7월 32일   2010   South Korea July 32nd
July 32nd Image Cover
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Director:Seung-Hyeon Jin
Writer:Jae-Woo Kwon
Genre:Drama
Duration:98 min
Languages:Korean
IMDb:NA
Search:NetflixYouTube
Seung-Hyeon Jin  ...  (Director)
Jae-Woo Kwon  ...  (Writer)
 
Hye-Rim Seong  ...  Daughter
Eun-Soo Park  ...  Father
Comments: I was fooled by the poster for this one. Haha. I like black with bluish-purple highlights, and I thought I detected depth in the young woman's eye(s). I thought it might be a dark independent razzle-dazzle where the filmmakers had discovered some no-name young actress with the charisma to carry a film. I thought it might be something like Shiki-Jitsu (Ritual). In some way, it is.

There are LOTS of marvelously colored and composed frames in the film. The cinematography is almost Ping Bin Lee/Christopher Doyle level awesome. This is how it's like Shiki-Jitsu, but it's also the only compelling thing the film has going for it.

July 32nd wears its character development and plot devices on its shirt sleeve. I can handle a little bit of that, but not a whole film. I don't know if it's the script or the acting, but everything comes off like a daytime soap opera with black and bluish-purple mood lighting.

Eun-Soo Park, as a man who spends his daughter's growing up years in jail and attempts to find her when he is let out, does the best Min-sik Choi he can. He even looks a bit like a softer, smaller-headed version of him. If you see the film, the irony of that will not be lost on you. (She's five when he goes to prison, about eighteen to twenty when he gets out, and the whole film is predicated on the two of them not recognizing one another, even when they get uncomfortably close to hanky panky.)

Hye-Rim Seong, as his daughter cum prostitute ... I was wrong.

July 32nd is an eye-roller but it's not offensively bad. The production values are top o' the line. But beyond the unremarkable performances of the father and daughter everyone else acts like the way most cops are portrayed in South Korean films: unattractive bumbling idiots. The film's sought after bleakness is ruined by all these obnoxious low-level Fredo Corleone wannabe (albeit Korean) character choices.

I don't know anything about anyone involved in making this film but if I find out who is responsible for the photography I will look for whatever they do next.


Beyond Hollywood seem to like the film.
★★

Summary: “July 32nd” is a grim Korean indie drama directed by Jin Seung Hyun and based upon the short story “Full Moon” by acclaimed writer Ko Un. The film really isn’t a very happy affair, dealing with themes of abandonment, revenge, loneliness and prostitution in an even handed and down to earth manner. It's an eye-roller but it's not offensively bad. The production values are top o' the line. But beyond the unremarkable performances of the father and daughter everyone else acts like the way most cops are portrayed in South Korean films: unattractive bumbling idiots. The film's sought after bleakness is ruined by all these obnoxious low-level character choices.


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