January 29, 2011

Daytime Drinking: Beneath Every Rock Bottom Is Another Rock Bottom

Eight telltale signs that Hyuk-jin (Song Sam-dong), the protagonist of Noh Young-seok's Daytime Drinking, is severely depressed and in need of therapy:

1. He watches long stretches of mindless television alone while eating instant noodles.
2. He drinks and smokes even when he doesn't really want to and actually wakes up after a blackout in a completely different town.
3. He's an easy target for a pimp (Tak Seong-joon) and his drunk, good-time girl (Kim Kang-hee).
4. His best friend Ki-sang (Yuk Sang-yeop) thinks he's a downer and procrastinates meeting him, even at a time of need.
5. He's unable to clue in to the fact that the jolly trucker (Shin Woon-seob) -- who gave him a lift when he was stranded in his underwear on the highway -- is looking for sex, not for Good Samaritan points.
7. He has psychosexual nightmares involving some crazy poetess (Lee Lan-hee) whom he met at the bus terminal.
8. His life is spiraling so out of control that if he isn't severely depressed at losing his girlfriend in the beginning then he definitely should be after being screwed left and right by the movie's end.

If ever there were a movie that reinforced the idea that drinking won't solve your problems, this one is it. With every drink, Hyuk-jin's life gets worse and worse. What's weird is at the end, you sense he might be about to embark on yet another bender!

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