|Baek Yoon-sik in second-rate Save the Green Planet|
This is main problem, it is extremely difficult to fathom what’s going on. The main thrust of the action, simple as it is, shouldn’t be difficult to follow, alas it is mired by a backstory that is indulgently complicated and not nearly well-enough explained. At certain points the plot begins to focus before breaking off into new threads and barreling sideways through them. It is only near the third act when the film starts to take shape. There are still massive holes in the story but at least it’s made clear by this point that the plot is a mere front and excuse for some offbeat setpieces.
|Oh Dal-su vs. Oh Dal-su|
The reporter is played by Park Ye-jin who I haven’t seen on screen since 1999’s excellent Memento Mori. Unlike the seasoned veterans that populate the rest of the film, she does not show a great aptitude for comic timing and she has difficulty conveying her character’s emotions effectively. Ultimately she just doesn’t seem right for the part. Playing her brother is the young Ryoo Deok-hwan, previously scene in My Little Bride (2004), Welcome to Dongmakgol (2005), Like a Virgin, and The Quiz Show Scandal (2010). He does well in his role, despite the fact that he is strapped to a chair for the majority of it.
|Park Ye-jin's perplexing performance|
Director Cho Un was part of the editing team behind Save the Green Planet, which makes a whole lot of sense. It is also clear that he is an editor, as a lot of tricks are used throughout, often to cover up mistakes in the production. Being involved in film production myself, I can attest to a prevalent trend among first-time directors and editors turned directors. Frequently a cinematographer, an assistant director, or sometimes even a producer will express concern over what has been shot: “Is it okay, should we do another?”; “Do we have enough coverage?”; etc. Invariably the answer is “Don’t worry, we’ll fix it in editing.” This is never a good idea, as primarily it limits your options but can also force your hand in the editing suite if something is amiss. In Head, ellipsis, jump cuts, split-screen, and flashy transitions abound. They are all there to string the incongruous elements together and to patch over what the director was not careful enough to adequately film during principal photography.
|Some spirited senior citizens!|
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