5 Elements We Loved In "Yung Libro Sa Napanood Ko"
For K-Drama fans and love story enthusiasts, Bela Padilla and Yoo Min Gon’s movie, set in the romantic autumn season in South Korea, is a tearjerker with the right dose of romance
Yung Libro Sa Napanood Ko is a film written, directed, and starred in by Bela Padilla. While this can be seen as a litmus test of Bela’s capabilities as an artist and a creative, the overall feelings that emanate from the movie are the passion and the heart poured in by Bela in this particular project.
Let’s start off with this fact: there is no shortage of romantic movies in the Philippine movie industry but the real challenge is how to make every love story out there fresh and something that will resonate with viewers.
Thankfully, VIVA Films and Bela Padilla captivated the heart and imagination not only of those who favor a good romance story but also of ardent Hallyu (Korean wave) fans. After all, this film is inspired by the K-drama Because This Is My First Life and the book featured in it, and majority of the scenes are set in South Korea.
They have thrown in elements that are not usually seen in Filipino movies such as having a Korean actor as a male lead, having your female lead star be at the helm of this film, showcasing the best of a highly popular tourist destination like South Korea, and running with an unexpected twist in the story.
Yung Libro Sa Napanood Ko is about Lisa Villamor (Bela Padilla), a K-drama fan and published author, who meets a Korean fan of hers named Kim Gun Ho (Yoo Min Gon) during a book signing. Gun Ho braves and takes his chance to invite Lisa on what would turn out to be a life-changing trip to South Korea.
Metro.Style was able to catch the Summer MMFF (Metro Manila Film Festival) 2023 entry during its premiere night, and if the audience reaction is any indication, the film succeeded in its mission to please and touch the hearts of viewers.
We listed down some of the noteworthy moments of the film that will surely stay in your mind long after the movie has finished its screening.
The “meet-cute” and heart fluttering scenes between Lisa (Bela) and Gun Ho (Min Gon)
For Hallyu fans and bibliophiles alike, meeting someone or specifically a really cute Korean guy during a book signing is the very definition of an ideal “meet-cute” scenario. The banter between Lisa and Gun Ho who, unexpectedly understood Tagalog, is a scene that inspired giggles and kilig, but that’s just a sneak peek. There were many scenes in the film that will make one’s heart melt such as the snacking on Pinoy and Korean treats together, the scarf scene, the “kiss on the doorway” that sent many viewers shrieking inside the cinemas. The musical scoring of Kean Cipriano helps in setting the mood for the pair, too.
The iconic K-drama locations
Many of the film’s scenes are set in South Korea during peak autumn season, and the production team maximized this opportunity to the hilt and film these scenes gorgeously. Among the iconic locations that served as the backdrop to the Lisa-Gun Ho romance were the Deoksugung Palace Stonewall Walkway, the Fortress Wall of Seoul, and the Seoul Book Bogo, among others. Think of this movie as a chance to visit (or revisit) the beauty of South Korea in this glorious season.
The plight of OFWs adding a layer to the plot
Perhaps one of the most unexpected elements of the film is how it touches on something that’s culturally relevant for us Filipinos: a compelling side story on OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) and their mental health. It’s emotionally affecting to hear no less than Lorna Tolentino (in a special role) say this as an OFW who had to leave her child in the Philippines to work abroad: “I think I’m a bad mother…” To which Min Gon’s Gun Ho replied: “You’re a bad wife, not a bad mother…” To find out more of the context behind the lines, pay close attention to the movie’s heart for OFWs.
Romance with a dark plot twist
Every love story has conflicts, right? But in Yung Libro Sa Napanood Ko, this turns out to be a plot twist that’s been quietly building up from the start; with the audience so focused on the romance, the seeds planted went generally unnoticed. It’s a twist to the story that moved the plot to a different direction. To some, the plot twist may not feel new but it’s just as heartbreaking. Prepare your tissues.
The satisfying ending
Time heals all wounds, so they say, and the time jump certainly helped the movie reach an ending that feels satisfying for the troubled sweethearts. Again, as the title suggests, books played important roles in not just solving the conflict between the lovers but also in injecting the kilig and the unforgettable cinematic romance we crave from the two protagonists. Get kilig responsibly.
If you’re open to watching a movie that feels like a rollercoaster ride of emotions, then Yung Libro Sa Napanood Ko, primarily set in South Korea, is a beautiful destination. The film feels like a love letter of writer-director-actress Bela to fellow lovers of Hallyu and books, to OFWs, and to creatives who long to pour out their passions and interests in a project like this.
Yung Libro Sa Napanood Ko will be released in cinemas nationwide on April 8, 2023 as an official entry to the first ever Summer MMFF.
Lead photos from VIVA Films and background from Pexels