The Japanese hit novel “Fly, Daddy, Fly” is acclaimed for its witty portrayal of the sad situation of an ordinary man, who struggles to win back his status as a respectable father.
But the new domestic film “Fly, Daddy, Fly,” an adaptation of the Japanese novel, portrays only superficial charm without capturing the core elements of the original story.
Directed by Cho Jong-tae, the film revolves around Chang Ka-pil (played by Lee Moon-sik) in his 40s, who leads an ordinary life with his adorable wife and their 17-year-old daughter.
He faces a crisis when his daughter is severely beaten by a high school student boxer from a rich family and he finds there is nothing he can do.
To prove that he is not a coward and will do anything for his family, he decides to take revenge and physically beat up his daughter’s tormentor. For the seemingly impossible task, he asks Ko Sung-suk (by Lee Joon-ki), a rebellious high school student with talent for fighting, to train him.
The film attracted media attention and the public’s interest mainly because the nation’s heartthrob Lee Joon-ki was cast in the film.
He emerges from the image of his previous role of an effeminate court jester in the country’s most viewed film of all time, “King and the Clown,” by playing a physically much stronger and tougher role. But he fails to make a strong impression as he did in the first film.
As the film fails to explain why Ko has a rebellious personality, unlike the original book, Lee’s character appears only to act “cool” with many pretentious gestures.
The original character in the novel grows up as a Korean-Japanese in Japan, and experiences discrimination that alienates him from society. But in the film there are few clues as to why Ko has become an outsider.
What bothers audiences most is the impression that they are watching a two-hour commercial starring Lee. His character wears clothes and shoes of the same brand, unnecessarily highlighted, and the brand logos appear too often in the film.
But if you can lower your expectations about the “pretty” actor, you may find fun elements in the film.
As the story gradually unfolds, it actually turns out to be a movie focusing on actor Lee Moon-sik, who successfully portrays an ordinary fainthearted office worker with a strong affection for his family.
His role is fun to watch, and at the same time makes you think about ordinary fathers who desperately struggle for their families in countless small battles in everyday life.