Still Cut ( 스틸사진 )
Synopsis: Hyeon-Soo dreamt to become a media reporter when he was young. He wanted to change the world with his pictures. Reality is far from what he had imagined. Part-time lecturer in a college, he is struggling to make ends meet financially. He learns about a full timer’s position in his college and jumps on the occasion to present his candidature. But the competition is rude, specially with the return of his first love -Eun Soo- who is targeting the same same post as him.Information:
Country: South Korea
Casting: Nam Goong Min, Moon Jeong Hee, Shim Yi Young, Park Hyeok Kwon etc…
It’s a simple movie. A human and realistic one. It describes the everyday life, the difficulty that we can all encouter. The characters are not heros. They are person just like you and me. They struggle and fight to survive.
I was really touched by Hyeon Soo’s character played by Nam Goong Min (how could I have not been? Nam Goong Min never disappoints me héhé). He is torn between his desire of making some money for his family and his desire to be recognized for his talent. But talent is not taken in account here. He has to gain the favour of the employers by buying their vote and throwing his pride away. At home, he is harassed by a wife that doesn’t care about how much he has to demean himself to get this job and -as it wasn’t enough- he has to suffer the same treatment at work with his friend that constantly pushes him to lick his employer’s boots. He is the most human character. All his emotion were real. Who would not waver seeing his first love? who would not get drunk, and fall appart living such a life? Who would not get angry, feel pathetic seeing his beloved one suffering? The scriptwriters show all this facets without embellishments making the hero within everyone’s reach.
Eun Soo was Hyeon Soo’s first love and the one who taught him how to take pictures. The scriptwriters played with her character. She appears at first lovely/nice as she renews friendship with Hyeon Soo, rational when she feels that his heart is fluttering for her once again but also selfish and opportunist. At least that’s how she made me feel within the first 50 minutes (might as well say 3/4 of the movie). She comes back from America with a shinning résumé and is offered this full time lecturer’s job that Hyeon-Soo has been targeting for years. She has great advantages since she studied abroad and is in addition, ready to use any means to win this competition. Hyeon-Soo helps her preparing her exhibition without knowing her tue intention (he will actually only learn the truth -that she is running for the same position as him- from his friend’s mouth). But along the show we learn about her past- her real one, not the one she made up. She is in a similar situation than Hyeon Soo. Knowing that, it becomes hard to resent her. I would still reproach her one thing: to have shut the truth for so long, and sort of make “use” of him even if it was in an innocent way. I loved how her character turned out near the end though. She gives up the game in order to be at peace in her heart and mind. I’m not sure lots of people would have the strength do the same.
I could only sympathize for Choi Min Ji- Hyeon Soo’s wife- too. She was hard with her husband but it was only human. She is tired of living with an “incompetent husband”. She wants to have children but can’t because of their financial instability problems. She is not getting younger neither, and soon she will be no longer able to carry a child. She understands her husband’s scruples but their situation is pushing her into a corner. Thus she decides to put away her pride since he is not capable of doing it himself, asking for money and trying to gain the sympathy of wealthy person by dining with them. She would do anything in order to survive.
It raises the questions: how far should we accept to go if this is a matter of survival? Would you accept to lose your dignity to reach your goal? There was no winner in this story. I felt extremely close to all the characters and their story. It was a banal plot that kind of reminded me Darwin’s theory about the survival of the fittest. This subject is not new and has been displayed over and over again in cinema but somehow I was more touched by this interpretation than any other (plus Nam Goong Min guys, Nam Goong Min! Just for him it’s worthwile). One of the strongest point of this special drama was the cute, nostalgic romance. Without it, it would have been too stifling and I think I’d have less enjoyed the movie.
Note Dushbadou: 8.5/10