CAST: Jung Jae-young and Lee Na-young
It was a walk to remember in a soothing piano music. Chi-sung holds his woman’s hand in that wonderful spring afternoon… and then the woman let go of his hand and breaks up with him.
The man in his alter imagination madly shouts at her bringing him in a beautiful place to just end the relationship, but in the real world the soft spoken man just agrees with her decision.
He watches her walk away and in solitude he says…
“It was not love again this time either, I always thought that it is, but sooner or later I will find out it was not. I haven’t experienced love yet, not even first love.”
He goes to see a doctor to check on the frequent nosebleeds he’s having, and the doctor reveals of the tumor in his head that will cause him an inevitable death.
With the sad news of his upcoming death the man mopes in a bar and swims in liquor. While the bar owner reminds him of his good old days as a baseball pitcher, tears brim in his eyes and the bartender girl notices it.
When alcohol numbs his very bad day he wakes up in a hotel room with the bartender. She teases him of his alcohol intolerance. He wonders how she was able to bring him to that place and she retorts that she folded him and put him inside a box. He tries picturing how she carried him but it was a weird idea so he dismisses it.
She lectures him of his drinking habits and praises on how he looks so sweet and peaceful while he sleeps. She leaves him in the room, and when he is alone. He surmises on discovering three things that other people have but he doesn’t… He has no first love. He has no next year. He has no bad mannerisms.
The bartender tells her friend that she talks with her crush in more than two words, and her friend ignores her bragging but slams down the coffee mug when she adds that they stayed in a hotel room yesterday.
Chi-sung heads home after his zombie-ish baseball practice participation, and listens to a radio program on board a subway…
“He cried today… That’s the first time I saw it. What could cause a good-spirited person to cry so? And he drank yesterday too. It’s the first time I ever saw him drink. He never drinks, but after three shots he started shouting what his heart feels, and then he passed out. For me to carry him was hard. A man of his size was not easy, so I had to put him in a box. In the room I just stared at him freely. He didn’t snore or move around. I don’t know if he could tell I was there. There was so much I wanted to say and so much I wanted to hear, but the words are all stuck in my throat. His sad face keeps coming in my mind. Is there any way I can make him feel better? ”
Chi-sung realizes the very subject of the radio program was him so he heads to meet the bartender and demands an explanation to what is happening. The hosts of the radio program throw their opinion about the letter sender being in a one-sided love or just purely compassionate while the man grabs the bartender’s shirt. She explains that she only wants to give him the mobile phone since he lost his. He releases her and gives the hotel fee and walks away.
Chi-sung’s shower reverie is broken by his teammate. He advises him not to dwell on his recent heartache as it won’t do him well. He also informs him that he’ll start pitching again and to forget everything that happens in the past. And we go to a trip down is memory lane.
“The most important part of the game is the 9th inning. This is where dramatic moments come. Someone goes for an excellent move and on the other hand some crazy fool screws up. On that day thanks to me we experience a big screw up.”
Chi-sung hears the deafening sound of the crowd in the brink of a victory taste and from nowhere a woman in her break-up litany reverberates in his ears…
“If we break up like this, you’ll go meet someone new. How long will it last? A week? A Month? And you’ll meet someone else again, but then you’ll discover again that it wasn’t love. That’s the way you are! Your love is too weak.”
Chi-sung was consumed with that break-up scene of the year as the baseball hits his head and he fails to catch the ball.
The next day Chi-sung shows his baseball pitching prowess as his fellow teammates chat about his infamous killing pitch skill in college.
Chi-sung goes to a bank for his intention to loan some money but the bank is caught up with a bank robbery situation. And when you are in between a gang of robbers and will face an inevitable passing away soon, you would really think fate is playing with you, so the man rants in the middle of the masked bank villains and tells them he doesn’t have any death wish.
He counts the robbers one by one, complains why they are so many and lectures them of doing that vile thing when he just want to get a loan because he’s gonna die soon. He shouts how they wave their guns because they want to live and he has to face it because he’s going to die. Hahaha How’s death for a leverage?
