Film Review: South Korean Comedy / Drama ‘Rockin on Heaven’s Door’

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Review by: Mut Asheru

Do you want to feel good inside? If you do ROCKIN ON HEAVEN’S DOOR (뜨거운 안녕) presents you with the perfect opportunity to do so, but you will however have to go through some tears. Not to fear…there are some laughs along the way that balance out the drama / comedy nicely. Film critics such as myself might cringe a bit because of our analytical nature but once we decide to take off that hat and just enjoy the ride the movie becomes an enjoyable experience.

Directed by Nam Taek-soo, “Rockin On Heaven’s Door” is about an unruly Kpop idol Chung-ui (Lee Hong-ki 이홍기) that constantly gets into trouble and is overall a bit of a jerk. Not a very lovable dude. He inevitably gets sentenced to serve community service at a hospice full of lovable and quirky terminally ill patients who are preparing to say their final goodbyes. The hospice runs into financial trouble and is on the verge of being closed down. It just so happens that a group of patients have formed a rock band for fun. In order to save the hospice they decide to enter a (super rock band) contest in hopes of bringing attention to their cause and saving the hospice. But they need the jerk idol’s help in crafting a killer song that will help them win.

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I’m sure you can see where this is headed. The script may be predictable  but that doesn’t detract from its sweetness. Now, the part where the idol writes, arranges, sings and plays multiple instruments with bomb ass ability…oh never mind…analytical nature go away.

Film highlights include Ma Dong-seok 마동석 as gangster Moo-sung who knows his time is near but he can’t seem to let go of his gangsterish ways which makes for some really funny moments and equally heart-crushing ones as well especially when he begs death to stave off just one more day so that he can fulfill his role in the band and help the cause. Little miss Jeon Min-seo 전민서 as Ha-Eun is ever so cute and her tears provide the emotional punch needed to tie your heartstrings up in knots. You’ll see.

The saving grace song that they come up with in the film is actually pretty good…especially when compared to other saving grace songs in films of a similar ilk.  All in all the Rockin on Heaven’s Door is decent watch. Oh and of course you’ll come to love Chung-ui. He is human after all. He just had to work through some issues. Just like the rest of us.

No rating, 100 minutes, ‘Rockin’ on Heaven’s Door’, 2013
Director: Nam Taek-su / Nam Taek-soo
Cast: Lee Hong-ki , Ma Dong-seok , Lim Won-hee , Baek Jin-hee
Screenwriters: Nam Taek-su / Nam Taek-soo
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Language: Korean (English Subtitled)
Alternate Film Title (s): Tteu-geoun ann-yeong
Distributors: 9ers Entertainment
Production companies: Hong Film, Soo Film

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