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A Reason To Live (DVD) (Malaysia Version) DVD Region 3

Ki Tae Young (Actor) | Nam Ji Hyun (Actor) | Song Hye Kyo (Actor) | Song Chang Eui (Actor)
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All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10 (2)

YesAsia Editorial Description

The Way Home director Lee Jeong Hyang returns after nine years with the humanist drama A Reason to Live starring top actress Song Hye Kyo. Like Secret Sunshine, the film explores and questions faith and forgiveness through the experiences of a woman who has lost her loved one. A Reason to Live, however, takes a quieter and more introspective route in capturing the emotional turmoil of a woman who gradually realizes that forgiveness has not brought her peace of mind. Teen actress Nam Ji Hyun and popular actors Ki Tae Young (Royal Family) and Song Chang Ui (Once Upon a Time in Seoul) co-star in the sensitive, soul-searching drama.

After growing up under miserable circumstances, Da Hye (Song Hye Kyo) finally finds happiness with her fiance Sang Woo (Ki Tae Young). One rainy night, Sang Woo is run over and killed by a teenager. A year passes by and Da Hye has chosen to forgive her fiance's killer, believing that to be the way of faith. She is even producing a documentary about forgiveness for the church and interviewing others who are still struggling to move on. As she talks to other families of victims, she begins to have doubts about forgiving her fiance's killer so quickly.

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Technical Information

Product Title: A Reason To Live (DVD) (Malaysia Version) 今天 (DVD) (馬來西亞版) 今天 (DVD) (马来西亚版) 今日 (DVD) (マレーシア版) 오늘
Artist Name(s): Ki Tae Young (Actor) | Nam Ji Hyun (Actor) | Song Hye Kyo (Actor) | Song Chang Eui (Actor) | Jin Ji Hee (Actor) 奇太映 (Actor) | 南智賢 (Actor) | 宋 慧喬 (Actor) | 宋昌義 (Actor) | 陳 智熙 (Actor) 奇太映 (Actor) | 南智贤 (Actor) | 宋 慧乔 (Actor) | 宋昌义 (Actor) | 陈 智熙 (Actor) キ・テヨン (Actor) | ナム・ジヒョン (Actor) | ソン・ヘギョ (Actor) | ソン・チャンウィ (Actor) | チン・ジヒ (Actor) 기태영 (Actor) | 남지현 (Actor) | 송 혜교 (Actor) | 송창의 (Actor) | 진지희 (Actor)
Director: Lee Jeong Hyang 李 廷香 李 廷香 イ・ジャンヒョン 이정향
Release Date: 2012-09-04
Language: Korean
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Malay
Country of Origin: South Korea
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
Publisher: PMP Entertainment (M) SDN. BHD.
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1031421708

Product Information

Director: Lee Jeong Hyang

Da-hae who lost her fiance by a hit and run accident, forgave the criminal who was 17 year old boy as her principle base on catholic belief and signs a petition for him. One year after, Da-hae is making a documentary to abolish death penalty requested by Catholic Church. The time goes on; she starts to look back her pain having an interview to victims who live with the forgiveness.
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "A Reason To Live (DVD) (Malaysia Version)"

May 22, 2012

This professional review refers to A Reason to Live (DVD) (First Press Limited Edition) (Korea Version)
A Reason to Live is the latest film from acclaimed though not particularly prolific Korean writer director Lee Jeong Hyang, following on from his popular 1999 comedy Art Museum by the Zoo and 2002 heart warmer The Way Home. Produced by regular John Woo collaborator Terence Chang and based upon an idea Lee had apparently been mulling over since his college days, the film is another exploring faith and forgiveness through the case of a woman whose fiance is murdered. With top television actress Song Hye Kyo (recently in Make Yourself at Home and soon to be seen in Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmasters) in the lead, the film also stars upcoming teen actress Nam Ji Hyun (Ghost), with support from Ki Tae Young (Royal Family) and Song Chang Ui (Once Upon a Time in Seoul).