When Chi-sung got home, he watches the TV news about the bank incident and there the culprits are interviewed…
CULPRIT: We thought our plan will work and then he stands up… We were just listening to him. First he talked about his loan, then some other incomprehensible things, and then he yells about love. Then I said, what’s so great about love? You meet a woman, ask her name. Once you know her name you start loving her. Then you ask her age, and her favorite food.”
He gets interrupted by a knock on the door and sees the bartender. She gives him the mobile phone she won from their story, but he complains that he has money to buy it. He asks her why she follows him and frets at the land broker who could have told her where he lives. She rebuts that she lives in the neighborhood and he can’t remember her anymore. She tells him that her house is 39 steps away from his house and then he remembers how they met before.
In his baseball uniform he hands some food to her mother as courtesy and explains that they just moved in the neighborhood. He walks away and she counts the sound of his footsteps, and from then on, she silently loved him. IN one of her staking mode, she overhears him telling a friend that he’s going to drop by at his bar since he lives in the neighborhood, and from then on as well, she started working as a bartender so she could get a glimpse of him every now and then.
Chi-sung goes to register his mobile phone only to find out that the bartender already did the job. She asks him if he can come with her for a movie night because “their story” won at another radio station.
While waiting for the movie, he asks how many radio stations got their story. She replies 5 and proudly exclaims that all 5 won.
His ex-gf approaches making the supposed movie date awkward. His ex-gf’s friend remarks that they thought he doesn’t like going to a movie house, but he explains that he got free tickets. When his ex-gf asks him if the bartender is his new gf, he denies and says “she’s just a woman I know”.
They are silent in the movie house, but the bartender can’t hold it anymore and asks him if he has a lot of “woman he knows”. An angel passes by, and then he mutters she’s the only woman he knows which made her smile and happy.
Chi-sung funnily recaps the film in his thoughts…
“The movie was about a woman’s love and an old telephone pole she always stared at. The man she loved lived in the city. He always thought about the woman waiting for him and resisted the love of city women. His love was unwavering. The old telephone pole witnessed their love and their parting of ways. She always waited for him under that pole from morning till dawn.
The movie was almost ending, he’s on his way to be with the girl waiting for him, but then the love story turned into an action movie… the man was badly beaten, meanwhile the woman coughed for a few times and collapsed for no apparent reason. The man bloody beaten dragged himself but eventually fall down. Then a telephone pole appeared in front of him… He reached out his hand to the pole… closed his eyes and thought of her. And then the pole sparks as his love entered the electrical wires and sent signal to all the poles in the land. Then it finally reaches her, as she lays underneath the pole, it sparks and delivered his love for her.
Chi-sung thanks her for the movie and dinner. He learns that her parents already passed away, and tells her that he’s also an orphan. The bartender remarks that they lost their parent on the same day. Chi-sung grievingly recounts the last conversation he had with his father. It was his father’s first time to fly and the last one too as the plane crash took away their lives.
He stands up to leave and crushes the soda cans which stayed sticking in his shoes and heads home. He stops as he realizes he’s nose bleeding again, and the bartender counting his footsteps halts and check why his footsteps abruptly ends.
She rushes him to the hospital, and she takes ownership of him. The doctor reveals his worsening illness turning her to a point of deciding she’s going to take care of him.
She gives him a medicinal soup and a candy and he asks her to stand in the wall and wait for him. He steps outside and traces a chalk as she stands in the wall. He asks her not to bring him medicine anymore.
He is gaping at her wall chalk trace when a thief gets loose in the neighborhood. He seeks Chi-sung’s home for refuge and accepts a pastoral speech from him. The thief delivers his sob story and that’s all it takes to move Chi-sung who hands him some money to help him start a new life.
The next morning Chi-sung’s house is searched by the police and the bag the thief left last night is fund as an evidence of his stealing activity. Chi-sung is about to pitch a ball when her face shows up and blurts on how he could have done a distasteful thing. He attempts to get some sense out of her but she warns him that he can’t go home.
He ends up staying at the bargirl’s house for the mean time and her heart could never be happier. Thus their weird cohabitation set forth. At dinner time, the woman utters if thievery is just a big crime that police swarms his house that much, but he responds and compliments her cooking. They watch a baseball game after and I can’t help but smile at him giving her a baseball crash course.
