Flash Review: Josée [Korea] [Movie]

I’d wanted to check out this movie for several reasons.

1, I’d really enjoyed Nam Joo Hyuk and Han Ji Min together in 2019’s The Light In Your Eyes (which I think is a truly special drama), and welcomed the chance to see them share the screen again. 2, I was intrigued by the fact that our female lead is a woman with a disability, because it’s really not that common for a romance to feature a lead with a disability.

I liked the inclusiveness of the concept, and I was also curious to see how Show would treat this aspect of the story. (Full disclosure: this movie is based on a Japanese short story, which also spawned a Japanese movie. I’m not familiar with either of those works, and this is my first exposure to the story.)

Now that I’ve watched it, I’m gonna hafta say that I don’t think this movie is for everyone. I mean, I don’t even think it’s for me, heh. I just don’t think I managed to connect with this one the way this movie’s fans are able to.

Still, I thought I’d write this quick review, so that you can figure out whether this one would work for you? Because those who find themselves on the same wavelength as this show, really do love it a lot.


Young Seok (Nam Joo Hyuk) is a college student who ends up helping a woman, Josée, who’s fallen from her wheelchair (Han Ji Min). In slow degrees, he ends up becoming part of her life.


Here are couple of things that I think would be helpful to keep in mind, to maximize your enjoyment of the show.

1. This movie can feel pretty slow.

With its broody, contemplative, slice-of-life approach, it can feel like nothing much is happening on your screen. But stuff does happen. It just happens in slow degrees.

2. This story world can be pretty dark.

I mean, literally. Some scenes are purposely shot in semi-darkness, so much so that occasionally I wasn’t sure what was supposed to be on my screen. However, when it’s not dark, Show is pretty.

In brighter scenes, I really appreciated the pretty palette and the cinematography.

3. There are a fair number of things in this story that are open to interpretation.

That could be a boon or a bane, depending on the type of viewer you are.


1. Han Ji Min as Josée.

I found Han Ji Min’s portrayal of Josée quite haunting, and I felt that she effectively brought out Josée’s vulnerability, wistfulness and loneliness.

2. Nam Joo Hyuk as Young Seok.

I thought Nam Joo Hyuk did a solid job of portraying Young Seok, a young man who’s doing his best to stumble through life, and who suddenly finds himself in a different world than he’d imagined himself in.

3. I like our story concept.

Even though I found the actual execution of this story not quite to my taste, I appreciate the idea behind it. I like the idea of two souls finding each other, and being drawn together, despite the different worlds that they come from.

4. I can tell that care and thought went into the execution.

Even though there were things that I wished Show had done differently, it’s clear to see that a great deal of careful effort was put into everything in this movie, from the framing and lighting of a scene, to camera angles, to the use of shadows.


1. Not enough time spent solidifying the relationship between Young Seok and Josée.

Since the relationship between Young Seok and Josée affects them both at such a deep level, I thought it would have been helpful, if Show had spent more time teasing out how important they were to each other.

I also would have liked to see more happy times shared by the two, which I feel could have made for important context.

2. I would have liked Josée to be written as less cold.

Like I mentioned earlier, I very much appreciated the haunting way that Han Ji Min portrays Josée; that fits really well with where she is in life, when she meets Young Seok.

However, I would have liked to see glimpses of warmth, amid the cold, particularly as she became more secure and confident as a person.

3. Show’s a little too slow for my taste.

I like to think of myself as a flexible viewer who’s able to adjust her expectations to fit what a show wants to be, but even with my best effort, I personally found the watch experience a little too slow for my taste (and perhaps my mood, I’m not sure).


From the moment we’re told that Josée has a chronic habit of speaking out her fantasies as if they’re reality, I started to question what was real, and what was imagined, in our story world.

I even went so far as to wonder whether Young Seok ever came back to the house, after that first encounter, or if Josée had created this complete, intricate fantasy about him becoming her boyfriend, as a result of that single interaction.

That’s a bit unsettling to me, as a viewer, because I didn’t know what was real (and therefore something I could hold on to), and what was a product of Josée’s very fertile, very detailed imagination.

In the end, I decided to believe that Young Seok’s relationship with Josée had been real, up to the point of the conversation at the aquarium.

It’s a little perplexing to interpret the events that Show serves up towards the end of its run, because not only are things out of sequence, stuff is left up to our interpretation as well.

I decided that the glitch on the ferris wheel, where Young Seok and Josée couldn’t get off, was the point at which Josée started to see herself as a burden to Young Seok, and that was what prompted her eventual break-up conversation with him at the aquarium.

