much. She asks him how he knows where she lives, and grins that he has his own sources. When he tells her that he wants to buy the picture frame, she utters that she’ll just give it to him as a gift. He gives her kimchi in exchange for the frame.
They soon become friends and as he marvels at her paintings, he particularly eyes a daisy field painting she drew. As she stares at her own painting, she goes back in time for a summer she will never forget.
One summer she visited her grandfather’s village to prepare for her exhibit. For her to paint a beautiful field of daisies, she has to walk on a log bridge to cross on the other side. She likes daisies very much because they look like little sunflowers. Her favorite painter is Vincent Van Gogh, and because he liked painting sunflowers, she settles into painting daisies.
One day she slipped while crossing the log bridge. She ended up water soaked as her drawing materials were caught by the running stream. After that mishap, she never crossed the bridge anymore, but one day she found a newly constructed wide wooden bridge.
She thought it was some kind of coincidence, but when she saw her drawing materials, she felt that someone built the bridge just for her. She left a daisy painting of her on the bridge, and the next day somebody took the painting. From then on, she starts receiving the potted daisies from someone.
The flower meaning of daisies is supposed to be “love hidden inside”, and because the flower sender never showed himself to Hye-young, she reckons he wanted to keep his feelings to himself. He was a shadow in her paintings, and she wanted so much to meet him one day.
After she chronicles her “daisies from anyone” story to Jeong-woo, she tells him, she thinks she already knows the secret guy. Hye-young thinks that Jeong-woo is her secret admirer, because when they first met, he has a pot of daisy with him.
After her story, Jeong-woo doesn’t want to deny nor assume the person Hye-young imagines. He embraces her and reveals who he really is in his thoughts.
Jeong-woo is an Interpol officer investigating the Asian criminals in Amsterdam. He is on a mission to capture a drug traffic gang by tracing the routes they use between Europe and Asia. The day he first met her he was surveying the premise of where the drug traffic den is reportedly located. He buys a potted daisy and uses street painting for his observation. He actually uses Hye-young to confirm a lead for his assignment and didn’t notice her presence at all until the time he left to proceed with his secret mission and noticed that the painter was pretty.
The second time he met her, he discovered two things… the girl was beautiful than what he remembered and that she was falling for him. He worried as well that his own heart is feeling something warm and different. On the rainy day they were suppose to meet, he hid himself and just stared at her from afar, until he saw a hooded man entered the drug den, he followed him and was knocked down by the hoodlum.
Jeong-woo walks hiding a bunch of yellow rose from his back. He approaches Hye-young and gives the flowers to her. She tells him that the person sending her daisies hasn’t send her flowers for a week now, he jokes that maybe he got scared of him to which she smiles. She tells him not to give flowers anymore, as she can draw him from her memory now. He asks her how much she knows about him, she responds that he’s about 30-something Korean businessman who makes good kimchi and that his name is Jeong-woo.
He smiles and asks her if she will still like him if he reveals that he didn’t do the kimchi. Then gunshots break their conversation, as a few men exchange bullet fight with Jeong-woo. Jeong-woo chases the sniper but is shot by him because of the ground advantage. Hye-young gets accidentally hit and is rushed to the hospital.
Hye-young learns Jeong-woo’s true identity, and because of the bullet wound and shock, she lost her voice. She was told that he got injured and was sent back to Korea, but she doesn’t believe them. The nurse enters her room and replaces the daisies on her bed side table. She has learned to communicate using note cards. She stares at the daisies which she starts receiving again when Jeong-woo left.
PARK YI’S PERSPECTIVE
Then we see a man, staring at Hye-young’s hospital window, his name is Park Yi. He is a hired assassin.
An old man once told her that mud absorbs the smell of gun powder, so he starts growing daisies for him to forget the smell of gun powder.
He receives his mission through black tulips. After a mission, he will visit a village to get a breather, and that’s where he first saw Hye-young sitting in the green field happily painting nature.
He was also there when she slipped and fell on the stream. He was the man who built the bridge for her. He wished he could have met her before he committed his first murder because he could have thread a different path if that hapened.
Since then, he wants to see her every time, so he will bring potted daisy to her and watch her from afar. He rented a place where he can spot her freely while she does her street painting. He also learns the world of painting so that when he talks to her someday, he won’t act like a fool.
Because of his job, it’s very important to be secretive, and to start a relationship with someone is impossible for him to get. So he keeps himself contented with loving her from afar.
And then Jeong-woo came in Hye-young’s life, he felt so sad to be losing the only person who has given him a reason to live. Park Yi feels so heartbroken that there was even a time he stands beside Jeong-woo as they both stare at a picture and boasts about how he knows painting ideas than him, and then walks away. He was also the hooded man Jeong-woo chased one time, whom he thought was only a thief.
