My HanCinema | Sign up, Why ? Your E-mail   Password    Auto| Help
HanCinema :: The Korean Movie and Drama Database, discover the South Korean cinema and drama diversity Contact HanCinema HanCinema on TwitterFaceBook HanCinema PageHanCinema on Twitter
| NewsLetter DailyWeekly

Back

'Family' Plays by Its Own Wonderful Rules

2006/05/18 | 83 views |  | Permalink | Source

nadri4U
By Joon Soh
Contributing Writer

Every once in a while, there comes a movie that spins in a separate orbit from all others. Coming out of left field, it seems to play by a completely different set of rules than most feature films, leaving the audience to either love it for its sense of originality or dismiss it as being random and incomprehensible.

That's the risk that the new film "Family Ties" ("The Birth of a Family") takes, courting pretension and contrivance throughout its 113-minute journey. But in the final tally, the film wins its gamble, and those who are patient enough to see the story to its end will be rewarded with a fresh perspective on love, family and social conventions.

Director Kim Tae-yong made his feature debut in 2001 by co-directing "Memento Mori", the inventive second installment of a high-school horror film series. Just as "Memento Mori" reconfigured the teenage horror genre, "Family Ties" ("The Birth of a Family") sets to reinterpret the conventions of the drama.

The film works as a compilation of three short films that tell distinct and seemingly disconnected stories. Each works well by itself, and are so good that you'll wish they didn't have to end so quickly.

This is especially true for the first narrative, about a young street-food vendor who suddenly gets a visit from her missing brother. The 28-year-old man, played by Eom Tae-woong, hasn't been home in five years, and now turns up with his lover, a woman 20 years his senior.

The unusual story is also a treat as it stars Moon So-ri and Ko Doo-sim, two of the top actresses in the business. The two veterans are a pleasure to watch, as Moon transforms herself into the mousy vendor and Ko, playing the older lover, gets to show the public that she can play something other than a maternal figure.

It's a shame that we only get to watch the pairing of Moon and Ko for a short duration, but the remaining parts of "Family Ties" ("The Birth of a Family") make up for it. The film consistently offers a wide range of complex female characters played by talented actresses, a refreshing change from the usual domestic melodramas. Kong Hyo-jin particularly shines in the middle story as a young tour guide whose personality is divided between her rage against her family and her job's demand for constant politeness.

Along with a penchant for odd characters, the stories share a common theme of dysfunctional families and relationships that later connect with one another in unexpected ways. In describing the relationships, director Kim wisely avoids angst and melodrama, and instead injects the stories with doses of humor that at points border on the absurd. This off-kilter quality gives "Family Ties" the right amount of tension; it keeps the audience smiling while they're trying to guess where this wonderful mess is heading.

Back

Attention You're reading the news with potential spoilers, make them spoiler free, dismiss

Back

 Previous news
  • Love, loss and lucid cinematic silence
    2006/05/16 (Source)
    "Lost in Love" is a confession of fear, be it fear of love, of regret, of loss or of saying the wrong things out of indifference or ignorance.
    The film follows the emotional paths of two college friends, Yeon-su and Woo-jae, over their 10 years of friendship.
    Yeon-su (Song Yoon-ah) has long had a ,...
    More

  • Aging Koreans need more good sports movies
    2006/05/16 (Source)
    As our biological clock ticks down, we feel the symptoms of age. One is a fondness for watching games on TV rather than being there in person. For me, the occasional pick-up game at the gym or weekend tackle football have become a distant memory. Instead, I exercise my eyes. From watching hours of s,...More

  • Thai TV broadcasting company's advertising income soars with Jewel In The Palace
    2006/05/16 (Source)
    The advertising income of the Thai TV broadcasting company has greatly soared with the airing of Jewel In The Palace ("Dae Jang Geum").

    Channel 3, a TV broadcasting company that introduced Jewel In The Palace ("Dae Jang Geum") in Thailand, reported that its first-quarter advertising income increa,...
    More

Back

Subscribe to HanCinema Pure to remove ads from the website (not for episode and movie videos) for US$2.99 per month (you can cancel anytime).
The first step is to be a member, please click here : Sign up, then a subscribe button will show up.

Settings

Rewards

Activate

Sharing

Activate

Spoilers

Visible, hide
You Who Came From The Stars (DVD) (13-Disc) (Director's Edition) (First Press Limited Edition) (English Subtitled) (SBS TV Drama) (Korea Version) + 2 Posters in Tube + $10 Off with WG10STARS
$10 Off with coupon WG10STARS
Hello Korean Vol. 3 - Learn With Lee Joon-ki (Book + 2CD) (English Version)
Easy Talk in Korean
Korean Fashion Men
JJANG! Up to 60% off at YesStyle.com's Korean Sale!
Stars of K-Pop Giveaway
Cineasie - Where West Meets East