Directed by: Steven Whatmough
Written by: Steven Whatmough
Genre: Comedy / Action / Experimental
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The Korean From Seoul
Steven Whatmough's experimental film is just what it says it is. Experimental. It's a weirdly put-together micro-budget title that has the advantage of atmosphere to get its audience through its almost hour and a half run time. Nam-Hong (Steven Whatmough) has recently left Korea and ended up in Australia, where a new job awaits. Strangely, his Australian accent is pretty noticeable for a man who just arrived, but that's got nothing to do with the story.
After some random busking in the streets with a guitar, Nam-Hong meets his new boss William (Ben Carew) of Chandlerdale Exports, and a strangely sinister feeling scene takes place before Nam-Hong is ushered into his office. Nam-Hong likes to drink, as does his boss, and neither one of them seems to care. I'm not just talking about a swig from the old canteen... I'm talking about bottles and bottles of liquor bottles everywhere as the two seem in a constant state of intoxication.
Then we have a scene with Nam-Hong rolling around in an auditorium, some more random guitar playing, a trippy music video, and a plot against Chandlerdale. In fact, the entire community, breakfast flakes, followed by more guitar playing and a big fight on a train and obviously, in the offices as well. Are you scratching your head yet? I was. The Korean From Seoul is one messed-up movie, even for an independent micro-budget title.
Yet there is also a charm to it, like that slightly sweet taste that releases itself when a person eats something poison. There is a sense of humor Steven Whatmough and his troupe seems comfortable with. Coinciding with this sense of humor is the darker subtext that makes you feel like you're watching a film about a cult. And there's even a lot of good jokes made all the better because of the indie visuals The Korean From Seoul finds so keen on showing. The music, loud, weird, and fitting, all contribute to making this movie strangely addictive... even if you're not sure if you like it or not.
For all intents and purposes, this film should not work at all. It's crazy and messy, it looks the way you expect a micro-budget film to look, and overall it's bonkers. But it's also kind of cool, and if you're anything like me, you'll find it weird that you managed to sit through the entire thing without taking a break. Now, after the fact, I still can't quite wrap my head around what I actually think of this title; did I like it or was I just hypnotized? Either way, if I have to ask myself those questions, then The Korean From Seoul must have done something right. Right? Thank you for reading, and you can find out more about this title by clicking the links to the left.