Posted in *Recommended, Fantasia 2011, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Funny, Reviews, Trailers, Video

Fantasia 2011: Review of Hello Ghost [Recommended]

hello_ghostHello Ghost (2010)
Director: Kim Young-tak, Screenplay: Kim Young-tak
Cast: Cha Tae-hyun, Kang Hye-won, Ko Chang-suk, Lee Mun-soo, Jang Young-nam

This is an excellent comedy and one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen.  Cha Tae-hyun plays the main character, Sang-Man, who wants to kill himself but always seems to fail at it, waking up alive after every attempt.  However, he does succeed once but only briefly as his doctor says, he stopped breathing for a few moments.  After this near death occurrence he suddenly finds himself accompanied by four ghosts who won’t leave him alone unless he can fulfill their wishes.

Of course, much of the hilarity comes from Sang-Man’s attempts at satisfying these wishes.  We get the usual gags of getting the perspective of everyone else as they observe Sang-Man arguing with thin air.  On occasion the ghosts will take control of Sang-Man much to his horror and we see Cha Tae-hyun do some awesomely funny facial mimicry of the ghost’s facial expressions.  Much respect to him for being able to act so well with just his face as he goes from acting like a pervy old man to a little kid who can’t stop eating candy.  This is perhaps one of his best comic roles and thankfully unlike in other movies I’ve seen him in, he doesn’t overact and seems to have found a good balance between being restrained and indignant.  The ghosts are also quite funny especially the old man and the man in the blue suit.

If I were to name any flaws, it would be that the love interest, a nurse named Jung Yun-soon (played by Kang Hye-Won) seems a bit too tolerant of Sang-Man’s apparent craziness initially but on the other hand we get to see plenty of her reactions to Sang-Man which are comic gold.  Of course, the inevitable romance is developed over chance meetings.  It’s too convenient but ends up being somewhat believable and her character does add some emotion to the movie.

The ending to this movie is also superb showing real heart.  It’s best that you know absolutely nothing about it.  I will say this, it will make you laugh, cry then laugh again.  Be sure to stay at least a few minutes after the credits roll for an extra brief scene.  I highly recommend this movie and it may dismay or encourage you to know that a Hollywood remake is already in the planning stages.

The next Fantasia showing is Wed, Jul 20, 1pm at JA dSeve

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Author:

Longtime fan of East Asian films. Former "movie reporter" on the music radio show / podcast "Beats From The East" broadcasted on Concordia University's CJLO 1690AM radio station in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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