Part of MKC's coverage of the 16th Puchon International Film Festival.
Comedy is a curious beast even at the best of times. Across the world’s national film industries, thrillers, horrors, romances and action films share many common elements, while comedy tends to be fall in line with indigenously codes. I’ve said it before but it bears mentioning again: for foreign viewers, Korean comedies are a tricky proposition. Dialogue-based humor is often lost in translation and societal quirks, idiomatic expressions, customs and cultural references further complicate our relationship with these works.
My knowledge of Korean is steadily rising (and had a big bump during PiFan) so I’m starting to see things that I may have missed out on before and Over My Dead Body, which was presented in the World Fantastic Cinema section is proof of this but still doesn’t convince me that comedy is a forte of Korean cinema. It’s another of the many high-concept, mid-budget and low-brow comedy-thrillers that the industry has been churning out for some time. Having exploited certain generic combos, like the gangster-romance comedies (Marrying the Mafia and My Wife Is a Gangster), to the point of depletion, comedy writers have gotten into a habit of concocting increasingly outrageous premises in the hopes of eliciting laughs through the sheer absurdity of their narratives.