Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Bakha satang (Chang-dong Lee, 2000) aka Peppermint Candy
Peppermint Candy (Chang-dong Lee, 2000)
Peppermint Candy is a beautiful portrait of despair following a 20 year timeline of one man's life broken into seven stages and shown in reverse chronological order. Even more unconventionally, the main character, Young-Ho commits suicide at the conclusion of the first stage. Each stage is transitioned by reverse motion images of a train track and reveals to us how this ruined man has ended up in such miserable circumstances as well as how Korean history, his surroundings, and events beyond his control influenced his decent into a life of corruption. Young-Ho is unable to overcome his guilt and embrace his first love, Sunim, because he is no longer the man she thinks he is. This is best expressed when Sunim comments on the beauty and kindness of his hands. However she is unaware of his past, particularly the interrogation scene when he is working as a cop and has feces on his hands, and the scene where he accidentally kills a young girl and his hands are soaked in her blood. Kyung-gu Sol's performance is absolutely incredible and the cinematography is lovely.