The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling

Flash Review: Miss Granny [Movie]

17 Comments

If you’ve known me for a while, you’d probably know that I generally don’t watch all that many k-movies.

I tend to prefer the dramas over the movies, probably coz so many of the k-movies that I’ve watched seem to either go super gritty & violent, derail, or take weird narrative turns towards the end (Raise your hand if you’ve never had a seemingly harmless k-movie suddenly go all dark, sad and deathy on you!).

Or sometimes, the writers don’t make the best use of their 90 or 120 minutes of available screentime, and the movie ends up feeling more like a highlight reel than a real story. And, well, it’s hard to feel invested in a highlight reel rather than a real story, y’know?

Which is why it makes me so happy to say, Miss Granny is NOT any of those.

I watched this movie on a flight and I loved it. Like, unreservedly, wholeheartedly Loved. It.

The Writing

The script is thoughtfully written, and the care really shows.

Little details that seem almost throwaway all eventually get resolved, which is impressive. Even more importantly, character arcs and backstories are lovingly conceived and consistently written with so much heart.

I love how the writer explores our perception of the aged, and provokes thought around this theme in such a playful and refreshing, yet also compassionate and poignant manner. The approach is never preachy; instead, the show employs its own tongue-in-cheek, exhilarating technique, of taking us on Oh Mal Soon’s journey (played by Na Moon Hee and Shim Eun Kyung).

In this way, the show inevitably invites us to consider – and empathize with and appreciate – how vibrant every old person has been in his or her youth, and how precious and real their dreams have been to them, even though they are now relegated to the fringes of society in their old age.

The movie’s tone and pacing is also expertly balanced, so that even though it serves up a variety of moods – from laugh-out-loud funny to heart-in-throat moving – it never feels uneven or jerky. Instead, it all flows with an impressive, natural, organic sort of ease.

Just, so well-written.

The Acting

Just as the writing is fabulously done, so is the delivery by the cast.

In particular, I am so, so impressed by Shim Eun Kyung, who embraces her character with gusto and not a shred of vanity.

As the younger Oh Mal Soon, Shim Eun Kyung seems to literally channel Na Moon Hee’s take on the character, down to her mannerisms, voice inflections and even the look in her eyes.

I really could believe that Shim Eun Kyung as Oh Doo Ri was literally the younger version of Na Moon Hee’s Oh Mal Soon.

Despite her youthful appearance, Shim Eun Kyung manages to portray an old soul really well.

Even when Mal Soon interacted with her son Hyun Chul (Sung Dong Il) while in her youthful body, I could totally believe that this was a meeting between a mother and her son, rather than an agasshi and an ahjusshi.

As expected, Sung Dong Il puts in a wonderful performance as the quietly troubled man caught between wanting to be filial to his mother, and needing to care for his wife and family.

His appearances were restrained compared to Dal Soon’s more spirited scenes, but Sung Dong Il’s portrayal was no less vivid and affecting. Loved him.

Jin Young and Park In Hwan are equal parts adorable and earnest as the boys crushing on Mal Soon, and I found them both a delight to watch.

Lee Jin Wook rounds out the love square that Mal Soon unwittingly finds herself in, and I do love the fact that Gran has not one but three men all moony-eyed over her, even as she continues in her sass-talking, crusty ways.

Goooo, Gran! 😉

The Music & Singing

Thanks to Mal Soon rediscovering her love for singing while in her youthful body, one of the things we get regularly in the movie is music, and Shim Eun Kyung singing to it.

And I hafta say, even among a sea of goodies, this stood out as one of my favorite things in the movie.

The music itself was varied; sometimes it was boppy, and sometimes it was plaintive. Whichever mood the music took, though, I found all the songs appealing in their own way.

I really enjoyed Shim Eun Kyung’s singing as well. I’m pretty sure a sound engineer’s magic was called upon to make the scenes really pop, but Shim Eun Kyung definitely deserves credit.

Not only does her voice sound quite lovely, but her showmanship is winsome and very endearing. Most important of all, her ability to emote while singing really causes each scene to land right where PD-nim wants it – the heart.

Such a lovely touch, to an already lovely movie.

PS: I freaking loved a certain little cameo at the end of the movie. The casting is spot-on, and the inclusion of the cameo itself, quite genius. Let’s just say that I giggled uncontrollably, even though I was on a plane. 😉

THE FINAL VERDICT:

Funny, sweet and touchingly poignant. Worth watching again. And then again.

FINAL GRADE: A+

VISUAL TREATS:

Haven’t seen the movie? Here’s a subbed trailer to get a quick taste:

And just coz I can – and also, coz they’re so good – here are a couple of my favorite song performances from Shim Eun Kyung.

Haunting and poignant:

Intent and completely stirring:

Author: kfangurl

Proud to be a k-fangirl since 2007. Main diet of kdramas with movies and kpop on the side.

17 thoughts on “Flash Review: Miss Granny [Movie]

  1. Oooh I’ve been wanting to watch this as I’ve heard SEK was phenomenal in it. I don’t believe all the flack she received as Nae-il and I scoured the net for her old performances. I saw the MV of the OST of Miss Granny and fell in love with her even more! Hoping to see this one soon. Glad you loved this and thank you for your review! – Jo/Crazyunnijo

    Like

    • Yes, SEK really is phenomenal in this movie – you should totally watch it, Jo! I have a feeling you’ll love it like I do. I watched it a second time before writing this review, and enjoyed it just as much the second time around. I haven’t seen Cantabile yet, but yes, I did hear some discontent around Nae Il. Will see for myself when I do get to checking out the show!

