Together with cinematographer Thomas Favel, Chou visualizes Freddie’s journey below a cloud, with lots of the film’s key scenes going down because the skies are overcast, raining, or when the streets are slicked with rain. The temper is restrained but somber, generally even romantic, given the neon-lit scenes within the metropolis and its nightlife. One of many few instances a scene is brightly lit is when Freddie is speaking together with her adopted mother and father again in France on a hike. It’s a second of readability, however there is a disconnect between the time distinction and what mother and father and their youngster are experiencing. As soon as she hangs up, she is on her personal to determine issues out for herself.
So far as difficult characters go, Freddie is a powerful mixture of conflicting feelings: indignant, lonely, egocentric, and resentful. However in her occasional susceptible moments, there’s a way of a wounded tenderness, like a bruise that has by no means fairly healed up and can all the time be a supply of ache. Even in Freddie’s cruelest moments, when her antics push away others (and, to some extent, the viewers), there’s an understanding from the actor’s efficiency that her actions are coming from a spot of ache and self-preservation. The function is a formidable task even for knowledgeable performers, however this intricate character is splendidly delivered to life by first-time actor Park. She provides Freddie her scowls, her defensive physique language, and her impish impulses to trigger slightly chaos every so often. Because the years move within the film, so additionally does Park’s efficiency acclimate, maturing subtly however not a lot that we lose the essence of the character we met pouring her personal soju.
In time, Freddie learns to maneuver and stay within the locations that made her uncomfortable. For a time, she calls Seoul dwelling; later, it’s only a enterprise journey cease. Her bosses deem her a “Trojan Horse” for her skill to maneuver between nations—however there is a sense within the film that she’s nonetheless a lady with no place to name dwelling. Chou’s “Return to Seoul” is an uneasy exploration of the idea of dwelling and the heartache of dropping it, following an imperfect heroine on her emotional journey to discover a dwelling in herself.
Now taking part in in theaters.