PART 3: THE AFTER LIFE
Sam was stabbed and brought to the hospital. Sam’s heartbeat was shown on the screen, beeping weakly. Doctors walk by wheeling patients on stretchers, then Molly walks across with a nurse. Sam sees her, runs over for a hug, but he passes through them. Molly continues walking with the nurse, crying. Sam watches a male nurse wheeling a patient covered with a cloth, slowly. Finally, the heartbeat stops….
Suddenly, an old man in full white outfit appears sitting on bench to the slight right side of the stage. There was nothing else on the stage but the bench and the hospital door like an ER’s door. Sam was on the left side of the stage, talking 45’ facing the hospital ghost on the right side. The hospital ghost talks to him, and there was this short moment of relief in Sam that the man can see him. I think he must have thought that since someone can see him, he must not be dead yet. He asks “Where’s Molly?” and tries to open the hospital door in the middle of the stage. He tries several times, but all that came out were the ‘whooshing’ sound as Sam could not grab the door handle. The old man starts singing a song describing Sam’s situation, and the after-life that he’s leading now. About how Sam doesn’t need to wait anymore as he has all the time in the world, this is not heaven nor hell, etc.
Sam: But I’m not dead! I can’t be dead! *grabs door handle, whooshing sound* I’m not ready yet! I’m not dead! I’m not ready!!!
Hospital ghost: Who is ready to die? No one is ready to die.
Sam: No, no! I’M NOT READY! I TOLD YOU I’M NOT READY!! HELP ME!! IS THERE ANYONE HERE??!!
Joowon’s expression at this time is absolutely amazing. Think to how he is when he finds out he just shot his brother, the Gaksital. THAT is his expression and body language. He keeps shaking his head, walking backwards from the ghost, keep trying to open the door, and yells out at the audience to help him. It took all my willpower to remain seated on my seat…. I just want to go up the stage and hug him and tell him everything will be fine…. *sniff*
The hospital ghost resumes singing, telling Sam how he died a long time ago. I actually blanked out at the hospital ghost because at this part because I just can’t stop looking at Sam. His devastation/disbelief/frustration is just amazing to watch. Like the life has been sucked out of his body. Which is true, but… oh well, it’s just so upsetting. I can only see about half of his expression and body language as he was facing sideways-backwards, but Joowon’s ability to express his emotion even when we can’t see him in full is absolutely amazing.
Suddenly, the door to the ER room opens and we see a team of doctors trying to revive a patient. They were circled by about 4 other ghosts (wearing old outfits like gowns, tuxedos, bowler hats, etc., so I guess these ghosts must have died a loooooong time ago) who were singing at the back of the doctors. *it is kind of creepy, actually* Sam asked who are those people at the back, and the hospital ghost mentioned they are ghosts too, just like us. They were doing CPR and tried to give the shocking heart thingy, but the patient died. The doctors moved away, declaring the patient dead. At this moment, Ghost displays one of the most brilliant technical skills they have: we see smoke descending from above the patient, and light in the form of a human soul starts to slowly drift upwards from the dead patient’s body towards the source of smoke. B.R.I.L.L.I.A.N.T…
The team of doctors and dead patient all left the stage, to leave an exasperated Sam and the ghosts who diligently sing on a pitch-black backstage. The only lights were on the ghosts and Sam on stage. I have to admit, their singing are extremely good! Even gave me goosebumps! Their harmonization is so beautiful. As they were singing, Sam screams again “I have to go back. I HAVE TO GO BACK!”
