0120ella’s review published on Letterboxd:
Ah.... I watched this with my first generation Korea-to-America immigrant father and it was uncomfortable to watch with him at parts. It would have been an even more difficult watch if I had watched it with my mother.
Too much of the dialogue was familiar to me. Yes, I have been asking for representation in media and I feel as if I was blessed by this movie. Early on in the film, David peers into his room to see the reunion of his mother and grandmother. And in that moment, I was David. I know all too well what that "Korea smell" is. I know the taste of the 한약, "han-yak," the Korean medicine, and the texture of it you plug your nose to drink it fast. Perhaps this hit even closer to home, because my home in Kansas is also 8 hours away from Dallas, the nearest Korean hub, and my dad and I just recently made the trip and brought back 순대국 in a freezer box. And joining a white church and living with a religious fanatic mother--I know these as well. I've heard my parents having these same fights and I also know the eternal existential dread of picking out the stick, or in my case a hanger, that David was sent out to bring back.
So then the question is, do I think this movie was really, really good because it was or do I think that because I'm biased towards it because I don't know if I've ever felt this represented before?
+ Steven Yuen
+ Those transitions!! Could be a short film on its own if stitched together
+ The characterization and dialogue
+ Straightforward yet original symbolism
+ All of the acting!!!!
- The depiction of subtle racism and microaggressions
- My dad felt that the ending was very rushed, and I may agree. Must think on this a bit longer
- Related to the point above, for all of its "relatability" the movie built, the climax tore at this a bit
- The mild racism of the white children at the church could have been developed further, I thought the depictions were a bit caricature-like and done for obligatory "diversity points," although I have experienced moments like these
Idk, it was pretty fantastic.
Cry count: 3
Might come back and raise my rating tomorrow