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  • This movie made me unable to enjoy other movies for a while.

    Yo!!! I would have been the same as Kang Jae should I have experienced all that he had in life. A loser in the game of life finds redemption in a girl he just helped get paperwork for immigration purposes by a paper marriage. While everyone puts him down, she was the one person who appreciated what he did for her even though it was just matter of fact to him.

    Now Failan is the angel I always hoped to find in life but I'll settle for a movie version until the real one comes. She'll sweep you off your feet with her innocent charm and her tragic plight. The gratitude she displays is so strong that she mesmerizes us all from the letters that she writes to Kang Jae.

    The movie starts off in Kang Jae's seedy world yet turns into something poetic and and heartbreaking that will singe you in its unfolding. Failan is for those who appreciate the bittersweet. Enjoy.
  • 'Failan' is the sophomore feature film of director Song Hae-seong, who made a big splash in 1999 with another time-twisting romance called 'Calla'. This time around, he works with acclaimed Japanese novelist Jiro Asada (reknowned for his best-selling novel 'Love Letter' which had been previously made into a memorable Japanese film in 1995).

    Song has created a stirring romantic tragedy of immense emotional wallop that it's not easily shaken. Executed with the same quiet subtlety seen in other recent Korean romances (such as 'Il Mare' and 'Christmas in August'), 'Failan' poignantly and convincingly illustrates the tragic missed opportunity between two ill-fated star-crossed lovers while eloquently showing what it means, and how it feels, to be in love.

    Despite having never met, they end up giving each other the dignity and self-respect that their lives had been missing for so long. Unfortunately, the realization of what he meant to Failan comes to Kang-jae comes too late, leading to the film's most heartbreaking scene, which is compounded by the irony of how she treasured what he quickly forgot or cast off.

    As the film's titular character, Cheung easily does the best work of her career. Her sympathetic turn as the quiet Failan is a marvel to watch. Two of the film's more memorable sequences: Failan using quick-thinking to avoid being sold to a strip club, and the heart-wrenching first night at her new home. It is also easy to see why Choi, as Cheung's love interest, is one of Korea's most popular actors-- despite his character's slovenly appearance and boorish behavior, Choi evokes sympathy for Kang-jae with a nuanced performance that reveals the man's insecurity and gentle spirit.

    This indeed goes without saying that 'Failan' is one of the best films of the year.
  • If you are a fan of world cinema, don't miss this film, arguably the best film of the 21st century so far.

    After the first watching this film, I was left dumb-founded. How can I understand this movie? Is this really a melodrama? How can a movie where main male and female characters really never meet be a melodrama? Though, this movie is still an absolutely heart-breaking and tear-jerking love story. This movie is a quantum leap in the melodrama genre. We will probably never see a melodrama like this one again. This movie not only completely rewrites the rules of melodramas but shows that a melodrama can deliver powerful social commentary. Can a melodrama be subversive? Check it yourself. This movie is as subversive as Fight Club.

    Though this movie is based on 'Love Letter', a Japanese short fiction by Jiro Asada, the movie is much richer in social context. Failan is the saddest movie in my living memory. I don't know how many times I have seen this film. I cry at the same parts during each viewing. The ending where Failan sang for her 'husband' is simply heart-wrenching. The saddest of all is that even Failan could not save us, poor souls like her husband, from this cruel world. Then, who can? Only death?
  • A friend of mine told me about this Korean movie. He's a rough fellow, not the soft type. But he said this is the one movie that made him cry. Mind you, I hate sappy movies too.

    Although this movie didn't make me cry, I can see why others have found it so moving. It tells a tragic story of a purehearted girl who is so hard to find in this modern world. But it also tells a story of another tragic character--a gangster, a commoner, the one that we all know.

    I also found this movie entertaining in other ways. Acting is top notch, and the story and dialogues are pretty funny too at times in its realistic ways. Some of its intense scenes have burnt permanent images into my head.

    If you're a Hollywood blockbuster junkie, don't bother with this movie, because you'll never get it. If you have the slightest ability to appreciate finer things, this is a must see movie.

    Another gem from Korea.

