English Title: Surprise Party

Running Time: 98 minutes
Korea Rating: 12
Release Date in Korea: 5 July 2002

Director: KIM Jin-sung

Cast:SHIN Ha-kyunasKIM Jung-woo
LEE Yo-wonasWANG Ha-young
KIM Min-heeasHWANG Mi-ryung
KONG Jyung-jinasDu-hyung
KONG Hyo-jinasIn-joo
KIM Hak-chulasMi-ryung's Dad

[Synopsis] [Chinese Review] [English Review]

Written by: Ryan Law
Date: 5 October 2002

Out of a group of new performers in Korea, SHIN Ha-kyung and LEE Yo-won has been considered as the brightest new performers. With their castings in KIM Jin-sung's SURPRISE PARTY, this film has become one of the most expected film of the year while the distribution company has been so confident that arranging this film to be released during summer.

The whole story is about a triangle love within 12 hours between a man and two women. Mi-ryung, who has been in love with Hawaii-born Jung-woo, has to pursuade his father not to object their love in 12-hour interval before her birthday party. During this period, she asked her best friend Ha-young to waste Jung-woo's time so that he cannot reach his lover. However, pieces and incidents has given surprises to each of the characters.

As the title said, surprise is the main selling point for SURPRISE PARTY. While you are expecting there will be lots of surprises over the film, the film is relatively dull. The surprised given in the film are mostly expected by the audiences and not surprising at all. The film also lacks substances to fill in the 99 minutes. The beginning of the film has not given enough background to both Ha-young and Jung-woo which makes audiences spending a very long time in order to get into the film.

LEE Yo-won, who has been stand out during her first film TAKE CARE OF MY CAT (2001), has been given a challenging task by acting as a gril facing different problems -- have to act as a awful guy to waste Jung-woo's time but falling in love at the end, has not fully present the characters as expected. However, her performance is already much better than KIM Min-hee, who acts as Jung-woo's girlfriend Mi-ryung. KIM Min-hee's role is not much in the film, but enough to make audiences to feel annoyed by her over-acting.

SHIN Ha-kyun, who has been in lots of films this year like SYMPATHY FOR Mr. VENGEANCE (March 2002) and NO COMMENT (June 2002), is being the best performer over the film. His role in the film is not very difficult, just acting as a navie boy which he has been acting during his previous GUNS AND TALKS (2001). He acts well, but not really surprising to audiences.

While you think SURPRISE PARTY as a party giving you surprises, the whole film is not surprsing at all. Still if you consider this film as a normal love film, it can still cheer you up.