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Good Morning President is an abridged version of the politics and life of three different presidents. The three are: the older President Kim Jung-ho at the end of his term, the young President Cha Ji-wook, a skillful manipulator of foreign policy and with great determination, and a female President Han Kyuong-ja. They are distressed over the choices they have to make between politics and ethics. The affliction of Kim Jung-ho who wins the lottery, the agony of Cha Ji-wook who donates an organ, and the troubles of Han Kyuong-ja who faces the crisis of divorce. Written by
Pusan International Film Festival
Sweetly Silly Film Asks What Undermines A Good Leader? (Also President Wins Lottery--Film at 11)
Bizarre Anthology Film about has 3 separate stories about 3 separate Korean presidents (each one succeeding the last)while being observed and being advised in their various problems by the homespun down home folksy wisdom of the chef of the presidential house For my money--the first story, or half hour of the film's running time was the best and the brightest--and crazy enough that i wish the entire film was devoted to it quite honestly. Picture this as a movie plot line--PRESIDENT WINS LOTTERY, SCHEMES TO COLLECT WINNINGS WITHOUT GIVING HIS IDENTITY AWAY--sounds like it could either be hilarious or completely stupid right? Its exactly why i liked it so much.
There's a hilarious sequence where he actually goes to claim his winnings dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and a tiny fake mustache (which of course begins to peal from his face from the second he gets to the claims window) He then proceeds to get into an argument with a much younger guy in back of him who's getting mad that pops is holding up the line (which of course causes the Pres to ask Do You Know Who I Am? How Dare You Talk To Me Like That!) That one sequence alone is so inspired, so completely silly, so absolutely ridiculous--I swear I laughed for like 10 whole minutes after it was over--it was almost too silly. (i LOVED it!!!) Eventually of course it turns into a moralist tale about how you should do the right thing when you encounter that much luck and money and blah--it was still pretty funny though.
The other 2 story lines aren't as silly--although they are pretty engaging and sunny optimistic as well. The 2nd plot line involves a president who while worried about preventing nuclear war between Japan and North Korea manages to re-connect with his great lost love--his former next door neighbor who is now a hard bitten news woman--AND gets propositioned by this guy who simply wants to ask him if he'll donate his kidney to his dying father. Why does this stranger ask the president of all people to donate his kidney? Cause He's The President--And The President Should Help His Countrymen. (that's sound some reasoning--the ending of this segment has a pretty good punchline tho.) The 3rd plot line is that Korea's first female president gets voted into office (defeating the 2nd Pres--i guess he wasn't so popular with his countrymen after all.) and her husband who's a guy who likes to get his drink on with his buddies causes embarrassment and ultimately asks for a divorce cause he can't stand being followed around everywhere by the secret service agents while he just wants to hang around and get drunk with his friends. (There's a good scene here where he and his friends drunkenly go to the gates of the Korean president house where they taunt the secret service agents---one of his friends is constantly referred to as Optimus Prime--and when Optimus Prime starts to drunkenly pee on one of the agents--the agent claims that they are under attack from Optimus Prime!) The film then becomes about whether its OK for a leader to also act as a spurned lover and beg her husband to come back because she actually loves him.
That former question--Can A Leader Act Silly And Goofy And Still Be Taken Seriously As A Leader seems to be the main theme of the film---What Undermimes A Leader With His People? And its a good premise for a film--certainly one that hasn't been done a thousand times already--especially in this age where every gaffe and every misquote and every misdeed is recorded instantly and endlessly commented on by everyone in the universe within a matter of hours (if not minutes) The film however as sweet and as playful as it is---the synopsis for it in the festival i saw it as part of listed it as "Capraesque" (but "Tatiesque" would be a more apt description.)it may be too slight to really go for the gusto in answering these questions. Personally i think the movie should've gone even more into surrealism or absurdest situations as the attempts to ground the movie in seriousness with the whole north Korean/Japanese business only serves to undermine the film's message that a good leader can't (or shouldn't) be undermined by silliness. The film is quite entertaining however---even if it is ultimately more corny and more sweet then it is gut bouncingly funny even if that president having the winning lottery ticket scenario of the first plotting is just awesomely silly and sweetly goofy in just the right combo that i hated to see it replaced by a different plot line!
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