Admit it, Korean shows are the perfect go-to guilty pleasure to watch whenever you want to feel kilig. There's just something about their approach and overall production that makes them so effective, relatable, and refreshing for us to watch! But while we all swoon over those romantic meet-cutes and slow-mo kissing scenes, there are also moments when all we need is a good movie we can ugly cry to. Below, we list five Korean movies you can put on if you want to bawl your eyes out.
1. Miracle in Cell No. 7 (2013)
Starring: Park Shin Hye, Ryu Seung Ryong, Kal So Won
There are movies that make us tear up, and then there are those that make us shamelessly cry like a toddler. Miracle in Cell No. 7, a story about a mentally-impaired father wrongly accused of a crime, definitely falls in this category. The plot follows Lee Yong Gu's (Ryu Seung Rong) trials after he was unjustly separated from his daughter Yesung (Kal So Won and Park Shin Hye) and imprisoned in Cell No. 7, the worst room in a maximum-security prison.
What makes the movie so feels-inducing is that it bravely shows the best and the worst of humanity through its plot points and the sheer emotions of its characters. Yong Gu's unfair sentence was caused and pushed by people who took advantage of his impairment, but he also won his allies through his kindness and honest love for his daughter. Miracle in Cell No. 7 is going to have a Philippine adaptation with Aga Muhlach filling in for the role of Yong Gu and Bela Padilla as Yesung. Make sure to have your tissues ready before hitting play on this one!
2. My Annoying Brother (2016)
Starring: Do Kyungsoo, Jo Jung Sook
Here's a fair warning to those planning to watch this: Don't let this movie's comedic tone convince you that you're safe from the feels! Doo Young (Do Kyungsoo), is a national Judo athlete who permanently lost his sight because of a competition gone wrong. His estranged brother Doo Shik (Jo Jung Suk) uses his younger brother's situation as an excuse to get paroled from prison. The movie shows the estranged brothers' initial antagonism towards each other through comedic sequences that, in time, transform into moments that slowly bring them closer together.
What makes this movie so dangerous is that you don't exactly expect what's going to hit you later. It's easy to get carried away by the wonderful chemistry between the two main actors that you'd think the movie is off to a feel-good end. Plot-wise, My Annoying Brother shows that anyone, no matter what they've done in the past, has the chance and the choice to redeem themselves.
3. Salut D'Amour (2015)
Starring: Park Geun Hyung, Youn Yuh Jung
This movie is perfect for anyone who loves a combination of romance, drama, and plot twists that will hit you right in the feels. Deviating away from the usual plots of romance films, Salut D'Amour follows the love story of Kim Sung Chil (Park Geun Hyung), an elderly man working as a shelf packer, and Im Geum Nim (Youn Yuh Jung), a supposedly single senior who just moved in Sung Chil's community. Geun Nim expresses interest towards Sung Chil and the rest of the neighborhood—youths, included—go on a mission to help him impress her!
What follows is the unfolding of a plot that will leave you surprised and bawling in the end. Unlike other sad movies that use injustice and loss as the main drivers for their plot, Salut D'Amour still effortlessly goes for the feels by showing the depth of loyalty and love between people through time, even way after their memories betray them.
4. A Moment To Remember (2004)
Starring: Son Ye Jin, Jung Woo Sung
At first, this movie seems like your run-of-the-mill romance drama. A wealthy woman falls in love with an average guy, her father refuses to acknowledge their relationship, but they work hard to make the world accept them. The beauty of A Moment To Remember, however, is that it pushes the plot into something more, adding layers of emotions that would have made an otherwise average story into a heartstring-pulling one.
The story of Sujin (Son Ye Jin) and Chulsoo (Jung Woo Sung) was filled with the ups and downs of any regular couple coming from different backgrounds. It also brings the emotional strain brought by Alzheimer's disease into the mix, using that as a platform to show the perseverance of love against the backdrop of things you have no control over.
5. Cart (2014)
Starring: Yum Jung Ah, Moon Jung Hee
Sun Hee (Yum Jung Ah) is a dedicated and hard-working mother who has been trying her best to support her two children while working as a temporary worker. Even if she's spent most of her life barely scraping by, she's always held on to the hope that all will get better once she gets promoted to being a permanent employee. Her corporate employer, unfortunately, had other plans. Sun Hee and single mom Hye Mi (Moon Jung Hee) were suddenly laid off. Together with the other workers who were also relieved from their jobs, Sun Hee and Hye Mi start a protest against the wrongful dismissal done against them.
The beauty with Cart is that, while it doesn't have all those big moments that would have normally made you cry, it moves its plot in such a slow burn that its viewers slowly but surely get swept by the storyline. The story will hook you with its scenes that we know exist in real life but don't always get portrayed on the big screen. Sun Hee's story shows the courage we find when we're left with no other choice but to fight, and how those changes can affect the people closest to us for the good and the bad.
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