Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Road to the Racetrack 경마장 가는 길 (1991)

The Road to the Racetrack - There is a general consensus now for the few who have seen this: it IS the Korean answer to The Mother and the Whore. But have I told you: The Mother and the Whore is MY favorite film. You can't just go copying it all willy-nilly unless you have something fantastic up your sleeve. Though while it isn't a carbon copy, the influence is obvious from the beginning. This is a film about talking about relationships. It's what the French do best, and now the Koreans have mastered it as well. The couple in question is on rocky territory: he's married with two brats and she's a bit younger and quite well-off, to his "I can barely can get by." It begins with him returning to Korea after obtaining a doctorate in France, where they cohabited for over three years. Of course, upon returning to the home country, he's very interested in continuing the relationship, but it seems that France (or Korea) has changed them both, and things cannot go so smoothly. What I like most about these films is that they are honest depictions of life. It's easy to find the more solid truths of life when analyzing relationships, which is why it is such a repeated subject. The bulk of the film is simply the discussions between the couple - R (him) and J (her). J picks up R in her car and they talk in bars, cafes, hotels. Although they seem to want to have a deep bond, his intellectual coldness and her hypocrisy stop this from growing. I don't mind imitation, as long as you imitate the best. *9 out of 10

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