(Joowon-Sam was standing all the time, he never once sit down during this scene. It is different than the broadway version. This broadway version wanted to show Sam’s reaction, but I find it slightly unrealistic. Korean version to me is better in the sense that all these ghosts were facing Sam, and Sam alone faces them via 45 degrees angle)
The ghosts sing that yes, it is difficult, but just go along with the ride, we have no choice, etc. The ghosts stop singing and walk away, leaving Sam and the hospital ghost. *cue sad music playing*
We move on to graveyard scenery with a Priest saying prayers to a crying Molly, side-by-side with Carl. Some other friends and possibly family is present as well, all of whom are wearing black clothes. At this time, Sam realizes he is truly dead. The realization must have slapped him hard in the face. He walks ever so slowly towards Molly, his back facing the audience, not daring to go close to her, afraid of what he will see or do once he gets close enough. Molly just bends over slightly, held up by Carl. She would have cried on the ground if it weren’t for Carl’s strong arms holding her up. This is so devastating….. To watch loved ones crying over you, not able to say or do anything despite being there with them. When you talk they can’t listen, when you want to touch them they can’t feel it. I wish Sam is facing the audience, it would be awesome to see how his expression looks like. But even without seeing his expression, Sam walks so slowly, as if refusing to believe what he is seeing, breathing heavily, longing for the life he had. *cries*
Molly said her last goodbye…. and slowly drops a flower on to Sam’s coffin, all the while supported by Carl. At times like these, your best friend is the person whom you need the most. Your best friend who knows exactly how you’re feeling, the person who will hold you and tell you to cry your heart out because holding in sadness will not help at all. Too bad Molly’s best friend is the one who died……. The scene blacks out, and everyone left. Through voiceover, the hospital ghost sings a few more lines about enduring the situation, watching loved ones close-by, etc. The scene slowly changes, taking us to Sam and Molly’s apartment. Once all the backdrops and props are in place and light turns on, Sam climbs up the refrigerator, and stays in this pose for the next 5 minutes, not moving a muscle.
Seriously, I checked. He didn’t move at all! Not even to turn his head. He only blinks! Since I watched 4 times, I spent two times just focusing on Joowon to see his reaction to the heated and sad conversation that goes on at that time between Molly and Carl. After that, since I know he didn’t move, I spent this scene watching Carl and Molly. This is what’s important in theatre. The silent cast can still be on stage, with purpose, but at the same time, the silent cast could not ‘steal’ audience’s attention. So in order to not let audience focus on Joowon, he had to be immobile. BRILLIANT… Also, notice how blue he is…. Poor darling~
Molly and Carl are cleaning the apartment, throwing away some of Sam’s stuff. Carl asked Molly on what to do with this and that items, and Molly answers “throw them away” in a I-don’t-care-my-boyfried-just-died-I-should-have-died-with-him-too voice. Molly’s devastation at this time is so heartbreaking. Her voice is practically lifeless too. Carl puts more stuff into a box, while Molly sits on the sofa, folding the woman’s poster that Sam once held while dancing goofily after Here Right Now song. Carl then picks up Sam’s jacket, takes out his wallet, hangs the jacket on a door-sized 3-D screen placed ~3 meters in front of the door, and said “I guess I should throw this too” and was about to put it in the box when Molly desperately asks for it “no, no, pass that to me”. Carl apologizes and passed it over to her. She just stares at it, the cause of Sam’s death……
Carl: Sam’s wallet. Do you still need it?
Molly: I miss Sam so much… *cries*
Carl: Me too. *upset voice*
Carl: Molly, let’s go out and get some fresh air. *changes the mood by speaking in an uplift voice, trying to cheer up Molly*
Molly: No, I don’t want to.
Carl: How about we go get some coffee? Really delicious ones, and then we can go around for a walk.
Molly: No, I can’t do that. *voice slightly raised*
Carl: Or we can…
Molly: I said I don’t want to go out!
Carl: How about we get other delicious food? You’ve always said…
*Molly gets up to leave towards the bedroom at the back, leaving Carl talking mid-sentence*
Carl: Molly…. *gets up and follows*
Carl said something else at this point. Angry, Molly turns around and SLAPS him hard. Carl holds his cheek and keeps quiet. Molly realizes what she did and approaches Carl slowly. She cries.
Molly: I’m sorry.
Carl: It’s ok.
Molly: You’re right. I should go do something.
Carl: Alright. Let’s just go out.
Both of them left. It is at this point that Sam finally moves. Just as the door shuts, he jumps down from the refrigerator and run towards the door. *cue nervous music* Sam yells “Wait, Molly. Where are you going?! Don’t go and leave me here alone!” He made a few grabs for the door handle, but only whooshing sound came out as he could not touch things. Sam curses and curses, extremely frustrated. Then suddenly, the door opens and in comes… THE KILLER!