Song Hye Kyo plays Da Hye, a woman who has managed to get over a tough childhood thanks to the love of her fiance Sang Woo (Ki Tae Young). Sadly, Sang Woo is killed in a brutal hit and run accident, though through her catholic faith, Da Hye finds it in herself to absolve his teenage killer. While researching a documentary on forgiveness and capital punishment for the church, she interviews a variety of people who have undergone similar trials, and in the process begins to question her own judgement. Matters are further complicated by the arrival of Ji Min, the young sister of one of Sang Woo's friends, who comes to live with her, claiming that she is being beaten by her cruel father.

Given the plot of A Reason to Live and its religious themes, comparisons with Lee Chang Dong's award winning Secret Sunshine are inevitable, and the films do have a fair amount in common. However, Lee Jeong Hyang takes quite a different approach to the subject matter, with the film being far more concerned with the emotional effects of forgiveness and the journey of victims, rather than attempting to expose hypocrisy. The film is deeply personal and sympathetic rather than overtly religious, and whilst it is at times depressing and deals with a catalogue of grim topics including child abuse, rape and murder, it remains for the most part quiet and thoughtful throughout.

Lee generally succeeds in his aims, and although the film is a little slow and anecdotal, in part to Da Hye's various interviews, which all deal with unresolved stories of suffering, it has sufficient depth to challenge and engage. It's a determinedly philosophical piece of work, though thankfully in an unaggressive and naturalistic manner, with most of its debates being played out in discussions and arguments between Da Hye and Ji Min. Wisely, despite the film's religious foundation, Lee never offers any easy answers or the kind of emotional placebos which would have lessened the overall impact, instead seeming to suggest that forgiveness is not only far from easy, but may not always be best. Directed with maturity, the film also benefits from a reasonably clever structure, the narrative progressing both in the present and through a series of well handled flashbacks which reveal more about Da Hye, Ji Min and past events.

Song Hye Kyo, arguably one of the most talented of Korean actresses, is strong in the lead role, with a performance that lifts Da Hye from being a mere symbol or cipher to an actual character who the viewer comes to care about. Initially aloof and cold, Lee does a great job of slowly peeling back her facade, with Song convincingly allowing her emotions to surface. Nam Ji Hyun is similarly impressive, adding depth to the difficult role of Ji Min, who to an extent is largely in the film to act as an ideological sparring partner for Da Hye, as well as an example of someone who unrepentantly refuses to forgive - whether this is justifiably so is left to the viewer to decide by the time the downbeat conclusion rolls around.

This even handedness is at the heart of A Reason to Live a film which is emotional and morally fascinating without ever being preachy or too obvious. Lee Jeong Hyang manages to add something new to the ongoing Korean cinematic debate on faith and forgiveness, and though the film meanders and may not pack the punch or cynicism of some of its peers, it's a pleasingly philosophical work, and one which never loses sight of the human suffering at its core.

by James Mudge

This original content has been created by or licensed to YesAsia.com, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of YesAsia.com.

Customer Review of "A Reason To Live (DVD) (Malaysia Version)"

Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10 (2)

numinair
See all my reviews


June 19, 2012

This customer review refers to A Reason to Live (DVD) (First Press Limited Edition) (Korea Version)
1 people found this review helpful

The common pattern of divisions… Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
Although “A Reason To Live” relates the difficulty of forgiveness, director Jeong-hyang Lee tackles all such societal ills of fear, anger, forgiveness and inevitably...depression. Da-hye (Hye-kyo Song) is a catholic sister hoping to marry her loved one Sang-woo (Tae-young Ki). But one rainy night Sang-woo is murdered in a hit and run when Teo-in, a motor cyclist, accidentally ploughs into Sang-woo as he crosses a road, but then purposefully rides into Sang-woo again as he lays injured. A year later, Da-hye attends Sang-woo’s anniversary of his death, receiving a birthday present from Sang-woo’s grieving mother. Ironically Da-hye’s loved one died on her birthday. Sang-woo’s mother cannot forgive Teo-in for killing her son, albeit imprisoned for his deed, and tells a forgiving Da-hye to open the gift on a day she understands about the mother’s forgiveness, as a message is contained in the gift. Da-hye feels that she can forgive, it being fundamental to her faith, but later struggles with her own tormented feelings with Teo-in having no sorrow. Dae-hae as a companion in Ji-min (Ji-hyeon Nam) a young girl and sister of one of Sang-woo’s friends, who shares her own burdens of pain being rejected and beaten by her father for being a ‘disobedient rebel’ and hassled, too, by her brother Ji-seok (Chang-ee Song). Unlike Da-hye, Ji-min as no intentions of forgiving her violent father. But Da-hye, after reading a church paper on forgiveness, decides to leave the catholic sisterhood to make a video documentary about other people who’d also suffered similar tragic losses.

