Review. Architecture 101 provides a past and present look at the relationship of two people that meet after a fifteen year gap.
Synopsis. What if your first love from college reappeared in your life after a 15 year absence? Would you reconnect and restart your romance?
More Details. Architecture 101 is a 2012 Korean film that stars Uhm Tae Woong as architect Seung Min and Han Ga In as Seo Yeon. She walks into the architecture firm he works at and asks him to build her a house. At first, he doesn’t recognize her but then he realizes she is his first love from college. He is reluctant to build the house, but she insists, and he relents. Will they reconnect? Will they rekindle their romance? What happened in their past?
What I liked about Architecture 101:
Subtle Story. This was a quiet, thoughtful film whose story unfolded in layers from start to finish. The writers (Lee Yong Ju, Kim Ji Hye, Min So Yeon) crafted a story that requested your interest but didn’t demand it. The story is told in 2 time frames – the present, where our leads reestablish a connection, and the past, where our leads are freshmen in college and forge a friendship and love interest. The writers wove the flashbacks and the present day so there was balance and connection between them. No flashback was jarring, instead facilitating the movie’s flow.
Realistic hesitation of the present day characters to connect. The present day Seung Min and Seo Yeon were initially stiff with each other but became more comfortable as the film progressed.
a. Uhm Tae Woong as architect Seung Min. He was a successful architect not sure he wanted to reengage with his past and potentially throw his current path off course. Initially he guarded himself around her not wanting to feel those old feelings again. Tae Woong made me believe that having a first love reappear in your present day life may not be nirvana.
b. Han Ga In as Seo Yeon. She pulled him into reconnecting, not taking no for an answer. Yet she did not push him to reengage romantically instead letting their relationship evolve from their contact during the house building phase.
Gentle, shy friendship for the past characters. The college age Seung Min and Seo Yeon slowly built a friendship but hesitated to share their true feelings.
a. Lee Je Hoon as young Seung Min. He was so shy about sharing his feelings with young Seo Yeon it was almost painful to watch his unease and hesitation.
b. Bae Suzy as young Seo Yeon. She had to wait for him to make major moves in their relationship while doing what she could to push it along subtly. They lived in the time where the man was expected to make the romantic moves and the woman was expected to waited for the man to get the gumption to make a romantic move.
Shout out to Cho Jung Seok as Seung Man’s best friend Nabddeuckyi. He gave good yet ridiculous advice to his shy unsure friend throughout the film. He was a welcome addition to this film.
What I did not like about Architecture 101:
Not Much. This was a well produced, acted, written movie. It was so quiet and gentle that if you were not in the right mood, you might not see it’s beauty. There was limited emotion even though this was a romance movie.
Architecture 101 delivers a subtle story and good acting from our past and present leads. This was a quiet, gentle film.