The Last Blossom….shocks you.
When you look at the poster for The Last Blossom, what kind of movie would you think this is?
Now, if you can read Korean, the words actually say, “We should have spent more time together.” But when I saw the poster, I thought, “Oh, Bae Jong Ok, I love her!” and turned it on late at night one night, and began the movie.
[Tweet theme=”basic-white”]Within an hour, my family room was an ocean of tears this was such a sad movie. #Kdrama Review: http://ow.ly/Xzo0V[/Tweet]
Bae Jong Ok in The Most Beautiful Goodbye in the World
The direct translation of this movie title is “The Most Beautiful Goodbye in the World.” For whatever reason, it seems to also be marketed as “The Last Blossom” so we’ll be interchanging titles for this review.
Always one of my favorite, the amazing “Meryl Streep of Korea,” Bae Jong Ok stars in the The Last Blossom. As an actress capable of pulling off both tragic or happy characters flawlessly, I should have perhaps been prepared for either, but the poster deceived me and I thought it would be a nice family movie.
And it is a family movie, for the most part.
Bae Jong Ok plays Kim In-Hee, a housewife of a middle class family whose life has revolved around her children, her husband and her ailing mother-in-law who happens to have a severe case of Alzheimer’s. Despite the atrocities thrown her way from the mother-in-law, played by Kim Ji Yeong (quite convincingly, I might add), the love that the daughter-in-law shows toward the sick woman is truly humbling.
It all starts off innocent enough. Typical young children who ignore the mom are present, and a stereotypical aloof husband–a doctor, no less–who shows no affection is leaving the house. There is something clearly wrong with the grandmother from the first scene, but Kim In-Hee is happy and cheerful as she goes about her day. I’m not seeing what’s comedic about this yet, but I continue along solely because Bae Jong Ok is already fully convincing of her role.
Very swiftly, and I don’t think of this as a spoiler since the actual spoiler is my telling you that this is, contrary to what the movie poster relays, is a sad movie, Kim In-Hee turns out not to be in good health. From this point on, this dramatic movie makes a serious turn into one of the most heartbreaking movies you will ever watch.
The story is not about just her. It’s about the family dynamic and it’s about the special and unique relationships between each character in relation to her, and one another. It’s about being the man of a Korean household, it’s about being someone’s son, someone’s daughter, and someone’s primary caretaker. It’s about what being a mother is, and how that affects how you look at the world. The Last Blossom is about the many colors and shapes of love, and how every person you love has a special place in your heart for the rest of your days.
As pain overtakes Kim In-Hee, the real powerful soul inside of her emerges. As worry invades her mind, you see firsthand just how far loving people will push you and how what you once said you would never do–becomes possible when you’re told you’re not healthy, and that the end is near.
The father and husband figure is played by Kim Gap Soo, and what’s even more heartbreaking about his character is that he is the son of the grandmother with Alzheimer’s. His is a life that is suddenly changed and attacked from many different sides, and perhaps he suffers more than most because of his relationships with the various people in this drama who are hurting.
Deep and Beautiful Themes for The Last Blossom
This is a movie that journeys across the entire range of human emotions. It’s well-written and deep, but it’s really the actors that so successfully convey the joy, the sadness, the worry and the pain of what we know as life and love.
I cannot recommend this movie enough. You have to watch it. But unfortunately, I am unable to find it online to stream with English subtitles right now. If I get my hands on the video stream, I will subtitle it myself and post it below.
Until then, it’s available to purchase on Amazon, and the movie preview is below.
You see how they also start this off as a funny, happy movie? I felt sucker-punched in the gut when it decided to break my heart. You’ve been warned, but I promise that this movie, despite the sobbing, is totally worth watching.