October 3, 2010

Jeon Woochi: The Taoist Wizard: When Life Gives You Lemons, Paint a Cool Still Life

When life gets you down, go to the movies. If you're lucky, you'll see smart escapist fare like Choi Dong-hun's Woochi and be reminded that existence is an adventure and many worlds reside in this world -- not just the oppressive one that's put you in a funk. Woochi is cinema as anti-depressant, a preposterous, uplifting fantasy about a baby-faced wizard (Kang Dong-won) who fights a rodent-faced gremlin (Kim Yun-seok) in order to protect a wooden recorder that accords its possessor universal control. As the battle between good and evil rages on, this action-adventure shuttles between opposing realities -- medieval days and modern ones, dreamscapes and nightmares -- all of them magical. Are we living in a classical watercolor, a poster for an energy drink, an elliptical eternity, a video game? Blink your eyes and whatever it was that you were living in will be gone as something disorientingly new takes its place. And since your surroundings are so unstable, follow Woochi's lead and surround yourself with cool people like a trusty sidekick who's really a dog in human form (Yu Hae-jin) and a pretty damsel-in-distress (Lim Su-jeong) who's actually a reincarnated former flame. Yes, you'll still have to deal with pesky evil spirits and unreliable gods, but at least you'll be with your friends!

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