Movie Review: Hello Ghost (2010 Korean with English Subtitles)

Posted: July 11, 2015 in Comedy, Drama
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hello ghost

Sang-Man (Tae hyun cha) is an orphan, he lives alone, doesn’t have any friends, lives alone, and contemplates suicide.  When he attempts suicide by taking too many pills, he finds himself in the hospital, getting his stomach pumped.  Sang-Man is also surrounded by ghosts, whom he doesn’t know.  There’s a fat chain smoking ghost (Chang Seok Ko), there’s an old man ghost (Moon-su-Lee) there’s a lady ghost,(Young-Nam Jang) who cries a lot, and a little boy ghost.(Bo Geun Cheon)   The psychologists at the hospital think he’s having delusions, so he visits a shaman named Goo.  (Ho Seok Kong) All Sang-Man wasnts is to get rid of the ghosts. The shaman tells Sang-Man that to get rid of the ghosts, he has to fulfill the ghosts’ wishes.  The boy ghost wants to go to a movie, so Sang-Man takes him to a movie, the old man ghost wants a special camera that now belongs to a cop, Sang-Man gets it for him, the fat smoker ghost wants to drive in an old car, and go for a swim, using Sang-Man’s body.  The crying lady ghost wants to cook a meal for her friends.  As Sang-Man tries to placate the ghosts, he keeps meeting a pretty young nurse named Jung Yun-Soo (Ye Won-Kang) who works in a hospice, and he falls for her.  Does she reciprocate San-Man’s feelings? Does Sang-Man grant all the ghosts’ wishes?

I like this movie, ghosts visiting a suicidal man is reminiscent of It’s a Wonderful Life or A Christmas Carol, but there’s more to Hello Ghost, Sang Man has to resolve the ghost’s conflicts in order to find happiness himself.  It’s also got a serious side also, it’s about love and loss features really heart-wrenching drama, in the form of Yun-Soo and her father.  The heartwarming part comes late in the  movie, when Sang-Man realizes who the ghosts are.  That scene packs an emotional wallop.  I also like how the relationship between Sang-Man and Yun-Soo develops, he is trying to help the ghost and she is always where the ghosts happen to be, its kismet.  There are shortcomings to the movie, the comedy is a bit too broad, something that most Asian and Bollywood movies share, the old man is a bit of a letch, and Yun Soo has some unfortunate dialogue towards the end and there’s some Korean product placement, so it’s not perfect, but it takes a well-known premise and enhances it, and so it gets high marks from me.  I hear Adam Sandler bought the American rights to this movie, I can’t wait to see how he ruins it.

The acting is very good, especially from Tae Hyun cha.  I really like his gestures and his faces, he had a sweet, loveable quality in this film.  It’s hard not to root for him.  Ye-Won Kang is good, I didn’t really feel the chemistry between the two, but she handled the serious parts of the film well, so overall se was good.  The actors who play the ghosts are good, they start out irritating, but they end up endearing, that is good acting.

There’s not much to say about the direction, the pacing is good, and the length is ok.

Hello Ghost:  Left me in good spirits.

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