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Bi-mong (Dream) (2008) May 24, 2009

Posted by ayasawada in Film.
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dream
I caught Kim-Ki Duk‘s latest at the Terracotta Far East film festival, which took place in London this weekend. Having enjoyed the likes of 3-Iron and Spring, Summer. Autumn Winter… and Spring I was really looking forward to this. While I certainly wasn’t disappointed per se, I was left rather confused. But perhaps that is because of the very nature of the film, blending reality and dreams to the point where you’re not sure what’s ‘real’ and what isn’t.

The story follows Jin, a Japanese artist living in Japan, who’s been having disturbingly vivid dreams. Mysteriously, he finds that these dreams are being acted out by Korean hemstress Ran. The two are on opposite ends of a spectrum, jin still in love with his ex-girlfriend and Ran having just dumped a boyfriend she can’t stand. Their dreams are connected, the reason for which is unclear.

SPOILER WARNINGI’m not really sure what else to say at this point, and it probably wouldn’t achieve much if I did. I’m still puzzling over why Jin and Ran share a connection. The sleep speciallist they go to see (very much in the ‘alternative medicine’ category) advises the two to fall in love, since this will ‘close the loop’. And it seems that they do, but not before there have been some violent consequences, and several acts of — at times comendic, at others horrific — attempts to stay awake. A butterfly motif is kept throughout the film, which would clearly indicate rebirth, but the ending leaves it unclear whether the two really have been reborn by finally giving into their fate to be together (and if indeed they are together in this life or the next).

The film really goes to all lengths to keep you guessing. At first, all dream scenes seem clearly indicated: they’re always Jin’s dreams for one, and always accompanied with a hazing effect. But midway through the film there’s a quarrelling scene in a field involving Jin, Ran and both their exes, who seem to be seeing each other. I was completely lost at that point — was it real, or a dream? And if the latter, was it a shared dream or just Jin/Ran’s?

There’s also the small matter of Jin (Jo Odigiri) speaking in Japanese, but communicating perfectly readily with the rest of the Korean community, who speak back in Korean. This is not a typical occurance (the two languages share the same grammatical structure, but little else) and I wonder if it is a subtle signal that Jin is not quite in reality, or that this reality isn’t really reality. Or something like that. >_<

Confusion aside, I really enjoyed the film. Like all Kim Ki-Duk films it is beautifully shot and elegantly acted, with wonderful (if slighty twisted) comedic moments, and an incredibly romantic temple scene, broken up with some slightly distrubing acts of self-mutilation. A typical Kim Ki-Duk love story :)

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Comments»

1. korean Movies online - August 16, 2014

korean Movies online

Bi-mong (Dream) (2008) | Canned Memory

2. Alfredo - September 1, 2014

Thanks designed for sharing such a nice thinking,
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