The Queen of Asian Drama is Back with more Irreverent Reviews and Snarky Commentary.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Miracle of Giving Fool / 바보 / Ba:Bo

BA:BO was released in South Korea on February 28, 2008, and was ranked third at the box office on its opening weekend, grossing $2,302,058. By April 6 the film had grossed a total of $6,377,089, and as of March 23 the total number of tickets sold was 951,573.

2008 Korean movie based on a comic book about a young boy from a poor family who suffers brain damage after a gas leak that kills his father leaves the boy mentally suspended at six years of age.

Cha Tae hyun did another, exceptional performance as the retarded boy growing up as a six-year old with a younger sister to support after their mother dies, leaving them on their own in a hovel they call home.

Seung ryong may not act his age, but one thing about his past that refuses to leave his addle-pated mind is the love he has always had for the young, budding pianist, Ji ho (Ha Ji won).

His snotty, little sister, Ji in (Park Ha seon) is really horrible because she is ashamed of Seung ryong, so she treats him like sh*t while he does everything for her because his late mother insisted that he take good care of the girl after she was gone.

His only talent is making what the synopsis describes as 'toast', when to me, it looked more like delicious French-style toast instead.

Seung ryong has a rickety, old stand parked outside the high school, where he pours egg batter into metal molds, sets the bread on top, and repeats the words,

"Vaseline for hurts, toast for the stomach, and a dollar for the pot."

Seung ryong repeats everything because he's written down all the rules he's heard people shout at him, demand of him, and so-forth: like how to take care of his little sister.

Those rules, he's taped to the ceiling above his mat, and every morning, when he opens his eyes, he reads them so as not to forget anything.

Cha Tae hyun said he cried like a fool after reading the comic, and it was obvious from the start that he put his heart and soul into the role of village idiot, too.

The title of this movie had me fooled, and the ending really upset me, but I think I realize where the title makes sense now - in an odd, Asian idea of the word and not the way I think of miracle.

His friends, Ji ho and Sang soo (Park Hee soon) weren't doing so well in their adult lives, and snotty, lil' sis wasn't a shining example of grace or fidelity, either, but at the end, they found themselves headed in the opposite direction thanks to our unlikely hero, Seong ryung.

Of the nearly 300 people who voted at, over 90% agreed this was a 5-star rated movie, and 9 out of 10 comments posted (-.-); as a response, too.

I didn't, exactly, cry my eyes out watching this, but I did tear up at times - but maybe that was because it was a slightly predictable story while it also managed to surprise me near the end.

It didn't shock nor disturb me that Ji ho took an instant liking to Seong ryung when she returned to the village after ten years, and I had no problem with Sang soo being his good buddy, either.

This wasn't intended to convey or even portray a romance, but instead a human aspect of life that is seldom mentioned, much-less portrayed on the silver screen, and it made me wonder about the possibility of there being such a thing as true friendship between what is deemed 'normal' and 'abnormal' in this world.

I didn't grow up in a tiny village tucked away somewhere peaceful, and I never knew anyone with mental incapacities, either - I just hope, if I had, that I would have possessed the courage to treat them kindly at any rate.


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