Castaway on the Moon (2009)

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Castaway on the Moon (Kimssi pyoryugi) was a positive surprise to me when I saw it, coming from quite unknown director Hey-jun Lee for whom this movies so far is the biggest and most recognized work that gathered some amount of awards in Asian region.

A man burdened by debts, failed relationships and job that drains him has had enough. He makes suicide attempt jumping from the bridge into river Han. But by accident he survives and wakes up being washed upon a shore of small uninhabited island in the midst of river. Finding himself in silly situation, where civilization is all around him, yet he cannot escape. He tries to find a way to leave the island and still is determined to end his life, but slowly as he adjusts to peaceful rhythm of the island, his resolve changes. He finds reasons to continue.

 A girl, that had some kind of traumatic experience earlier in her life, hiding behind her computer screen, pretending on the internet to be someone else, someone beautiful, successful and happy, wanting to be appreciated by people she's never seen. Living secluded in her crammed room, never going out. The only thing that brings genuine happiness to her is pictures of the moon, that she takes during the night, from her window. "You cannot be lonely in a place where there is no one around." is what moon represents to her. One time she points her camera at the island and sees a man, and large letters carved in sand spelling - HELP.

While obviously those of you who watch a lot of movies, will make a connection to famous movie Cast Away with Tom Hanks, title and even the plot outlines are very similar. You might even think it's a remake of said movie with added a bit of Korean twist, but I assure you it's not. It's genuinely good movie able to stand on it's own.

A touching story of two troubled people who by chance make a connection. Both are taking a break from the outside world. Both are damaged in their own ways. And while dealing with hard issues, it's essentially a positive movie that emphasizes importance of hope. To call it simply a love story would do no justice for it attempts to expand on many other matter.

Essentially this movie is two actor show (Jae-yeong Jeong & Ryeowon Jung) as we see only them for most part of the movie, but what a great job they did, believable and enjoyable performances, supported by excellent cinematography and enhanced by directors skillful ability to bring out raw emotions from the viewers.

Highly recommended. Black bean noodles.

Blu-ray from Amazon
DVD (R3) from YesAsia


  1. Castaway on the Moon has quickly become one of my favorite drama/romance Korean films (alongside such greats as 3-Iron and Failan). There are some truly hilarious and heartbreaking parts. I'm not ashamed to admit I got teary by the end.

    Btw, awesome site you have here. Gonna spend some time looking around. The first two pages of your reviews reads like a catalog of my DVD shelf (huge Korean film fan).

    Keep up the great reviews.

  2. I meant to add a recommendation— not sure if you’ve seen it, but it doesn’t appear under your review search— the movie, Sunflower, starring Kim Rae-Won. Dynamite Korean flick about an ex gangster released from prison who returns to the old neighborhood and attempts to stay out of trouble. You know there’s no way that’s gonna happen.

  3. Thanks! Haven't seen it, will try to check it out some day :)

  4. Loved this movie very much. Great recommendation

  5. Looks interesting to me. i like romantic comedy genres. Thanks for this.

  6. Truly wonderful film.One of my favorites. I' ve seen most of your recommended films and they were all fantastic...Thank you so much.

  7. Haven't seen this yet and based on your comments guys, I'll give it a try. Thanks!

  8. This is an awesome movie, powerful emotions, everybody who's ever worked in an office and got fed up is going to relate strongly to both the despair and hope of the hero. It also holds the simple philosophy that not holding great possessions and living a simple life is a key to happiness.

    I wanna express my admiration for what you are doing with this website. Keep it up, man!

  9. Over the years I spent much of my viewing time watching American and Japanese Classics, works by China's Fifth Generation filmmakers and some HK films. Korea had not much to offer until recently. I like 'Poetry,' Oldboy, 'and 'Castaway on the Moon.' The two troubled people in 'Castaway' have become like trash cast into the Han River. Sadly, the world's rush to take selfies and buy the latest fashion lends itself to throwing things away . . . . even two people of good character.

  10. Really liked this film about broken people. Was serious and yet funny, and with redemption.