It was a lot messier than the Korean original timewise, and even Il Mare had some problems there. I mean, I didn’t think the final scene was in the right time. Some of the things that had already happened in the future wouldn’t happen if the final scene took place… but anyway. Il Mare worked anyway.
This one didn’t for me. Maybe it would have if I hadn’t rewatched Il Mare last weekend and had it fresh in my mind. It was like me reading the Brokeback short story before I saw the movie. I didn’t come to it fresh, so I couldn’t take it in the same way. I always had something else in the back of my mind as I was watching. In this case, it was Il Mare.
They changed one thing I thought made Il Mare so emotionally affecting, namely the girl’s love for the guy she couldn’t have, the guy she had lost (not the lake house guy). So at the end…
…when the girl goes racing to save the lake house guy, she’s not saving him from something she caused. So the emotional impact is lessened. And in this version it wasn’t as clear what she was saving him from. We knew, but we hadn’t seen what led up to it as clearly, we hadn’t seen her ask him to go there (because she didn’t). In Il Mare enough things were implied but enough things were also shown. This one didn’t show enough. And what it did show was the wrong things, the wrong relationships, not things that grabbed me as strongly or raised the stakes high enough for me.
So I didn’t think it measured up to the original. I didn’t really expect it to but, you know, if I had been the one doing the adaptation, I would only have changed the things I thought were weak in Il Mare. Not the things these writers changed.
Maybe I’m too melodramatic. It’s possible. But I certainly wouldn’t have cut the things that made me cry in Il Mare. The exact mailbox scene was in this one, the same scene of the girl collapsing on her knees and holding onto the mailbox the way she did in Il Mare. But it didn’t work the same way. Because the lead-up was missing.
The Lake House was also missing a unifying theme. Or rather, I could see that the writers had made an effort to put in a “the right things at the right time and no sooner” theme, but it wasn’t reflected in all the major relationships the way I thought it should have been.
I don’t remember a unifying theme in Il Mare at all, but hey, Il Mare made me cry. I think I’m addicted to movies that make me cry…
I give The Lake House two stars.