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The Teacher's Diary was a pleasant surprise. Heartwarming, lighthearted, meaningful, sweet and funny, The Teacher's Diary has moments that feel earnest, sincere and touches your heart. The tightly-scripted story is simple and straightforward: Two strangers who has never met before and spend the entirety of the film apart, but walked the same path - teaching rural kids in a remote floating houseboat school with no electricity, phone service or Internet. But a personal diary written by Ann, was discovered by Song and it's this book that connects them together.
The film is filled with a handful of well-written jokes that provides a few laughters here and there. The editing was done well such that the alternating scenes of Ann and Song are presented coherently in the film. It was evenly paced and the story flows nicely as well. Not to mention, the widescreen cinematography of the lake location is simply stunning.
As with many romance comedies, the film won't work without its charming and likeable leads. Of the two teachers, Ann, the female lead, is the better one - smarter, braver, skilled among the two, capable of adapting her life at the houseboat school with the kids. On the other hand, Song, the male lead, breaks his arm as soon as he reaches the school and struggling to teach the kids algebra maths (because he sucks at it). Although they are different, they share the same ideals towards teaching the young. It's their passion and dedication towards teaching that brings them together as one. Their personal relationship troubles due to the nature of their jobs were well presented. All the kids are lively and likeable to make this an enjoyable film to watch.
Moreover, Song's infatuation and admiration for Ann was sincere and it doesn't feel creepy at all. We can see that Song was genuinely fascinated by Ann's dedication towards teaching, through her personal thoughts and frustrations while teaching at the school. The diary encourages and inspires him to continue and not to give up. After Song leaves and Ann resumes her teaching at the school, she was touched that her dedication inspires others and starts to admire Song for his dedication after hearing things about him from the kids and his writings in her diary. The film never overdoes the melodrama and making it overly sentimental.
Romance aside, the film touched on the true meaning of education. It highlights the problems in today's teaching practices. Education shouldn't be just for the sake of grades or marks, but for the sake of knowledge, to learn and understand the things around you, to decide what to do with your life in the future. Overall, it's the best romantic drama comedy I've seen this year. Rest assured, this film will leave you with a big smile on your face the moment it ends. Very highly recommended. Two Thumbs up!
Note: This film have limited screening only at GSC (Gurney Plaza, 1 Utama, Mid Valley, Pavillion KL) in Malaysia. It's a Thai movie.
"True love is the soul's recognition of it's counterpoint in another."
"True love can endure any circumstances and reach across any distance."
"Eventually soulmates meet, for they have the same hiding place."