A Man Who Was Superman

What I love most about weekends is the luxury to do anything I want, from sleeping to reading books or watching several movies in one sitting. And not having to take a bath from morning to night 😉 This weekend is no exception. I slept for more than 12 hours a night. I didn’t take a bath for two days. I watched my heartthrob, Danny Messer from CSI New York. And some Korean movies. One of them was ‘A Man Who Was Superman’. I watched it because: 1) Gianna Jun (Jeon Ji-hyun) played in that movie and 2) my friend, Fendy recommended it. The good thing about recommended book/movie/restaurants/music is that you always know whom to strangle if you’re not amused 😀 For half of the duration, I almost fell asleep (and yes, I was thinking of the best tool to strangle him, what kind of rope for example :p ). My friend Sylvia who was there with me, even decided to go back to her place because (in her words) ‘the movie was so boring it inspired me to sleep.’


I personally loathe the Hawaiian shirt 😛

But I endured. He said the ending is good. I knew the Superman was gonna die. Come on..the title is ‘The Man Who Was Superman’. ‘Was’, not ‘is’ (same case with Celine Dion’s song ‘Because You Loved Me’. The man in the song died.) I just needed to know how.

The story goes like this. Soo-jung (Jeon Ji-hyun) is a cynical and worn out producer of television documentaries. One day, after months of not being paid, she leaves with her company’s camera to shoot lions in Africa. But before she gets the chance a thief tries to steal her camera, only for her to be rescued by a man in a Hawaiian shirt who claims to be Superman (Hwang Jung-min). The man(whose real name is later revealed as Lee Hyun-Suk), who spends his days trying to help others, believes that a piece of kryptonite lodged in his brain has robbed him of his powers. Soo-jung decides to make him the subject of her new documentary. After an X-Ray, it becomes clear that there really is something stuck in his head: a bullet. Over the course of the movie, Superman’s story is revealed. Two past tragedies that befell Hyun-Suk has led him into the current state of mind he is in. When he was a boy, he saw Superman with his father, who told him that if he counted to one-hundred, he would become Superman. His father later died in a gunfight, and the boy was hit in the back of the head with the bullet, miraculously, he lived (with epilepsy for the rest of his life). Years later, he and his wife and daughter were caught in a car accident. His wife died instantly, but his daughter was still alive. The man told his daughter to count to one hundred, and he’d turn into Superman to save her. Unfortunately, just as he was running to the car with a fire extinguisher, the bullet caused a seizure, and as he lied on the ground in pain, the car exploded. Nobody in the crowd tried to help. This was when he became Superman.

The moral of the story is simple. You don’t have to be a Superman with great powers to help others or change the future. “Strength doesn’t open big iron doors but a small key does”. Superman helps the frosty, calculating Soo-jung to see what is truly important in life. Leading to the movie credits, Soo-jung did what the man did in the beginning of the movie: helping out an old lady.

The way I see it, the story is basically tragic and all the efforts to sugarcoat it with humourous scenes failed to make me laugh. I did cry in the end, though. Because it is just unfair. Life is a cruel joke, I know. But this is just too cruel for him. He lost his dad, he had a bullet in his head that caused him excruciating seizures every now and then. He lost his wife and daughter in a tragic accident with nobody trying to help. And he died. For some, it is the perfect ending. He’s had enough with this awful injustice in his life, just let God put him out of his misery. I don’t know, but I personally love happy endings. The good man’s gotta stay alive and triumph. There’s gotta be more to life. Altruism is a good virtue, but being grateful to God for life He has given us is a basic prerequisite of a good human being. He died of saving other life OR he decided to die trying because he was too scared of living this miserable life (without his loved ones). Is he a hero or a coward? You decide.

PS: Bos, I’m still thinking how the best to strangle you 😀


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. animexdæm
    Apr 26, 2009 @ 12:36:56

    good review, I knew this one has something to offer, thanks for sharing your points of view, I’m watching it now. by the way are you familiar about blood: the last vampire? it will be coming this may, and ji-hyun will be acting as Saya. heheeh


  2. Blogger20
    Jun 19, 2012 @ 10:12:24

    Terrible review. Boring movie? Probably you don’t understand South Korean culture and the jokes. This movie is great and had a deep rooted theme of Korea’s narcissistic society. It is also based on a true story.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: