Sunday, October 15, 2017

Clean Slate

Yourself and Yours (2016) - Hong
Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 9.57.57 AM
Starting over afresh - I'm pretty sure all of us wished that one time or another. With Yourself and Yours, Hong exercises that fantasy in the form of Minjung (Lee Youyoung). She apparently has a drinking problem. Everybody in town knows about it. Couple of days ago, she was seen getting into a drunken fight with a stranger at the bar. And this distresses her possessive boyfriend Yongsoo (Kim Ju-hyuk) because she promised him to limit her drinking by 5 soju shots and 3 beers. Enraged, Yongsoo confronts her one night about it but she'd rather leave him if he doesn't trust her word over everyone else's.

Yourself and Yours turns out to be perhaps the most poignant and romantic film of all the Hong's I've seen so far. Inebriated Minjung (Lee You-young) flirts with a film director she just met, over beer. When they meet, the director is convinced that he knows her from somewhere but she vehemently denies it. Over a short period of time before the encounter, she leaves Yongsoo and breaks up with an older man who also first thought she was Minjung but she tells him that she is her twin sister.

Just to be in the clear, Yourself and Yours is nothing like Buñuel's or Kieslowski's. Hong's interest is not in identity crisis or duality of men. His double takes and alternate scenarios may seem manipulative (also delicious) but the movie is more to do with accepting a person for who that person is, with blemishes and all that. It's also got to do with men's folly. "Men are either wolves or babies," Minjung tells the director, "they either pounce or cry." Hong's message to all the fellow Korean men is clear: No one can possess another. You have to let go the notion that all women are some ideal naive angels.

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