Yes, this movie deserves that many "wows." Honestly, it deserves even more.
My first review of a movie starring Gianna Jun was My Sassy Girl (click to read the review). Initially, I had mixed feelings about her character in that film. However, Windstruck was an entirely different story. I immediately liked her quirky persona, probably because she reminded me so much of my younger sister who is also a police officer. Jun plays a sassy, tough cop named Kyung-jin Yeo who you can't help but love. After all, she is fighting for the good of the people! She's relentless in her pursuit of justice and totally fearless. Similar to her original character in My Sassy Girl, Jun is stubborn and uncompromising in her convictions about life; this becomes apparent when she refuses to apologize for any mistakes she makes (no matter how serious).
Hyuk Jang plays her counter-part, a physics teacher at an all-girl's school. Although there are many similarities to Jun's love interest in My Sassy Girl, Jang's character named Myung-woo Ko was more daring than Tae-hyun Cha. He would have to be, though, otherwise he wouldn't be able to keep up with all of Yeo's antics and ambitions.
From their very first meeting, I knew I was going to adore this love story. Their initial encounter with each other was perfectly romantic and hilarious, always a great combination! Their relationship quickly develops, a story point I appreciated, thanks to Myung-woo's voice overs (the entire story is told from his perspective). His narration also added an intense element of drama that was quite philosophical. Myung-woo had me contemplating life, love, and relationships in general. His voice overs provided the perfect pace for such a surreal movie.
I didn't expect this film to be fantastical in its approach to the story, but the latter half of the film draws heavily on this genre. It was very important that this element was included in the film because there are many emotional situations that had me crying. Without the "fantasy," I would not have enjoyed the film as much. These scenes are tastefully done with special affects and graphics. Many of the situations were also a little comical in nature. I found the mix of sadness and comedy a bit strange, but somehow the director made it all come together.
Windstruck was also characterized by another one of Jun's famous stories. Between the ones she told in My Sassy Girl and the one told in this film, this one wins by a landslide. It is more developed and believable than the movie scripts she was writing in the other film. Plus, I always wondered how pinkie promises originated. I don't know if writer and director Jae-young Kwak was inspired by other stories about the pinkie promise, but this one felt original and unique (it's also referenced early on before you even realize the significance of the gesture).
There was a ton of foreshadowing in the film, which wasn't detrimental to the overall message. I just kept hoping that what I was guessing wouldn't turn out to be the truth of the lovers' situation. I suggest that future viewers just enjoy the film rather than try to guess what will happen next. The surprises will leave you breathless and teary-eyed. This film also works better as a "sit back and let the story captivate you" type film rather than a "let me guess and solve what is going to happen next" one. The mix of crime, drama, comedy, romance, and fantasy genres add to the overall enjoyment of such a captivating masterpiece.
The connections between this film and My Sassy Girl are loosely developed. They both are written and directed by the same person. They also star Gianna Jun. Unfortunately, I can't reveal any stronger connections without spoiling the films for those who have not seen either one.
Again, this movie had another amazing soundtrack. The director chose an American song to focus on as a type of "theme" for the movie: "Knockin' on Heaven's Door." This time, though, the song was performed by a Korean singer with only the refrain in English. The music really added additional elements of suspense and intense emotions. It was perfectly chosen and crafted! I especially liked the music that was played when Yeo and Ku were on the hilltop experiencing the thrill of the wind and when Yeo kept seeing Ku's paper airplane flying about. The music worked really well with all the panoramic scenic shots that were included in the film, like when the couple goes off into the wilderness on vacation.
This movie has it all: beautiful scenery and music, amazing story, plot, and characters, and an intense connection with fantastical philosophical elements of life. Who could demand anything more from a movie?