Friday, June 2, 2017

Come, Together (컴, 투게더) (SIFF 2017) - Movie Review

The Movie: Come, Together (컴, 투게더)

The Director: Shin Dong-il

The Cast: Lee Hye-eun, Im Hyeong-gook, Chae Bin, Kim Jae-rok, Han Kyung-hyun

The Story: In a highly competitive South Korean culture, a middle aged couple and their daughter each face a crisis of adversity and, while they drift farther apart, come to realize that family is the only thing that really matters.

The Review:
Shin Dong-il is very well known in Korean cinema for his expertise in creating intimate dramas and his work in this particular film is absolute proof of that acclaim. The story is very well thought out as it weaves together the thee stories of the family members and it is very easy to relate to each character while understanding their flaws and the struggles they are dealing with. The themes of failure, societal pressure, age, and fitting in are all universal and the story amplifies them to create a really intense movie that starts off with the family being fractured and lonely and then slowly pushes them back towards each other in their times of need.

The three actors who are cast in the family member roles are absolutely key to why this is such a good movie as they are easily able to mix heavy drama and emotion with moments of comedy. Im Hyeong-gook is brilliant as Beom-goo, the father who has not only just lost his job, but for some reason, his sense of smell also. You really feel for him as he goes through the inevitable pitfalls of sudden unemployment after 18 years of loyal service with the same company.

Lee Hye-eun perfectly portrays Mi-young, the wife and mom who desperately takes charge of the family during their financial crisis and the intensity she brings to the character is equally heart breaking and inspiring to watch. Finally, Chae Bin plays the daughter Han-na who embodies the intense pressure felt by a young woman who is desperately trying to get into the college program she has applied for.

The Verdict:
Come, Together is a brilliant study of how a seemingly normal family will react to extreme adversity while having to deal with their own inner demons. While the three family members go through some really tough struggles, you never really lose faith in their ability to pull through and the end result makes for a very worthwhile and cathartic experience. Shin Dong-il shows you that, if these people can survive the adversity they are put through in their every day struggle, then maybe we can do the same and that is a very encouraging thought.

Come, Together is an official selection of the 2017 Seattle International Film Festival.

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