A True Love Story

Video review: COMING SOON!

Caught this at VIFF2015 solely for the reason that it was Korean and this was the description they had for the film on VIFF.org, ‘ Once a decade Korea comes up with a black comedy that leaves you gasping because it’s so willing to stretch the boundary between pleasure and pain, laughter and tears. We’ve mapped these beacons in VIFF over the years: in the 1990s it was Kim Sangjin’s Attack the Gas Station and in the 2000s it was Jang Junhwan’s Save the Green Planet. Now Alice in Earnestland turns up to blow apart the 2010s. ‘

I mean with that said, my expectations of the dark and grimy were pretty high. And sadly, I can tell you this movie ain’t that dark but it may be the fact that I watch actual dark and grimy films compare to black comedies.  So maybe it was my fault to expect an funny Old Boy. But I digress.

I would rather call this movie a love story so dark it could be considered a black comedy instead.  Anyway…

The premise is simple. A woman does all she can to support her husband.  That is all.  Well, obviously it is with this mindset that she has to go through the various situations she does during the film and overall I would say it was an all right attempt.  Through and through this is a love story or more so a love story in a fantasy world.  In such the situations are far-fetch and ‘wild’ and you sort of throw logic out of the window.

The director and the cast does a good job in helping you throw logic out.  Our protagonist goes through all these ordeals that don’t seem possible but yet as audiences you are bound to pity and have a lot of empathy for her situation.  Working hard with such a earnest heart wins people over.

This is the directorial debut of the director and I must say I saw bits of Wes Anderson throughout.  It’s the Wes Anderson systematic style of shooting a scene and focusing on small actions which makes the scene.  Cinematography wise this movie is fine though the narrative that starts off in the beginning is much stronger compare to the end.  This is due to the fact that the movie is told in flashbacks until the story meets up with the current storyline.  I feel that the flash back and forth faded as the movie progress but it would have made a stronger impact if the back and forth thing stuck around for a while longer but then again that’s more of a script/screenplay issue which could have been addressed as the director wrote this herself. But all in all, not a bad directorial debut.

Now for the lead herself, Lee Jung-hyun does a great job in winning your hearts and affection as she really tries her best for her marriage and husband. This makes it so much more when you see the stuff she goes through in the film.  The premise is simple and rather realistic as one would assume these things actually happens but its the twist and turns that make this film a black comedy.  The leadups and the such are acceptable but not as dark as I would like it to be.

All in all, if you are expecting a funny Old Boy, you won’t find that here but rather you’ll find a movie that explores the things a wife has to do when she will do anything to ensure her husband’s happiness. If you find that intriguing, go for it. I wouldn’t say this film was as waste of time.  Lee Jung-hyun is good on the eyes and she does a good performance.  I guess this movie says more about me than about the situation in which I can stomach a lot more darkness than I would like to admit.

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