Return to Seoul

I went to the cinema on a whim. I noticed it cycling by, and it was too perfect to ignore.

I passed at 4:29, and there was a film showing at 4:30: Return to Seoul, a film I had heard about without learning anything about, in my usual, hyper-obsessive, hyper-avoidant, spoiler-avoiding way.

Sat a few rows behind a man nervously tapping his cycle helmet – he stopped when asked – I soon melted into this story, which is one well told, about themes we can all appreciate: identity, loss, belonging, place, and picking up cheesy DJs in Seoul nightclubs.

The film takes place over several time periods and features a beautiful, considered and very moving central performance from Park Ji-min, making her acting debut.

A French Korean adoptee, her character, Freddie, ends up in the South Korean capital in a careless kind of way, searching for connection and meaning in a perhaps unconscious manner.

What we learn from this beautiful film is that big decisions, no matter how passively made, can easily sent one’s life off into an entirety new direction, whether or not one is ready to unpack the new situations, obligations and bonds that come with them.

And that time, damned beautiful and impossible time, waits for no one.

Park Ji-min

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