Film Review: Asako in Ruby Shoes (2000) by E J-yong

A few years earlier than “The Asian Angel” introduced Korean and Japanese solid as protagonists in the identical earlier than, and much more years earlier than Lee Jung-jae grew to become a world star as a consequence of “Squid Recreation” and Kim Min-hee as a consequence of “The Handmaiden” and her collaborations with Hong Sang-soo, there was a movie that managed to deliver all these components collectively, “Asako in Ruby Sneakers”. 

“Asako in Ruby Sneakers” is screening at Florence Korea Movie Competition

The story unfolds in two completely different settings, in S. Korea and Japan. Within the first one, E U-in is a slightly bored civil servant, who’s unfulfilled in each his job and friendless and girlfriendless life. He spends his nights cruising in porn websites, though in 2000, visiting them was an endeavor that demanded cash he was not keen to provide. His voyeurism doesn’t cease there, nevertheless, however extends in his actual life, as he regularly peeks on ladies within the bogs of the workplace he works in, an endeavor that ultimately results in an infatuation to the purpose of stalking, of Mia, a punkish red-haired girl, who quickly realizes his needs however exhibits no want to cope with him in any method. Sooner or later, U-in receives a spam mail that ultimately leads him to an internet site that asks him to sort within the traits of the proper girl for him, the place he instantly proceeds on inserting Mia’s. His selection nevertheless, leads him to the titular Asako, which brings us to the second setting of the film. 

Asako is a younger Japanese girl, who, because the movie begins, eloquently states that she plans on committing suicide in a single month, by holding her breath throughout the International Date Line in order to confuse whether or not she died right now or yesterday. Throughout that month nevertheless, she manages to get a job at a well being membership, befriend Rie, a depressed coworker who frequents a dancing membership and has a factor for Center-Jap males, get fired from her work, and begin an online-camera mannequin profession with a purpose to afford her journey to the Worldwide Date Line and totally pay for the titular sneakers. 

E J-yong directs a movie that focuses on two younger individuals whose life goes nowhere in any type of regard, and the methods they use to beat their boredom, whereas succumbing right into a loneliness that nobody appears to interrupt. There are some variations between them nevertheless. E U-in appears to haven’t any will to interact into any social connection, regardless of the efforts of varied colleagues, along with his obsession with porn and Mia main him right into a collection of embarrassing conditions, which, nevertheless, nobody appears to appreciate. His peeping tendencies, his stalking, the best way he tries in any method doable to keep away from the onerous components of his work, add to a profile of a real loser, whose life appears to haven’t any type of which means. It’s nevertheless, a pattern of Lee Jung-gae’s charisma and general appearing, that he nonetheless manages to make such a buffoon seem likable, regardless of a collection of actions that  these days would in all probability lead him to public ridicule, to not point out jail. 

Asako then again, appears to be extra composed, having some objective in her life, even when their targets will not be precisely splendid, and most significantly, appears wanting to make some associates, one thing she really achieves. On the identical time, she emerges as much more likable than U-in, together with her quirkiness (as exhibited within the shoe-buying scene for instance) being actually lovely, and Misato Tachibana being pleasant within the position. Each the characters, however, make a definite touch upon how consumerism was dominating the world on the time, with the sneakers and the porn websites highlighting two completely different sides of the identical coin. 

The way in which two individuals from completely different international locations find yourself related is without doubt one of the most fascinating and distinctive components of the story, the 2 completely different settings work nicely as a story “trick”, whereas various episodes all through the movie emerge as hilarious. However, the intensely episodic method of E J-yong emerges as fairly tiresome after a degree, with the surreal scenes,even when slightly stunning, not serving to explicit in that regard. In that regard, after a style, the story appears as misplaced as the principle characters, basically functioning as an effort to delay the film and nothing extra. The twist about Mia is a definite pattern of this subject, whereas her entire arc additionally showcases how Kim Min-hee was not a lot of an actress on the time, however only a notably stunning girl. Moreover, the secondary characters will not be useful in any respect, which within the case of actors like Ren Osugi and Kimiko Yo, is a really wasted alternative contemplating their skills. Lastly, Jung Yoon-Seup’s enhancing implements a comparatively gradual tempo that doesn’t assist notably when it comes to leisure, though the switching from one setting to every works fairly nicely. 

However, Hong Kyeong-Pyo’s cinematography is superb, capturing the futility of the existence of the 2 protagonists in essentially the most interesting style, whereas the voyeuristic and the surreal pictures are actually prime notch. 

The sum of the professionals and cons of the film lingers in direction of the primary, even when not decidedly so, notably because of the performances and the charisma of the protagonists, together with some slightly entertaining episodes. The film, although, exhibits its age, whereas its period is just not precisely splendid. There may be enjoyable available right here, however, whereas movie buffs will in all probability get a kick of seeing Lee Jung-jae and Kim Min-hee to start with of their profession, underneath an entire completely different gentle than they’re right now. 



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