Good tear-jerker, with outstanding performances by Lee Na Young and Kang Dong Wan (not so much of a pretty boy in this one). Kang Dong Wan is Jang Yoon-soo, a man on death row; Lee Na Young is Moon Yoo-jung, a troubled woman who has attempted suicide three times. Two wounded souls reaching out to one another.
The movie is also informative in so far as it shows what life in a Korean prison is like, as well as how capital punishment is carried out? There is a strong Christian presence in the movie. As far as I can tell, the movie does not give a position regarding capital punishment. I haven't seen Dead Man Walking, so I can't compare the two, though I probably would prefer Sister Monica in Maundy Thursday to both the real Sr. Helen Prejean and to Susan Sarandon's portrayal. The only minor theological quibble I would have would be the movie's understanding of forgiveness, but since I'm still unsure about what Sacred Tradition teaches about forgiveness and the conditions under which it should be extended, I'll be cautious. Otherwise, the movie is strong on the love of God for sinners, the hope we should have in Christ as our Redeemer, the mercy we should show to others, and the healing we find through love.
A quibble with the plot (possible plot spoiler) * Yoon-soo is baptized in the movie; before he is executed he sings the national anthem, because it is what his little brother used to sing in order to gain encouragement and strength. Although the movie is Christian, I was a it surprised that he doesn't do a bit more praying in the movie, though perhaps he still feels unworthy to address God directly, and is relying on the prayer of others.*
The deleted scenes on the dvd are worth watching as well, as some extra details of Yoon-soo's childhood are given, and a small measure of justice is attained with respect to the cause of Yoo-jung's pain.