Together with cinematographer Thomas Favel, Chou visualizes Freddie’s journey underneath a cloud, with most of the film’s key scenes happening because the skies are overcast, raining, or when the streets are slicked with rain. The temper is restrained but somber, generally even romantic, given the neon-lit scenes within the metropolis and its nightlife. One of many few occasions a scene is brightly lit is when Freddie is speaking together with her adopted mother and father again in France on a hike. It’s a second of readability, however there is a disconnect between the time distinction and what mother and father and their little one are experiencing. As soon as she hangs up, she is on her personal to determine issues out for herself.
So far as difficult characters go, Freddie is a formidable mixture of conflicting feelings: offended, lonely, egocentric, and resentful. However in her occasional weak moments, there’s a way of a wounded tenderness, like a bruise that has by no means fairly healed up and can all the time be a supply of ache. Even in Freddie’s cruelest moments, when her antics push away others (and, to some extent, the viewers), there’s an understanding from the actor’s efficiency that her actions are coming from a spot of ache and self-preservation. The function is a formidable project even for skilled performers, however this intricate character is splendidly dropped at life by first-time actor Park. She provides Freddie her scowls, her defensive physique language, and her impish impulses to trigger a bit of chaos now and again. Because the years move within the film, so additionally does Park’s efficiency acclimate, maturing subtly however not a lot that we lose the essence of the character we met pouring her personal soju.
In time, Freddie learns to maneuver and reside within the locations that made her uncomfortable. For a time, she calls Seoul house; later, it’s only a enterprise journey cease. Her bosses deem her a “Trojan Horse” for her means to maneuver between international locations—however there is a sense within the film that she’s nonetheless a lady with out a place to name house. Chou’s “Return to Seoul” is an uneasy exploration of the idea of house and the heartache of shedding it, following an imperfect heroine on her emotional journey to discover a house in herself.
Now enjoying in theaters.