Personally, I think the ferris wheel incident was just a catalyst, because honestly, what could anyone have done, when the doors wouldn’t open? Even an able-bodied person wouldn’t be able to do anything to open the doors from the inside, safety feature and all, right?

So I rationalize that this was more a catalyst than anything, and that there were already so many things swirling in Josée’s mind, that it didn’t take much for her to decide that she was a burden to Young Seok.

Another part of it, I think, is probably the idea that Young Seok wouldn’t be able to pursue the life path that he’d been on, prior to meeting Josée, if they had continued on in the relationship. I’m guessing that that was likely a factor too, in Josée’s decision.

Do I think that Josée necessarily had to break up with Young Seok, in order to find her confidence and independence? It’s hard to say.

It’s true that it’s possible to grow and change while in a relationship, but at the same time, sometimes, being on your own ends up being THE thing that forces you to step into a mind space that you’d been afraid to, before.

In the end, the important thing to take away, I think, is that Josée did gain strength from her relationship with Young Seok, and when she felt that she’d gained enough strength, she believed it was the better thing to do, to let him go.

For the record, given Josée’s circumstances, I believe that the trip to Scotland was all part of her imagination as well.

It honestly doesn’t look like Young Seok’s all that happy when we see him after the sudden 5-year time skip, but again, what he does with that is left vague.

He might have gone ahead to marry Soo Kyung (Lee So Hee), &/or he might have eventually found his way back to Josée. I personally tend to think that Young Seok will carry on walking the path that he’s on (unless Something Big throws him off it; that’s just how he strikes me as a character).

But at the same time, I believe that, no matter what happens, he will continue to keep a special place in his heart for Josée, whom I’m sure he would rather have loved and lost, than not have loved at all.


Contemplative and melancholic. Not for everyone.




You can check out the movie on iQIYI here, subbed and in HD.


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2 months ago

I will go with the possibility that Josee does not go out and stop Young Seok. The relationship might all be in her vivid imagination. His kindness towards her prompts her to become more confident, even though he is not beside her, as she mentions at the Aquarium, but he never returns. Overall I love your review, and I am sad and need some clarification about the unanswered questions the movie leaves me with.

1 year ago

thank you for the review, and i agree to what you wrote. after watching this, i feel so empthy eventhought i prepared and told myself before that it’s gonna be kind of dark.

i love han jimin and nam joohyuk a lot too in light in your eyes. idk but their chemistry is no joke (at least for me), they have such a huge year gap though but it doesn’t look like that at all.

i just hope they meet again in another work with better romance story, i dont mind if they are already working on multiple works together 😀

Last edited 1 year ago by hana
Mon mor
Mon mor
1 year ago


Mon m
 right now

I thought she showed him a positive pregnancy test.. I can only imagine that would have been in her imagination. That makes me wonder if the whole relationship was imaginary for her. I also don’t think he really reacts when he sees the woman in a wheelchair at the end Or when he looks over at her driving in her car. Although he may not have seen her.

Su San
Su San
1 year ago

I so agree with your review, thanks for sharing. Too many pieces of the “Josee movie puzzle” are missing….

Mon m
Mon m
1 year ago
Reply to  Su San

I thought she showed him a positive pregnancy test.. I can only imagine that would have been in her imagination. That makes me wonder if the whole relationship was imaginary for her. I also don’t think he really reacts when he sees the woman in a wheelchair at the end Or when he looks over at her driving in her car. Although he may not have seen her.

1 year ago

I really like your review, especially the last part. Thank you.

2 years ago

Very nice review! I thought this movie looked really interesting as I like broody, contemplative type romances as well as both of the leads. Reviews left me feeling mixed though as it doesn’t really sound up my alley. I may give it a look sometime though 🙂

2 years ago

Spoilers for Josee & The Light In Your Eyes
“I started to question what was real, and what was imagined, in our story world.”

For me, very unpleasant when that happens. As a side note, I found the Big Reveal in The Light in Your Eyes extremely unpleasant. Kind of the same thing. (?)

Last edited 2 years ago by kfangurl
2 years ago

I really wanted to watch this when it came out, because i love both leads. But after reading some reviews I just thought I’ll wait for the Fangirl verdict.😀 Thanx for the review Kfangurl, I have to conclude that it’s probably not for me.

2 years ago

I’m so glad you watched and reviewed this! For the record I didn’t exactly get it either but I guess its strength is in its choice to give us room to interpret it for ourselves, which I believe is what art (in contrast to just pure entertainment) does in general. I just wish it was executed with a more heart :’) but I was so glad to see NJH and HJM on my screen nevertheless