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[HanCinema's Film Review] "Twenty Again - Movie"

2016/03/26 | 1626 views | Permalink

Min-gu (played by Kim Seung-woo) is a small time movie director who, like so many small time people in the industry, somehow manages to land on a film festival jury. This incidentally provides him with an excuse to spend a week in Italy. I don't know how much money the Italian Tourism Board gave writer/director Park Heung-shik to make "Twenty Again - Movie", but it was well-earned. At the slightest excuse the film veers off to another random location in Italy as its characters find excuses to talk about how great Italy is.

...In between the actual plot points, of course. Min-ha (played by Lee Tae-ran) is an optometrist who had a serious relationship with Min-gu quite some time ago. They've both moved on, but hey, they're in Italy. And what happens in Italy stays in Italy, if you know what I mean. I wonder if I'm going to be that flippant about extra-marital sex when I'm in my forties. You know, movies always make it sound like these kinds of fantasies are the greatest experiences in all human existence, and yet I just have trouble seeing the appeal.

OK, OK, maybe I'm being a tad unfair. In between all the advertisement spots for Italian tourism, we do get glimpses into Min-gu and Min-ha's backstory, and the portraits we see are of a man and woman who seemed destined to be together except that they inevitably manage to get into stupid fights precipitated by poor communication. No wonder they jump into bed so easily- the passion of touch is much harder to misinterpret than the solipsism of flowery words.

There's quite a bit of depth to the central relationship in "Twenty Again - Movie", yet that depth is also sort of one-dimensional, if that makes any sense. Given that Min-gu and Min-ha's relationship collapsed as a result of bad communication, it should come as little surprise that when they finally open up to each other about all the circumstances, and why they both seemed to give up so easily, well what do you know, it turns out what really sealed the deal was yet more miscommunication.

Assuming Min-ha wasn't lying to try and gain the upper hand in an argument anyway. That's another of the more interesting elements behind the characterization in "Twenty Again - Movie". Where Min-gu manages to bumble around with clumsy unattractive truths, Min-ha is a consummate liar. Both of them have obvious negative points, yet they seem to bring out the best in each other because they have similar intellectual minds, providing useful color commentary in service to the Italian Tourism Office.

I have trouble forgiving the obvious advertisement elements in "Twenty Again - Movie" in part because the movie isn't just an ad for Italy. It's also an advertisement for the joys of adultery. Maybe I'm merely being a prude here, but that moral ground strikes me as somewhat dubious, and the epilogue isn't really enough to dilute the pretensions inherent in their passionate weeklong love affair. For these reasons, I have to narrowly decline to recommend "Twenty Again - Movie".

Review by William Schwartz

"Twenty Again - Movie" is directed by Park Heung-shik and features Kim Seung-woo, Lee Tae-ran and Hwang Young-hee.

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