    Cheers!
  • I watched Failan yesterday and i still feel my nerves vibrating when i think about the most intense moments. I could loose myself now praising the protagonists actors Min-sik Choi and Cecilia Cheung, but to keep it simple i only say they did a incredible good job. Korean cinema delivers one masterpiece after another, as 'A tale of two sisters' watched a few days before, manages to define a new standard as well. Now i have to regenerate for a while before i am able to fully appreciate another emotional challenging stuff like this. Absolute recommendation. 10/10
  • I've never cried because of a movie. I always sympathize with characters, yet I never empathize. I can never feel the true emotion. Sure, "Schindler's List" had amazing worksmanship, but it didn't do anything for me, and "Grave of the Fireflies" is equally as good, but neither, as well as pretty much any other film I've seen, has made me cry.

    But "Failan" made me come pretty close.

    At first, I was skeptical of the film. Korean films have come a long way, yet I trust their action and flashy stylish movies more then their dramas. "JSA" and "Shiri" are great, "Jakarta's" a lot of fun, and "Nowhere to Hide" is stylistical live manga if I've ever seen it.

    But "Failan" comes out of nowhere, and makes me wonder why this didn't make it out of Korea. It's hands down one of the best films of the last year. Storywise, it avoids cliche, and other traps of romantic/tragic films, and comes out on its own.

    The story is simple. A wretched bum Kang Jae(Min-Sik Choi of Shiri fame) who sells pornography and is involved in the organized crime syndicate in Inchon marries Failan (Cecilia Cheung in an amazing performance,) a young Chinese girl abandoned and alone in the world in a marriage of convenience; she gets to stay in Korea and work, and he gets some cash for it. The two never meet, yet Failan is eternally grateful.

    The thing is though, Failan is not even mentioned until 45 minutes into the story. Until that point, you're following the life of Kang Jae. But as you soon discover, both are tragic characters. Failan, is one of the most beautiful characters put onto film; not just in terms of outer aesthetics, but in terms of inner beauty. She is the sweetest character I've seen in a film, and that fact makes it even harder to watch.

    The film borders on drama and melodrama, but thankfully, most of it is not melodramatic. Oh sure, there's some parts where the audience scoffs, but there are other parts when what is happening is so tragically beautiful, that you can't help but get involved emotionally. Thankfully, most of it is subtle and not slam in your face "Pay it Forward" style. What affected me was when Kang Jae was reading the letter from Failan thanking him for being the kindest person she's met. What's said isn't long prose, and if you're familiar with the Korean language, the sentence structure is very simple. However, the way in which the Failan's voice-over reads it is so innocent, so sweet, and so full of emotion that I choked up at that point.

    The rest of the film is equally as wonderful. The group I saw it with, 2 girls and 3 guys all in college, were all equally affected. It surprises me that Shiri, conceivably a Hollywood-esque film (albeit very well done) gets a release in the U.S but this one doesn't.

    If you get a chance to see this film, do not hesitate. It took me a while to get into it, as the first 45 minutes seem to have little bearing on the story, but they actually do. Beautiful acting, cinematography, and a story. Highly Recommended.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Let me start by saying that this is the most touching film i have ever seen.I am from India and i have seen quite a few korean films like taegukgi,3-iron etc. But this is absolutely th most emotionally compelling film i have ever seen.

    The film is the story of kang-jae(portrayed brilliantly by Min-sik Choi).He is a seedy gangster who has no concern for others and is even despised by his own minions in his gang.While his friend grows up to be the leader of the gang he continues to remain a low-level gangster.

    Failan(a touching role by cecilia cheung) is an immigrant from china who finds out that her relatives have left Korea.She is forced to marry kang-jae to stay in Korea.She never gets to see kang-jae and ultimately dies of a disease.

    The greatest achievement of this movie lies in portraying the love story between two persons who never meet each other.kang-jae sees failan's photo for the first time after her death and he starts reading her letters.In her letters he senses her humanity and respect for him.He finds a small window of peace in an eternity of darkness.

    This paragraph may be a spoiler but my review would be incomplete without it.The final scene in which kang-jae is strangulated while watching a video of Failan singing taken while she was alive just crushed my heart.It is the most beautiful and piognant scene which will continue to linger in my mind for a long time to come.

