In this scathing critique of the effects of Korean materialism, Dong-myung Kim creates an often bizarre portrait of Ah Young (Kkobbi), a young beautician who is a compulsive liar and fantasist. Ah Young’s fiancé, Tae-ho (Sin-hwan), is very much in love with her but Ah dreams only of a world where luxury is hers by right rather than through the hard work necessary to achieve success. A profligate by nature, she steals luxury goods, invites her colleagues for meals she cannot really afford, and finally manages to gain fraudulent control of an expensive apartment.
In reality, her life is one one of comparative drudgery: sharing a small flat with her sister, who is often drunk, her violent husband makes her life a misery. Her mother, who abandoned the family, prefers her lover to her daughters and Ah’s father is missing, having run up a mountain of debt. But she treats the only person who loves her (Tae-ho) with contempt, even inventing a richer fiancé for her workmates, until one fateful night when her world implodes.
Kim Kkobbi is brilliant as the fragile Ah Young, she seems to swim through life in a dream, delicately evoked in DOP Sun-young Lee’s saturated pastel colour palette. Drifting alone in her fake world, Ah Young always looks the same, her bewildered eyes unable to trust reality, lost in an absurd and an empty universe of her own making, that gradually threatens to engulf her. In chasing materialism she creates a world where reality seems, quite literally, beyond the pale. AS
SCREENING DURING THE LKFF 2015 | 2 -14 NOVEMBER 2015