Dream (2008)

KIM KI-DUK

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB

Original Title: Bimong

, 2008. , , . Screenplay by Kim Ki-duk. Cinematography by . Produced by Kim Ki-duk. Music by . Film Editing by Kim Ki-duk.

Jin () crashes into a car and kills its passengers, then wakes up to the relief that the experience was just something he saw in a dream. Feeling like it had tangible qualities that he cannot forget, he rushes to the intersection where his reverie took place and finds that a car crash has indeed occurred with the same vehicles that he saw while asleep, except that behind the wheel of the car that caused the accident is a woman named Ran () and not him.

She is taken into police custody and insists that she does not remember even getting into her car, and when the next night her nocturnal activity coincides with Jin’s dreams again, the two strangers realize that they are connected: when he falls asleep, he dreams of his ex-girlfriend, but the things he sees in his mind are things that Ran acts out with her ex-boyfriend while sleepwalking.

They try to help each other by creating a sleep schedule so that they’re never resting at the same time, hoping to avoid any further trouble, but this gets complicated when they find out the reason for their being tethered in this strange metaphysical way, and their desires lead to a very dark outcome.

Kim Ki-Duk once again finds a way to explore human emotion by, as always, looking to push the boundaries of storytelling, delivering a gimmick in the least gimmicky way possible (including being so daring as to have Odagiri speak Japanese while everyone else responds to him in Korean).

It’s obvious, however, that about two-thirds of the way into the movie (and that might be generous) he doesn’t have much more than the gimmick to offer, there is nothing particularly resonant about any of the emotional connections between these characters, and the grisly violence that pops up in the last third feels like it’s intentionally there to distract from the film’s overall shallowness.

As with all of Kim’s films, though, it looks great and the actors are all superb.

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