*nervous music still playing*
OMG!!!!! How the heck does he know the house??? Did he have a key to enter??? Sam panicked upon seeing the killer enters. He curses “You bastard! What the hell are you doing here??!!” He made several punches ‘Whoosh! Whoosh!’ but all ended up in thin air. The killer seems to be looking for something. He takes Sam’s jacket hung on the 3D screen and feels the pockets, and throws it on the sofa. He goes through the sofa, went to Sam and Molly’s room. Breathing heavily in panic, Sam chases after him and threw himself on to the killer, but he ended up falling onto the bed. The killer goes back to the sofa, frustrated that he can’t find what he’s looking for. Suddenly, we hear the sound of voices. Molly has come home! Shoot! The killer hides in the store-room on the left side of the stage, where Sam keeps the painting of a woman after they sing Here Right Now. The door handle to the apartment turns, and Molly comes in, with Carl standing at the doorway.
Molly: We’ll talk again some time. *to Carl*
Sam: Molly… *extremely panicking right now. He keeps looking at the place where the killer hides and at Molly*
Molly: Thanks, Carl.
Sam: You shouldn’t be here now… the person who killed me is here… *desperate, breathing heavily. Carl left. OMG!!! He left!!!! NOOOOO!!!!*
Sam: CARL, DON’T GO! STAY! MOLLY, HURRY AND GET OUT OF HERE!!! *turns to the hiding killer* You stupid bastard…. If you ever lay a finger on Molly…. I will…. I will….!
Molly goes to the bedroom to change. She took off her cardigan, leaving herself in a grey singlet. Sam watches nervously as the killer comes out of hiding and tiptoes towards the door. He has killed once, he will surely kill again if he needs to. The stupid killer accidentally drops his gun, and Molly turns. He picks it up and goes back to the hiding place.
Molly: Who’s there? Carl? *walks out to the living room*
Sam: No, Molly, no, listen to me…. *extremely desperate*
Molly: Is there someone here?
Sam: Molly, you’re in danger now. LISTEN TO ME!!! HURRY AND GET OUT OF HERE NOW!!!
It is at this moment she notices SAM’S JACKET. Her face expression seems suspicious as she picks it up from the sofa, remembering that it was hung on the 3D screen previously. So how could it be on the sofa this time…. Luckily, she thought no more of it, and takes the jacket with her back to her bedroom, and disappears. Possibly to the toilet. The killer thought it safe, and left the apartment. Sam runs towards the door intending to follow, but the door shuts in his face. He yells “WAIT THERE, YOU #%^&*!!!!” Frustrated, he runs back to the front of the sofa, drops down on all fours and yells at the top of his lungs “%^*&%*$#@!!!”
Then he remembers the hospital ghost’s advice to him. It’s a bit unclear to me as to what he says in those scary echoing voice, but I think this is what he said “Should I tell you a little secret? We can pass through things. It’s not difficult at all. Little by little, you will be able to do it well.” So Sam gathers up his courage and goes to the door. We can clearly see Sam’s solid body, as he places his back against the wall and mailbox. Slowly, grimacing, panting, he stars to put his left arm through the door. It passes through! Scared, he pulls it back, and goes towards the right side of the door. This time, he gathers up more courage, said “Oh my world, what is this? Please… please….” and places his right arm through. Again, it passes the door! Dramatically and with an increase in volume for the nervous music, Sam placed his other body parts through the door. Right arm, right leg, half body….
Sam pauses, the puts his left leg, left body, head and finally…..he ends it with his left arm through, the music stops, and Sam victoriously screams “YESSSS!!!” Lights went out.
All other backdrops and props were moved out from the stage, the colourful yet dim lights came on, hip hop-ballad song came on, and the killer and Sam comes out to the middle of the stage where he receives a phone call. “Ah, it’s me. Haish, I found it. It’s in the house! But then the woman came back. Don’t worry, don’t worry, she didn’t see me. Ehey, just wait! I’ll find it and get it later.” He left. The dancers came in. They awesomely danced to the hip hop-ballad music. Their choreography is so awesome! Some of the chore was displayed during curtain call, with the two guys dancing in front as Sam and Molly walks to the middle of the stage. The curtain call was a mixture of several choreographies. As the dancers were dancing, the killer walks along the stage using the conveyor belt, then go through the dancers here and there, front and back, exits the stage, then walks back in. It is basically telling us that he is walking from Sam’s apartment to go back to his own place. Then Sam came out and follows him silently until they reach the train station.
(starts from 2:44-3:52)
The train door opens, and the killer and Sam go in. As soon as Sam steps into the train, he is kicked back out by the subway ghost, and fell backwards, fully flipping over legs-on-top-of head like a somersault. DAEBAK!!!! Notice that in the video, the other Sam just backs off and fell, but Joowon does it more extreme. He fell somersault-like in each performance I saw him on. I also love it that at every hit, there’s this special sound-effect ‘doom!’
