Sunday, February 28, 2016

Movie Review Alice: Boy from Wonderland


Synopsis 

Hye-Joong (Jung Sung-Min) has suffered from severe nightmares and lost her memory before four years old. The nightmares actually happens in reality and finally endanger her life. Unable to cope with the nightmares anymore, she heeds the advice of a shaman and goes back to the villa where her family stayed 24 years ago. The villa is now known as "Wonderland." There, she meets a mysterious enchanting man Hwan (Hong Jong Hyun), a beautiful woman Soo-Ryun (Jang Yeon-Joo) and a white rabbit. During the next 15 days, Hye-Joong has to find what she lost. If she succeeds her nightmares will stop, otherwise everybody will die. 

Recap

The story begins with Hye-Joong having nightmares which seem to threaten her life. Her mother is worried about her daughter but does not know how to help her. Desperate for help, she engaged the help of a spiritual medium. 


Recently, Hye-Joong suffers greatly from the Nightmare every night and there were signs of self destruction. Her mother sought help from the medium who advises her to solve the problem as soon as possible, or else Hye-Joong will meet death in time to come. The medium advice Hye-Joong to go to a place to solve the mystery behind her nightmares and resolve her problem.



Hye-Joong browse through the internet and saw a place where she intend to stay for a while. On the way to the house - Alice in the wonderland, she meets a young man. 


This handsome and charming young man is Hwan. He lead Hye-Joong to his house and there is another occupant, a young woman name Soo-Ryun awaits them at the house. Soo-Ryun look at Hye-joong with suspicious eyes. It is as though Hye-Joong and Hwan know each other long ago, as Hwan plays a guitar and sings a song to her. Soon, he falls asleep, while Hye-Joong look over at him. 


On the other hand, the medium is trying to find out what is the reason behind the nightmare. In order to resolve the problem, she needs to dig out the past with Hye-Joong mother. Meanwhile, Hye-joong is settling down in the house and she received a call from her mother who is worried about her safety. Knowing that her mother is worried about her well beings, Hye-Joong reassures her mother that she is fine and that she is determined to stay here. 


Soo-Ryun seem to have a special relationship with Hwan. She talks to Hwan secretly and takes care of him very well. The next day, Hye-Joong discovered a few scratches marks on the wall and wonder what it means as it seems familiar to her. 


Hwan sleeps beside Hye-Joong on the bed and look after her. However, he seems to be hiding something from Hye-Joong and protecting her at the same time. Hwan is tending the wound at his heart area as he showers in the bathroom. What are the secrets hidden in this house and these suspicious looks between the occupants?


Hwan becomes closer to Hye-joong and holds her fingers while he falls asleep. Hye-Joong begins to have some connections to the past as she recalls bits and pierces. Everything seems so confusing and only Hwan seem to be the only one that Hye-Joong can trust.   


Hye-Joong shares about her problems with Hwan who look over her with concern. He listens to her trying to fix the puzzles in her life. He advice her not to probe into the past anymore. 


They are talking about the rabbit, suddenly Hwan feels dizzy and uncomfortable. A mysterious woman carrying a cat can be seen from far away looking at them. Soo-Ryun immediately run to Hwan and help him back to the house.


While Hye-Joong mother and the medium is trying their best to dig the past and resolve the problem, Hye-Joong encounter another danger. Hwan rescue Hye-Joong and Soo-Ryun look at him in a painful manner. What is the secret between them?


Hwan rescue Hye-Joong from danger again when she walks into the room. Despite his injuries, he manage to move his fingers to close the door. It is very clear that Soo-Ryun intend to kill Hye-Joong. It is obvious that the three of them knew each other. However, Hye-Joong has lost part of her memories. Let the mysteries unfold!


A woman give Hye-Joong a protection sachet and ask her to keep it with her and it will help her to escape danger . Hye-Joong continue to stay in the house to investigate. She is attracted to a room and intend to open the door. While she place her hand on the door knot, Hwan pull her away and covers her mouth.



Hye-Joon suspects that Hwan knows what is happening in this house, he even knows when to protects her from danger. She demands to know what is happening but Hwan did not give her a direct answer. He said that he will continue to watch over her and Hye-Joong is upset that everyone is hiding some secret from her.


Hye-Joong knows that the only person she can trust and rely on Hwan. She stay close to him. Hwan look at her lovingly and reassure that everything will be fine. On the other hand, Soo-Ryun places a hand on Hwan heart and look at him sadly.