BARTENDER: Why can’t you just go straight from 1st base to 3rd?
CHI-SUNG: You can’t they will yell at you.
BARTENDER: If the fielder catches the ground ball and throws it at the crowd, what will happen?
CHI-SUNG: You can’t throw it there. Why would you throw it there?
BARTENDER: Just for fun, why can’t you?
CHI-SUNG: Yu can’t do it.
BARTENDER: I’d love to see that. That will be fun
After the game, he silently mutters what she will do if she only got two months to live. She rebuts that she’d rather die faster than wait for two months and experience the pain of waiting with nothing else to do. He deems what she said to be true more so in his case who doesn’t even need to write a will because there’s no person he knows of to give it to. He tried committing suicide through marathon but his supposed strong heart bears the weight so well. Suicide Attempt. Epic Fail. Instead he won 5th place and a kimchi refrigerator. Winning prizes from radio shows and marathon can strengthen the love between two people if these two will end up together, well they will. *wink
The bargirl (yes, her name hasn’t been revealed yet at this point of the movie, so pardon all the names I’m throwing at her) turns on her radio and storms to where Chi-sung was sleeping. She asks him to come with her inside, he obliges and they listen to the song together. The girl mumbles that she knows he likes that song, he agrees but blurts that it was a long time ago… She chronicles that when she was in High School, she often hears it playing when she passes his window so she started liking that song too. I sweetly sigh at her long running secret love.
He asks her why did she start liking him, but she cannot remember when it started. He asks if she still like him, but she can only mutters that he didn’t even know she existed.
“You didn’t even know who I was, where I lived, how long and how close I could feel your presence. What I liked or what I disliked.”
He apologizes to not knowing her existence and remembers that time when he steps out and notices the bargirl’s chalk tracemark on the wall.
The bargirl tells Chi-sung that there there’s a lot of things she hasn’t done for the first time, and that’s why she doesn’t know. She closes her eyes, and he moves closer to kiss the girl who has loved him all her life, but something breaks outside that stop their magic moment. They see the same thief Chi-sung had a pep talk with and he apologizes for going back to his old life when he promised he’ll do well. He explains that her wife is pregnant again and the money he got won’t suffice for their needs so his will to believe in life again he has no choice but to forget again. With that kind of drama, Chi-sung’s heart is moved again and they let go of the thief. Bargirl offers her home if next time he has no other place to hide which made Chi-sung flinched.
The doctor who declared Chi-sung’s death diagnosis sits with another patient and realized that he made a mistake and that he is not dying.
On another hospital scene, the doctor advises the bargirl that Chi-sung’s nose capillaries are getting weak and if his nosebleeds persist, he may succumb to anemia so he has to go on a surgery. She asks how he caught that illness, and the doctor explains that it could be because of stress and fatigue or doing strenuous activity on the nose for a long time. She assumes that it could be the former, but the doctor retorts that she might be surprised to hear that for some it’s the latter.
Chi-sung buys bargirl a dress and waits impatiently as she wears it. She comes out awkwardly, turns around and they are caught with that pretty happiness they are both holding in.
He asks her to come and watch him pitch again as he’s going to do it for the last time. She prepares his medicine and let’s go of it when she sees Chi-sung picking his nose. Now, the doctor could have been right, I’ll buy that’s the reason why because it’s funny, that’s it. *giggles
She cryingly requests him not to pick his nose and her sad face won him over as he follows. His hiding spree abates as he is caught by the police. He is interrogated and bargirl waits for her sleepily not knowing that he’s in the police station for questioning.
The police officer complains that the sun is peeking in the horizon but they haven’t gotten anything but “I don’t know” from Chi-sung. They can’t understand why he gives the thief some money because his life is hard. They keep pinning him to the direction where he is ether an accomplice or he paid the thief for a murder ploy. The investigator yells that he also needs money and good-hearted Chi-sung offers him some money which raises the inspector’s blood pressure even more. The police head comes in and let go of Chi-sung. The murderer was named to be the man’s ex-gf and voices out that she did it because of too much love. He hands a note from his doctor and wishes him luck for his pitching job that day.
