Sunday, October 23, 2005

Take Care of My Cat

While in Ximending, I bought a DVD on a whim and also remembering a very positive review at LoveHKFilm.com. I saw it last night and it's really good. I remember it making the Asian film festival circuit a couple years back, but I don't know if that came to anything (i.e. a DVD release in the States). However the DVD I bought even had English subtitles and everything.

Perhaps one of the reasons I liked it was because the theme of the film is something that seems directly applicable to myself and various friends that I know. I think most people are inclined to like films that they can relate to. Anyway, enough about me, the film centers around a group of friends from high school in Korea. Or rather where they're at a year after graduating. Where they're at, however, really isn't anywhere. All of them are struggling, either stuck in dead end jobs or completely unemployed.

The film mainly centers around three of the five. The other two are twins, and like twins in many movies, they essentially function as one entity. One of them, who reminds me of a cousin of mine, is very beautiful but manipulative. You get the sense that this is hiding deeper issues in her personal life, but the viewer is left to fill in the blanks themselves. She's working in a very stressful and high profile job, although she's stuck in an entry level position seemingly for good. The second one still works for her father although she fantasizes about becoming a sailor and travelling forever. She's the most sympathetic, and the most concerned with the friends' shared past and keeping in contact. The third character is wrestling with being an orphan, incredibly poor, as well as living with her senile grandparents. She also seems to be possibly going insane, withdrawing from everyone and also borrowing sums of money from people and not paying it back.

The plot's too complex to go into and frankly I won't bore you with the details. But what I liked about it was that very few friendship movies accurately depict how friendships are strained or changed by the passage of time. Or they end with a celebration of friendship to overcome the obstacles of circumstances or old bitterness. However, I would guess most people don't find that true in their own experiences. At the end of Take Care of My Cat, not all the friends are still together. The film also does a good job of depicting the stresses that put pressure on these friendships, economic, social or otherwise. Although these girls started out at more or less the same place in the beginning of the film, it's clear that through the choices that they made that they have become very different people. Not that it's all bleak though, Take Care of My Cat also does celebrate friendship and the ending of the film is cautiously upbeat.

1 comment:

disreputable bird said...

Sometimes after decades of being out of touch, friends who have drifted apart find out they have things to talk about after all - common experiences they didn't know they were sharing at the time, other old friends - even tho they aren't the same people anymore. The quality of their earlier friendship plays some part in whether or not this happens, and some of it is probably just chance. Like they at least have to turn into people who can talk to each other.

So I guess I like the idea of cautious optimism. Or maybe the attitude that things are never over till they're really over.