|2007 South Korea M|
M is lightly sprinkled with odd/absurd dialog throughout, but it's appropriate to the characters as they are drawn. Min-woo is an up and coming writer who can't write a word of his new novel as he suffers a massive dose of writer's block, sleepless nights, crazy editors, possible hallucinations, an oppressive sense that he is being followed—which he is—and the haunting memory of his long lost first love as she infiltrates his present reality. Yeon-hee Lee plays the long lost first love, Mimi, who doesn't seem to know anything about Min-woo except that she loves him very much. She is also being followed, in a twistedly logical sort of way, probably by Min-woo. She isn't sure, however, if it's in life or in death. Yeon-hee Lee brings a good-natured goofiness and a remarkable innocence to the film, her presence is a continuous delight.
I wanted to applaud almost every scene in this movie. Director Myung-se Lee's attention to detail in setting up shots, how they are photographed and manipulated, his use of vivid colors and their changing saturation along with a generous use of black, the camera's movement during scenes and how the movement sets up transitions to new scenes, and how harmoniously, remarkably, the soundtrack keeps up with the intricate strangeness and beauty of the visual art—all these things push the boundaries of storytelling to its limits without being overambitious. Nothing about this film feels experimental because the control of the audio/visual terrain is so clearly, to the point of obsession, masterful. This is an Art Film without pretension.
Summary: A prominent up-and-coming author Min-woo readies his new much anticipated follow-up novel while suffering from frequent nightmares and hallucinations. This unexplainable condition affects both his personal and professional life. Soon he can’t differentiate reality from fantasy and continues to have feelings of being chased. His own paranoia leads him to a café in a dark, unassuming alley and encounters a charming young woman named Mimi. Min-woo starts to wonder how he and this girl in front of him are connected and traces long-forgotten memories of his first love.