When the shootout happened, he used his gun to protect Hye-young, but when he shot Jeong-woo on his arm, a stray bullet hit Hye-young.
When Hye-young left the hospital, her grandfather took a welcome back home picture of her, and a shadow of a man can be seen in that picture. She knows it was her secret lover, but still he doesn’t want to show himself.
Finally Park Yi got enough courage to approach Hye-young and sits down to be painted by her. He always imagine to be smelling daisies when he will be closer to her, but instead she smells of paint, but the sweetest smell of paint he has ever known.
While painting the man, Hye-young subconsciously draws Jeong-woo, she asks if she can draw him again, and he obliges but he will come back another time for it. Park Yi gives Hye-young a lift after her street painting job, and since then he has been waiting for her to give him a lift. They will sit in the car without talking as they listen to classical music.
Hye-young knows Park Yi likes her but she’s still waiting for Jeong-woo and one day she’ll find an opportunity to straighten things out with the man.
While Park Yi was watching an old Korean film trying to look for some love tips, the man bringing black tulips walks by and left another mission for him.
Park Yi picks up Hye-young again, and she writes a note asking him for a dinner that night. He brings him to a good restaurant, but he tells her he has to go somewhere really quick. He runs and goes on to his planned mission and gets back holding a potted daisy for her. She hands his portrait and a note of thanking him for taking care of her but clearing that she’s in love with someone else. But he says that he just wants them to be friends.
Then we see Park Yi and Hye-young staring at her paintings, particularly the daisy field painting, she hands the note pad to the man, and again narrates her “once in a summer” story. Hye-young adds that she wants to see the man who gives the daisies one day. She hopes that he will come on her first painting exhibition.
He tells her that it’s useless to wait so he accompanies her to go to the police station to inquire about him. But the police officer they spoke with revealed that he won’t be coming back anymore. Seeing her so gloomy, the man assures her that he will come to her exhibit. He painfully looks at Hye-young as she weeps out of love and frustration. He invites her to his home, as he shows her the daisy flowers he’s growing and the painting books he bought so he can learn the world she is living.
Then Jeong-woo comes back from hiatus, but he learns that Hye-young has a new man already. He stares at her framed picture and feels sorry that a man replaces him as he replaces the man before him. He attempts to call her, but loses his tongue when the voicemail asks him to record his message.
Park Yi comes to visit Hye-young and hands her a cutie spoon (that’s what I think) as a gift. He goes inside and drinks coffee, when another knock was heard from the door… this time it was Jeong-woo.
They stand and stare at each other. He apologizes for taking time to see her, and she rushes to see her note cards to motion the “how are you” question. Jeong-woo apologizes for using her in his operation and causing her injury. He feels so guilt that it took a while for him to apologize formally. He leaves as Hye-young sobs in frustration of not being able to say something, and inside Park Yi is in mixed emotion. It pains him to see her weeping over a love she waited for a long time, but was never meant to happen anyway.
Jeong-woo’s superior proposes a new mission, and that is to catch a famous hitman who turns out to be Park Yi. They plan to pose a kill assignment alongside an operation simultaneously. Park Yi gets his assignment, with Jeong-woo’s picture on it.
Jeong-woo and his team are set to capture Park Yi. He approaches Jeong-woo and rides on his car as they move to a different location. The car stops as Jeong-woo pulls his gun and asks him why he didn’t shoot him earlier when he was at an advantage. Park Yi replies that he’s not sure whether Jeong-woo can pull the trigger or not, but he can easily do it as it is his way of life.
He narrates that killing is a habit and that he doesn’t even need to try. Jeong-woo retorts that he’s also the same, but the man jokes that he is forgetting that he’s the bad guy and Jeong-woo is the good guy. He tells him that he should go to Hye-young’s exhibit that day. He tells him that he will not kill him because Hye-young and that his role in her life has always been like a shadow… a secret.
JEONG-WOO: Why did you not kill me?
PARK YI: Because of Hye-young
JEONG-WOO: Are you the “daisy” guy?
PARK YI: Hye-young doesn’t know anything about it.
JEONG-WOO: Don’t you know how long she has waited for you?
PARK YI: Only before you came along. You should be the one going to her exhibit.
Park Yi tells him that he’ll disappear if he will not arrest him, but Jeong-woo doesn’t agree because he knows the man’s boss will not leave him alive if he’s not killed. Jeong-woo decides that they will both go to the exhibit and in the future whoever gets pick by Hye-young, the one who will not be picked will remain a good friend of hers.
Park Yi goes to Hye-young’s exhibit and sees her crying. He asks Jeong-woo’s superior what happened and he reveals that Jeong-woo got killed that day while on police operation. Hye-young weeps clutching on his clothing for relief.
A year passed, and we see Hye-young playing tug of war with Park Yi for the garbage bag. His grandfather tells him why not she considers Park Yi as he seems to be a good person.
