Forever The Moment
Alternative Titles: Our Finest Hour, Uri Saengae Choego-ui Sungan
Country: South Korea
Runtime: 2 hr and 4 min approx.
‘Forever the Moment’ (also known as ‘Our Finest Hour’) from South Korea, is a partially true (some events and characters are fictional) story of the events surrounding the South Korean women’s handball team and its journey to reach the finals of the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Like most movies made out of sport, this too, follows the worn down line of showing the team’s genesis, individual struggles of some players (and how they eventually overcome it), how they find motivation in the darkest of hours, and eventually triumph (?).
Spoilers Follow – The movie’s climax has been revealed.
If you followed the Athens Olympics, you’d know that Korea lost a close encounter in the finals to Denmark. In the movie, this match comes down to the line, with a penalty shootout determining the fate of the two teams involved. In a make or die situation, Mi-Sook, arguably the protagonist of the story, misses her shot, and Korea has to settle for the silver.
You’ve seen various winning and losing moments in a sport film. But I’m sure you haven’t seen a brilliant take like this. Instead of showing her penalty and the works (the goalie, the shot etc), all we see is Mi-Sook and the people behind her. We DO NOT see the goalie and the goal. And 2 seconds after the ball leaves her hand, the result is obvious. We DON’T see her missing the shot. From the same camera angle, we see Mi-Sook’s shoulder drooping, her face losing all the energy and her legs giving away, her eyes not wanting to believe what just happened, her team-mates aghast, disappointed and the Denmark bench in raptures, predictably ecstatic. The shot becomes even more pronounced considering the fact that every other shot of the penalty shootout is shown in its entirety.
Sport movies often tend to hype the final play, the grand finale, and prolong it to an extent where it becomes unbearable. For someone who’s seen movies like this that tend to make a grand show of ‘THE MOMENT’, it was refreshing to see such innovative screenplay. The guts to not show the moment, the audacity to not tell the viewer directly that the shot was a miss… it was wonderful if you ask me.