Thursday, June 9, 2016


Hill of Freedom (2014) - Hong
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The film starts with Kwon (Seo Young-hwa), a suit case in her hand, picking up a thick letter then dropping it on the floor. The multi-page letter was written by Mori (Ryo Kase), a Japanese man who came to Korea to look for her with the intention of confessing his love for her, without knowing she is away. As she picks up the letter all jumbled now and starts reading it, consequently the film too, is jumbled, timeline completely out of wack. With Hong's typical zoom in, we know that there will be some gaps in the storyline too, since she missed picking up some of the pages on the floor. Hill of Freedom is a gentle misadventure of Mori: as he waits for Kwon to appear, he meets people, talks and even have an affair with the cute cafe owner with a dog. It's perhaps the gentlest of all Hong films I've seen that it barely registers. Mori is a sweet, direct man who doesn't suffer from any of Hongian neurosis and selfishness of his usual boorish drunken characters. Dialog is mostly in heavily affected English- since Mori doesn't speak any Korean, and it adds to the overall disarray. I know what Hong is going for- a kind of dissonance and playfulness in structure, but some of the segments doesn't really go with the over all mood of the film, especially the scene with Jeong Eun-chae (of Our Sunhi), as she throws a loud fit for no apparent reason. It is a lesser Hong for me.

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