    I have seen Min-sik Choi in chihwaseon but this is his best performance to date.If any of you want to see a movie about life,a movie about the true beauty of life then watch this one.I you want to see a movie which touches the deepest layers of your heart then see this one.

    A painting of hope on a canvass of hatred and despair................

    My rating :- 10/10
  • Having only seen 2 Korean movies before viewing Failan, I was quite skeptical about the quality of Failan. What is typically expected of Asian produced and directed movies are badly dubbed 1970 Kung-Fu flicks (with the exception of Crouching Tiger, and Hidden Dragon). More unimaginable was an Asian movie that could touch the heart of the viewers. An asian movie so moving that it can move the audience to tears? Bah! Ever since I began watching films at the tender age of 5, I've always held this belief of Asian movies mainly due to the stereotypes and marginalization of Asians and Asian culture presented and strengthened by the white dominated media world.

    Then came Failan I have never cried in a film before. While others were sobbing over My Girl, I was wondering how many bee's had stung him. But in Failan (well I gotta admit, I didn't cry) it was the closest I had ever come to crying in a film.

    Acting:Amazing

    Story: Unbelievably touching

    Girl: My new "dream girl." She has to be one of the most beautiful characters of our times. Her innocence and her love is unmatched.

    I found the unthinkable happening...

    Into my greedy little hands, fell a key. Looking around my well, defined (but impeccably small) world of Cinema, I saw an old old rotting door that had been bolted, shut, and hidden. And suddenly, a mysterious light turned that ugly door into the most awe-inspiring sight I have ever led my eyes on. Using that key, and trembling from excitemet I quickly, opened the door and lo-and-behold, I found myself being led to a whole new and not to mention magical world of Korean cinema.

    Since viewing Failan (2 days ago), I have seen 3 more Korean films. I am just saddened that I have not heard a peep in America about the quality of Korean films. I was made to believe that American movies like, 40 days and 40 Nights, The Sweetest Thing, Just Married, were the only emotional roller coaster current romantic movies could offer. No longer. The Korean movie Oasis actually made me cry.

    Watch Falian!

    And wait for the key to fall into your laps...
  • This movie has a very strong story, somehow its both sentimental and not at the same time. Kang-jae is a lowlife gangster who to get some money marries a Chinese immigrant who he doesn't even care to look at. Failan pays for the arrangement in order to seek out her remaining relatives after her other passes away. Even though Kang-jae don't care for her at all, she is to him forever grateful for what he has done and keeps writing him letters like a loving wife.

    This movie is very well done. By the end of it I shed a few tears and felt really moved by it. The devotion and hardship of Failan is very touching and the indifference of Kang-jae makes it all tragic. Tragic in a realistic way that is, not as in the TV drama variety. Also this is the movie which made me a fan of Choi Min-sik, not the little overrated 'Oldboy' in which he is cool, but too remote to make an impact. In here he is like Kitano Takeshi in his seedy gangster-don't-care fashion, but rawer and even cooler. Cynthia Chung ain't bad either, she makes a good character and is very pretty, but I couldn't stop wishing that she didn't do her nose like that. I don't get it, why surgically make a western nose when whats there from before is much more beautiful?? Asians (and others of course) everywhere, please stop the foolish surgery, people are beautiful as they are, not as they are created in a fashion image.
  • Failan is the tale of a Chinese woman who comes to Korea seeking relatives after the death of her parents. Unfortunately, they have moved on to Canada and now she must try and make a new life for herself in a foreign country. Firstly, I must admit, what drew me to Failan was the presence of Choi Min-Shik in the cast. After seeing him in both Shiri and Oldboy I wanted to explore more of the career of this extraordinarily talented actor. I expected a lot from him, and I was not disappointed. Nor was I disappointed with the extremely talented supporting cast. Cecilia Cheung is both charming and eminently watchable as Failan. And the rather colourful mobsters are appalling and humorous in equal amounts. The story is a slow paced one and is built heavily around character and emotion and is not made in the style of Hollywood offerings. Following Failan's experiences and the way in which others react to her story is a captivating experience which quickly pulls you in. It is a keenly observed and intimate tale that will pull at the heart-strings of anyone, even the most cynical. Make sure you have a handkerchief to hand when watching this, there really is a good chance you'll cry.
  • This is one of the top 3, if not the best, Korean drama I've seen so far. I admit I was stunned by the beauty of Cecilia Cheung, but even though that might have had some effect on my objectivity, "Failan"'s still a very good film. The acting performances by Cheung and especially by Choi Min-sik are strong and believable.

