Festival des films du monde: It’s Really Kind of You Review

This mysterious woman is one of the two main charcaters in the South Korean film It's Really Kind of You.
This mysterious woman is one of the two main charcaters in the South Korean film It’s Really Kind of You.

It’s Really Kind of You is a Korean drama-thriller-mystery, which I saw at the Festival des films du monde / Montreal World Film Festival.

It’s hard for me to review it because I didn’t like it. On the other hand, I don’t like to be negative, I do enjoy Korean films in general, and I’m well aware that different people have different tastes. So, here goes!

First of all, I was confused because the film did not begin as I expected it to; a murder described in the film’s synopsis only took place once the film was well underway. Presumably, that was a flashback, though it COULD have been a dream, or a figment of one character’s imagination.

The plot is ingenious, but most of the characters range from unpleasant to despicable.

In the opening moments, the main character (played by Ok Ja-yeon, I think) is hitchhiking, in the dark, beside a country road. When a driver does stop for him, he seems so creepy and his manner is so odd, it’s hard to believe that anyone would want to give him a ride. He just stares for what seems like a very long time, then makes his request in a flat, robotic tone. He says that he was fishing and that he missed the last train; could the driver take him downtown? Well, I certainly wouldn’t! The actor conveys creepiness extremely well, but the story would be more believable if he could pretend to be charming, or at the very least relatively normal, now and then.

Nonetheless, Creepy Hitchhiking Man gets a ride from a guy who turns out to be a dog-breeder. They chat awkwardly for a while, then they fight and there’s an accident. A dishevelled woman who’s wearing just a slip shows up; she has a bruised face and haunted eyes; she does not speak. She seems traumatized and more than a little strange herself. She might, or might not, be mentally handicapped.

This woman will later be involved in some graphic sex scenes that are disturbing, go on for a long time, often take place at inappropriate times in inappropriate places, and are definitely not “artistic” in any way.

It’s difficult to say more without going into spoiler territory. The film could have ended much earlier than it did and still have been quite creepily effective. I’m sorry not to be more specific about the actors the credits went by very quickly and I incorrectly assumed that I could find out later who played which role. The Montreal screening is a world premiere, so there isn’t much info about the film out there.

When the film was over, an audience member asked me: “Did that make any sense to you?” I told him that it did (more or less) make sense to me, but I did not like it.

BTW: An Internet search tells me that hitchhiking is not too common in South Korea. This film won’t do anything to make it more popular, that’s for sure!

It’s Really Kind of You, from South Korea, in Korean with English subtitles, 90 minutes

Director : So Jae-ick
Screenwriter : Pak Me-hyun
Cinematographer : Cho Choul-ho
Editor : Chol Hyun-sook
Cast : Ok Ja-yeon, Bae Tae-won, Choi Dae-hoon, Do Young-cha, Kim Young- hwan, Baeg Ae-gyeong, Kang In-chul
Music : Lee Jae-sin
Film production and Sales : Prod.: So Jae-ick, So-Film, #310-402, Shindo braenew 11, Yonghyun-dong, Uijeongby-si, Kyungki-do (Corée du Sud). tél.: +82 (10) 6221 07 53, jaeick10,hanmail.net.

It’s Really Kind of You will be shown on Wednesday, Sept, 2, 2015, at 6:30, in Theatre 12 of the Cinéma Quartier Latin, 350 Emery St., in Montreal. (Metro Berri-UQAM)