Remake Happy Hollywood is at it again — this time targeting the 2001 South Korean tearjerker “Failain”, a movie that I really, really, really liked. The original was directed by Hae-sung Song (from a novel by Jiro Asada) and starred Cecilia Cheung as a young Chinese woman who arrives in Korea as the convenient bride to a low-level mobster played by Min-sik Choi (“Oldboy”). The two meet briefly, but he barely notices her before they part. When she dies, the gangster receives letters that she had written to him, and through them discovers her sad, but peaceful life. Meanwhile, the gangster is getting ready to go to prison for the crimes of his boss, but the woman’s letters begin to have an affect on him.
The remake is being written by Jose Rivera (“The Motorcycle Diaries”) and will be directed by Vadim Perelman (“House of Sand and Fog”), and transplants the story to America, where a young Russian refugee arrives from Russia and winds up in the clutches of Russian mobsters in Brighton Beach. The thugs arrange a marriage with one of their own. When she dies, the husband who’d never met her discovers letters she’d written him that show both her gratitude to him and how badly she was exploited. His remorse compels him to destroy her tormentors.
As you might have guessed, I’m really irked by this idea of a remake. “Failan” is easily one of my favorite movies, and Cecelia Cheung was just absolutely brilliant in it. Nothing could top that.