In the list of my favorite movies, is the korean movie The Classic (클래식). Now, I don't know Korean. I don't speak it, I can't read it and I most definitely cannot understand. However, despite these language barriers that make it impossible for us to make the Tower of Babel, The Classic appealed to my senses in a way that hundreds of movies in the languages known to me did not. Do not get me wrong; The Classic is merely one the movies dear to me and I am fond of many in Hindi and English.
Every time I watch The Classic, I cry buckets. Buckets. And it's not even a sad movie...not totally. It has a happy ending and all. But it is so beautiful. The best aspect of this movie is how it explores the concept of love. My favorite scene in the entire movie is the umbrella scene (where the umbrella is crucial because it is absent) where Sang-min leaves behind his umbrella so that he can offer his jacket to Ji-hye and takes her all around the campus in the falling rain. I love the lovely song that plays in the background. I don't understand what it means; I've tried to find out but I couldn't find an English translation for the song (the song is called Me To You, You To Me) but it sounds so very innocent and lovely that I love it. The best part about this scene is the end after Sang-min has dropped off Ji-hye to her destination and Ji-hye breathlessly wonders to herself why the library had to be so near.
When I saw the movie for the first time ever, I said to myself that is what love should be like... It should be about leaving behind your umbrella to be with that someone, it should be about lying about your non-existant ability to row a boat, it should be about flicking on & off the street light in-front of that someone's bedroom, it should be about never giving up that someone's one gift to you, it should be about asking nothing else from that someone except wanting them to come back alive from a war and nothing else but lying about yourself just so they can have an easy life.
The simple, sober courtship of Joon-ha and Joo-hee is so pure, it makes you cry. And not in a depressing manner. There child-like madness and there mature love for each other are so perfect, it makes you want to wish you could achieve all that in your own life. I especially like the scenes where Joon-ha and Joo-hee write each other love letters during the second summer (using Tae-soo's name with his permission for protection). They are not in lofty language and they don't promise the moon. Instead, they tell what is actually going on in their minds.
The closure in The Classic is all the more beautiful and I love how things round up. I especially like the scene where Sang-min slaps back Soo-kyeong when she slaps him first. The lack of chivalry in this particular scene adds to its merit.
I think The Classic is a real classic because of how it deals with the idea of love-- true love, to be specific--in different periods of time. It shows how love is same despite time and space. In 2003, where Ji-hye and Sang-min's love is socially accepted as opposed to Joo-hee and Joon-ha's love in 1968 and where in 2003 e-mails replace handwritten letters of 1968, love is something that remains timeless.
My Ratings for The Classic: 10/10 :D