We human beings heavily rely on words. To communicate and interact, to defend and protect, and to love and care.
Yet director Kim Tae-yong’s newly released film, “Late Autumn,” tells a love story of two strangers who do not use a lot of words to share their innermost feelings.
Co-starring Korean actor Hyun Bin and Chinese actress Tang Wei, “Late Autumn” is a remake of Korean director Lee Man-hee’s 1966 film of the same title.
The movie begins as a prisoner Anna (Tang Wei), a Chinese-American woman who had murdered her husband seven years ago, is released from jail for three days to attend her mother’s funeral in Seattle.
In the bus heading to Seattle, Anna runs into Hoon (Hyun Bin), a Korean gigolo. Spending the next 72 hours together ― without sharing a lot of words ― the two begin to develop genuine feelings for each other.
Tang, whose performance touchingly delivers the very essence of tormented Anna, said playing the character was a huge challenge. “Every moment of playing Anna was extremely difficult,” Tang said at a press conference in Seoul on Thursday.
Chinese actress Tang Wei (center) shrugs at a press conference for “Late Autumn” with her Korean co-star Hyun Bin (left) and director Kim Tae-yong (right). (Kim Myung-sub/The Korea Herald)
“It was difficult to think about Anna’s life and emotions. Yet as she met Hoon, it felt like getting some sunshine.”
In the movie, English-fluent Anna, who is oppressed by her past and feelings, tells Hoon why she killed her husband in her mother tongue, Chinese. Hoon, who only knows how to say “good” and “bad” in Chinese, acts as if he understands what Anna says, repeatedly replying “hao” (good) and “hwei” (bad).
“This is a love story of two people of different cultural and linguistic background,” actor Hyun Bin said at the conference. “I hope the viewers can see how our characters overcome that barrier and fill in with something else.”
Hyun, who enjoyed enormous popularity for his wealthy CEO role in the highly successful SBS drama series “Secret Garden,” said he finds himself more like Hoon in the film than the character in the SBS drama.
“Joo-won in “Secret Garden” is very straightforward and is never afraid to express his feelings,” Hyun said. “I am not always like that. Like Hoon, I tend to keep my real feelings in and tend to express them indirectly.”
Hyun also showed a lot of attachment to his character, Hoon.
“Though he is bright on the outside, I think Hoon has a lot of sadness and hurtful memories inside,” he said. “While he pleases other people, he gets hurt and finds joy at the same time.”
Director Kim Tae-yong said the movie is about the moment when one opens up to another being.
“I don’t think one must believe that love exists,” he said. “But there are moments when people open up to the other. This movie is all about that.”
“Late Autumn” opens in theaters on Feb. 17.
By Claire Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)