The bargirl wakes up realizing he didn’t come home so she goes to Chi-sung’s house. There are no police in his house anymore and it dawns on her that he could have been taken by the police. She asks if Chi-sung was taken there, and they points at the TV and she watches him pitch the baseball.
Chi-sung plays pitcher in all his might, and in his thoughts he mutters… “
I’ve been trying to search what love is all about, but I never checked out the dictionary for its meaning. Because I knew I won’t believe what it will say. But today… I’m going to pitch… for that SOMEONE SPECIAL.
The bargirl happily gapes at the TV screen as Chi-sung pitch and the batter hits it. He catches the ball, the moment freezes, the team happily expects the victory, the batter tries to run… and then he throws the ball…
to the crowd…
to make his SOMEONE SPECIAL smile.
And smile the bargirl did, as the spectators wonder what happened.
The game freezes as Chi-sung walks away nosebleeding thinking he has done what he has left in his life. He pauses to tell his team that he was curious what will happen if he fields a ball and throws it in the crowd, but a cat got the team’s tongue.
On a bus ride, he talks with the bargirl over the phone and tells her of the look on the manager’s face when he threw the ball. She worries that he might not be able to play anymore but he doesn’t care. She invites him for dinner as he reads the note from his doctor about his death verdict. He hangs up feeling frustrated and happy at the same time for the news of the mistake on his expected death. He tears the letter and goes to see the doctor who caused havoc in his life. He rants how he mortgaged his house and lost his job because he thought he’s gonna die but the security holds on to him tightly.
The bargirl gets a call from the bar boss and asks her to come in to appease the troubled Chi-sung and her name is finally revealed, as her boss calls her name Yi-yeon. Drunk Chi-sung vents his anger on losing his job and being penniless to Yi-yeon. He annoyingly caused tears to brim in her eyes.
CHI-SUNG: Are you going to let me stay in your house? Do you love me? Are you interested in me?
YI-YEON: Why are you doing this to me? Yes why are you being an asshole?
CHI-SUNG: Are you not sure?
YI-YEON: Why are you talking that way? Do you really not know? Are you asking because you’re curious?
CHI-SUNG: screaaaams Damn Just tell me if you love me!
Yi-yeon weeps and moves closer to him to whisper “ILOVEYOU” to his ear.
The boss assures her that he’ll be back to being nice when he sobers up, he was just drunk that’s why he lost his good manners. Chi-sung is taking a night walk muttering how he will apologize to Yi-yeon. He blabbers how he was prepared to die, and now he’s ging to live again. He’s worried what he is going to do. Then he sees a telephone post, he holds it, wonders why he’s doing it, gives up doing it and I can’t stop myself from laughing.
Then we see the woman who murdered her ex-bf-who-caused-that-ball-hit-in-his-head-who-owned-the-watch-inside-the-thief’s-stolen-bag preparing for her suicide. The car hits her, drunk Chi-sung stares at her and through telepathy they both wonder if they have met each other before. He finally recognizes her and tells her that she’s going to get her dream of dying because of love, but the girl almost dying replies that love can only be felt when you are alive.
Chi-sung watches the ambulance go and runs to feel what love is a about. He remembers the culprit’s definition of love as well as his teammates encouraging love talk that “love is always waiting” but he should go for it. All the definitions of love he acquires come rushing in his running memories.
He went back to the hotel incident when she listens to his heartbeat uttering how she’s so happy he’s alive. He jumps to check if she’s in her house, and realizes where she probably is… He shifts and go to his house and finds her waiting outside the door…
CHI-SUNG: I want to ask you something. What’s your name?
BARGIRL: Yi yeon… Han Yi-yeon
CHI-SUNG: That’s a pretty name.
YI-YEON: Thank you.
CHI-SUNG: Shall I walk you home?
Yi-yeon agrees and while they walk home, he asks about herself and her favorite things.
“Today I received three things that not all people can get… I got next year. I got bad mannerisms. And I got my first love.”
This flick has one of the wittiest and funniest screenplay I’ve seen. It was not complex and will keep teasing your heart in its entire duration. It’s a movie were all pieces complements each other well from the story premise to how the characters played their role well to the amusing conflict and to the secret love and how it was returned back. This is one of my hall-of-famers. ^_^