While busking, Bum Soo falls for his fan Hyun Woo and realizes his musical identity. Producer Hee Jin wants Bum Soo to be a successful singer, but Bum Soo just wants to make good music.
Alt. title: 속삭이듯 해줘
Country: South Korea
Cast: Kim Soo Ah, Kim Jin Tae
Duration: 45 min.
As If You Whisper is a Korean BL movie about an aspiring singer at the start of his career. Just when he struggles to gain traction in the music industry, the main character meets his biggest fan. The two men develop a close bond that gradually grows into a secret relationship.
With a mix of soft music and gentle romance, As If You Whisper shines brightly during several moments. However, the story suffers from some clumsiness that holds back its potential. It could have benefited from a smoother narrative, better character development, and more emphasis on the love story.
Beom-soo is an up-and-coming musician who has struggled to gain recognition. His producer Hee-jin is increasingly annoyed with him. She believes his vocals aren’t strong enough and that he lacks star potential. Beom-soo feels lost, sometimes doubting whether he should continue with his music career.
After his busking performance, Beom-soo initiates a casual conversation with a fan. He has noticed Hyun-woo attending several of his performances in the past. Hyun-woo is a friendly guy who admits to enjoying Beom-soo’s music. The two men continue their pleasant conversation at Hyun-woo’s café, which he runs with his sister.
Although their next encounter is slightly awkward, Beom-soo breaks the ice and they exchange contact information. Beom-soo and Hyun-woo begin hanging out with each other more often. They establish a cute friendship that blossoms into a budding romance, a secret relationship that Beom-soo’s producer would surely disapprove if she knew.
Beom-soo is a struggling musician. He has a rocky relationship with his producer Hee-jin, who doesn’t believe Beom-soo has star potential. As his career reaches a plateau, Beom-soo cheers up whenever he interacts with his fan Hyun-woo.
Hyun-woo is one of Beom-soo’s dedicated fans. He enjoys Beom-soo’s singing and attends all of busking performances. Hyun-woo is an average joe with a pleasant personality. He works at his sister’s café, running errands and making deliveries.
As If You Whisper begins with a simple plot about an aspiring musician who falls in love. There’s a surprising twist in the middle, which adds complexity to the relationship dynamics. The film ends satisfyingly with a positive message. Overall, the viewers are taken through a gentle journey with lovely music & sweet romance along the way. However, the momentum isn’t completely smooth, stumbling at a few rocky bumps in the narrative.
As If You Whisper suffers from flaws that aren’t significantly detrimental, but they add up to detract from the film’s quality. A few scenes feel clunky or lack clarity, like the writing could have been sharper and more coherent. The character development is also inadequate for Hyun-woo, who remains too enigmatic as a love interest. We don’t learn enough about him, wasting the actor’s efforts (Kim Soo Ah) to bring nuance to his role. Beom-soo gets all the focus, whereas Hyun-woo is like an undecipherable blank canvas.
The romance in As If You Whisper is alright. The leads have some cute exchanges together, so I kinda buy them as a couple. However, I wish there’s more emphasis placed on establishing their relationship, which feels rushed. These characters fall in love too abruptly, so we miss building up their rapport that makes BL compelling to watch. Their spark isn’t totally missing, but it needs additional content to ignite a more passionate fire. As much as I enjoy the upbeat musical montages, they can’t substitute actual scenes where the characters talk or flirt.
This movie has an extraordinary climax when Beom-soo performs his signature song on stage. The cinematographic work is magical, featuring a five-minute long take without any cuts. The scene begins with Beom-soo on stage, as the camera pulls away to reveal the gorgeous location. Panning across the audience, the camera zooms into an intimate close-up of Hyun-woo’s emotional expression. I’m amazed by the elegant and elevated artistry, accompanied by beautifully tender music. What an inspired moment, especially since it’s filmed on a modest budget.
As If You Whisper is almost a good BL film, coming close to impressive in a few special parts. I also enjoy the decisive ending, which has a predictable yet suitable conclusion for this down-to-earth romance. However, its storytelling lacks polish and the plot feels too mundane. Plus, the underdeveloped relationship and characters leave me desiring more. With various pros and cons, As If You Whisper ends up being a pretty average product. It’s not a half-bad attempt for a 45-minute short movie, but there are noticeable areas of improvement.