“A Reason To Live” is a controversial slog. For Da-hye, her torment of trying to forgive someone with little or no remorse is like climbing a steel slope with oiled roller skates. Da-hye and Ji-min’s tormented childhoods by corrective parents also seem to reflect disaster by connection. Sang-woo helped Da-hye get over her childhood traumas which led to both falling in love; Ji-min’s the sister of one of Sang-woo’s friends and suffers the same physical childhood torments as Da-hye, and Sang-woo is killed by another tormented soul, Teo-in. It’s like a magnetic cluster of ironic tragedy. Da-hye and Ji-min musingly reflect together of how desperately wronged they both are. Although they argue about each other’s attitude to forgiveness. Ji-min hates her father like fury, but frustrated Da-hye wants to forgive Teo-in, simultaneously angered by the youth’s lack of empathy towards mutual forgiveness.
Did you find this review helpful? Yes (Report This)
numinair
See all my reviews


June 19, 2012

This customer review refers to A Reason to Live (DVD) (First Press Limited Edition) (Korea Version)
1 people found this review helpful

…forms a disturbed ‘sea’ of confusion Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
Da-hye, a caring soul believes reconciliation by forgiveness is the only way, otherwise hating Teo-in could only lead to mutual destruction and maybe dis-ease. But as Da-hye video interviews many grieving souls who have to come to terms with forgiveness, she finds more complex difficulties of how inner rage far outweighs the ability to forgive. The story tries to convey through the character’s forced burdens a less primal method of emotional reaction (defending life’s fragments) which are quietly and spiritedly mused between Da-hye and the spunky Ji-min; although such emotions are frequently quelled by returning bouts of rage, despair and bitter betrayal. Fighting and bitter resentment is concurrent in Ji-min’s family, too. Ji-min is the one main character though that lifts this movie from utter sombreness by her spunky and cute attitude, which covers over Ji-min’s brittle anger towards her father. But she as a kidney disorder needing a transplant, which only her father’s blood matches, but Ji-min knows, wishing her father’s blood didn’t even run in her veins, she would ‘rebuke’ his life saving kidney. But Ji-min seeks solace in Da-hye and even tries to forgive her dad by looking towards Da-hye’s forgiving and peaceful nature.

As you might imagine, these are people between a rock and hard place. Da-hye herself is ‘steered’ towards despair and even attempts suicide, by her prime reason that her forgiveness falls on deaf ears. But her soul is unable to rest until peace is returned by forgiveness met. Teo-in becomes ‘dysfunctional’ with shattered empathy and kills another person, then needed to forgive and be forgiven by a suffering woman. All characters in “A Reason To Live” are fragile souls, fearful of society, humans and life; loving, needing to forgive, but also angrily defensive, forceful, afraid and shifted into harmful reactions to negative fragments; the noise of unrest blocking out any light of calm hindsight. Like Ji-min’s father beating his daughter to ‘save face’ as a court of law judge, who ironically cannot possibly have a ‘disobedient’ child? No doubt Da-hye’s life as been ‘imposed upon’ by losing Sang-woo to unnecessary ‘evil’ and maybe going through ‘dark tunnels’ help people grow spiritually and understand outside suffering (although I’m not sure). A well-acted, hard and complex movie with little resolve. But forgiveness is a good emotion, wrestling with judgement and rebuke in many futile ways.
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