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What's it About
As she prepares to leave the lake house where she’s been residing, Eun-ju (Jeon) writes to the incoming tenant Sung-hyun (Lee), asking for her mail to be forwarded. He replies, but Eun-ju is puzzled when she notices his letter is postmarked 1997, two years before she moved in, and realizes that he must be the original owner. Thus begins a correspondence, and eventually a romance, across time...
Why we love it
In one sense, Lee Hyun-seung’s “Il Mare” is a conventional love story like any other, trailing the delicately blossoming relationship between a young man and woman in contemporary Korea. Only the lovers are constrained by the physics of time, and the film draws its heart-wrenching power from that fantastical, and highly inconvenient, fact. How will they meet if they live at different moments, and are able to connect only via “magic mailbox”? Lee’s subtle handling of this gimmick, and the gentle, eloquent performances of his actors all add up to a charming, gorgeously shot melodrama with a time-traveling twist.