Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo’s latest is a smart, resonant coming-of-age comedy about an aspiring young filmmaker who becomes the object of desire for three very different men.
Prolific Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo's films are so fleet they can seem almost effortless. Yet they are meticulously crafted, precise in their observations of human nature. Each of Hong's works bears his unmistakable signature, yet feels fresh and inspired. Employing a crisp, tripartite structure, with more than half of the story unfolding in restaurants, coffee houses and taverns, Hong's latest satisfies the viewer like a three-course meal. On the menu this time: soju, beer and chicken. Not to mention longing, indecision and comical confusion.
The titular heroine of Our Sunhi (Jeong Yu-mi) is the sun around which all of the film's supporting characters orbit. An aspiring filmmaker who is considering moving abroad to continue her studies, Sunhi becomes the object of desire for three different men, two of them older, ostensibly wiser mentor figures, the third an annoying but well-meaning ex-boyfriend. As Our Sunhi progresses, via extensive, alcohol fuelled conversations, each of these men will make some headway toward their goal of becoming Sunhi's lover — though no one of them knows to what extent the others share that goal.
Once again, Hong skilfully maps out
a small social network, one inevitably
fraught with struggles over desire, and
individuals projecting all sorts of ideas
and emotions onto each other. Sunhi, still
young, still forming, seems to seek the company
of someone who can reflect back to
her all the things about herself that she has
yet to fully understand. This is what makes
Our Sunhi a true coming-of-age tale — and a
witty, insightful one at that.