Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Original title: Da-reun Na-ra-e-seo
South Korea, 2012. Jeonwonsa Film. Screenplay by Sang-soo Hong. Cinematography by Yune-jeong Jee, Hong-yeol Park. Produced by Kim Kyoung Hee. Music by Yong-jin Jeong. Film Editing by Sung-Won Hahm. Cannes Film Festival 2012. Toronto International Film Festival 2012.
Hong Sang-Soo inverts his Night And Day by putting a French character in a Korean setting in this minor, whimsical delight. A young woman decides to deal with a casually mentioned relationship problem by taking to her creative skills. She sits down and writes three stories which we see enacted, all of them centering on a different French woman, all played by Isabelle Huppert encountering the same characters each time. In one she is a celebrated filmmaker arriving in the coastal tourist town of Mohang to scout locations, enjoying a subtle affair with a married man. In the second she is a wealthy businessman’s wife who travels from Seoul to Mohang to meet a man with whom she’s having an affair, while in the third she is a woman who has come to the town after her husband’s affair destroyed their marriage. In all three she is charmed by a fetching lifeguard and treated kindly by the locals. Hong does not burst any emotional barriers here, the film has a light tone that makes few demands on its audiences, which might mean for some viewers that their patience is demanded instead. Watching its light, capricious nature play out, particularly with Huppert doing a fascinating of job of creating three distinct personalities with very minor tones in demeanor and delivery, will be a delight for others.