If you’re a Korean film enthusiast such as myself then I think it’s very likely that you’re a fan of Song Kang Ho. I think the man is so talented that he brings magic to almost any film he’s in. Almost. Case in point HINDSIGHT (푸른 소금). Also known as BLUE SALT this film seemed to possess all of the right elements on paper. A star lead, who’s actually talented, a beautiful ingenue and a thrilling plot. It’s funny how things on paper have a hard time succeeding when they come to fruition.
Directed by Lee Hyeon Seung, HINDSIGHT is the story of a retired mob boss’ inability to escape his past. Do Heon (Song Kang Ho) is trying to start his life anew by taking a cooking class in hopes of someday opening his own restaurant. In the class he meets Se Bin, Shin Se Kyeong, a quirky young woman who’s intense appearance and knack for cooking draw him in. Unbeknownst to him, Se Bin, owes a huge debt to his former gang and in lieu of payment they have ordered her to spy on him and eventually kill him. As you can expect a bond is formed between the two that makes her orders increasingly hard for her to follow.
In the midst of the main plot, which should be interesting but we’ll get to that, there are various intrigues and relationships that try to draw sympathy for the characters. Sadly, it just made things more convoluted. Se Bin has a best friend who occasionally comes across as a lesbian lover and the constant references to salt, as in the seasoning, just seemed like a strained attempt to pay homage to the title. The relationship between the two main characters was a mixture of father/daughter and boyfriend/girlfriend which I’m sure you can imagine made for some awkward tension. And not awkward in a good way. In the end it just seemed like a lot of ideas, which could’ve have been good, were just poorly thrown together. It was disappointing because I was really interested in the story. Now, don’t misunderstand me and think the entire film was terrible. There were some thrilling fight scenes and the acting was solid. But, even Song Kang Ho couldn’t save HINDSIGHT as a whole.
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