Friday, November 22, 2013

Our Sunhi

In my attempt to branch out into foreign films, I recently watched a film entitled Our Sunhi. This South Korean film, which was directed by Hong Sang-soo, focuses on a recently graduated film student named Sunhi, played by Jung Yoo-mi. In an attempt to attend grad school in America, Sunhi implores one of her former professors to write her a letter of recommendation. In order to receive this letter, Sunhi begins to flirt with her professor, named Donghyun, who, in turn, begins to develop feelings towards Sunhi.

After meeting with her professor, Sunhi gets dinner with her ex boyfriend, Munsu. Although the feeling is not mutual, Sunhi finds that his interest in Sunhi is rekindled. Throughout the film, Munsu attempts to get Sunhi to reconsider dating him. In addition to the first two men, Sunhi is also pursued by Jaehak, a fellow film student and friend of Munsu. Jaehak too begins to fall for Sunhi and asked her on a date. What makes this love triangle especially interesting is that, despite having different perceptions of her, all three men believe they truly know Sunhi. Ultimately, Our Sunhi is as much about Sunhi's conflicting love interests as it is about her discovering her true identity.

Although I found the story very interesting, I particularly enjoyed the aesthetic aspects of Our Sunhi. Specifically, I enjoyed the extended use of medium two-shots throughout the film. In most modern films, directors tend to use lots of camera movements and fast paced editing in lieu of sitting on a prolonged two-shot. However, because Our Sunhi is dialogue driven, these types of shots add a sort of human dimension to the film. Instead of being reduced to faces, these actors are able to express emotions with their entire bodies and posture. In a way, it almost seems as if Hong Sang-soo seeks to make a statement about ones ability to make a quality film without using over-the-top camera movements.

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