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In this second installment of the Whispering Corridors series, a young girl finds a strange diary, capable of arousing hallucinations, kept by two of her senior fellow-students who seem to have an unusually close bond.
The cellist and teacher Mi-Ju Hong is invited by her colleague and friend Sun-Ae to assume the position of professor in her renowned institution, and gives an invitation to the concert of Hae-Young Kim, the little sister of her former school best friend Tae-Yeon Kim who died in a car accident. Before leaving the building, she is threatened by a former student that failed in her test. While driving home, she escapes from an accident on the road and once at home, she has a surprise birthday party with her husband and prosecutor Jun-Ki, her daughters the slow Yoon-Jin and the young Yoon-Hye Song, and her sister-in-law Kyung Ran, whose fiancée is in Manhattan in a MBA course. On the next morning, her husband hires the dumb housekeeper Ji-Sook, a very weird woman. While shopping with Yoon-Jin, the girl is fascinated in a cello and Mi-Ju buys the instrument. After the mysterious death of her dog Sunny, creepy events happen with Mi-Ju, jeopardizing her family, while she insistently listens ...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Intelligent and Thought Provoking, But the End Result Will Leave you Wanting More
Motivation - this is one notion I kept thinking about after the film's completion: what were the creator's motivations behind the development of this movie, while at the same time, what was motivating Mi-ju (Hyeon-a Seong), the lead character, the directionality of her decisions been difficult to fathom, although I, at the same time, could postulate my own personal speculations. The film however never openly reveals 'she is doing this because...', leaving much room for an audience to contemplate.
By the end, Cello feels like a movie we have seen before, combining themes and ideas present in films like Wishing Stairs and Sometimes They Come Back, along with an assortment of unique and stereotypical genre tropes. The scares that are present are less of the 'jump' variety, and more of the 'gasp', the film never officially terrifying its audience. At the same time though, Cello is depressingly disturbing, not so much in its ambiance, but in its content, possessing a similarity to a Greek Tragedy.
The films begins with Mi-ju in a bloodied state in hospital. We can assume she has recently experienced a traumatic car crash from the indicative blurb, though, can we be sure? Cello is a lot like a compass. If 'north' led towards the most logical and cognitive plot, then Cello points everywhere else for the majority of the feature, causing the viewer to think deeply about what is happening, the answers that are slowly provided occasionally having the rug pulled out from under them, forcing the audience to again wonder what is happening. In this sense, the narrative progression of the feature cannot entirely be trusted, which acts as an intellectual stimulus.
After experiencing something horrific, which is slowly revealed over the course of the story, Mi-ju now works as a Cello instructor. In her spare time, she connects with her family: her husband Jun-ki (Ho-bin Jeong), her autistic daughter Yoon-jin (Ji-eun Choi), her youngest daughter Yoon-hye (Ji-hye Jin), and her sister in law Kyeong-ran (Bit-na Wang). Not long into the movie, Mi-ju buys Yoon-jin a cello which she fancies while at the shops, and her husband hires Ji-sook, a silent and mysterious housekeeper.
It initially proves difficult to decipher what of the many changes in Mi-ju's life is the catalyst that eventually leads to a malevolent presence invading her life, and that of her family. However, if she doesn't figure out what is happening, and soon, she may not have any family left. A story of love, family, jealousy, betrayal and revenge, Cello is a film that shows behind every smile is a past, as haunting as it is unforgettable, and though we might be able to leave our past behind, sometimes, it doesn't want to leave us.
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