Youngju

영주

Youngju Website
Film info

Director: Cha Sung-duk
Cast: Kim Hyang-gi, Kim Ho-jung, You Chae-Myung, Tang Jun-sang
Film genre: Drama
Cert 12, 100 mins, 2018
Distributed by M-Line Distribution

In this skilfully directed feature debut by Cha Sung-duk, things are not what they seem at first glance. The eponymous Youngju (Kim Hyang-gi) and her brother Youngin (Tang Jun-sang), two young orphaned siblings whose parents died in a car accident, struggle to survive in the mean adult world of calculating relatives and scam loan companies seeking financial gain from the children’s predicament.

The tone takes on a much darker edge when Youngju decides to take justice into her own hands, tracking down the driver who killed her parents. However, we are not allowed to indulge the revenge story for long as its contours soon overflow with complex feelings and tenderness. Kim Hyang-gi’s powerful performance carries the film and Youngju is a compelling, if not always likeable, character both when she tries her best to take care of Youngin and when, like Samantha Morton’s memorable Morvern Callar (2002), she pretends to be someone else.