The spiritual medium seems to know something and uses her power to protect Hye-Joong. Every now and then, Hye-Joong life is threaten and she does not know anything at all. She continue to investigate, hoping to end her nightmares. 


Hwan and Hye-Joong relationship continue to progress as they spend more time with each other. Soo-Ryun look at Hwan with sadden eyes. We can pretty much guess that they share a special relationship. What exactly is their relationship? At this point, we can conclude that Hwan is a ghost and the three of them share a destiny. Something must have happened in this house and she is here to end everything. 


It is very clear that Hwan and Hye-Joon have fallen in love with each other. However, Hye-Joon is trying to avoid him. Hwan look at Hye-Joon longingly as she runs away from him. 


The woman leads Hye-Joong to the wilderness and point at the ground. Hye-Joon recalls that incident in the past when she was a little kid. She kneel over the ground and cry aloud. Hwan hug her from behind as the blood flows down his hand. The ground is where Hwan was buried when he was a baby. 


Hwan carries Hye-Joon into the room and lay next to her on the bed. Soo-Ryun look at Hwan helplessly as though she has many things to say. She simply cannot do anything to harm Hye-Joon while Hwan is around. 


The next day, Hwan open the wardrobe and inside are all white shirts? Yes, he changes into a white shirt again and the pair of socks were worn in a weird and funny way. 


Hwan continue to stay around Hye-Joon to protect her but his heart is bleeding! On the other hand, the medium and the mother go to a house and ask for a bundle from the family. What is that?


Soo-Ryun hand a cup of water to Hwan and talk to him tenderly, asking him why he chose to protect that person. What did Hye-Joong did to them that cause Soo-Ryun to harm her? It has to do with the little girl that holds a knife. Did she kill Hwan and the woman? what is their purpose? 


Hwan plead with Soo-Ryun not to harm Hye-Joong. However, the woman refuse to let it go after what she had done to them, she wants revenge. Hye-Joong looks at them and cried. The medium throw the bundle into the fire and hopes that everything will be resolve soon.


Hwan heart is bleeding, just like a knife stabbed into his heart. Why did this incident happen? How did Hwan and Hye-Joong know each other? Hwan has a soft spot for her and love her. 


Next, we have the two confess their feelings for each other and kisses on the lips and forehead. They are going to spend a romantic night with each other.


They kisses each other tenderly and hug lovingly. Okay, i get it! They are supposed to be in love with each other but when did it start to accelerate their puppy love into passionate love?


Hwan is hurting physically but he is still determined to stay by Hye-Joon side to protect her. That shower scene is to show Hong Jong Hyun buffed body and it does look good onscreen. 


Next, we jump to the scene whereby Hye-Joon suddenly recalls everything. When she was a young girl, she stayed in this house with her father. 


Hye-Joon play with a knife at the kitchen used the knife on a baby. She scratched his face which caused a scar. After that, she stabbed the baby with the knife, causing a bloody scene. This baby is Hwan. That explains why his face and heart bleeds. 


Soo-Ryun is the servant who had an affair with Hye-Joon father. His wife knows about the affair and confronted her husband. Soo-Ryun play with Hye-Joon and takes care of her,  while Hye-Joon mother is still sitting on the wheelchair.


Having lost her child and practically everything, Soo-Ryun hang herself on the tree in despair. Hye-Joon mother discover the baby photograph and recalls the incident in the past. 


Now that Hye-Joon knows everything, Soo-Ryun is here to kill her to take revenge for her son. Hwan appears in front of her and tell her that he does not blame her. 


Hwan mother insist on taking revenge for his son to end his suffering. She pick up the knife and walk closer to Hye-Joon. 


The sachet drop out and Hye-Joon life is in danger again. Hwan uses his entire strength to stop her mother from causing any hurt to Hye-Joon. Soo-Ryun cries and hug Hwan in her arms.


Hwan plead with his mother not to hold grudges and to let it go. He ask her mother to bring him away and she covers Hwan with a green cloth. He look at Hye-Joon lovingly as he go away with his mother. Hye-Joon escape death and is tossed back to life.


Hye-Joon look at the baby photograph and the rabbit, as  Hwan left with his mother. Tears rolled down her eyes. Did everything ends here? Will they meet again? 


