Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Daytime Drinking / Naj sul

Writer/Dir: NOH Young-seok - feature film directorial debut
Cast: SONG Sam-dong, YOOK Sang-yeob, KIM Kang-hee, LEE Ran-hee
South Korea, 2008

Seen: February 1, 2010 on DVD

Reason to see: Very positive buzz from the festival circuit and I almost always enjoy South Korean film

Daytime Drinking is a wonderful and bizarre comedy. The tone can be quiet and understated which makes it carry almost more like a drama, but every time you settle in it brings it out beautiful, subtle comedy of the everyday collides with the unexpected. I absolutely loved the comedy of it, how it blended ideas that would on paper seem completely absurd but when you seen them on screen you believe it every single time.

The film is a real accidental adventure, like going out on a limb by taking someone up on an offer but never realizing you left solid ground so who knew it was chance in the first place which? It's a great reminder that adventure can build around us at any given time, and that we never know what lies ahead in time or space. Take one step in a different direction and who knows who you will meet, or where you will end up and for how long? Do you stay to your plan or just go about and do all the things you are suppose to do? Although it definitely gives a sense that even active choices might not make any difference at all, which felt like quite a unique perspective.

As we accompany our protagonist Hyun-jin though his inadvertent adventures, often accompanied by the titles indicated past time of drinking, we encounter many interactions with strangers and it's amazing how far things can go with simple politeness. Unfortunately this isn't always in his favour wherein lines a lot of the comedy which is surprizingly subtle but with true Korean flare has some strong changes in tone to keep you on your toes.

It feels like such a rarity that I enjoy a comedy which makes Daytime Drinking feel all the more special. The strong performances of the entire cast really brought out the humour on many levels, whether it's based in the kindness or strangers or the strangeness of strangers. Never knowing where it would lead next, but always moving forward, this haphazard adventure was a joy to watch.

DVD Extras: Booklet including a Director's Note and a Forward, Making-of, Deleted Scene, Alternate Scene, Original Soundtrack

Daytime Drinking is available for purchase on DVD over at the Evokative Films website

Shannon's Overall View:
I loved it
I'll watch it again
I'd recommend it as a great subtle comedy

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© Shannon Ridler, 2010

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