December 4, 2016

Grand Prix: Horsing Around

Little did I know but there's a special place called Jeju Island where all the Korean horseback riders whose lives have been hurt or harmed, ruined or ravaged by those big, beautiful beasts go to ride, romance, and recover. On this bucolic isle, during one recent cinematic escapade, we get to meet a small, representative sample of those on the mend: a female jockey (Kim Tae-hee) who fell off her saddle during a race and a male jockey (Yang Dong-kun) who blames himself for his best friend's death on the racetrack. We also get to meet a little girl (Park Sa-rang) who was orphaned when a stallion ran away in a storm (long story), a cranky old neighbor (Ko Du-shim) who lost her leg in a stable fire, and a blacksmith (Park Geun-hyeong) who specializes in horseshoes and pointlessly stabs his own leg. What's that, you ask. Well, you know how horses are about their legs? Exactly. And he's in this argument where he's making a point so...

Does this all make you want to visit Jeju Island? Before you answer, let me add that the island is graced with rolling green hills and two impossibly sexy, young men. (The one — played by Song Jae-rim — who lives at your accommodations has gorgeous long hair.) Both men will flirt with you but only one will be able to reconnect your dislocated shoulder, give you two four-leaf clovers, and steal your heart. Does this wondrous world of Yang Yun-ho's Grand Prix sound too good to be true? I'd have to agree with you there. It's a happiness that feels far from real. Trophy ahead.

Anyway, there are just as many reasons to leave the enchanted isle as well. You've got a feel-good sisterhood of fellow jockeys who want you to win the big race. You've got a lovingly crabby mom who runs a little cafe where the food is getting worse every year. You've got a gambling addiction that finds the perfect outlet at the track. (Put a dollar down on Tamra.) Just remember when you leave the island, the bad people will cheat you and undermine you and act like martyrs even though they're the ones causing all the pain. Stay strong. Stay in the race. And never give up on love.

No comments:

Post a Comment