Spellbound is a film released in 2011 by CJ entertainment,produced by An Young-Jin, directed and written by Hwang In-Ho and Starring Lee Min-Ki and Son Ye-Jin. It’s a romantic comedy with a slight horror plot line (I promise it isn’t scary). The basic plotline is a story of a magician who falls in love with a girl who is haunted. This story is full of quirky comedy and really funny scenes with some hilarious one liners (even in translation are some of these lines hysterical) [[Warning this review may contain spoilers]]
So the film follows cute street magician Ma Jo-Goo (Lee Min-Ki) who is nothing really special but when he’s performing he sees Kang Yeo-Ri (Son Ye-Jin) and is inspired bny her aura of darkness to do a horror magic act. This act goes huge in Korea and his ghost in it is played by Yeo-Ri. Yeo-Ri goes to work and then goes home, she doesn’t speak to her co-workers and she doesn’t speak to her boss – Jo-Goo – who really wants to invite her to a work night out. In Korea these are important outings and most work places will get all the staff together to drink and eat.
So then the viewer is taken to Yeo-Ri’s house to find out why she avoids everyone. She is being haunted by the ghost of her best friend and because of being haunted has to sleep in a tent in her house every night to keep herself safe. Her mother and sister have moved to Norway to get away from the ghost. She lives a lonely life because anyone she gets close to has to suffer the wrath of the ghost. However, Jo-Goo is intent on getting Yeo-Ri to go out with the company and she eventually concedes. After the night out, Jo-Goo goes round to her house and they encounter the ghost of a boy.
They are transported to the scene of his death and help bring his soul to peace. The pair start flirting and both end up sleeping at Jo-Goo’s house (in a tent), and his girlfriend finds them and she and Jo-Goo break up, leaving the two to be together. But can they ever get away from the curse of her best friend?
The way the film is shot is very well, you’re never quite sure what is going to happen next, from the unexpected visit from Yeo-Ri’s friends (that she made online) to the climax of the film where you’re left uncertain of their fate. It’s quite fast moving and there wasn’t any point in the film where I was bored and got distracted by something else. I personally really like how the director (who is also the writer) created the comedic scenes as a mixture of both physical and spoken comedy. That was able to transcend the language barrier that I have (as I was watching it with subtitles).
Lee Min-ki and Son Ye-Jin had a good chemistry in both comedic and romantic relationships portrayed. I really enjoyed watching them together and it was nice to see him in a different role to his usual one. I really like him as an actor and was impressed to see he has improved when it comes to playing a romantic lead (not that he was ever bad – it’s just great to see the improvement)
I give this film a 4/5