Black comedy slides into the grey zone

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Black comedy slides into the grey zone

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Some people say they smile at the memory of an old lover when they pass by the spot where they first kissed. Some say hearing a favorite song on the radio easily conjures up memories of the good old days.
“But for me,” the voice of a terrified man comes echoing out from the movie screen, “it was the nightly news on television that reported police finding another abandoned body in the mountains.”
“Was it one of the corpses she had tried to secretly bury?” the same quivering voice said.
This may be starting to sound like a highly conceptual cult comedy, but filmmaker Sohn Jae-gon says his latest cinematic work, “My Sweet Bloodthirsty Lover,” (in a translation of the Korean) or its English title "My Scary Girl," is a combination of a romance, comedy and suspense thriller.
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"Where else would you get to watch three genres for the price of one?" Mr. Sohn said about the movie. This is his second outing in the cinematic world ― his first film was a parody ― and was a chance for him to prove that he was talented enough to handle other genres.
The problem is that he has apparently tried too hard and the film ends up reminding the audience more of his gift for parody rather than the black comedy he has attempted to make.
Watching actress Choi Gang-hui’s expressionless face as she stabs somebody immediately brings to mind the character Geum-ja in director Park Chan-wook's “Sympathy for Lady Vengeance.”
Also, Choi’s portrayal of Mi-na, the homicidal girlfriend, is too reminiscent of the female lead in Yoon Je-gyun’s film “My Boss, My Hero” ― both characters are supposed to represent perfect feminine refinement and their use of bad language is intended for comic relief, but in the case of Mi-na, these words are uttered so awkwardly that the audience doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
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Luckily, actor Park Yong-u’s brilliance in the lead role saves the movie from being a complete disaster.
The first hour of “Bloodthirsty Lover” depicts the attempts by the timid Dae-woo, played by Park, to overcome his shyness and ask the girl who lives in the apartment below his out for a date. Dae-woo describes Mi-na as the girl of his dreams ― intelligent, pretty and sophisticated ― and it is his ineptness that is the highlight of the movie, eliciting the most laughter from the audience.
“That's okay. I prefer it salty. I have a low blood pressure, you know,” is one of Dae-woo’s lines when Mi-na refuses to kiss him ― she tells him she wants to take a shower first because she has been sweating all day and tastes of salt.
Park’s comical performance continues as he wails inside an elevator after finding out his girlfriend is actually a murderer; “I could have forgave you and loved you if you only killed one,” he moans, “But three, no four! That's too much for me to forgive.”
The second half of this bizarre movie debunks the Mi-na character, portraying her as being not as intelligent or sophisticated as Dae-woo thought and in fact having only one serious talent ― getting rid of her pesky exes.
The film opens in theaters on April 6.


by Lee Min-a

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