Shoot Me In the Heart ~ Review ~ Dramajjang
“At such a close range,
I’ve never seen so many stars;
A sea of stars.”
My movie hunting season hasn’t arrived yet and since Shoot Me In the Heart passed under my radar I wouldn’t have watched it in the first place, but thanks to a friend’s proposal the urge to watch it was growing day by day and here I am writing about it. My feel-o-meter can only be thankful for the overall journey on the thin red line between feels and laughter with the second parameter eventually surrendering to the first one’s captivating magnificence.
Based on Jung Yoo Jung’s same-titled novel, Shoot Me In the Heart is the heartfelt crossroad of two youngsters’ lives in the gloomy environment of a psychiatric clinic. Soo Myung (Yeo Jin Gu) was transferred there after the traumatic experience of witnessing his mother’s suicide. He put all the blame on himself and shortly after the schizophrenic eruptions became a part of his life. Seung Min (Lee Min Ki) was forced to bid the outside world farewell after his father passed away when the other members of the family wanted to have the upper hand when it comes to inheritance matters.
Silencing Seung Min by forcibly hospitalizing him was the most “legal” way they could think of. Seung Min would never stand still and escaping from that form of prison was the only option. Trying to read through the lines, Soo Myung would gradually follow Sung Min’s lead as they were steadily becoming an integral part of one another’s lives. Day by day, a wide variety of interactions take place and they get to meet people from both sides of the fence.
The fact that Shoot Me In the Heart is “dedicated to the struggling youth” may possess a twofold meaning. One could stare at it through a more pragmatic prism in the way it presents the hardships and unjust treatment a psychiatric clinic’s inmates may be going through far away from society’s eyes. Someone else may conceive the overall presentation as a symbolic miniature of society where all types of people can co-exist.
While some people will always try to have the upper hand and will force their authority upon others there will always be the indifferent ones when it comes to a fellow human being’s suffering. However, inside the calm between two storms there will always be the ones embracing life under their own rules and regulations and somewhere in there humanity can spread its wings; profoundly.
“I’m not trying to exchange my life for a moment.
To be truly myself in my time, that’s life for me. I want to live.
Your time is yours now, don’t lose it anymore.“
It’s a point of view which walks hand in hand with Friedrich Nietzsche’s “and those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music” with the insane ones consisting of all these people deciding to live instead of simply existing in a world of discipline, discriminating acts, careerism and indirect or direct oppression where breathing is a vital yet passive indication of life.
“Some migration birds fly
Halfway around the earth,
Following the constellations.
How far or where he flew off to,
Only he would know.“
I filtered Shoot Me In the Heart through both prisms as the foregound leans towards the first direction doing justice to just a glimpse of what patients may be going through inside a psychiatric clinic. At the same time, the background was working on a more thought-provoking approach far away from formulaic visualizations as it would go against the movie’s hidden nature which was no other than its very soul and essence.
“I myself needed a gliding site.
Somewhere over the rainbow,
I believe that unfulfilled dreams of the past
May be waiting for me.“
One’s mental health is a fragile issue and it should be approached as such and with all the necessary amounts of professionalism and humanity . Traumatizing even deeper an already mentally wounded person is like inflicting physical harm upon someone who just got out of the operating room. It’s not like we haven’t witnessed on the news that these patients are undergoing further struggles inside some psychiatric clinics instead of receiving treatment and Shoot Me In the Heart doesn’t go easy on the overall matter while shedding discreet yet utmost light on the preciousness of life.
The cinematography was magnificent as it was pacing perfectly well with the film’s twofold nature. There was almost a sense of balance between indoors and outdoors shooting with the first ambiance slightly surpassing the second one only in terms of screen time. There was always a sense of captivity or freedom depending on the surrounding environment and with a like-minded clinical or warmer, thicker or more gracious lighting.
The acting was of major importance as it would define the film’s success or demise. There were many veteran figures partaking in the overall attempt along with younger actors and actresses, but Lee Min Ki and Yeo Jin Gu were the ones having to prove their worth as they were bringing to life Shoot Me In the Heart’s main characters. The one and only time i had seen Yeo Jin Gu acting was in Sad Movie. Since i hadn’t witnessed how he had progressed throughout the years i was wondering why everyone was talking about him and through his performance here i could finally understand the reasons why. Shoot Me In the Heart was just a glimpse of his capabilities and i’ll definitely keep an eye on him in the future. He was exceptional in visualizing Soo Myung’s internal world every time his emotional chasm was coming to the surface, but he was also masterful in depicting the way his character was trying to embrace life anew under the flow of events and through a wide variety of interactions.
It was the first time seeing Lee Min Ki acting and i was more than pleased with his performance! Seung Min’s passion for life was vibrating through Lee Min Ki’s interpretation, but it was the same passion that was demanding more tension in order to acquire the dreamlike aesthetic he was craving for. Lee Min Ki was there to live up to any expectations and eventually surpass them. As for the bromance between Soo Myung and Seung Min, it was shining all along the way! I shouldn’t forget to mention Yu Oh Seong as the exemplary nurse Choi Ki Hoon, Kim Jung Tae’s hilarious presence as the inmate Kim Yong, Kim Ki Cheon’s riding hallucinations as Man Shik, Park Choong Sun’s heartfelt figure, the unforgettable choco pie grandfather of Thank You, Shin Goo, who was the psychiatric clinic’s guru and the nerve-shaking Park Doo Sik among others! Even though she appeared for a few seconds, Kim Bo Ra was utterly cute!
Unconditional human relations may blossom even at the strangest places, under the most uncertain circumstances. Shoot Me In the Heart is as full of life as a beating heart can be.