While painting, Hye-young reveals that she knows Park Yi is a good man, but she doesn’t know how to cherish him. The nicer he is, the sorrier she feels, and everytime she feel sorry for not returning what he deserves, she can only draw a picture of him.
While looking at Hye-young’s portrait of him, Park Yi surmises that he doesn’t want anything from her, either in the past or present, but she has given him so much.
Hye-young visits Jeong-woo’s grave and catches Jeong-woo’s superior who also comes by to visit. He narrates that he knows Jeong-woo wouldn’t want other place to be buried but there. He still feels sorry not to figure out how he has been killed.
He reveals that the last time he was seen he met up a friend but they can’t get a trace of who that friend was. The only clue they can get is the classical music playing in his stereo because Jeong-woo doesn’t listen to it.
Hye-young visits Park Yi and he shows him a scene from a movie that he has watched for a hundred times already. He tells her that he knows how to read her lips already. When he drops her at her house, a potted black tulip is on the doorstep. He heads to see the boss and gets a final mission from him.
Hye-young goes again to Park Yi’s place. When she turns on his music player, classical music fills the air.
She goes back to her flat and sees Park Yi cooking dinner. She discovers the briefcase of his previous mission kills and demands him to reveal what the briefcase means. (Well she can’t talk so that’s what I assume she was meaning). She gets his gun and points it at him but when she pulls the trigger she also fainted.
She wakes up seeing the daisy drawing she left for the man who made a bridge for her. She reads the note cards left by Park Yi.
“I’m sorry. I’ve been lying to you all this time. I thought you’d be in danger if you knew who I am. I am a man who lives in a world of violence and death, and I shouldn’t have approached you. I was a fool to think that hiding the truth was protecting you. Now I know it hurts you more. Hye-young, thank you for being with me. I’ll remember our happy moments forever. I’m returning this painting. Please forget all the sad memories and find someone who deserves it and be truly happy. I’ll move on too. Goodbye.
Hye-young rushes to look for Park Yi who is prepping with the team to assassin Jeong-woo’s superior. She sees Jeong-woo’s superior and without her voice shouts frantically for him to stop it. Park Yi is surprised to see her there, and reads her lips begging to stop the act. She raises the daisy painting in the air as he continues reading her lips…
TO PUT THIS IN WRITING IS SO HARD, I APPLAUD THE DIRECTOR FOR CAPTURING THIS BEAUTIFUL SCENE.
“ I painted this for you. You have made me so much happy. I painted this for you. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I didn’t recognize you. But I know now, that you’re the one I was waiting for.”
Head police asks someone to take her away, she struggles to move away from their grip as Park Yi calls her name…
PARK YI: I shouldn’t have loved you. I don’t deserve you.
I’m sorry, I hurt you.
(Then we see a flashback of Jeong-woo and Park-yi standing outside his car after their conversation, another assassin attacked Jeong-woo and hit him on his forehead)
And for Jeong-woo I’m sorry I let him die. All I wanted was to make you happy. I’m sorry.
Hye-young sees an assassin positioned to shoot Park Yi so she takes the bullet and we see the daisy painting covered by blood spats as Park Yi holds Hye-young’s body.
A beautiful love song plays as we see Park Yi carries Hye-young away from the shoot out and scenes of their unfortunate love streams….
The love I’ve been dreaming of…
Is all so close to me
But all I can do is
Just watching you without words..
In this city of strangers
I lived day by day painting love.
Waiting and hoping that you’ll be there
With the scent of daisies…
It is too late but now
I finally recognize you
I’m afraid and hurt on the thought
That this love will disappear..
But I will believe again
That you’ll be waiting for me
Hye-young murmurs of wanting to start over again at the place where it all started, as Park Yi weeps while holding her. She says sorry and loses consciousness.
We see Park Yi listening to Hye-young’s voice mail message and clinging on the only memory left by her. He prepares his gun and goes to the assassin den to avenge Hye-young’s death.
Then we go back to the scene where Hye-young first got caught in the rain. The rain washes her paint as Park Yi and Jeong-woo smiles at it. The rain ends and Jeong-woo walks again with his superior as Park Yi waters the potted daisy with the water from the gutter.
This was narrated gorgeously in a three-way view point, there’s not a single kiss scene, but for some reasons it’s overflowing with love. It was like the feeling when Pacey gave Joey a whole wall for her to paint. If I’ll have a stalker like Park Yi, I’m sure I’ll fall for him.
Most movies that I’ve seen with time flashbacks were really good, but in Daisy it was extra special.
It is unconditional secret one sided love at its best, and the shoot out scene where Park Yi reads Hye-young’s lips is one of my favorite scenes ever.
And although the ever after was not achieved, this is one love story that really made me happy. It was a love full of wonderful memories even before it started.