This review has been ‘repurposed’ from my other site, theOneliner.com
Korean films. love ’em or hate ’em, they’re certainly from Korea. This year’s first K-outing to impinge upon the festival happens to be the Milky Way Liberation Front, a film for which the words ‘whacky’, ‘zany’ and ‘oddball’ seem custom built. ‘Pish’ is also a good one, come to think of it.
The haphazard collection of skits that could, with a bit of latitude and squinting be called a plot concerns a young writer / director attempting to get his first film off the ground, despite the slight handicap of it not actually having been written yet. Never one to let this dissuade him, he continues on casting an ex-children’s telly actor and assembling, by narrative convenience more that effort, a team.
If that sounds worrying conventional for your tastes, rest assured that the bulk of this story is quite effectively obscured under several layers of completely impenetrable film student level bullshit, with things lapsing into black and white, odd framing changes and at one point the director’s character having his voice replaced by a harmonica. Much as we generally welcome callbacks to those lovable Clangers, it’s not enough to raise the standards of what we’ll politely call this shambolic mess.
I’d love to say that this all makes sense when you’re sat in front of it, but quite frankly it doesn’t, nor does it seem to want to. If there was ever an actual point to be made about the film-making process then it has been so completely buried under forty odd foot of pretension that it might as well not have existed in the first place. All that’s left to enjoy this as is a screwball comedy, and on that level it just isn’t funny enough often enough to warrant viewing.
Even in my current generous mood, the first hour or so is tortuous viewing and while there is perhaps more good-natured charm and inventiveness on show in the latter portions of the film, by that point it’s pissed any goodwill away and might as well pack up and go home.
This might be intended more as a demo reel for the young group of filmmakers, and on that basis is shows off that they have indeed seen different types of film and can copy them. What it doesn’t work as is as anything particularly enjoyable. Back to the drawing board, lads.