Director Choi Ho(a)'s modern romance, Who Are You?, tries to capture the essence of the N (Network) generation, Korea's young people who grew up with e-mail, instant messaging, cell phones, and the Internet in one of the most wired nations of the world. The film centers on an Internet game called ``Who Are You" a sort of ultimate dating game where players pick partners and interact in a simulation of the real world. Commercial film star Lee Na-young makes her transition to the big screen as In-ju, an aquarium diver and former swimming champion who is a beta tester for the game. Hyung-tae (Jo Seung-Wu), a game programmer who has devoted the last two years of his life to launching the game, becomes interested in her after conducting interviews of beta testers. He finds out her game identity and picks her as a partner in the game. In-ju and Hyung-tae begin interacting in two different worlds: modern day Seoul, where they both work in the famous 63-story building of Korea Life Insurance in Youido, and the game's virtual world. Under the identities, ``Mello" and ``Byulee" they have late night chats while interacting in a simulation of the real world that the game creates, where they can go for virtual car rides and frequent actual areas of Seoul.
While they seem to connect on a deeper level in the game, their real life interactions are less successful. Hyung-tae must eventually reveal that he and Mello are one and the same, as In-ju is only interested in his cyber counterpart. This, of course, leads to the movie's central question of identity. As far as romance movies go, the plot is nothing new. The role of new technology in the realm of dating is a subject that was explored in 1995's Contact, with actor Han Seok-Gyu and actress Jeon Do-Yeon, and again in the 1998 Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks film ``You've Got Mail." ``Who Are You" is simply the latest version, a technological update of this genre. However, as a snapshot of today's youth, this film is highly relevant and asks some hard questions. In one scene, Hyung-tae outlines the Seoul skyline with his fingers and says that from that angle, it looks like a scene from a game, an interesting commentary on the increasingly blurred line between the real world and virtual reality. The film is, moreover, quite entertaining. Lee Na-Yeong plays In-ju with the right amount of detached cool, which works well with Hyung-tae's boyish charm. The rest of the cast is likeable if not highly memorable, and the plot is engaging despite its predictability.
Hyungtae is a game programmer working on the ultimate online dating game. Working 24/7 on the 30th floor of the tallest building in Seoul, the company's future-and whether it sinks to the bottom-depends on the success of the game. Inju, a former champion swimmer, works on the bottom floor at the SeaWorld aquarium, feeding the fishes and seals. But things are not going well. Hyungtae's company is running out of money, he desperately needs sleep, and a beta-test player with the login name "Byulee" has declared that she hates the game. As for Inju, she's working hard to perform as a mermaid but having trouble holding her breath.
Hyungtae finds out that "Byulee" works in the same building and he sets out to make "Byulee" fall in love with his game and his online character "Mello." "Byulee" is in real life Inju, and when Hyungtae meets Inju, he soon finds that the game is becoming more real than he imagined possible. And for Inju, she finds in "Mello" a perfect partner, but is also attracted to Hyungtae. When and where does the game end and love begin?