Here we go again, My Sassy Girl returns to the big screen. I guess after starring in a WWII era movie, one gotta go back further, back to Japan’s colonial rule of Korea era. Also once again, the director returns in a film full of diverse ethnicities and languages.
Anyway with the movie. So like I said, there are quite a few languages through around in this film which makes the narrative much more authentic as languages are spoken rather than dubbed or having foreigners speak in Korean. Correct me if I’m wrong but in this film there is Korean, Chinese, Japanese and even French. The director, Dong-hoon, previous film The Thieves also incorporated many languages but I would say I much appreciated it here more than the latter simply because it felt much more authentic rather than a “I can because I can” type of feeling.
Overall, I enjoyed this film but it mainly may be due to the fact that I’m extremely biased in the production of the film. For one, I enjoy listening to foreign languages as in I am totally fine with reading subtitles and it is a joy for me to hear actors speak in multiple languages successfully. Second, I like time-period pieces as in I appreciated the sets/costumes so much more than contemporary setting films and another plus is that I have never seen a film set during the Japanese colonial ruled Korea. And lastly, I’ve seen the performances of the cast before and I enjoyed them and very lastly, I like My Sassy Girl.
The plot itself is rather simple and obvious, as in it’s about an assassination attempt. So the film builds up the plot in terms of how the attempt will go down and there’s recruitment for the team and such. It is throughout the film that it makes it interesting as there are many things going on at once and they are all leading up to the attempt and it is that which makes the movie an interesting watch despite its simple premise. Character motivation and development keeps the narrative from going on stale. We have unclear character motivations and cloak and dagger stuff as well so it’s entertaining in that sense.
With this being an assassination attempt premise, the action isn’t your typical Korean film action. There are set-pieces, there are brutal shots but overall it’s rather toned down. I’m not saying that’s anything bad as I feel its more about the characters here rather than the action which is a good thing as I find sometimes the action can be a distraction to what was actually done well in a film, especially for Korean films that have action. With all that said, it goes back to me being bias, I really enjoyed everything visually in this film. I wasn’t expecting gritty intense and brutal hand-to-combat so I was totally fine with what I got.
So yeah, I recommend this solely for the time period that it takes place in but fortunately for all, there are other things that are entertaining and appreciated in this film.