|Index||4 reviews in total|
Having never watched a Hong Sang Su film, I did not know what to expect
as I tore the cellophane off of this DVD. After having watched this
film, I am still not sure what to think of it. I was intrigued at first
because I like novels and movies about writers, and the character Hyo
Seob sums up what it is to be a struggling writer who at one point in
his career was not only a successful writer, but also a university
lecturer. However, it seems that although he is poor in monetary means
he is rich in love. He in fact has two women who love him: A 24 year
old former co-worker and a very attractive married woman. However, even
with these strings of affection, Hyo Seob still loses control and
repeatedly gets drunk which leads to not only physical harm, but also
damages his already stagnate career. The only thing that seems to give
Hyo Seob even moderately happy is that the married woman, Bo Kyeong,
has ceased having sexual relations with her husband which gives him
sole possession of at least that.
Bo Kyeong comes off to be a very unhappy woman. There is no affection between her and her husband and the only glimmers of light in her life centers around Hyo Seob, who is "cheating" on her with a young woman 11 years his junior.
Dong Wu, Bo Kyeong's husband, spends most of his time working. He tries to keep a cool facade, but a few times in the film his crafted mask breaks. Because he is no longer having sex with his wife, Dong Wu looks to prostitutes to fill his desires. While on one trip he has sex with a prostitute and does not use a condom which causes much tension throughout the remainder of the film.
The young woman who is dating Hyo Seob, in my opinion, is the saddest character in the film. She gives all of her love to a man, who although a tad affectionate, seems to think of her as little more than a vessel for his sexual desires and a proof reader. She works a number of small jobs just to make ends meet. Even doing voices for pornographic cartoons. One of the bleakest moments in the film is when she goes to see Hyo Seob on his birthday and Bo Kyeong is there. This scene ends with Hyo Seob slapping her viciously several times while she continues to state how much she loves him.
This is definitely not a light hearted film. It is quite heavy and slow, but quite poignant.
Having watched Hong Sang-Soo's three first movies in a row, I see that
he has the potential of making quite different movies with the same
technique. He shows us different characters one at a time that is
somehow related to some of the other and the power of it lies in how he
can make it look so naturally and casual and still craft a story around
it. The small episodes are sometimes so strikingly close to real life
that you wonder how they work at the set to make the actors be so much
This first of his movies is his most tragic. The writer (I wonder how much he bases his characters on himself as the writer/director is quite a recurring theme for him) is endlessly full of him self, leading a miserable existence that pulls the two (married) women who cares for him somewhere bleak. His behaviour is provoking and with no respect, but he still gets loved. Something he cynically use for sexual release.
Watching Hong Sang Soo's first film "Daijiga umule pajinnal" is going to be an extremely uneasy visual experience for all casual as well as average viewers.This is because one will surely find it hard to understand whether the film is a portrait of a failed artist or an absurdist tale of highly unusual,bizarre human relationships.I managed to see this film at the campus of Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines at Lyon in company of a friend from South Korea.She made the viewing interesting for me with her comic remarks as being a Korean person,she is definitely more familiar with intricacies of Korean cultural life.This key association with Korean psyche is needed to understand what this film stands for.A word about our film's failed artist.He is rather controversial,bit moody and picks up fights too often with his colleagues.This is something which might be true of many talented artists all over the world.A different view of this film might concern Hong Sang Soo's observation that his film is a complex tale of human relationships as all the characters of his films are in troubled relationships without ascertaining what made them enter into them.
The magnificent plot about an enervated author, who has cheated on two women, has been made up in absolutely silent atmosphere. The director Hong kept his temper about debut obsession. This movie totally looks like made by well-experienced artisan. And all lively character's lines make audience be immersed in those. Fantastic! Don't miss it.
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