    In short, this is a drama of two persons, Kang-jae and Failan, who are married with each other, but never even meet. (check the DVD for the details.) Yet they share the same tragic fate. The saddest thing of this sad story is that you know that if the two characters would meet just once, everything would turn out ok.

    The story is originally written by a Japanese, Jiro Asada, who also wrote the Japanese top hit "Love letter". Even though the story in "Failan" is different from "Love letter", some resemblance can be noticed in the structure of both films. And most of all, you get the same mix of sad and warm feelings in both. And that's why I really like "Failan". Because even though the film is entirely sad, it is also in a way warm and beautiful.

    Maybe a bit more focus on the Failan character instead of the smalltime crook Kang-jae would be desirable. After all, the emotional part of the story does not begin until the appearance of Failan.

    Korean film has improved enormously in the last few years. "Failan" is a good example and I highly recommend it. Overall rating 8,5.
  • I am a Chinese viewer of this movie so that Cecillia Cheung was very familiar to me. Actually I watched the movie because I was a fans of her. However, after watching the film, I was not only moved by her beauty of purity, but much more by the magnificent story and eye-and-heart-catching performances by Cheung, as well as that of actor Choi Ming-Shik.

    I've been aside while my girlfriend watched the movie but I did not actually got to understand what the film was talking about. And the moment I did, I just could not help feeling so heart-broken that tears went down my cheeks. It was not an exaggeration of emotion that forced the tears, but the feeling thrived deep in my mind found its way out through my tears. I was not only moved to feel sorry, but also warm, since it is a love that has never been seen elsewhere, so faint between the two, yet strong enough to sustain the two's lives, and change their tracks of them.

    After the movie, I've got some rational ideas to share with my friends here. We see the two, Failan and Kang-Chai. They are the most trivial parts of our world, one girl with no relatives or skills to depend on to survive in a strange foreign country, and a 2nd class rogue who is even thought less of by his "colleagues" in the gang. They did not even know each other before or well after their marriage, yet at their most difficult times, and ends of lives, it was this love, derived from imagination that told them to hang on, and to realize their only proof of existence on this planet. We seek for love in our real lives, yet never has been such a love seen. I guess, after all, we are to see and realize ourselves in every period of love, and in the permanent pursue of love, not our partners. And it is this self-realization that is the uttermost meaning of human lives. However, I am not criticizing this pursue as selfish conducts, rather, this is the most profound form of humanity.

    And it is for this meaning depicted so vividly and thought-worthy, I rate this movie a full 10.
  • yellownamja5 January 2006
    Warning: Spoilers
    OK, I'm not a person that likes slow movies nor do i burst into tears because it is sad but.... after i've seen Failan i just can't get this movie out of my mind. It was so heartmoving and so sad... I ALMOST cried.... I was surprised that a movie so powerful and moving can be made by an Asian country (well Korean movies IMO are the best in the world right now.) and this was all before Taegukgi,Oldboy and so on.... The director of this movie does a fantastic job of describing ones character in Kang Jae and Failan, and it made me think how sad i would be if i was in Kang Jae's place. A MUST SEE!!

    I admit this movie is not for everyone because it is REALLY slow and the story of both characters unfold after like 45 minutes. But if you want to see a movie that truly touches your heart then this is the movie for you. The acting is SUPERB in both Choi Min Sik and Cecilia Cheung (the acting itself will move you.) Plus all the other characters in this movie does a brilliant job. I don't know why this movie never got popular but it definitely deserves some media.

    Goes down on my Favorite top ten list of all time ^^.
  • To be honest, anyone not moved by the story Failan tries to tell is either incredibly insensitive or too dumb to understand it. Seldom has a movie gripped me like this one has. The story, about two protagonists who live on the fringes of society, does start slowly, but comes together in the most beautiful way during the second half of the film, all the while saying some truly interesting things about - amongst others - immigration, love and redemption. The main actors are incredible in their performances and the music, photography and cinematography are also excellent throughout the whole film.

