Remarkable how far at bay any sexual or romantic tension is kept. Nice work. You know what this is going to be and how it's going to end from the start. The film takes a big dip about two thirds in with speeches and melodramatic family drama, but other than that it's a gigantic ice cream sundae. Kasumi Arimura has a lot of screen charisma for a young actress. The film wouldn't have worked without her. I also found the cram-school teacher adorable, if caricatured. So, it is what it is, and it's good at what it is. I cried four times. Happy cries.
Smart, small, quiet. At first the narrative trickery calls attention to itself but then it becomes the point. Form following function. Take away one of the five senses, explore the non-sensuous--fear, jealousy, anxiety. There's the character in the film; the character's imagination in the film; the book's characters the character is writing in the film. It's not perfect but it's masterfully executed and has a long echo. You'll still be thinking about it long after it's over. It's very meta.
First of all, Hong-jin Na is the man; this is an amazing film and may be one of the best horrors of the last ten years--which may be saying more about the genre than the film, but I don't watch a lot of horror so my opinion is flawed.
I think I can do this without spoiling.
If you don't know what style underpants Japanese and Korean men wear, or which side of the road they drive on, you might…