A famous proverb says blood is thicker than water, but the upcoming Korean film "Inseparable Bros" shows that there is water that is thicker than blood somewhere around us.
It is a sentimental comedy-drama based on a true story about two disabled men -- Se-ha and Dong-goo. The movie begins with scenes of the two characters meeting each other and pictures how these two became family.
Se-ha is smart and clever but paralyzed and isn't able to walk or move after an injury to his spinal cord. He has to sit in a wheelchair everyday and must be spoon-fed and bathed by others.
He lost his mother at the age of 16 and was taken to an institution for disabled children in Seoul. There, he meets Dong-goo with severe intellectual disabilities. Dong-goo is taller and stronger but has a mental age of five years.
For 20 years, the two become bosom buddies and perfect partners. Fierce-tempered Se-ha opens his mind to Dong-goo and wins his heart. Se-ha works as the brain of Dong-goo, helping him buy things, while Dong-goo waits on Se-ha hand and foot.
Their sibling-like relationship is threatened after Dong-goo's mother suddenly appears and demands Se-ha "release" her son. Years ago, she left her son at a swimming pool.
She says the most important thing is that she is the mother and Dong-goo is the son. She believes that blood ties with her son are naturally much more powerful than the 20-year-long bond between Se-ha and Dong-goo.
But here, their connection is proven to be thicker than the mother-son blood ties. The movie reveals that Se-ha and Dong-goo feel like they are complete humans when they help each other enjoy everyday life together.
While living with his mother, Dong-goo realizes that everything he does is connected to Se-ha. He habitually gives spoons full of rice to his sister-in-law, and wakes up at midnight to check and prevent Se-ha from suffocating while sleeping.
"Family is bound together by blood, but we can become a family if we love and help each other," director Yook Sang-hyo said of his fifth feature film. "This is the main idea of my movie."
This message is clear from beginning to end. It follows the brothers' daily life with a humorous point of view, without focusing on stories of their miserable and disabled life.
The outstanding acting of the two leads -- Shin Ha-kyun and Lee Kwang-soo -- blends well with the mixture of humor and expressions of disability.
In particular, Shin has to convey Se-ha's feeling and intentions only through his words and facial expressions. His torso and the lower part of his body remain motionless. On the other hand, Dong-goo speaks far less than him but makes large and ludicrous gestures like a 5-year-old boy.
At this point, the movie seems to successfully squeeze humorous relief out of the thin plot and not-so-wacky episodes, but audiences may easily lose interest due to the predictable ending.
It has to survive a tough competition with Marvel's latest "Avengers: Endgame," which already surpassed 1 million presold tickets a week before its scheduled premiere next week.
"Inseparable Bros" will hit local screens May 1.