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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Golden Tower" Episode 3

2014/08/06 | 326 views | Permalink

Well, I certainly wasn't expecting a parody of "You are my Sunshine", but OK, sure. That movie was concerned, after all, with the ill-suited romantic prospects of rural farmers. And it's not like "Golden Tower" is going shot-for-shot on this. It's really more the romantic tropes, situations, and dialogue that reference "You are my Sunshine" than any of the actual plot. Especially since it's pretty clear from the beginning that the situation is too good to be true- they woudn't have hired a guest star if this storyline was actually going to go anywhere.

There's something admirable in how pathetic these men are. They clearly have absolutely no idea what they're doing, yet they forcefully try to do the best job they can. They're also at the same time a little unsympathetic- beggars can't be choosers, and if they'd seen "Pick Up Artist", they'd know the best way to get close to a woman is to work as a team, not as one-upping competitors. But hey, let's see how much you know about women having spent your whole life on a farm with a bunch of other deranged socially isolated men.

Let's note for a moment that, social impairments notwithstanding, there are plenty of things farmers can do that city folk can't. Like milk a cow. Yes, there's a surprising amount of technique and emotion in that. To properly milk a cow, you have to get in touch with your feelings, and help the cow get in touch with hers. It is a subtle technique that requires calmness, relaxation, and a general aura of amicability.

And yes, the scene I'm describing is exactly as absurd that paragraph makes it sound. But who am I to question the wisdom of milking? Without the farmers, without the cows, who would give us milk? Who would give us cheese? It's this proper balance of comedy with sympathy that makes "Golden Tower" such effective comedy. Any time a character makes an assumption here, they're almost always wrong because they're being clouded by assumptions.

Unfortunately the balance is so delicate that the inevitable somewhat down ending is a bit difficult to properly accept, although it does give us some sense of characterization. While the episode opens up with the nightmare of being exposed as an interloper, the ending gives us a sense that interlopers can actually be good. They can help us accept the reality that's difficult to swallow. And certainly, it's well enough established by now that the farmers also have plenty to teach.

Review by William Schwartz

"Golden Tower" is directed by Min Jin-gi, written by Jeong In-hwan, Jo Seung-hee-I and features Choi Jong-hoon-II, Lee Yong-joo, Kim Jae-woo, Baek Bong-ki, Hwang Je-sung and Bae Seul-gi.

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