Sunday, Oct. 20, 5 p.m.
Lincoln Theatre, $9
To tell someone that you will love them forever sounds wonderfully romantic. But then things may seem a little more difficult when forever actually means forever — say, when reincarnation is involved. Bungee Jumping of Their Own shows just how difficult and painful undying love can be — especially when love comes back in an even more unexpected form.
When Korean college students In-woo and Tae-hee meet during a rainstorm, In-woo immediately falls for this radiant girl who ducks under his umbrella. Somewhat goofy and definitely awkward around girls — getting close to Tae-hee makes him hiccup with nervousness — the handsome In-woo pursues his "love at first sight" until the two of them have embarked on all-consuming love affair.
Shortly after their love is consummated, Bungee Jumping jumps ahead seventeen years to 2000. Tae-hee is gone, dead from tragic circumstances that aren’t completely clear as yet. In-woo is a new high school language teacher, happily married with an infant daughter.
Immediately popular with his students, In-woo begins to find himself attracted to one of the schools most popular boys, Hyun-bin. Gestures and comments begin to convince In-woo that the boy is the reincarnation of Tae-hee. As this conviction grows and becomes impossible to hide, In-woo’s and Hyun-bin’s worlds become unhinged.
While much of the latter portion of the film shows how homophobia from the students and faculty conspire to tear apart In-woo’s carefully constructed life, this is not truly a film about being gay or coming out. For In-woo and Byun-bin, homosexuality is an obstacle that needs to be overcome, which leads Bungee Jumping to an ending both uplifting and unsettling, with the possibility of a continuing cycle of both happiness and heartbreak.
But while it’s not a film about homosexuality, it is a film about love, and the lengths to which people and souls will go to find it. Filled with wonderful performances, complex ideas, and a willingness to follow its own path to its logical end, Bungee Jumping of Their Own is not to be missed. — SB