Published on September 24th, 2006 | by Greg0
See You After School
There’s lots of movies about luck. My two favorites would have to be Intacto, the Spanish movie about luck vampires who compete against each other in games of chance, and The Cooler with William H. Macy, who cools down the high rollers at casinos with his touch. Yes, those movies are both obscure, and both very nuanced, high-tension dramas.
This new Korean film is anything but. A high-school dork, Goong-dahl, is such a loser that it borders on the supernatural how unlucky he is. While trying to make it through his first day in school, he manages to pick a fight with the biggest bully, food-poison his only possible ally, and overall thwart any escape at avoiding an after-school show-down the bully has planned.
Nuanced? It’s a popcorn flick, but it’s got some subtle details to it. The film is filled with complicated chain reactions. It also has almost as many mistaken identities and situations as any Shakespearian play. Combine that with Goong-dahl’s tragic character and the embarassing flops that naturally ensue, and the film is actually a study in movie humor tricks.
There were some flaws in the movie. Weird potty humor started off the film on the wrong note. A different wrong note ended the film, showing the main character as a long-term loser, no matter what small popularity he may have won in high school. And while the film got a few chuckles out of me, the genius behind the jokes was better than their effect. The film’s theme is painted as luck, but its genre is that of the cheesy high school popularity war. If you like one, you’ll like them all, and this one’s no different.
*This movie was shown at K-Fest 2. For those of you in Hawaii, check out the Hawaii International Film Festival starting October 19.