“Bungee Jumping of Their Own” is our movie of choice to cap off our Saturday night weekend. I asked Brian what genre was it, and he said it’s a Korean love story, and I got excited right away. Korean romantic movies have a reputation with me to be heart-wrenching yet so irresistibly good, and I wouldn’t pass up the chance to watch and experience the story myself.
Disclaimer: I didn’t read the synopsis of this movie, and had no idea and no expectation on how the story will unfold. I find this as an effective way to really be wowed by the movie, and I love it this way.
Set in 1983, it’s not the usual movies I’ve watched wherein I fell in love with the characters right off the bat. It came to me slowly as their story unfolds.
I especially like the scenes when male protagonist, Seo In-woo was torpe around approaching In Tae-hee, the female protagonist. And when In Tae-hee admitted she was pretending not to remember Seo In-woo because she’s scared their “first encounter – during one rainy day” wouldn’t be special anymore, and she didn’t want that to happen.
Both their characters are somewhat reminiscent of how I remembered my own love story went or should I say started. It was “love at first sight”. Soulmates. Destiny. The moment they’ve met, they knew they are going to fall in love with each other. And fall deeply in love they did.
They were the usual students who were young, inexperienced in love, experiencing love at first sight and being in love for the first time. I didn’t feel the gravity of their love for each other until the pivotal scene when Seo In-woo were waiting for In Tae-hee at the train station, and she didn’t arrive. I felt a deep hole in my heart, as how I imagined Seo In-woo must have felt too.
Fast forward to 2000, the movie revealed that Seo In-woo became a teacher of high school students. He looked like he grew up to be a normal, responsible person. And I can’t help but wonder what happened to In Tae-hee.
Meanwhile, Lim Hyeon-bin, a 17-year old male student of Seo In-woo, seemed to resemble a lot like In Tae-hee; his love for arts (In Tae-hee was an art major), talent in drawing, his views about love, his ring tone, sticking out his pinky when carrying anything, and so much more. Lim Hyeon-bin is practically In Tae-hee, only he is a 17-year old male.
At first I thought Lim Hyeon-bin was their offspring, but later found out that he seemed to be the reincarnation of In Tae-hee.
“After I’m born again, I’m going to look for you. And when I do, I’ll fall in love with you again.”, Seo In-woo to In Tae-hee. This was the line of a person deeply in love and willing to transcend time just to find his love over again.
Despite encountering school troubles being branded as gay, Lim Hyeon-bin started “remembering” his life as In Tae-hee, up until the moment she died and didn’t get to meet Seo In-woo at the train station. That was a big revelation! She was hit by a truck while crossing the street causing her to die.
Lim Hyeon-bin having In Tae-hee’s memory, finally went to meet with Seo In-woo at the train station. At first I thought they will give their story a closure. To my surprise, they went to New Zealand, which was mentioned in the beginning of the movie when In Tae-hee said she wanted to do bungee jumping in New Zealand.
“Fulfilling her unfinished business” I thought. But no, Lim Hyeon-bin and Seo In-woo jumped from the bungee jumping bridge, hand-in-hand, without harness.
This was when I realized that this is one dark movie! I get that they are deeply in love, they were soulmates, and they promised to fall in love with each other even when they are reincarnated, but, it’s so wrong on so many levels.
Lim Hyeon-bin has a life of his own. He’s a student, with a girlfriend, and a family. Meanwhile Seo In-woo also has a wife and a daughter. Continuing their love story, while sacrificing Lim Hyeon-bin is just dark and selfish.
But I give the storyline of this movie 5-stars for being original. Touching topics on love at first sight, soulmates, reincarnation and homosexual relationship.
Lastly, I’ll leave you with Seo In-woo’s lines for In Tae-hee, which makes me feel the deep love and deep hole of their love story.
If you jumped from a cliff, you said your life wouldn’t end there. We’ll meet again and fall in love. It’s not because I love you. It’s because all I can do is love you, I love you forever.Seo In-woo in Bungee Jumping of Their Own