And yet another hidden gem from South Korea! Can we say, best country in yuri cinema? I am inclined to say best country in yuri cinema! They have most definitely stolen this year hands down! No other country comes even close! I mean, you did not even know about this. But we knew about ‘Ahgassi’ and ‘Our Love Story’ and who knows, there might be something else still hidden and waiting to be discovered! I mean I so did not know about this project until literally three days ago and it was by accident! No one mentioned it, I did not see any trailers nor caps on Tumblr or twitter, at least the users I am following none of them knew about this one!
But here we are! Just over a month out of the year and BAM! In our faces!
The movie stars Kong Ye-ji as Jin-sook and Park Ye-yeong as Eun-yeong. You might have a feeling that you have seen Ye-ji somewhere before on this blog and your gut is right! She was in ‘The Silenced’ as Yuka, the jealous rival. I have to say sorry for I do not recognize Ye-yeong. Her face is familiar but I cannot accurately place where I have seen her. Either way, these two were perfect for their roles and each other’s characters.
First things first though, there are no subs for this yet, alt east the English ones and if they do exist, I haven’t found them yet. So it was kind of a bummer to watch this movie without understanding what was being said but I still had the power of yuri on my side that somehow makes it possible for me to pick up threads more than just visual interpretation. Still, to avoid sending the wrong picture, I am going to have to wait for the English subtitles in order to fully go in deep. For now, I am just going to put forward my feelings after watching the raw (I haven’t used that word in so long).
To Befriend or not to Befirend!
That tagline! I saw it on one of the posters and it somewhat sums up the movie overall! Jin-sook is like the typical protag, you know, the one that just wants to mind their own business but life always slaps them into submitting their lives’ plans for the greater good, well, for the greater good of our heroine. Jin-sook is such a hero. She had a life plan to go and live in Ireland. She almost had most of the money saved up and worked hard at her dream.
Then she just had to transfer to a new school and just had to meet the GIRL in Eun-jeong. And just like those other stories, the heroine always, always brings baggage with her that our hero has to either put up with or get the heck out and since the former almost never happens, well, you can most certainly sense where the story would end.
But what was so great about this particular case is the fact that Jin-sook had a choice to either travel the harder road in staying with Eun-jeong to the point of risking her very life or forget her and continue her dream and get out of the country to go live in Ireland. Your dream that is almost within your grasp or a world of pain but worth something much more? Since the caps already spoiled it anyway I will just let it be known that Jin-sook is my hero of the year! She literally saved Eun-jeong’s life while endangering hers in the process. She is a hero our world today needs more of!
And speaking of hero, there had to be a villain and the villain was of course humanity! This movie is pretty dark, dark as in it is very real! There are still people doing organ trafficking! The police are still corruptible. People on the street will turn a blind eye while someone is being violated and abused right in front of them. If you are one of those people that cannot handle the ugly side of humanity, then this movie might be a bit hard to swallow but no so much different from AGAMD or Bedeviled. If you could handle those then this is a piece of cake.
Then there is the ENDING! I swear to you, never did I, especially after things hit the fan, did I think that we would get a GOOD END! I seriously thought Eun-jeong was done for! I had that very thought up to the very minute, nay, seconds of the movie! It wasn’t until the credits started rolling that I clapped with a huge grin on my face and some moisture in my eyes because God damn! Not only did Eun-jeong survive until the end but that hand gesture just before the end and the lean from Jin-sook…AHHHHH
You see, all throughout the movie, and if we are sticking with our usual hero formula, Jin-sook is a laid-back and closed off character, in terms of emotions. Whenever something emotional happened, it was instigated by Eun-jeong. The first hand holding was Eun-jeong holding Jin-sook’s hand in the car. The first interactions were started by Eun-jeong. Eun-jeong is the one that crossed the barrier first when she gave Jin-sook her gloves because it was cold riding the bike and Eun-jeong used Jin-sook’s pockets to warm her hands instead!
It was until the later parts, when Eun-jeong went missing that we started to see Jin-sook’s feelings start to come out. And come out did they! She started using Eun-jeong’s face mask (Hot! I mean…ewww germs!), playing with her toys (a la pig led torch), had changed her phone’s home screen to a picture of Eun-jeong, literally fought off a guy who tried to take Eun-jeong’s (red) scarf from her and then at the end where she was the one that held Eun-jeong’s hand first!!
If you know me, you know how I always lose it at these small details! Everything I find, is in those small things! While the directors fool the naysayers with the grand picture, they hide the meaningful things in little details like that and I love it! And speaking of small details, I am not sure if it is I that is just noticing it now or it has been there from the beginning and I just didn’t notice until now, but I have found that there is an emphasis on items in the latest yuri movies.
This started with The Handmaiden and Soo-kee with Hideko’s things, like her dress, glove, the thimble, the ear-ring, the doll and then there is the bells! Don’t forget the bells! And just like I mentioned in the last movie I talked about ‘The World of us’, there was the nails and bracelet. And if I think back on it, even in ‘Bedeviled’ there was the flute and the dress and in ‘The Silenced’ there was the sweets and the diary.
Okay, looks like I am going to have to go back through my collection and re-watch all the movie now with a whole new perspective! Could there be hidden stories and plot details that we have been missing all this time because we did not pay close attention to the little things, the items that belong to our girls?
This is such a great emotional movie. I wish I understood everything and every word being said. I am so going to enjoy the life out of it when the English subtitles get here. Seriously, I really recommend this movie. If you want to wait for the subs do wait, if you don’t want to wait for the subs don’t wait. Watch it whenever you want and can!