It took me a while to really understand what was happening on The Call , Netflix's newest South Korean film. It can even be said that I was confused about what had happened and was happening. But when I understood it, then I felt how this film was able to tell a story that was exciting and full of unexpected things.
These unpredictable elements make it quite difficult for me to discuss this Lee Chung-hyun- directed film without giving some of the surprises it has, because that surprise is what makes The Call stand out from the thriller or horror films that have come out in such a long time. this adjacent.
Let's start at the beginning of the film. A woman named Kim Seo-yeon (played by Park Shin-hye who also appeared in another Netflix film, #Alive ) returns to her childhood residence, a mansion located close to a strawberry farm. Arriving at his large and empty house, he realized that his smartphone was left in the middle of the trip.
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Using her landline, she tried to dial her number but failed after the man who had picked up her ended their conversation. Then the landline rings, and when she answers, Seo-yeon realizes that the one on the line with her was not the previous man but a mysterious woman who said “You're right. Mother is crazy. I'm literally locked in the house. "
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Isn't it creepy? Imagine going back to the old house only to lose the smartphone and find a phone with such a gloomy message. But that's not the part that hit me, but what really made me say “Oooohhh” was when I realized that the woman who called him was from the past, from 1999. In other words, that landline is a link between time, time present with the past.
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That concept may sound very foreign to us. Home phone as a time machine? And such a concept also has very broad potential and possibilities, because the concept can be used as a comedy film, or a romance film, or also a drama film. By choosing thriller and horror films as the foundation, the concept no longer sounds wild. Instead, the concept becomes something that feels very fresh and is also not easy to predict.
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The concept ended up creating a lot of scenes that quite amazed me, not only from a technical point of view but also from how a moment can hit me emotionally, something I don't get often from thriller films . Like one of them is how the past caller, Oh Young-sook ( Jeon Jong-seo ), can change the future, so that Seo-yeon's situation miraculously changes in an instant.
Something else that amazes me is how Lee Chung-hyun can assemble a film that can flexibly and freely change the tone of the film, from light and pleasant looking to gloomy and tense quite quickly and efficiently. I usually find it awkward or awkward when a film changes the feel of a film quickly, but not with The Call . It is an experience like a roller coaster .
The appearance of Park Shin-hye and Jeon Jong-seo as two women with different problems, personalities and timing but being bound by one event is also something that makes this film even more intense as well as more exciting, to see two very different women communicate with each other and end up chasing each other like a cat and a mouse.
Park Shin-hye plays a typical character who is surprised that he is involved in such an extraordinary event as impossible, with him from initially looking confused to finally feeling excited about what happened to him. He is indeed able to bring intensity to his character, but I can say that the character he plays has been widely circulated in thriller or other horror films.
But it is Jeon Jong-seo who how to take this film into something so unexpected, where he plays Oh Young-sook, a mysterious woman who is full of a dark past. He plays his character quite well, being able to change Young-sook's energy from initially looking limp to wild and excited. And also the laugh that he has is really creepy too, whether it's his laugh or just made up for his character.
However, of the many things that I love about The Call , there is one thing that hinders, which changes my feeling of watching this whole film. It is not the technicalities or plot holes that this seemingly simple-yet-complicated concept has, but is the ending it has.
I don't want to dive too deep into his ending , but I don't like how the ending scene - the right scene, the right ending and the middle scene when the credits are already running - this film seems too ambitious, too eager to reach for something that doesn't exist, wants to try back to disturbing a story that has been completely closed. The ending looks like it's telling the audience to "Forget what happened because I'm going to get back to breaking this story".
And it's really unfortunate. Because the story that The Call has is very good and runs perfectly. All of his emotions are mixed but produce a satisfying viewing experience. It's just that if it weren't for the buggy ending , then I can confidently say this is one of the best South Korean films on Netflix this year.
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