November 10, 2017

The Loyalist: Daddy's Girl Goes Rogue

Up-and-coming director-writer-editor Minji Kang packs a lot of plot into the tense 19 minutes of her superb short "The Loyalist," an exciting film about a North Korean voice student (Jung Woorim) studying in Europe whose not-quite-doting father (Kwon Hyuk Poong) has come to fetch her back home to a life of anonymity. Understandably, she'd prefer to go to New York City to further improve her technique and maybe become a star. But daddy doesn't approve. Nor does the government. Nor the chauffeur (Kim Jongman). As to her mom, the less said the better. Not to give too much of the plot away but let's just say this isn't your everyday generational conflict and the stakes grow very high.

The whole enterprise is incredibly polished, with solid acting assisted by Dan Brohawn's rich cinematography. Special note should also be made of the soundtrack here -- both Luke Allen's sound design which makes the most of incidental noise like footsteps, a shower, and the wind, and Jay Kim's effective music. The use of silence, which often enters abruptly after a crescendo, is particularly effective.

By the looks of her IMDb profile, Kang has no shortage of awards for her many shorts and "The Loyalist" has racked up a goodly portion of them (although admittedly at festivals I'd never heard of before). Regardless, with over a dozen short films to her credit, I'd say she's more than ready for the big leagues based on viewing "The Loyalist" alone. Given the major shakeups currently disrupting the status quo in Hollywood coupled with the ongoing dismay at how few opportunities are provided to women directors year after year, can some rich Hollywood bigwig step up already and give this women the funds to make her first feature film? I'm guessing she would not disappoint. I'd definitely buy a ticket (or stream it on Hulu or Amazon as the case may be).

No comments:

Post a Comment