    A movie I'm not afraid of recommending to everyone.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The summary:

    Choi Min Suk (award-winning Korean actor) plays an aging gangster named Lee Kang Jae. Throughout the movie, he takes punishment from the younger gangsters and also from his boss, who used to be his good friend and also equal in rank. However, some gangsters strived, while others just lay stagnant...Kang Jae was one of the stagnant ones. Therefore, Kang Jae is left to carrying out petty jobs, such as running an illegal porn video ring and faking documents. On one occasion, he is paid to forge marriage documents, which would make him married to Failan, played by the ever-attractive Chinese actress Cecilia Cheung. This gives Failan a visa to work in Korea.

    Analysis **Spoiler**:

    Cecilia's character is not described in nearly as much detail as Min Suk's, despite the title being Failan, but that is because this movie is really about Min Suk's character. I agree that a deeper look into Cecilia's character may have made the movie more emotionally charged, but like I said, the movie is about Kang Jae. Both characters have nearly hopeless situations. Kang Jae is finally driven to tears at reading Failan's letters, because he realizes what a hopeless and worthless life he's been living. Furthermore, Failan's appreciation for Kang Jae's marriage is the only proof that Kang Jae has that he has some impact on the world; that he actually is important to anything. **Spoiler** At the end, Kang Jae tells his boss his decision, but he already knows what may happen when he says this. Even though Kang Jae packs up at his place at the end, he has already seen that his life had an impact. Plus, he already knows that if he goes home, he has nothing.

    Great acting, great movie.
  • pb-2030 December 2002
    This film was totally unexpected. I recognized Min-sik Choi from "Shiri" when he appeared on the screen but this is no action blockbuster. Instead we get a film about a loser who comes to understand what he has lost in his life. Sounds dull? If I'd read that description, I'm not sure I would have bothered to watch it so I can only recommend you jump in feet first. The structure of the film is wonderful at giving our hearts the feeling of a love story when our heads know that it isn't possible. I found this film on a cheap VCD and, as far as I know, that seems to be the only way to get to see it in England. Even though this film is based on a story by a well-known Japanese novelist, I don't think it has even been released in Japan so word of mouth looks like the only way this will find an audience. If you can't find it, I'll lend you my copy!
  • desol-27 January 2002
    This is easily the best film of 2001 it's just a shame that a lot of people outside of Korea won't have seen this film. Choi Min-shik is simply brilliant as the loser Gangster Kang-jae and Cecilia Cheung is also wonderful as the tragic Failan. The plot (very basically) involves a gangster Kang-jae (choi Min-shik) who for the price of a boat agrees to take the blame for a murder his boss committed because his boss would get about 20 years and he would only get about 10. Then Kang-jae gets news that Failan his wife is dead so Kang-jae has to go to where Failan was living and act like a normal husband which is something he wasn't, he married her illegally for money and had never even met her. During the trip he discovers that Failan was in love with him because of what she thought was a kind act in marrying her. Anyway during the trip things happen that makes Kang-jae change his mind about taking the blame for his boss, and he decides to quit the gangster life and go back to his home town. The film ends with a scene, which I think is one of the best endings I've ever seen. The characters in the film are so well detailed and the directing and pacing are superb, I've got it on DVD but would love to see it on the big screen so I just hope that it gets some sort of release in England and hopefully loads of other countries. Korean movies are so strong at the moment with 'Christmas in August', 'Whispering Corridors', 'Tell Me Something', 'Nowhere to Hide', 'Art Museum by the Zoo', 'Libera Me' and others it's a shame more people don't watch them.
  • pinkston17 December 2005
    Failan is the first movie out of Korea I had ever seen. As I sat down to watch the film, I didn't know quite what to expect, although I have seen plenty of American melodramas and other Asian films. Simply put, I was blown away. I can't really describe why I am still so touched by this movie, but I think that is part of the beauty of it.

