June 25, 2016

Where Are to Go: Drive, She Said

The search for meaning in life is a staple of the art house film but only frowny, rich wife Hee-young (Kim Gyu-ri) would think to seek this meaning by way of a taxi. In Jin Hyun-seung's Where Are to Go, the soul-searcher's quest will lead her to being chauffeured around Busan where she'll reconnect with an old flame, stare out at the ocean, sulk amid neon, and bum a few cigarettes — plus a lighter — from her cloyingly upbeat driver (Yu Geon). Unfortunately for Hee-Young, the search for meaning is ultimately an internal one so clobbering a bully in the streets and popping sleeping pills at night are unproductive paths to reconnecting her to her lost dream of being a real actress. Well, there are worse ways to play tourist in Korea than in the back of a cute guy's cab.

As to the cabbie, his goals are a little less noble, a little more practical: He just wants a sugar mama! Broke and burdened with abandonment issues, he's been bedding female travelers from all over the world, in the hopes of finally scoring the big one. Hee-Young could be his ticket out. She's got prescription meds, a seemingly deep checking account, and a fur coat that self-dries. (That coat must be expensive!) She's also willing to dress up like a school girl when he asks. What more could a guy hope for? And so they go drinking and shopping and sightseeing and drinking again then again. One binge leads to screwing but frankly, for most of the movie, love feels out of the question.

Because she knows his game. She knows he's got to cater to her whims, cook for her, paint her toe nails, give her back massages, and be her designated driver every time she wants to get blitzed. He knows that she knows what he's doing and yet he still hopes. This is the province of youth: To hope against the odds. The province of old age is wanting to hear someone tell you you're still young. So he does that. Not she's that old. Still it's nice to hear. And maybe she can go back to being an extra in the movies. That's something, isn't it?

No comments:

Post a Comment