One day, Hwan arrives in the campus while playing guitar and sing. The audiences crowd over and surround him. Hye-Joon sees the rabbit in the cage and a baby photo falls on the floor. What is happening? Are they going to be together? Probably yes...


Review

Alice in the wonderland tries every genes from horror to romance and mysteries. However, the movie fails to achieve any of the above in the end. It is neither scary nor romantic enough to be categorize in any of these genes. The story line makes no sense that the baby is actually Hwan and he has a relationship with Hye-Joon. It is kind of gross, to love the girl that stab you at the heart. The fact that he dies as a baby is tragic enough, after that he is in love with the girl? What is the logic? Does it mean that he love the girl as a baby? I don't get the last scene where Hye-Joong, her father and baby Hwan is in the pram. What does it symbolize? They are lovers? or siblings? what is the writer trying to convey? I am kind of confuse along the way.

Hong Jong Hong is a eye candy and i totally love him as a model, but he lacks acting skills. Most of the time, his expression looks plain or robotic. There is really nothing much to comment on his acting since he portrays the same boring expressions every time. I find it hard to believe that Hwan and Hye-Joon love each other so much. All the while, they look like having crush on each other but not to the extend of passionate love. It is not convincing enough to say that they do love each other deeply. Jung Sung-Min is a good actress but she is only moderately good in this movie. Anyway, both of them may lack some chemistry as a couple, but they looking compatible in appearance wise. 

Despite some flaws, i do enjoy the movie as it keep its suspense till the end when everything was revealed. Although some of the parts lack logic and common sense, i like the way the movie is executed out. The truth was revealed a little at a time and we finally realize what is going on and the pace is just nice for us to follow the story. I would recommend this Korean movie to movie goers who enjoys watching good looking actor in the movie. Do not expect too much from a simple story, but the drama is enough to get you entertained. In addition, the camera captured the dreamy scenes very well. our flower boy Hong Jong Hyun look so dashing in the movie.




23 comments:

  1. Hello (^-^)/
    First of all I really liked your review about this drama and how pointed out the main Events. I actually watched the Drama first before stumbling across your post about it and to tell the true, I only started watching it because of Jung So-Min. After watching this and even throughout the movie I was way too confused about the hole Thing and didn't quite understand why all of this was happening. Most confusing was that she killed her half-brother Hwan.
    But after giving it some thoughts I can totally understand why 4 years old Hye-joong did that. There's one key scene in the movie that appears various times, but tends to be over watched easily. The scene I am talking about is the one where Soo-ryun was cutting onions. We can see that Hyo-joong is bored and wants to play - but Soo-ryun contuines to make a meal, that's the Moment when she cut herself by accident. The little Hyo-joong then asks her if she's hurt and Soo-ryun answers with "No" because she does something for the people she loves.
    I believe that this is the significant scene where Hyo-joong starts to associate when you play with a knife and the other Person starts to bleed you Show how much you love them and that's why she killed Hwan when he was a Baby because she didn't know that this would lead him to death.
    Looking at the movie from this Point of view, it gets a totally new, different and deeper meaning.

    Hope I was able to help you a little bit at understanding this Drama better and making it more logical.

    Sweet greetings and continue your good work! ^^

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    1. Hi Lucy, thank you for the information. :)

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  2. Okay so just one question thats killing me... Was hwan's mom already pregnant with him or thats her half brother she had sex with? Im so confuse

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  3. Im just so confuse.. Was soo ryeon already pregnant with hwan or did hye joong had sex with her half brother hwan... Likee im confuse

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    1. no because of the constant and deep love he has for his sister, he bleeds every time he thinks about her or when he is with her. So when he bleeds he actually goes back to the baby form and start growing again. Soo ryeon actually told hye joong about his rebirth.

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    2. yes if u see carefully soo ryeon was already pregnant...there is a scene where hye joong holds soo ryeon from behind there u can see that she is already pregnant...hwan is not the son of hye joong's father...they are not siblings

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  5. Hwan is her half brother he is the son of the house keeper her father had an affair with. The movie was confusing at first. But I think its beautiful in its own way even if the love between Hye Joong is completely taboo. The only part I wonder about is the end where Hye Joong sees Hwan again playing the guitar at the school. Did he get resurrection after dying that time the year before? Will they be together from then on?