    I have had discussions with others about the film and the biggest qualm seems to be that the first half's violence doesn't quite work with the second half's intense drama. I wholeheartedly disagree. It is important that Kang-jae's development as a character comes quickly and seemingly out of nowhere. Without him being set up as such a despicable personality in the first half of the film, the power of the film completely misses. Is his transition too unbelievable? Although under false pretenses, Failan is the first and only person who has ever cared, trusted and believed in Kang-jae. Would this not change you? The film constantly beats on Kang-jae through most of the film (a role typical for Choi Min-sik), so this really sets up the tragedy at the end of the film - with Kang-jae forever unable to fulfill his second chance.
  • alife6134 March 2004
    This film falls somewhere between Fireworks and Postman Blues, without approaching the greatness of either. The principal problem seems to be a serious lack of depth and excessively sappy treatment where the title character, Failan herself, is concerned. Demands for sympathy are so obvious and pathetic that the film is stripped of much of its potential emotion.

    While there are excellent performances all around, and moments of brilliance in direction and cinematography, the script itself seems to be so lop-sided in terms of its focus on the two worlds of the main characters, that it makes one question why any of Failan's life is shown at all. Indeed, the final sequence would have been much more effective otherwise.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Time to drop some tough love on a film that many consider one of the pinnacles of contemporary (Korean) cinema (melodramatique). It's a weeper all right, but it comes from sympathy not empathy. It's mean and manipulative. The misguided love for this film is understandable because the performances of the two lead actors are amazing, utterly fantastic. You could pull any number of scenes completely out of context from this film and just look at them and they might make you cry, but the characters they portray as a whole are not worth an investment in tears.

    The story in a nutshell is this: Failan is Chinese. Her parents die and she travels to Korea to seek out her last remaining relative, an aunt, who unfortunately left Korea years ago for Canada. (I guess Failan's parents weren't very close to their siblings.) There must be a subtext for why Failan decides to stay in Korea because saying "there's nothing to go back to" hardly justifies accepting a paper marriage to stay in the country taking a job as a launderer to make money to pay off the mob who underwrites the marriage—after failing an audition to be a prostitute by coughing up blood at the interview. Kang-jae is the bottom-feeder gangster wannabe slob who marries her for a paycheck without wanting to see her or know anything about her. Time passes and gangster stuff happens. Kang-jae is about to take a ten-year jail time fall for his boss who promises to buy him a boat when he gets out but Failan dies all by her lonesome in some far off village and Kang-jae must detour his life in order to make funeral arrangements for the wife he forgot he had. This is where things get wonky.

    Failan writes a couple "love" letters to Kang-jae thanking him for being kind enough to marry her and presumes that he is therefore a swell guy worthy of her love and devotion, but he doesn't get them until she's dead. Why would she write love letters to this guy she doesn't know? A guy who marries foreign girls for a fee? She must have some idea of what that kind of arrangement is all about. It has nothing to do with her. At the very least she should be grateful Kang-jae leaves her alone and doesn't expect sexual favors in return for his kindness. She tries to see him once at the video store where he works but the meeting is interrupted by the police hauling him away (for selling porn to a minor). It's not even close to an endearing moment. The film maker paints a portrait of this young woman as pure virginal innocence and devotion, which appeals as some male ideal, but nothing more. There is no reason to like this girl for who she is or what she does. We can only admire her, as men, for what she represents. And Cecilia Cheung, as Failan, does some powerful representing. She is angelic.

    Min-sik Choi, most famous—to western audiences, at least—for his performance in Oldboy, plays Kang-jae. He is a superb actor with an incredibly impressive and expressive physical presence. He wears loose fitting pants. He's a man's man, confidence personified. But he's a teddy bear too, albeit one who's a very loose cannon perennially toying with the end of his fuse. He's got baby fat everywhere and wild baby hair. His face is a work of art, chiseled and scarred with been-there done-that experience, handsome in a Hell's Angels kind of way. He is an enigma who plays the paradox perfectly. He's able to make us believe he has entered some life altering introspective awareness stage upon reading Failan's letters to him when all he's really experiencing is massive regret for not getting some the whole time. He doesn't even see a picture of her until she's, and I quote, a "dead bitch" lying on a table. And then he reads the faux flattering poems of loneliness from this Virgin Mary. I'd cry too if I were him. He blew it. He's an unlovable and unlikeable dunce not an everyman who deserves a better lot in life and tragically missed it.

