[J&Kmovie] Hatsuyuki no Koi – Virgin Snow

August 14, 2008 at 2:22 pm Leave a comment

Starring:
Lee Joon-ki as Min
Miyazaki Aoi as Nanae

Min is a Korean high school student who has moved to Japan with his father, who is a pottery teacher. Riding his bike around Kyoto, he accidently crashes and is cleaning his wound at a shrine where is meets Nanae, who works there. Min doesn’t understand a word of Japanese, and Nanae doesn’t know any Korean. At first, the two communicate through hand gestures and broken English. After enrolling at the high school is father will be teaching at, he chases after Nanae who coincidentally is also a student there. He pursues her pretty aggressively and slowly the two overcome the language barriers, but unfortunately that’s not the only thing that is destined to keep them apart.

One thing that’s really important to enjoy this movie is to be able to tell the difference between Japanese and Korean. If it all sounds the same, then the whole idea of overcoming cultural and language barriers is mostly lost. And that’s a lot of what the movie is about. Like this: when Min first realizes that Nanae is a student at his school as well, he pursues her kind of aggressively, but his friend and classmates tells him that Japanese girls (especially Kyoto girls) are shy and that he needs to go slower. Or this scene where Min races this random monk on a bicycle that he bumps into on the street, just for kicks. If you’ve ever been somewhere where you couldn’t understand their language, you can probably understand Min’s frustrations and funny coincidences. Generally, his integration into daily life can be quite entertaining.

The film moves at a pretty good pace, though it can be slow at some points. And while Lee Joon-ki and Miyazaki Aoi are both excellent actors, I don’t know if I really believe in them as a pairing. I still think the romance aspect was well done, though. There’s definitely that aspect of fate and that through all these obstacles they still managed to find each other. It’s ironic that the first time they meet, the only way they can communicate is through broken English. But even still, without really speaking each other languages, they find this common ground and become so close.

While Virgin Snow is a pretty enjoyable romance film, the best theme here was overcoming the cultural and language barriers between the two leads. If you like these types of quiet love stories or cultural stories, then this film is for you.

Buy this movie: HK DVD | J Special Edition

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