고양이 장례식 {Cat Funeral} (2015) (mini-review++)

(If you’re curious, my review process. It’s also pasted at the end of this post. I don’t believe in Rotten Tomatoes. I just believe in me.)

(***all-purpose SPOILER ALERT*** there may be some in this review)

acting 6

directing 6

effects 5

editing 7

writing 5

SW SCORE: 29

2.5 out of 5 🐙

++

I haven’t seen a lot of dramadys based on comic books but I love dramadys and I love comic book movies so I was very excited about this movie. Also, it’s called “Cat Funeral”, which may or may not be a poor translation but I don’t care. What a name!

I always enjoy learning new things about other cultures. It’s one of the best parts about foreign films. Some things I didn’t know about South Korea:

  • The groom wears white gloves at a wedding
  • They cremate their dead cats and then put them in an urn and then put the urn in a decorative box which they then carry to be buried.
  • The officiant of a wedding is very direct: “The couple should have three children so they can contribute to the development of Korea.”
  • The wedding singer is does the song half in English and half in Korean.

In general, it was a very slow moving romantic comedy. I found myself looking at the clock often. I’d have to say it was too subtle. Subtlety is great but here it overwhelms the film. Don’t get me wrong. There are some funny moments like when their friends come over and accidentally eat the cat food because it is an American brand and they don’t read English.

It’s structure was pretty uncommon: they ran two storylines: one where the couple, long broken up, is journeying to bury the cat they got when they were together AND another to show the course of their relationship from meeting to breaking up. The movie inter-splices these scenes and flashes between the present and the past.

SPOILER alert again: they don’t get back together but there is a sweet and cool moment where they are about to have this sort of impromptu date the romantic momentum seems to be ramping up but it falls apart just before it begins. They part as friends. And we, the audience, probably wish they got together. But it’s enough that they wish each other happiness so that they could have a fond farewell instead a of a brutal breakup as their last memory.

In the end, they return to the hill with the beautiful view from their first visit ages ago before they even became a couple and before they ever had a cat.

She asks: Has the hill changed?

He says: How can the hill change?

But they have. And maybe it has, too.

His parting words during the funeral: “I’m sorry for not taking better care of you. If we meet again, I’ll take good care of you. I’ll miss you.”

That legit made me cry.

SPOILER alert over.

Yes, they were brought back together for the very sad reason of burying their beloved cat. That is the title of the film, after all. And of course the symbolism is pretty clear. Their breakup was sour and they both seem to feel it was done improperly. And now they have gotten together to send their beloved pet and they want to make sure this is done the right way.  And, of course, the cat is their relationship.

My favorite moment comes in the middle of the film:

It’s a toss away shot where they are in a flashback scene and she takes a photo of him and their cat together. And maybe it’s just because I’m in a weird place or too crazy about animals, but it almost made me almost tear up. I’ve become a sap in the last couple years, but that’s ok. Maybe it was supposed to be a sappy moment. It just always makes me sad to think about a pet that’s no longer alive. But it’s also a perfect moment that embodied the height of their happiness together. It’s a “just right” subtle moment.

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(1) Shark Wrighter (SW) Score: Based on a sum of 5 sub-scores (acting, directing, writing/story, effects: cinematography &/or animation &/or effects, editing) with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific.

(2) Octopuses (0-5 🐙, with 5 being fantastic and 0 being feces)

(3) Octopuses are my unquantifiable feeling…not that SW score is scientific…but this one is even less so

(4) ++ This optional section includes any incredibly *brilliant observations that don’t fit into simple quantitative slices like the scores and octopuses *(they are likely NOT brilliant)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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