In Another Country (2012)

Director: Hong Sang Soo
Casts: Isabelle Huppert, Yu Jun Sang, Jung Yu Mi, Moon So Ri, Kwon Hae Hyo, Yoon Yeo Jung, and Moon Sung Geun
Genre: Drama and Arthouse
Running Time: 88 minutes

A young film student, Won Ju (Jung Yoo Mi) and her mother, Park Sook (Yoon Yeo Jung) hide away from the debtors in Mohang, a seaside town in Buan, North Jeolla. Won Ju decides to write a script that has a plot which takes place at where they’re staying. She writes three types of story but a similar idea.

Won Ju’s main character is a “charming French visitor” named Anne (Isabelle Huppert) but is portrayed in different storyline. For the first one, she’s a filmmaker who visits a fellow Korean director Jong Soo (Kwon Hae Hyo) and his pregnant wife, Geum Hee (Moon So Ri). In the second story, she’s the wife of a rich businessman who secretly meets her lover, a Korean filmmaker, Moon Soo (Moon Sung Geun). The last story is that she’s a divorced housewife who arrives with Park Soon (Yoon Yeo Jung) after finding out that her husband had a secret affair.

In each story, she meets the young, handsome, and muscular lifeguard (Yoo Jun Sang) at the beach and have interesting conversations including talking about the lighthouse. This film delivers different characters of “Anne” on how she interacts with different people in a different place and situation.

This film let audiences have choices to make. By choices, I mean which story would each of us prefer or do we like them all? After watching this film, we’re sure to discuss about which story we like and why. I’m impressed how Hong Sang Soo has fully well executed the storyline into three subplots with different concepts but a similar idea at the same place. He applied the concept of how it reflects the situation in daily lives such as how “Anne” is portrayed in different ways. It is like the director himself writes out the script and it comes to live. In addition to that, this is made artsy and classic element even though this film came out in May 2012.

Isabelle Hupert has done well in portraying three different “Anne” in three different stories. It’s not the same personality but we see the differences between the three “Anne”. I am glad that she takes the chance to showcase her talents that she is able to collaborate with foreign directors like Hong Sang Soo as she did said at the previous press conference that she wants to work with Korean directors. So, it’s not about the language barrier. It is how both sides exchange skills and ideas to make this film impressive.

I admired how this film interprets a French woman conversing with the Korean people. I find that their conversations funny and interesting. Although the Korean people speak to Anne in English with the Korean accent, it’s nice to see how well they get along. In addition to that, Anne is being exposed to Korean culture and lifestyle especially at Mohang, a seaside town. I could say this film reflects a few aspects of Korean culture are open to the world. Even though “Anne” is in Korea who doesn’t speak the locals’ language, but at least they tried to overcome the language barrier with smiles and hand gestures.

Overall, I like this film because
• It allows the audiences to have choices on which story they like.
• I like the fact that each story is portrayed differently while having a similar based idea.
• Impressed on how Isabelle portrayed three different “Anne”
• How characters portrayed in different situation at the same place
• The conversations between a French woman and the local Korean people
• The script itself is well executed perfectly

At the ending, what do you think? Where that umbrella comes from? How the third “Anne” knows that the umbrella was there?

Rating: 9/10

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