BIFF: Pascha (2013) – South Korea [World Premiere]
Review by: Andrew Chan FCCA AACTA
Review Date: 28th October 2013
Director: Ahn Seon-kyoung
Starring: Kim So-hee, Sung Ho-jun, Shin Yeon-sook
Reviewed at the World Premiere at 2013 Busan International Film Festival (October 2013)
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This film starts with an interesting premise and even manages to show some promise throughout, but it never really settle for a tone or any meaningful resolution. Rather, “Pascha” is one of those movies where the journey is more important than the destination. It is process that makes “Pascha” worth seeing, the struggle of humanity, love, compassion and living within the strict rules of society and tradition. “Pascha” is not controversial at all, despite its premise, as the relationship between the older woman and the young adult (aged 19) feels every bit genuine and in turn creating a good enough film for the audience to feel and endure.
Kim So-hee plays the older woman almost 40, with her life steeling away from tradition. Dating and living with a 19 year old boyfriend, she is unable to face her parents, society and therefore indulge in the love and company of cats. In fact, both are loners, we hardly see their friends, if they have any. It is hard not to sympathizes with their relationship and despite how doomed it seems to be, it somehow works. Sung Ho-jun is less enduring as the 19 year old in love with Kim So-hee, but the two radiates with chemistry, often making up for their age differences and glaring looks of mother and son. Still not enough is shown or known about Sung Ho-jun’s character and is often overshadowed by a more matured display from Kim So-hee.
All in all, “Pascha” is one of those films that neither excites totally or takes you to boredom, but there is a journey where the audience gets to feel as though they are part of this unlikely relationship. I have always believed the foundation of a long lasting relationship lies in couples actually needing each other. In “Pascha”, director Ahn Seon-kyoung never tries to do too much, (perhaps saving for an emotional farewell for their cat in the very beginning of the film) and ultimately it is precisely the reason why the film worked out. By the end of the film, I can say that there is something in “Pascha” that is worth the journey taken, even if the process is rather tame. (Neo 2013)
I rated it 7.5/10