A Day @ Fantasia

photo846701-640x300Many film watchers have seen the Bill Murray film Groundhog Day or one of similar ilk. What I mean to say is that films like Groundhog Day, Edge of Tomorrow and Run Lola Run are not rare. As such you have to bring something new to the table to distinguish yourself from the bunch. Korean director Sun-ho Cho does just that. He makes the reliving the same day (or time period actually) fresh by involving three people in it. That makes things exponentially more involved, complex and interesting.

Something done well by the film is the way it balances action and drama. It can be one moment whiz bang fast and then emotional the next. And you never feel like either aspect is being shortchanged. Rookie director Sun-ho Cho demonstrates that he has a clear vision and a steady hand when it comes to storytelling. Having a trio of balls (or more) to keep in the air does not seem to intimidate him.

Dr. Kim (Myung-min Kim – Deranged, Detective K: Secret of the Virtuous Widow) is world famous for his work with the UN. As a result of all the demands on his time he does not have much time to spend with his young daughter (Eun-hyung Jo – The Handmaiden). As he is flying back from somewhere with his assistant, it is her birthday and he does not want to miss another important day.

While rushing back to meet her he comes upon a car crash involving an orange taxi cab. He rushes to the scene to try to help the driver (Jae-myung Yoo). An ambulance arrives and the young male driver (Yo-han Byeon – Madonna, Sociophobia) goes about his job only to discover that it is his wife (Hye-Sun Shin) in the back seat. Dr. Kim also sees that someone has been struck at the intersection. He goes over only to discover in horror that it is his daughter.

Then Dr. Kim wakes up back on the plane. He is reliving the day. Seizing the opportunity he tries to save his daughter. He is unsuccessful. He keeps reliving the day on a loop. Suddenly he realizes that everything is the same except for the ambulance driver. He is also reliving the day. The two men band together to try and save their loved ones.

Even once all the layers of the film reveal themselves you still find yourself on the edge of your seat. A mark of a good, well-constructed film. The moral issues involved will have you thinking about them long afterwards.

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