Short review: Very good film. Do not let the language discourage you. Good balance of emotion, story, and character development throughout the film. At minimum its worth the ~$5 for pay per view.
If you are hesitating to watch this before you do not understand Korean, don’t. I have never watched “foreign” films before. I do not speak/understand Korean (except basic common words most people know)
I watched this movie with English subtitles (thankfully they had them)
I enjoyed the “foreign” elements in this film. Not meaning the language but the art style associated with how the film was written and acted out. Its interesting to see them add emphasis to different elements including mystery (spooky), emotion (sadness, happiness), surprise, wonder, curiosity, passion, and personal progress. In mainstream US-based movies, its rare to see personal experiences emphasized, unless they are relating to specific social issues. In US movies, social issues being emphasized usually feels more like propaganda than a true narrative of struggle and character.
Its worth noting that the highlights on student-pupil relationships in this movie are very well thought out.
I wouldn’t immediately compare this movie to Good Will Hunting. While it is similar, I personally felt that the emotion was a lot more genuine in this film. This movie puts a lot more emphasis on the character relationships and development than it puts on the “genius man” being genius. I would say a core focus on this film is emphasizing “social norms” and “stereotypes” more than “extraordinary abilities” – as you could expect from a Korean movie, they portray the genius man in a humble manner.
Review by Chad Allen