Asian Movie Review: Blue Salt aka Hindsight 푸른소금

Today I read somewhere that the 90s sucked, despite everything the Internet does to make us think otherwise, and let me quote here one of the reasons:  “You accidentally saw the ending of The Sixth Sense, because when you popped in the VHS tape, your idiot uncle had forgotten to rewind it”. I do agree that you had a bad time if you actually saw the ending of The Sixth Sense, before you even knew the plot, but believe it or not, there are some movies, that actually tell us the ending at the very beginning. The movie I’m going to review today is one of them.

Hindsight (푸른소금 Pureun sogeum = Blue Salt)

In the opening scene we see the main guy — Yoon DooHun (Song KangHo) — getting a bullet straight through his heart, planted by the tomboyish, yet somewhat dainty and charming Jo Sebin (Shin SeKyung)What? A spoiler!? Yes, this is the actual opening of the movie. So we know that the main guy gets shot, and we know that his killer is a pretty young lady. And a few minutes later we will see them both taking a cooking class and we’ll see them slowly becoming friends… And maybe more? Wait, what?! Despite what you might think right now, it does make sense and I must compliment the translators on their choice of titles, because this one matches really well! The Korean (and the Japanese) title translates as Blue Salt, which naturally has its reference in the plot, but choosing Hindsight for the English title works very well here. Quoting Wikipedia: “A basic example of the hindsight bias is when, after viewing the outcome of a potentially unforeseeable event, a person believes he or she knew it all along“. ’Errr… What’s the fun in that then? I already know the ending!’– you might think. Well, my friend, it is an action movie with some touch of romance, so you can’t really be sure of anything.

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I might not be particularly knowledgeable about the mafia, but it doesn’t surprise me that its members have enemies that are plotting to kill them. Especially if they’re high up in the mafia hierarchy, like the aforementioned Yoon DooHun, who is now leading a retired life, taking cooking classes, dreaming of opening his own restaurant. His character is very likeable, I didn’t even think about his past gangster life watching the movie. He’s a good-natured man with a charming smile. But taking into account his mafia connections, his happy retired life cannot last long. He finds out that his former boss, that he was very close to, dies in a car accident. The mysterious tomboyish Sebin he meets at cooking school turns out to be a hitwoman hired by the mafia plotting to get rid of him. Why her? Because her best friend EunJung (I actually thought it was a girlfriend, by the way they depicted their relationship…) got into trouble with some bad guys, and that’s what Sebin had to do to help her. I don’t want to reveal too much, but there’s a lot of mafia connections going on — stay focused, so you won’t get lost (especially if you watch the movie in Korean, with Japanese subtitles as I did). I’m not entirely sure, as it might be a movie without any deeper meanings, but it seemed to me that it deals with not only the Korean mafia, but also forbidden love, age differences and the unbreakable bond of real friendship. Add some fighting and gun close-up scenes to it, and we have a pretty decent action movie.

 So will you actually know it all along? Give this movie a try and see for yourself! 

+ likeable characters, we don’t really want them killed

+ some nice photography going on in the movie!

+ Song KangHo, who I find to be a very handsome man, not by your usual ‘handsome standards’ but Ken Watanabe kind of handsome

•••

– I admit I got lost in all the mafia connections, but it’s mainly due to watching the movie in Korean with Japanese subtitles, so I’m sure I missed much more

– it made me think that Yoon DooHun must be suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, by getting close to a girl who is planning on planting a bullet in his head

– Shin SeKyung’s acting, who appeared to me as a Korean version of Kristen Stewart, 121 minutes = the same “my life is so complicated, you don’t understand me” face

Thank you for reading and let me know what you thought of the movie if you’ve already seen it / see it after reading my review! ♥