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  6. I loved the movie. Will keep you guessing until almost the end of the movie. Hong jong hyun nailed this role. He was amazing. But I was confused about the ending too. Was he resurrected? Or not?

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  7. the significance of the ending in the credits with her dad, the girl and Hwan in a pram is it shows her dad teaching her the sign language that she taught Hwan about "always protecting them and loving them".....the mismatched socks Hwan wears is because she put 2 different socks on his feet when she was taking care of him and the flower petals that they kept showing blowing outside was because of the flower petal she put on his face in the pram cut his cheek and it kept showing the cut on his face as an adult

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  8. it was her aunt not her mother, cause she said her mother already died

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  9. I was actually confused also with the ending. Even with the scene wherein the two of them are playing match sticks. But the part that he stabbed Hwan that was because she know that it is okay as long as she's doing it to the one she love.

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  10. I was really confused about the ending too. I don't get it. He was alive or she was dreaming?

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  11. I understand the movie a 70/30 percent but..The end... I really don't understand, if Hwan died and is dead and that was solutioned why is he again there playing the Guitar?? Someone know about it? I really don't understand that end...really open...

    I wanted to watch the movie time ago but i didn't done it bcus i'm really scared of terror films but it didn't go to that point so it's fine...but still i though that it was going to be a little better with the line story end...

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    1. i think the how the movie has a lot of shamanism,maybe they wanna say that hwan reborned again after his death.

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    2. THe boy who is playing the guitar at the end of the movie is not Hwan. That is a different person who just has similar details with Hwan and he reminds Hyejong of Hwan

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    3. THe boy who is playing the guitar at the end of the movie is not Hwan. That is a different person who just has similar details with Hwan and he reminds Hyejong of Hwan

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  12. Ok, I just wanna say that I don't think they are half siblings. Think about it, if she could be pregnant before she even met Hye Joong's father? Idk someone said that Hwan was born already when Hwan and his mother started living there with Hye Joong's family. I thought it was weird because wouldn't they like say 1 year later or something that Hwan was born into the family and all that? Idk it is confusing but I thought it wasn't bad at all.

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  13. I don't think that they are brothers,if they are,why they'll put the bed scene?(korean people are really conservative with things like that) and there is a part in the movie when his aunt reads that dad diary and the first thing she reads is "her son is born".But in the scene that shows the dad staring her through the window,she's already had the baby. The affair started after that.So i presume that they aren't blood siblings.

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  14. Hi, I just want to express my understanding regarding the movie. I just watch it yesterday and I also feel the same thing you guys are having been "confused" about upon reading this comments and the reviews. At first i taught that hye-joong and Hwan are couples with untold love stories behind their meet ups. It was my hypothesis since then, as the movie flaws into some revealing incidents of hye-joong and that the mystery of hwan and soo-ryeon came into contrast with her. I became more even interested to what this chaotic stories is all about. The knife thing have given me grudges that maybe hye-joong have killed them that soo ryeon wanted to kill her but it was the above and literal aspect. To some affectionate scene and some melancholy mood it makes me guest the point of the story was beyond what I expected. so, as the climax came i suddenly felt a little dismay because they are half brothers and for me the story have gone too far to make viewers a little dizzy. But, what i love and appreciate is the forgiveness of someone who have loved. Love can be our strength and our flaws. Love will keep us alive or make us feel down even so Love will never change specially for a mother to His son in this story. Hwans love for Hye-joong have grown in maturity and I love their chemistry. Looking for some more suspense and mysterious stories and much fascinating one. Thank you :)

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  15. It was said in the diary that it was March 21 1989 when the maid first came to their house, around that time, Hye joong was about 4 yrs old,
    March 28 was the birthday of Hwan, and he would have turned 24 yrs old since the movie took place in the year 2015.. So he's probably born on 1991, conceived on 1990, and the affair between the maid and Hyo Joongs dad transpired on 1989.. However,based on what the aunt shaman read on the diary, her son was born..

    So does that ring a bell?

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  16. I am totally confused!! Adding with the subtitles that were meh... >.<
    They're half-siblings right, but they had a sex. Why the Hwan didn't hate HyeJoong for killing him. And what's with the end??

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    1. they are not siblings at all !! hawan's father is someone else. hawan was already born hawan and her mother stayed at hye jong house as nany and care taker of hye jong. though she is older so they mention each other bro and sis they are not siblings at all

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