Marriage is a Crazy, Emotional Thing

Marriage is a Crazy, Emotional Thing

Via

Marriage is a Crazy, Emotional Thing
(Some spoilers.)

A fall afternoon. A blind date. Two people, meeting over orange juice and coffee. Polite smiles, banal conversation, a dull movie that she’s already seen. This is the perfectly benign set up for Yoo Ha’s Marriage is a Crazy Thing.

But as the alcohol flows and the right articles of clothing come off, something else entirely happens: they begin to actually speak to each other. There is a self-awareness to how absurd the situation is, and the talk goes on, they both unveil the ugly-yet-playful side of their personalities.

I don’t like either of the characters: Yeon-hee (Uhm Jung-hwa), a serial dater who has some financial independence but values financial security so much that she can’t find Mr. Right; and Joon-young (Kam Woo-seong), a part time English lit professor whose career is stuck on the launch pad. He has no financial freedom or independence but is also a serial dater, and possessed the rare combination of being deeply sullen and supremely cocky.

So, then, why do I like this film?

Marriage is a Crazy Thing is among my favorite Korean films — one of the first I ever saw — but I’ve never truly been able to figure out why that is. The film has always had an asterisk next to it in my head, and in the past I’ve likened it to three-chord rock bands that aren’t technically good but just have something — some spark, some elusive glimpse that is hard to pin down — to them.

A few months ago, film critic Kartina Richardson wrote a post on Mirror Film about the various problems one encounters when writing film criticism. Her starting point was about race and color, but (being a white male) I latched on to a different part of her essay. “I never want to discuss cinema in a leaden and academic way, but what other way is taken seriously?” she asks. “Emotional discussion of film is often dismissed as juvenile,” she says. And she’s right. And it’s absurd. Why should films be reviewed differently than they are viewed?

Film is a thoroughly emotional medium.

Movies are meant to make you feel, or they fail. They can also make you think. But while a film that can make you only feel is fine, a film that only makes you think seems to be missing something: a soul, a center, heart, a point of view. Whatever you want to call it, it’s the emotional element that is missing from otherwise good films, such as Syriana or, for me — though some will disagree — Barking Dogs Never Bite or A Single Spark, that keep them from reaching a certain level, from really digging in under the skin and into the vital organs.

When I go back and read over the bad reviews I’ve written – either the ones I didn’t write well, or the movies I didn’t like – the thing missing in them is generally an emotional point of view. Now, the catch to that is that emotions are also the easiest thing to manipulate in film. The mainstay of South Korean drama: the melodramatic tearjerker, for instance. But they can’t be manipulated clumsily. If we see the strings of manipulation, we can cut them off and be free of them.

Marriage is a Crazy, Emotional Thing

Where does Marriage is a Crazy Thing fit into that?

It’s a perfect example of a film meant to be viewed emotionally rather than intellectually. Your brain will only get in the way of the story, which lays itself out almost like a modern fairy tale, but in reverse, where the man is the powerless maiden waiting to be freed from his cell by the one he loves as friends and family around him move on in life, get married, have kids and careers.

Joon and Yeon-hee’s relationship was designed by them to be a weight station along the road, just a temporary stop before their final destination, but they never quite found a way out. They meant to, sure that each would cheat on the other, confident that the other was not fully up to building a real life around, but the thing about it is that they mesh so well, compliment each other so perfectly in their awfulness that it is kind of endearing.

Even after Yeon-hee’s marriage they can’t end it, becoming a weekend couple, when Yeon-hee lends Joon money to move out of his parents’ house, into a small roof room apartment. From the outside it appears that this actually the only way their relationship can truly function.

It’s the apartment, tiny, cramped, decorated by her, but lived in by him that makes all the difference in the world for the film. It’s a perfect stroke from the writer-director, Ha.

So, the somewhat strange conclusion to the question, I think, is that I like Marriage is a Crazy Thing because of its emotional selfishness. The meeting of these two characters in their little roof room getaway sparks some kind of a firewall into existence, where common sense, morality, guilt, conscience, law — or anything related to the brain — cannot penetrate, if only for a small amount of time. When something does finally penetrate it, it is a tide of emotion. It makes a mess, but it’s a true mess. Emotions always are.

Overall, this film defies a number or star grade. It’s a film that is greater as a whole than its parts, but if pressed… 

Acting: 6/10
Story: 6/10
Impact: 8/10
Production: 7/10

Overall: 8/10

AOA the adorable baseball beauties!

Via Twitter
AOA the adorable baseball beauties!


AOA continue to receive love calls for CF.

In their recent CF, they transform into adorable baseball beauties. The BTS photos show that the girls enjoy the photoshoot session so much, they pose happily in baseball outfits and look professional with their poses.. ... Read more

[HanCinema"s Drama Preview] "The Girl Who Sees Smells"

Via Twitter
[HanCinema"s Drama Preview] "The Girl Who Sees Smells"

Premise vs. Promos

Korean drama productions being dishonest about what they will be offering is nothing new, but it is still a very bad practice. Trust is very important when it comes to products of entertainment. While the promotion so far has been cute and bright, this is still a series about loss, murder and crippling superhuman conditions. Making the series the promotion has shown will be hard, given the premise. . ... Read more

Amber in long hair, speaking mandarin!!

Via Twitter
Amber in long hair, speaking mandarin!!

Amber participates in a skit in the latest episode of SNL Korea.

She introduces herself as Zhang Ziyi with her special appearance, then she shows a bit of her fighting skills, check out the short but funny video below:. ... Read more

T-ara’s Eun-jung Goes Solo

Via Twitter
T-ara’s Eun-jung Goes Solo

T-ara’s Eun-jung Goes Solo Written by Rachel On March 28, 2015

Eun-jung will take on a whole new style with her solo debut!

Dates and details haven’t been released yet, but she will be promoting a song titled “Being Alone Became Comfortable.” The song will be produced by Duble Sidekick, who is behind other hits including Girls’ Day’s “Something” and SISTAR’s “Give It to Me” and “Loving You.” As you might have guessed from the title, the song is about a relationship that is no longer exciting or fulfilling. Eun-jung’s agency promises that she will show a completely different and fresh concept for her solo debut. . ... Read more