One Step: Movie Review

one stepI wanted to see “One Step” when it had its Philippine screening but unfortunately, none of the cinemas in our province carried the film in its limited run. Now that I’ve had the chance to see Sandara Park’s debut Korean film, I’m so glad that I was able to, even though it was delayed by a few months.

Synopsis: Si-hyun (Sandara Park) was involved in a car accident that robbed her of her memories and saddled her with a condition wherein she could see music in colors. However, when she sleeps, she hums an unfamiliar tune which her friend’s brother Woo Hyuk (Cho Dong In) writes down. In her quest to learn the origin of the song, she meets Ji Il (Han Jae Suk), a composer who suffers from writers’ block. Inspired by a new mission, the duo try to piece together the song which will hopefully help Si-hyun remember her past.

I must be honest. Sandara still has a ways to go before she becomes a seasoned actress, but in “One Step,” I caught a glimpse of her potential for the future. For her Korean debut, there was no question that Sandara tried her bestto turn up a solid performance. It was obvious that she prepared well for her scenes and her performance was the best that she ever made from her time in the Philippines, her small role in Iljimae and her web series “We Broke Up” opposite WINNER’s Seungyoon.

However, Sandara still seemed to be too conscious of the camera, perhaps weighed down by the pressure of starring in her debut movie. I think with a bit more coaching, she could be more comfortable with acting and this will be the key to unlocking a stellar performance. She actually did very well in two of her dramatic scenes – the one where she tried to really listen to music for the first time since her accident, and the other when she first listened to the song she completed with Ji Il. That was Sandara the actress, and as a fan, I know she could do a lot more in her future outings.

Veteran actor Han Jae Suk picked a great comeback vehicle with One Step. He was such an effortless actor, bringing each scene to life. His rapport with Sandara and the rest of the cast was a testament to how good of an actor he was. He brought with him a lightness and depth that carried one-half of the movie for a solid performance. The ease in which he delivered his role also helped the newer actors to find their footing in the film.

I loved how the story was laid out. Audiences truly will feel compelled to root for the lead stars as they embark on their personal journeys. Si Hyun as she tries to regain her memories, Ji Il as he finds the spark that he needs to ignite his passion once again, and Woo Hyuk as he pines secretly for Si Hyun. I also loved the music in this film. The main theme with Sandara and Jae Suk’s duet in particular had me singing Lala O La, for a good couple of days.

All in all, I loved One Step not because I was a fan of Sandara but because everybody did their best to turn up solid performances for acting and music. It’s a low budget indie but it’s a quality film that inspires the good vibes and goosebumps just because of its positive message. While it was marketed as the Korean version of Begin Again, it stood out on its own because of the excellent direction of Juhn Jai Hong. Great job, team!