Korean love stories have a reputation for high melodrama and “Always,” which played at the 30th annual San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival on Saturday did not disappoint. There was a copious amount of weeping and wailing, beating on chests, rolling around on the floor and histrionic screaming. And that was just by me.
“Always” is the story of a handsome former boxer with a peculiar hairdo and a shady past. He meets a blind girl, who mercifully cannot see his goofy looking perm, and as their courtship advances he comes to realize that he inadvertently played a role in the tragic accident that killed both her parents and caused her to lose her eyesight.
Filled with shame, he seeks to right this wrong by secretly participating in a deadly boxing match to pay for the operation that will restore her eyesight. In the tradition of great love stories like “An Affair to Remember,” what ensue are the vagaries of fate, combined with misunderstanding, and moments of near revelation so agonizing, I almost yelled at the screen at the Kabuki Theatre.
I don’t think I’d be giving too much away by saying that by the time the heroine finally sees the boxer, I was too emotionally drained to even remember that she was seeing his crazy hair for the first time. I was only relieved that love conquers all.