Take Care of My Cat (2002)
Five girlfriends graduate high school in the Korean port city of Inchon. They set out to pursue their limited opportunities, vowing to continue their friendship into adult life. Hae-joo (Lee Yo-Won) is pretty and ambitious. She gets a job working for a brokerage house and soon moves away to Seoul. Tae-hee (Bae Doo-na) works part-time for her domineering father, and does volunteer work, helping out a romantic young poet with cerebral palsy. Ji-young (Ok Ji-young) lives with her grandparents in a ramshackle hut by the docks. She can't find a job, so she struggles to support herself. The half-Chinese twins, Bi-ryu (Lee Eun-sil) and Ohn-jo (Lee Eun-ju), continue their relatively carefree existence. Ji-young finds a stray kitten, and gives it to Hae-joo as a birthday gift. Hae-joo soon returns it, however, finding pet ownership too much trouble. Ji-young and Hae-joo grow further apart as they discover their values in conflict. Tae-hee tries to keep the group together, organizing sporadic reunions while dealing with her own problems at home. When she goes alone to visit the sullen Ji-young at home, the two realize that their connection has remained strong, and when tragedy strikes Ji-young's family, Hae-joo is there to support her. Take Care of My Cat is the debut feature of writer/director Jeong Jae-eun. She had previously directed several award-winning shorts. The film was processed using the same bleach bypass method used in David Fincher's Seven, which accounts for its unique saturated color palette. The film was accepted into the Rotterdam Film Festival, and New Directors/New Films in New York. … More
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Critic Reviews for Take Care of My Cat
Jeong's evocative visuals of the urban landscape and her savvy deployment of appliances only deepens the resemblance such stories have to our own lives.
The problems and characters it reveals are universal and involving, and the film itself -- as well its delightful cast -- is so breezy, pretty and gifted, it really won my heart.
Jae-eun Jeong's Take Care of My Cat brings a beguiling freshness to a coming-of-age story with such a buoyant, expressive flow of images that it emerges as another key contribution to the flowering of the South Korean cinema.
A captivating coming-of-age story that may also be the first narrative film to be truly informed by the wireless age.
Take Care is nicely performed by a quintet of actresses, but nonetheless it drags during its 112-minute length.
The episodic film makes valid points about the depersonalization of modern life. But the characters tend to be cliches whose lives are never fully explored.
Jeong's women often interact via cell phone messaging, and one of the film's primary themes arises in the way contemporary relationships exist through wireless communication.
["Take Care of My Cat"] is an honestly nice little film that takes us on an examination of young adult life in urban South Korea through the hearts and minds of the five principals.
The film engages with the divergent paths taken, linked by childhood friendship and a mewling kitten, but a third act event is presented so abruptly it confuses the viewer until it rebounds somewhat with a satisfying closure.
The level of maturity displayed by this 33-year-old first-time feature director is astonishing, considering her inexperience and her subject matter.
Jeong sensitively gives her film an underlying sadness as the young women cope with the changes in their lives
The year 2002 has conjured up more coming-of-age stories than seem possible, but Take Care of My Cat emerges as the very best of them.
Take Care of My Cat offers a refreshingly different slice of Asian cinema.
In this vivid, emotionally complex ensemble piece, Korean writer-director Jeong Jae-eun portrays this extraordinary turning point in every woman's life.
Sluggishly paced but otherwise harmless drama about coming of age in South Korea.
A refreshing Korean film about five female high school friends who face an uphill battle when they try to take their relationships into deeper waters.
Audience Reviews for Take Care of My Cat
Multidimensional, coming-of-age drama about the evolving friendship between five female high school friends in the port city of Incheon, Korea who have high hopes of staying close but the harsh realities of work, family, and finding their place in the world get in the way while keeping in touch as best they can.
The film wins points for avoiding all of the contrived dramatic pitfalls such as the three act, there-must-be-conflict, grab-your-hankies structure, and instead simply lays out its events and characters with no grand tearjerker scenes or emotional cliche's. One of the most interesting things of the film is the major role given to cell phones in the characters' lives and the way text messages are displayed during the film. The cat in question is a birthday gift that is quickly returned because one of the girls doesn't have time for a pet, so the cat is passed from friend to friend.
A refreshingly touching film about friendship which doesn't turn all sappy and cringeworthy. Highlights the division of friends as they adapt into adulthood with a lot of spirit and a slow paced but enticing script. Wonderful performances bring the characters and their relationships alive. Beautifully done.More
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