Saturday, November 19, 2011

Kim Ki-Duk's Dream (Bi Mong)

Lee Na-Yeong and Jô Odagiri.

I never could review a film well.  It may be because I do not know the stitches of a film that make it good or deserving of 5 stars; I know nothing else but whether I was entertained or not.  It may also be because I cannot let go of my biases (I can’t help but think of Ms. Ai as I type this, and her speech about why I can’t write a decent news feature), but let me try to give this a shot.

This morning, I flushed and gushed about how wonderful Kim Ki-Duk’s Dream is to Nicole and Steph. Was it really that great, they ask. I nodded and offered all sorts of evidence. (1) Good director. Kim Ki-Duk’s Time and 3-Iron are two of my favorite movies of all time. (2) Jo Odagiri. Need I say more? (3) Good – although not solid – concept. (4) Considerable amount of aesthetically prettyyyy scenes.

When I commented on the film on Mubi, I tried hard not to compare it to Ki-Duk’s other films. Any film should be treated as an individual, and should not be rated based on how good its siblings are. Looking at the film this way gives it more merit. And, why not? It has a good general idea; it has a lot of good moments; it has two believable and capable actors; it made me laugh and then scared the shit out of me. Most of all, I couldn’t stop thinking about it long after I’m done watching. This, to me, is very important. When I think of 3-iron today, my hair still stir and I still feel a bit disturbed and awed – this makes for a good movie (at least to me).    

The more I think about the film though, the less that I like it. Compared to Ki-Duk’s other films (the ones I’ve already watched at least), Dream seems to have a sort of shaky premise. I know that Ki-Duk wasn’t going after the real, but even if you’re going for the strange, do not go all the way and leave things hanging (same goes for not going full retard, Bugoy. Robert Downey said so in Tropic Thunder). There are several loopholes here and there that I completely ignored because I stared dilated at the screen, marveling at the miracle that is Jo Odagiri. I swear; I can make babies with that man for a living! Moving on, if you look closely, the conflict was too shallow for such a grave ending. It makes you wonder whether the characters are just plain stupid or perhaps the result of a bad case of deus ex machina.

Weighing the good and the bad seems too difficult a task for me. I’m torn between 3 or 4 stars out of 5. But, I think that the fact that 2/5 stars is not one of the choices makes Dream a worthwhile watch. Also, even if it’s a 1 star film, I bet that Jo Odagiri would make any plot, cinematography or whatnot less important. 



  1. I WANNA WATCH POUH. Hi, Tisa. Mwah mwah tsup tsup.

  2. WHAT THE HELL. Stop drinking, KJ! Hahaha