2.5, Korea

The Old Garden

2007 / Im Sang-soo > It’s tough judging a new film by a director who you admire and have the highest expectations for. In that regard, The Old Garden is an undeniable disappointment, as Im lets go of his skillful satire and realism for the typical melodrama that drives most Korean films about relationships. Interesting here is the fact that this relationship is surrounded by history (more specifically, the Gwangju Massacre of 1980), and thus provides a backdrop that is less fluff and more grounded. The central theme rings true (that things change, that you must not put yourself and your sense of duty above those you love), but the full execution comes off rather flat and forced.