K-Movie Review | Architecture 101 - Enroll me into Architecture

Korean Movie, Suzy, Uhm Tae Woong, Han Ga In, Reviews

The main reason which initiated me watching this movie last night was the opening scene from Radio Romance where Kim Soo Hyun's character says:

We were all somebody's first love. You, and you too. During that time, we were all a boy or a girl in love, and we could have been someone's first love.Dear listeners of Mi Nu's Happy 6pm, today, Wrap it up. Are you ready to go back to when you were someone's first love?"

Those lines really struck me and I guess, here I am, writing a not-so-review-like review.


In the opening scenes, we are positioned in present day allowing us to meet our main characters Seung-Min (Uhm Tae-Woong) an architecture and Seo-Yeon (Han Ga-In) who insists that Seung-Min help redesign and build her childhood home in Jeju Island. 

Once we have gotten ourselves familiar with the cast, present day melts away into the past. Seung-Min (Lee Je-Hoon) and Seo-Yeon (Suzy) are in their first year of university who are enrolled in Architecture 101, hence the title of the movie. Once in the past, we are met with many old gems like pagers, walk mans, disposable cameras and the thriving life of youths where Seung-Min and Seung-Yeon's foundation of first loves are paved innocently.

The contrast of past and present show us how our characters have grown and matured from university to present day emphasising how things change over time, where things left unsaid lead to misunderstanding and broken feelings. It unveils how they shared the same experiences at that stage of their lives but over time priorities change, people change, circumstances change and reality becomes more confrontational than the dreams they had as university students. Additionally, these transitions slowly cement the missing gaps in the house of stories that we -as viewers are building. Finding out the past, solidifying our foundations and by the end of the movie we are left with a house. 

I watch many variety shows and they have referenced the iconic 'how to kiss' scene by Nabddeuki (Jo Jung Suk) who I feel is the ultimate hype-man and a likable character which depicts the value of friendship. I was especially fond of their relationship because whilst at university life is about exploration, curiosity and relationships where a good friend would have went through that journey with you. The duo will definitely make you laugh with their banter in between all the heart break and tense moments. 

The director did a wonderful job of capturing the beautiful Jeju landscape which can make any viewer fall in love with the view and Jeju Island. It also served as a serene backdrop to the more personal moments where it panned out with a voice over allowing us to focus on the words. The feelings of content, heartbreak, regret and longing.

From my perspective, building the house was symbolic to show the growth of people through different stages of life. Even after many designs and renovations, the house still holds the essence of the past, present and future learn to co-exist. This reflects the relationship between our main characters where they learn to look upon their memory fondly and that a person will always hold a special place in one's heart.

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