Under one roof, brothers learn how to live together

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Under one roof, brothers learn how to live together

The beginning of a new year is usually when movie theaters are filled with heartwarming comedies, and this month one of the films that aims to make audiences both laugh and cry is “Keys to the Heart.”

Directed by rookie filmmaker Choi Seong-hyeon, the upcoming comedy drama revolves around a washed-up boxer (Lee Byung-hun), who accidentally encounters his mother (Youn Yuh-jung), who left him with his abusive father when he was a teenager.

Though filled with a lot of anger and resentment, the boxer’s financial difficulties force him to move into his mother’s place, where he learns that he has a younger brother (Park Jung-min) who has a savant syndrome that makes him exceptionally talented at playing the piano.

As one might guess, the film relies on the evolving relationship of the three main characters to elicit emotion while focusing on the brothers’ seemingly incompatible relationship to add humor.

“Though it may be small, I believe [the film] delivers a meaningful message to audiences who now live in a world where people are becoming more and more individualized and don’t hold as many conversations with others as before,” said Lee during a press event held on Wednesday in central Seoul, while acknowledging the story’s predictability.

To depict a man with savant syndrome in detail, but without exaggeration, Park volunteered to work with savant teenagers.

“At the [specialized] high school where I volunteered, there were five students in their first year. I knew just observing and imitating their traits would be wrong, so I [did additional] research [about people with the syndrome] through books and videos. I only tried to feature the general characteristics,” said Park.

Since Park’s character is incredibly talented at playing the piano, the actor also put tremendous effort into practicing piano in order to shoot scenes without needing to add CGI, which he managed to pull off to the surprise of the cast and crew.

“Before this movie, I had never played the piano. Right after having a meeting with the director, I signed up for a piano class, and invested quite a lot of time practicing. The director even bought me a piano so I could practice at home,” said Park.

CJ Entertainment’s first release of the year will open on Jan. 17. It is rated 12 and above.

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]
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