jamedkan’s review published on Letterboxd:
I'm not that familiar with poetry in general, and I will be the first person to say that sometimes the form does escape me. I'll see a poem and not understand what it means, and all the interpretations i do have seem too shallow or of little merit.
As the title suggests, there are a lot of poems, a lot of stories, and with them comes a lot of different people. They all have their own lives, and try desperately to live them. Its all presented in Lee Chang Dongs usual realist tone, where he its used to make the main character just meander through life, where each scene seems loosely connected to each other.
I could say more about this movie, I really could. I could talk about how the protagonist reminds me of my mother, how the aging grandfather reminds me of my own, how the detective reminds me of my dad minus the dick jokes, and how, unfortunately, the son reminds me of me. To a certain extent at least.
I could talk about how there is a part where we doubt the linearity of the movie, of how one could interpret it as the a symptom of early Alzheimer's, or how poems shift our perception of time. I could talk about how the themes of Alzheimer's and delinquency are so much of a trope in modern Korean cinema, that the movie somewhat subverts expectations if you go in without realizing it is a Lee Chang Dong movie.
I could talk about how the ambiguity of the final act, of how even then it all feels suggestive and clear despite of it all. I could talk about how this is probably the most emotional I've been from a Lee Chang Dong movie, or talk about the cruelties of age, of lust, of loss, of life, of ignoring, of death, pain, and nothing.
I could, but well, I don't know how to talk about poems. I see the beauty, but I can't articulate it. She took her own path to be able to do so, I'll have to hope my own path isn't as treacherous.