Subway ghost: This is MY train! Get out!
Sam: *gets up* What train? Who are you? *ghost hits Sam again, and he fell again* What kind of ghost are you?
Subway ghost: Get lost! This is my train. *runs to the train*
Sam: No, I won’t leave. I have to get on! *Sam runs into the train. Subway ghost just laughs*
Subway ghost: Do you want to … (sorry, I missed out on this)? HUH?! Get down from this train now, you rascal. *time stops, subway ghost moves something inside the train using his power, and the thing flies to another side*
Sam: Who the heck ARE you? I will not go down. How can I go down from this moving train?
Subway ghost: AAHHH!! *throw things* What are you?!
Sam: What are YOU?!
Subway ghost: THIS IS MY TRAIN!!! YOU GET DOWN NOW!!!!
Sam: How am I supposed to get down?!
Angry, the subway ghost uses his power and hits the train floor. Time seems to stop in slow-motion. The people on the train were flung upwards and sideways in slow motion, and Sam was bent backwards. Time resumes, and the train people find themselves not where they were seconds ago. Sam and the subway ghost continue to fight. Well, the subway ghost keeps hitting Sam anyway, as Sam can’t do anything. He brought Sam to the middle of the train and raises him high with his powers, and kick Sam backwards in slow motion. Dang it, the slow-mo and moving things on thin air are so AWESOME!!!
As Sam got hit again and again, and as he watches the ghost flungs things here and there without even touching them, he can’t help but to ask “How did you do that?” Subway ghost just laughs and hit him again. He lifts Sam up high by the collar and finally Sam admits defeat “I will….get down” in a choking voice. Subway ghost asks him in a softer, mocking tone “You want to get down, you say?” Kicks, punches, kicks. Sam still asks “How in the world did you do that?” Subway ghost just screams again “GET OOOUUUTTTT!!!!!”
Seriously, the dude needs anger management class. He grabs Sam, bends him on his back until he is about to break into two body parts. NOOOO!!!! Just as Sam is about to collapse, the train door opens!!! I’ve never been glad of an open door before. Subway ghost flungs Sam outside and yells “This is MY train. Get lost!” Sam asks for the last time “How did you do that? How?” but he didn’t wait for an answer. The killer steps out from the train and Sam follows him to exit the stage.
An apartment-mailbox settings (not as pretty as in picture) with a door on its right appear on the left side of the stage, whereas a-bed-against-a-wall appear on the right side of the stage. The wall is full of porn woman pictures. Eurgh~
A woman dancer walks by. The killer and Sam walk past her, and the stupid killer pinches her butt. She squeals, but does nothing. Pervert… He goes to the door and takes out his key. Sam reads out his name Willy Lopez and his apartment name and number. The killer opens the door and Sam quickly go through before he shuts it. He receives a call on his mobile and picks it up “Ah, what’s wrong with you?! I told you already, I’m at home! Why are you calling me all of a sudden? Haish, what are talking about to go and look for it again? I get it (understand). I said I got it, ok? I will call you when I find it, ok? Stop calling me, OK?!” Sam watches this phone conversation exchange with interest. When the killer hangs up, he angrily asks “Find what? What are you looking for? Who are you? Who were you talking to just now?!”
The killer jumps onto the bed next to the wall, and lay down. He took out a picture and fingers it lovingly….. Sam wonders whose picture it was until the killer turns it around and he sees “Molly….” in the saddest and most shocked voice Sam has ever uttered. Sam climbs onto the bed near the killer’s foot, and practically yells at him “NO, NO!!! You…. DONT YOU DARE TOUCH MOLLY!!! Leave Molly alone! Don’t ever hurt her!” *music volume increases* He steps down from the bed and backs off, still yelling “Please, PLEASE! HELP ME, PLEASE!!!!”
*all backdrops and props were moved out, leaving Sam alone on the stage. Hip hop-ballad dancers come in and start dancing. Sam sings a depressing Unchained Melody while walking on the treadmill following the song’s beat*
Sam: Oh…..my love….. Nae sarang….. Nan kerewo, noesupki…… TUA-JOOO!!!!
