Finding Mr. Destiny

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Finding Mr. Destiny is a 2010 South Korean romantic comedy starring Im Soo-jung and Gong Yoo. It is a film adaptation by playwright-turned-director Jang Yoo-jeong of her hit 2006 musical. The film was a medium box office hit in South Korea selling 1,113,285 tickets nationwide.


First Impressions

In all honesty, I watched this for Gong Yoo, because I had a Gong Yoo drought after finishing his other shows (Goblin, Big and Coffee Prince). In fact, I watch most shows for the cast, and I’m not ashamed to admit this, because I’m very comfortable with watching familiar actors, e.g. Gong Yoo, Park Seo Joon, Ji Sung and Lee Jong Suk. I think I trust Gong Yoo’s acting so much that I even think it can probably save any show from sinking, no matter how badly it goes, so I’ll take on any show of his without hesitation.

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Thumbs up for Gong Yoo!

In any case, the synopsis of the movie sounded like a typical romcom, with no hint of an unexpectedly sad (or bad) ending, so I watched it only with the expectations of a feel-good factor.


The Good

Cast – Gong Yoo and Im Soo-jung are good at what they do, and I can’t complain about it at all.

As usual, Gong Yoo hits all the right notes. He acts dorky when he needs to, emotional at times, but also hilarious in the most serious moments. It’s amazing how he can pull off anything his character sets out to do, and is always a delight to watch.

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Winter Sonata reference, anyone?

Im Soo-jung is also convincing and extremely comfortable in her role as Seo Ji-woo. What I loved most about her character was about being afraid of getting disappointing endings, and thus avoiding them as much as possible, be it finishing her cookies or reading a novel’s endings. It would have sounded strange if you had heard it from someone in real life, but Im Soo-jung pulled it off like it was something she lived with all her life.

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Cinematography – This whole movie was so beautiful to watch from start to finish. Some of the scenes from the movie are filmed in India, and the explosion of colours is really a feast for the eyes. It also serves as a stark contrast to the scenes back in Korea, as though representative of the bleak life that Im Soo-Jung’s character lives after her furious adventures in India with her first love. It added a lot of feeling and emotion for the audience in an otherwise stereotypical love story.

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The Bad

(Also) Casting – As much as I adore seeing Gong Yoo on the screen, I have so many doubts about the director casting Gong Yoo as both Han Gi-joon (the dork helping to find Ji-Woo’s first love) and Kim Jong-wook (the first love), when they are very clearly NOT THE SAME PERSON. Like you think anyone can’t tell the difference between this guy:

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and this one???!!

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In all fairness, I thought very hard about it, and came up with 2 possibilities:

  1. The director casted Gong Yoo in 2 different roles for a plot purpose – maybe to show that this is her true love OR to hide the identity of the real Kim Jong-wook OR to indulge in Han Gi-joon’s fantasies OR to avoid KJW from becoming a third lead. Hmm. Who knows?
  2. They just couldn’t afford to pay another actor to do this for more than 2 seconds in his airport scene.

Whatever the reason, this really made me confused throughout the whole show. I had no idea whether I was thinking too much or too little about Gong Yoo’s double roles.

Actually I still am very confused, and would appreciate any enlightenment available.


 Final Verdict

I would strongly recommend watching Finding Mr. Destiny if (a) you’re a hardcore Gong Yoo fan (b) you’re a Im Soo-jung fan (c) like romcoms in general, and aren’t bothered by the strange repetition of Gong Yoo. But hey, it’s Gong Yoo, and no one complains about too much Gong Yoo!

Jokes aside, I found the ending very healing, and really brought the show full-circle, and made me feel less disturbed about the double casting. I know all my reviews are spoilers anyway, but I’ll not spoil the best, best part of this movie for you.

All in all, it’s safe to say that this is another one of those K-movies that have not disappointed me, and I hope you enjoy this as much as I did, sans the confusion.


Rating

Plot: ✮✮✮✮
Cast: ✮✮✮✮✮
Cinematography: ✮✮✮✮✮
Pace: ✮✮✮✮

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