      I’d love to hear how you like this movie, when you get to watching it. It’s great for some holiday feel-good warm fuzzies, so you could consider it as potential holiday entertainment for you & maybe the fam too! 🙂

      Like

      • Okay so I just watched it. Being the momma of a son, this movie brought me to tears early hahahaha. I was a blubbering mess during a pivotal moment near the end (i think you know what I’m referring to.). And Lawd that little bit at the end threw me totally off guard. I was laughing and squeeing and laughing so more. SEK was perfect for this. And the fashion! Oh how I loved the fashion!

        Love love LOVE! Thanks for the review! 🙂

        Like

        • I’m so, SO pleased that you managed to watch this one, Jo! I kinda knew that you’d like this one! It’s just so full of heart, no matter the tone it’s taking, isn’t it? In the funny bits, and also in the more poignant ones, this movie always had a firm handle of where its heart was, and that just pulled my heart in. I totally know that pivotal moment you’re talking about, and that made me cry too, even on my second watch. So well-written, so well-placed as a scene, and so well-delivered by both actors. Major props, seriously. And YES, that cameo is SO GOOD. I giggled out loud and leaned forward in my seat on the plane, and giggled some more, it was so perfect!

          And yes, the fashion was pretty great. I loved that her inspiration was Audrey Hepburn. Audrey Hepburn is such a classic style icon! 🙂

          Like

  2. Now I’ll definitely have to watch this movie. It’s been on my list since it came out. I don’t often watch Korean films for the same reasons you stated. But most of the ones I have seen have been good. I think the flash reviews is a perfect section for movies, even more than dramas. Hope to see more from you and try to write some myself.

    The last 2 songs in particular were so nice. She does have a mild good voice. The last song made me teary, seeing her life struggles as a widowed young mother. Aww.

    Like

    • Yes, you should totally watch this one, Lady G!! It’s one of the rare k-movies where I came away completely satisfied. It has an ending that feels fulfilling and uplifting; definitely something to reach for when I’d like a shot of warm fuzzies. 🙂

      Yay that you’re enjoying the flash reviews section – you’re totally right that these are quite a perfect fit for movies! I never thought movie reviews would be an actual thing on the blog, but that could change yet, with Flash Reviews being so quick to write!

      Y’know, the songs will feel even nicer as you watch the movie, since the context will be in place. The feels are strong in this one. I think I might’ve actually cried while watching some of those scenes that you saw in the MV!

      Like

  3. I am glad you did a flash review on this, since I was planning on watching the Chinese version because of Luhan, I wanted to know if the Korean one was any good.

    Like

    • Oh, I had no idea there was a C-version of this! I can’t speak for anything but the K-version, which I loved through and through. I hope this turned out to be helpful for ya, Rebekah! 🙂

      Like

  4. OH! So glad to know that you love this movie, too! There’s not a lot of KFilms that I ‘ve watched. Most of them, the horror genre, LOL! But, I accidentally click on this movie’s trailer while I was browsing Youtube, and I was soo intrigued by the premise, so I searched for it and watched it.

    LOVE. IT.

    And, all the reasons that you stated are the same reason why I love and enjoyed watching it. I think I need to watch it again for the 3rd time, LOL!

    Like

    • Aw, YAY that you love this movie too, Joan!! 😀 What a happy thing, that YouTube led you to it! ^^ I seriously LUFF it. I loved it both times that I watched it, and I honestly wouldn’t mind giving it a 3rd sometime too, it’s that good. ❤

      Like

  5. One of the few Korean movies that I actually understood. I mean, some K-movies got me so lost and question my ability to understand what was going on. I really enjoyed it. It’s the kind of movie that makes you feel all fuzzy inside, which is nice once in a while.

    Like

    • YES. I’ve been bemused by quite a few k-movies, so I know what you mean, Sunny! Miss Granny is just one of those movies that feels good and makes sense, and is just all-around awesome. I’ve seen this twice now, and wouldn’t mind giving it another watch sometime. Shim Eun Kyung is FAB in this too! ❤

      Like

  6. well … the sound engineers really did a good job … guess i’ll be thinking of raindrops when i’ll see my white butterfly on samjinnal. 🙂

    Like

    • Lol. It’s true that sound engineers play a key role in making people sound good. Even taking the sound engineers’ role into account, I thought Shim Eun Kyung sounded really good compared to some other actors who also dabble a bit in the singing. But I could be biased, I just loved this movie so much! 😉

      Like

  7. Pingback: Flash Review: Cantabile Tomorrow | The Fangirl Verdict

  8. kfangurl! Thanks for another wonderfully insight and thoroughly engaging review! There really are a lot of quality k-movies out there. Here are two that are on the top of my list: 1) Speedy Scandal (fun, interesting, funny, heart-warming) 2) Mr Kim’s Island (also called “Castaway on the Moon”) – a quirky, delightfully strange love story. Different from the usual movie fare and not everyone’s cup of tea but so gooood!

    Like

    • Thanks Eddie! I’m glad you enjoyed this review! Miss Granny is such a lovely movie, isn’t it? I watched it twice and loved it both times. ❤ Also, thanks for the movie recommendations – I will keep an eye out for both of the titles you shared. 🙂

      Like

Leave a comment:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s