*goosebumps from the amazing vocal display. my romanization may be wrong though*
Thank you for the amazing fan-art, creator! Sorry, I lost the owner’s name.
When he sings ‘tua-jo’ (help me), Sam opens his arms wide, then falls on his knees from the frustration and sadness. That part also echoes Sam’s voice, which made it all the more powerful. As Sam sings on the treadmill with dancers dancing along at the back, the screen shows Sam screaming just like in the above picture. This is symbolic to how he’s feeling in his heart; the absolute frustrations and helplessness. He just can’t do anything at this point. He wants to help Molly, there is no way Sam would allow the same fate to happen to her. But it’s impossible at this moment for him to help her, he needs a channel of communication at least. Someone who can hear him….
The song stops, and a couple continues dancing slowly at the back. Sam gets up and looks at the couple, reminiscing himself and Molly. Then suddenly an old lady with a cane came in and walks directly to the middle of the stage, straight into… ODA MAE’S house……
I knew the secret to how he places his body through the door. That’s the beauty to watching it 4 times. Heh! What’s great is that the production distracts audience from the door when Sam was expressing his absolute distress on the far left side of the stage. So we didn’t get to see what goes on at that time. How can we not be distracted? On my 2nd time watching (1st time I watched from the farthest seat on the 2nd floor, so I practically see nothing), Joowon was exactly right in front of me when he was screaming and having that voice flashback. There is no way I was going to look elsewhere, isn’t there? On my 3rd time watching, I was seated in front of the door, and I wanted to know how he managed to get through the door. With my utmost effort, I teared my eyes away from Joowon and watched the door. So I found out the secret. Kekekeke! But I won’t spoil the secret. Let it remain within the production and those who knew.
THE AFTER-DEATH SCENES ARE SO B.E.A.U.TIFUL~ I freaking LOVE Joowon’s expressions ever since he found out he’s dead, until the end of this musical. He is simply amazing! His frustrations and absolute desperation is spot on. He yells a lot once he moves from the refrigerator, but it’s understandable under his circumstances. No one can hear him, and he’s still not used to that situation. So he yells in the hope that yelling can make someone hear him. But…. no one can…. It’s ok, darling~ I can hear you….
Joowon’s yelling voice is a pleasure to hear. Actors tend to use piercingly loud screams that have audience/viewers wince in pain or shuts our ears or have no major impact to us since it’s not emotional enough, but Joowon’s screaming voice is just beautiful. He has obviously improved so much in controlling his vocals. I can’t compare him with other Sam actors as I didn’t watch them. But Joowon as a whole, has definitely improved. Acting wise, we know how brilliant he is. But now musical-wise, he is also improving so much to near perfection. He doesn’t use his piercing musical voice, but uses his growling voice that we heard him use in Bridal Mask when he screams at the villagers after his mother and brother’s funeral, asking them who burned his house and beat up his brother. This scene:
Molly is simply amazing in the short scene of hers. She is extremely fragile and I think Jiyeon plays this part better than Ivy due to her small frame. Her soft vocals also made her seem more fragile than ever as Molly desperately tries her best to not think about Sam, but she misses him so much. From previous scenes, we know how much Molly loves Sam to the point of marriage, and for her to lose him after their argument is very upsetting. She must have felt really bad that they didn’t manage to say goodbye, and her last moments with him was when she kept pushing for him to say “I love you” to her. She knows he loves her, but she takes it for granted and didn’t trust him enough even when he didn’t say it. She knows him better than anyone else, she should have trusted him more though he can’t express it.
Carl is playing the sweet, concerned friend that he is. He is there when Molly needs him the most, and he tries his best to help her get through this difficult time. His low vocal tone is really soothing. Even when she slaps him, he still remains calm and controlled, and just accepts it. If I am Molly, I will cry and cry in his arms…. He has a great body too…. Sorry, can’t help it.
Please take note that the other Sam in the press release video with subway ghost, he kept making sounds like “eurgh” and breathing heavily when he gets beaten up. That’s also how Joowon does it, but better. Joowon often uses these mini-expressions a lot, like ‘hmm’, ‘aaahh’, etc which made the scenes seem more realistic. He also plays with his intonations a lot. These are some of the reasons why he is such a great actor.
The songs….so beautiful…. Most of the time, there are music playing in the background. But we barely notice as viewers are too focused on the scripts and actors on stage. Music and lighting should assist viewers in getting emotional, and they work perfectly.