[15JIFF] A Fresh Start 새출발 (2014) – South Korea

Review by: Andrew Chan FCCA AACTA FIPRESCI
Review Date: 3rd May 2014

Directed by: JANG Woo-jin
Starring: Woo Ji Hyeon, Lee Hye-rin

Reviewed as part of our coverage of 15th Jeonju International Film Festival
Online screening courtesy of Kobiz (Korean Film Council)

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This is a raw and experimental film about two lonely and lost souls meeting without expectations. There are some moments in the film where the actors goes up a gear and in general, the direction from JANG Woo-jin is adequate enough with plenty of hand held camera work to defines the indecisive nature of youth.

Woo Ji Hyeon does well as a wandering youth whose life is given a wake up call with a string of unfortunate events after another. Burden with the responsibility of getting Lee Hye-rin’s pregnant after a chance encounter. The two goes about a process of attempted abortion, redemption, finding a purpose and growing together in the process. Director Jang focuses heavily on this aspect and especially how the two slowly changes in their interactions with each other.

All in all, “A Fresh Start” is a nice little debut film from the graduate of Graduate School of Cinematic Content, Dankook University. There are certain moments where it felt amateurish and even borderline irrelevant, but the film picks up pace in the 2nd half and oozes to the final line with plenty of character development. Woo and Lee does not have automatic chemistry, and like the early and many shaky camera work sequences, their relationships grow as the two matures a little by the end of the film. (Neo 2014)

I rated it 6.5/10

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