CASPER BROUGHT SOME FRIENDS
Sang-Man (Cha Tae Hyun) is a clinically depressed man bent on killing himself. When he fails a suicide attempt, he starts seeing ghosts: a perverted, alcoholic grandfather, a chain-smoking man, a woman who can’t stop sobbing and a kid with an insatiable appetite.
He figures that by carrying out their individual wishes, he’ll be able to get rid of the pesky ghosts. However, Sang-Man begins to find reasons to live including acting on his growing feelings for hospital nurse, Jung Yun Soo (Kang Ye Won).
I was expecting a light comedy but this movie turned out to be much deeper and more heartwarming than I thought it would be. So much so that even Hollywood has come calling to remake this movie with Chris Columbus at the helm. He said, “After watching Hello Ghost I was immediately struck by the film’s ability to mix comedy, drama and complex emotional themes. Its strong universal storyline translates to any culture, and I’m looking forward to bringing a version of this wonderful story to the English-speaking audience.” I’m wary of remakes (Yeah, I’m looking at you, The Lake House) but I’ll reserve that angst for when I see the movie.
The movie pretty much starts off with the comedy as Sang-Man grasps the fact that he has to deal with the annoying ghosts. The ghosts are able to influence Sang-Man by entering his body and taking over, making their individual traits come out through Sang-Man. I’m always impressed when actors are able to suddenly change on the spot to take on a separate role and we’ve been seeing more and more of this lately (e.g. 49 Days and Secret Garden). Cha Tae Hyun definitely brings out the funny by picking up distinct mannerisms from the old to the young.
And while Go Chang Seok is no stranger to comedies, I like that he doesn’t have much of speaking role in this movie. His character is a sparse talker which gives Go Chang Seok the opportunity to only use his face to bring on the funny. That takes talent.
It was interesting approaching this movie without knowing about the heartwarming aspect of it. The pieces are built throughout but they seem irrelevant until the end. What’s powerful about it isn’t knowing what the ending is gonna be but watching Sang-Man progress and get to that revelation. Even while writing this review, I found myself getting emotional again when seeing those same moments. All in all, the movie is simply charming with av mass appeal. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and it’s got a sweet message.