26 Years Diary aka Anata wo Wasurenai (I Won’t Forget You) is based on the true story of a Korean exchange student in his mid 20’s and his time in Japan. The movie serves as a biopic (dramatization) of a period in Su-hyun Lee’s life and untimely death when he and another person jumped on train tracks trying to save a someone — all three died. (*Spoiler? LOL, whatever I watched it after reading what it was about too)
The movie is a melodrama story and follows Lee to Japan where he explores and starts to find himself (as cliche as it sounds its true). There are some great portrayals of his interests and life, the most profound being his Japanese love interest. So its about love & life; finding passion, following your dreams, etc.. The movie also highlights the Korean/Japanese societal barriers, and at the same time brings them down.
“In the end, “26 Years Diary” is a curious mixture of stereotypes, melodrama and social criticism that may disappoint those looking for an authentic portrait of Lee Su-hyun. But once such blurring of fact and fiction is overlooked, there is still much to enjoy about this heartfelt, if somewhat puzzling, tribute to a heroic young man” (Korea Times)
You may recognize Mākii on the cover; former vocalist from one of my favourite J-rick bands High and Might Colour. She plays an aspiring artist and the band performs in the movie. & She’s cute. Lee Tae-Sung leads as a musical, athletic, adventurous and kind-hearted man (he speaks Korean & Japanese in the movie). Naoto Takenaka co-stars with another drunk role, he’s pretty good at it.
Review (average rating)
I’m a fan of culture crossover movies, especially when they actually pull it off well. 26 Years Diary makes it to my list of favourite crossovers which includes “The Longest Night in Shanghai” (Chinese/Japanese) which is also from 2007.
aparoo says 4/5, nice guy + heroic story, cute girl + good movie