    This film is a crock of crud, highly recommended for the performances. It's not a tragic love story, it's a fetish. Keep in mind the first half of the film is sloppy gangster comedy developing the character of Kang-jae. Failan doesn't show up until the second half, and she's already dead. Her story leading up to her death is told in parallel with Kang-jae's awakening sadness (or sad awakening), dealing with her death. It's very effective until the unnecessary, testosterone injected finish.
  • alessandronuel27 April 2019
    How can we be so touched on a story of a couple that has never met before?

    Such a super melodrama with social commentary on immigrants.
  • This was so heartrending I never want to watch it again, however Im thankful to have watched it. It's beautiful in a way that breaks you.

    Failan is the sweetness that is this movie, and Kangjae is the helpless violence. Together this makes for a very touching movie. I watched it a few months ago but I still feel sad inside about it when I think about the story.

    I stupidly came in thinking it would be a story where the woman changes the mans life for the better. The synopsis was a bit misleading for me, I think that's what made it even sadder. She does change him however. Its amazing how so little has such an impact, when they never met.

    This isn't your typical romance. There are brutal things so faint of heart I would advise to be wary. However its worth the pain, because its so beautiful.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Failan starts in a corner of the neighborhood electronic game room wherein Kang-jae sits,the man bumming around with a cigarette butt in his mouth. His old friend from the heydays of ruling the backstreet has become boss of a crime organization while he was merely endowed with a small video shop for his contributions to organized crime. Even this meager business mostly constituted of selling porn videos to teenage delinquents is as unstable as his fighting skills.The only time his mucous-ridden, bloodshot eyes brighten up is when he is sitting in front of the game machine.An incident inadvertently forces Kang-jae to sign a life-risking contract with the boss of a major gang, a difficult decision but one that Kang-jae believed would help him return home triumphantly. Then out of the blue, he receives a letter. "Kang-jae...thank you for everything. With your help, I've been able to continue working in Korea. Everyone here is so kind. But you are the kindest of them all. Because you have married me..." After a brief moment of confusion, Kang-jae remembers the time when he went through a fake marriage for a few bucks. The warmth Kang-jae was feeling from the letter takes him into unfamiliar territory

    The movie,Failan is a heart-warming and touching love story between two people that never had a chance to meet one another. The movie is a refreshing love story about a connection between two people that have feelings for each other but never had a chance to face each other. It was a great film due to its originality. Aside from the love story,it also has a mix of drama and comedy. Aside from that,it is one of the most tragic I have ever in my life.

    The acting of the movie was excellent as the viewer is treated with the talented Asian superstars in Choi Min-sik from South Korea and Cecilia Cheung of China. Both were great to generate a convincing love relationship despite of not sharing screen time. Aside from that,the supporting cast were great as the lead characters.This is a highly- recommended film for viewers who are looking for another type of love story in a film.
  • This has got to be one of the most breathtaking and emotional movies to come out of Asia ever.

    I am not one who usually gets all emotional and mushy about movies, but this one hit the spot. The story is amazingly touching and you really get to feel with the two lead roles, portrayed by Min-sik Choi and Cecilia Cheung.

    It is particularly refreshing to see Cecilia in a more serious role, compared to most of the dripple that is spewed out of the Hong Kong cinema. Don't get me wrong, Hong Kong movies are nice, but they just have that whole 'not-so-serious' feel to them most of the time.

    I believe this movie have brought tears to the eyes of many of the viewers, and by rightly so. It is really a good movie, and one that any movie enthusiast should see at least once. I have seen it a couple of times and it doesn't get old.

    Get some tissue, sit back comfortably and get immersed into the story of Failan. It will move you, I guarantee.
  • qiowisj29 November 2006
    Failan will move you not because of its characters, but because of the film's resonance within ourselves. All too often, many of us wonder about a different path we could've taken or a choice made that was poor in hindsight. These situations comprise intimate relationships as well, where words said and actions not acted upon can have far reaching consequences. But, this is life; sometimes the most mundane decision will alter your existence, creating the potential for selfishness and kindness to go hand in hand with each other. Watch Failan and realize what I've said above is just to prepare you for a great film about what it means to be human.
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