Lately, I’ve found (or have been reminded) that movies can put a spring in your step and a sting in your heart. I’ve felt my icky heart go boundin’ with delight and, huddled away in my little rented home, shed copious tears and shuddered.
It all began with Napoleon Dynamite … just when you’re about to wonder at the cruel meaningless-ness of meandering through the life of a seemingly total misfit, bam! He hits you with this line: “Just follow your heart. That’s what I do.” It made the whole danged film worth the while, and the wait. That and the dance in the moonboots.
My appreciation of Jae Hee has grown after watching 3-iron by Kim Ki-Duk. There’s just so much food for thought packed in the serenity and sudden violence of its 90 minutes, that I would love to continue comprehending it in conversation anytime. And the actor fit hand in glove in the desolation amidst humanity created in the film.
So it was that I eagerly anticipated Art of Fighting, the next work featuring Jae Hee that I could feasibly watch (because no way am I going to watch something called “Evil Twin” or “Bloody Beach” — I didn’t do Slither for Nathan Fillion, and I’m not going to start watching horror movies anytime soon for anyone else!).
Art of Fighting was definitely an unexpected experience, in that I didn’t expect becoming a little depressed by it! Not that it was a bad movie, but it was really a rueful look not just at the ills and spills of bullying, but the doom inherent in any act of violence, in the name of justice or otherwise. And Baek Yoon-Sik is freakin’ cool, man!
Thankfully, I was led to the cheery doorstep of 200-pound Beauty, cos MY was gonna make me a gift of the OST, and I was too used to pairing OSTs up with their movies, after my rigorous diet of Hindi films. I knew I would be entertained, but it also turned out to be smart, snappy and, alrighty, sassy. I wouldn’t mind watching it again!
Though the fat suit really needed more work, Kim Ah-Jung (who took over the singing voice after her character’s transformation — yup, that’s her [somewhat electronically fiddled] voice in the rockin’ cover of Blondie’s “Maria”) was spot-on in her every daring nuance. Some weepiness towards the end, but a good round-up saved the show.
Glad I went on the rollickin’ riot of a ride that was 200-pound Beauty, cos the next two films I watched — also Korean! — struck some mean blows in the Gut of Catharsis, I can tell you. Firstly, I finally watched WL’s favourite movie, Il Mare.
After all that gushing from a usually measured soul, and the fact that it stars the fabulous Jeon Ji-Hyeon, I was expecting (oops, officially overused the word) a masterpiece. I guess I was prepared to tear a bit too. ‘Twas worse! ‘Twas wet buckets, and because the ending demanded consideration, the moistness about the eyes lingered.
Bittersweet? More like bitter/sweet-bitter. Bitter if you accept that many timelines, and hence many you’s, exist in infinite parallels, depending on the more or less momentous choices you make, as demonstrated in Sliding Doors. Sweet if you think that existence is existence is existence — since the woman rescues the man, then it must be a happy ending.
But then the wholeness of the happy ending is as elusive as the mist enveloping the sea — since the woman moulded by the events in the movie is not the one the man finally gets to engage. Rue, rue, rue your fate. Can’t rue witnessing the quietly endearing Lee Jeong-Jae, though!
Then, the mother of all weepie weevils! The Classic. What is it with these self-sacrificing Korean men? Well, some of them anyway. Gosh, Son Ye-Jin (eyes that tell a story) and Cho Seung-Woo (all-round amazing — I’m definitely catching Marathon) were just super-fantastic. Jo In-Seong, um … nice profile, that’s about it. Otherwise, why so wooden, gluten? (Why so plastic, aspic?)
I really blubbered over this one, even with the bits of cheese in the ending. Unfortunate that the balancing of fates was a bit let down by the let-down of the much too hasty resolution of the daughter’s story. Otherwise, bwaaaaaaaaaaah! Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!
So, that’s how I’ve been movie-magicked in the past month or so. Has made life a bit more interesting, somehow. Oh, movies are dangerous, people! Make you a bit crazy! Watch out!