Lee Yoon-Ki comes his feature length directorial debut,
This Charming Girl, a multiple award-winning
human drama about a seemingly ordinary young woman
hiding a secret pain. In her first film role, Kim
Ji-Soo portrays Jeong-Hye, a normal, if slightly eccentric,
postal employee leading an interminably lonely existence.
For reasons that are not immediately clear to the
audience from the start, Jeong-Hye keeps to herself,
looking to solve whatever problems she's suffering
from on her own. As the film progresses, we are drawn
into her inner world, simultaneously charmed by her
personality, yet concerned for her general well-being.
Her isolated situation begs the question, "What's
eating at her?"
Through the usage of
flashbacks at opportune moments, viewers slowly get
a sense of what's going on inside Jeong-Hye's mind.
Layer after layer of her character begins to get peeled
back as her dual worlds of memory and reality start
to merge before our eyes. Slowly but surely, her inner
pain is revealed to be a direct result of a complex
web of associations involving her mother, her former
love, and her absent father.
In the midst of her
quiet sadness, Jeong-Hye decides to take a chance
and invite one of her regular customers over for dinner.
Will the unnamed writer (Hwang Jeong Min of Waikiki
Brothers) reopen her eyes to a new possibility
for love? Or will she retreat to her inner world of
quiet solitude once more? The answer to that question
is slightly ambiguous, but perhaps hopeful.
This Charming Girl
is by all rights an atypical experience in modern
cinema. Audiences accustomed to having their stories
spoon-fed to them will not enjoy This Charming
Girl. This is a quiet, ponderous, and leisurely
paced film, so viewers searching for a fast-paced
popcorn flick will need to look elsewhere for entertainment.
The restrained approach on the part of the director
will infuriate the ADD crowd. Although by no means
pretentious, This Charming Girl is probably
more of an art-house film than a rousing crowd-pleaser.
Even without much dialogue,
Kim Ji Soo's gives a revelatory debut performance,
one definitely worthy of the accolades she's received
since the film's release. Amazingly, she is able to
convey a spectacular range of emotions with little
more than a look or a gesture. Thanks to her winning
performance and superb direction on the part of Lee
Yoon-Ki, This Charming Girl amounts to a fine
film and a haunting portrayal of how the psychological
traumas of the past can impinge on one's life in the
present. (Calvin McMillin, 2005)
Region 3 NTSC
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Korean Language Track
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable Korean and English Subtitles
"Making of" Featurette, This Charming Girl
- Their Story, This Charming Girl - Continuity,
Audition, Music Poster, Footage from the Premiere, Behind-the-scenes
Photo Sessions for the Film Poster, and Trailers