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[Opinion] Mind’s Path

Posted February. 14, 2005 22:39,   


I see several thousands of movies as a hobby and, due to my profession. I especially like romance and adventures and dip into new blockbusters every weekend. However, my favorite must be Mervyn LeRoy’s black and white movie "Random Harvest." Produced by MGM America in 1942, it is a sentimental masterpiece capturing many movie fans for over 60 years. Random Harvest was released in Korea too in 1954 with a splendidly translated title: “Mind’s Path.”

A famous family’s son Charles (Ronald Colman) loses his memory during a battle in the first World War. Charles, who escaped from a concentration camp through fog on the day the war ended, accidentally meets a dancer named Paula (Greer Garson). After marrying her, Charles gets called by a pet name, “Smity”. Charles, who gets his memory back after a car accident, returns to his home town and succeeds as a businessman and a politician. However, he does not remember his most recent three years. The only key to the past is a key in his pocket.

Paula, who is searching for her husband, after many ups and downs finally works as Charles’ secretary and cares for him. Then, she marries another man. However, she tries hard to bring back the memory of poorer times with her first husband. One day several years later, Charles who went to visit a local constituent to solve a strike crisis follows the village path as if haunted by something. When he reaches a familiar house, he hears his wife calling his pet name just as he was opening the front door with the key he was carrying all the time.

The recent Korean-style “Mind’s path” is more heartbreaking. A woman who lost her memory due to a falling accident marries and lives with her life saver. Then she gets to meet her family after 20 years, but still cannot remember the past. The woman had two sons and a daughter before the fall, and her husband kept his place waiting for her. It is a sorrowful “Mind’s path” choosing between her current husband who sincerely took care of her, and her past husband, who waited for her for 24 years.

Oh Myung-chul, Editorial writer, oscar@donga.com