Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (19)
| Top Critics (10)
| Fresh (18)
| Rotten (1)
The listless execution may remind you less of 8 1/2 than of Woody Allen's whiny Stardust Memories.
Sang-soo Hong has no profound point to pound home. His story doesn't need an ending. He accepts all the characters just as they are.
Hong abstracts the tense network of fragile relationships to crisp, briskly sketched lines that he adorns with bubbly and self-deprecating humor and graceful wonders...
Hong offers a strange mixture of magic, mystery, rueful melodrama and dry comedy that's like absolutely nothing else.
The movie becomes an exploration, both playful and rueful, of desire, narrative and the idea beautifully expressed by Faulkner in "Absalom, Absalom!" that "maybe nothing ever happens once and is finished."
Even while The Day He Arrives doesn't come to much-at least not in comparison to some of Hong's other films, such as 2006's brilliant Woman On The Beach-it's still time well spent.
The Day He Arrives is a minor effort from Hong, but it's also rather humorous and, like his other films, contains a brilliantly constructed narrative that continually turns back on itself.
The ideas at the heart of The Day He Arrives are worth puzzling over and the discussion to follow may be the real reward, but the experience is muted.
Hong may be copying a template from his earlier movies about flailing directors (Like You Know It All, Woman on the Beach), but each film is unique, punctuated by occasional zooms that underline the randomness of existence.
The geometry of human relationships is the main theme of The Day He Arrives.
Modern Korean drama recalls heady games of Godard and Resnais
In "The Day He Arrives," Sungjoon(Jun-Sang Yu) decides to take off some time from his day job as a film director to visit Seoul, so he can look up some old friends. First is Kyungjin(Bo-kyeong Kim), an old flame. Then there is Youngho(Sung Jung Kim) who does not recognize the feelings he has for Boram(Seon-mi Song).
The only things that really set apart "The Day He Arrives" from Sang-soo Hong's other films is that it is filmed in black and white and is set in Seoul. But aside from a few exterior shots and a civil defense drill, this could have just easily been Omaha. Perhaps realizing that he is simply repeating himself, Sang-soo Hong decided to make the entire movie one whole long Mobius Strip which you have to admit is kind of different. And actually not that long at 78 minutes.
A director arrives in Seoul to meet an old friend; he gets drunk, meets various people, and then situations start to repeat with variations, characters who've met before act like they've never been introduced, and he meets a bar owner who looks and acts exactly like his ex-girlfriend. Well made but it's never clear what the movie is trying to say or, more importantly, why we should care.
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