Farewell My Darling

on March 01, 1996 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
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  &#160When the patriarch of a large, extended Korean clan dies suddenly in a bicycle accident, his kin from far and near arrive for a few days of mourning, burial preparation and the funeral. It's a drawn-out process that exposes rifts and resentments among various family members.
  &#160If that plot sounds a lot like Juzo Itami's skillful and delicate 1984 black comedy "The Funeral," it's because "Farewell My Darling" is virtually the same story, complete with the obligatory relative who wants to make sure proper custom is followed at all times. The problem with "Farewell My Darling" is that it coarsens all that was so wonderful about Itami's film. Its characterizations are one dimensional--audiences never learn anything about the relatives during the two hours of screen time--and Park's direction is crass. He moves the camera crazily but to little end, while the sensitivity and tact the film needs remain absent. Starring Sung Choi, Jung Sook Moon and Sung Duk Kwon. Directed and written by Chul-Soo Park. Produced by Youngman Kim. No distributor set. Drama. Korean-language; English subtitles. Not yet rated. Running time: 116 min. Won a Special Grand Prix of the Jury at the Montreal fest.
Tags: bicycle, Korean, death, funeral, mourning, family drama, Sung Choi, Jung Sook Moon, Sung Duk Kwon, Chul-Soo Park, foreign
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