Spoilers will remain silent.
One of the most risky moves that a film can make is to give you the time and space to think. This is tricky because a lot of what the feature needs comes from the audience and if they’re not in the mood the whole thing can go nowhere fast. In this feature, there’s potential for you to experience and be moved, something I can attest to because I felt like I was moved by its depiction of grief. Describing why and how is going to be challenging.
CHOROKBAM (2021) is written and directed by Yoon Seo-jin. A security guard discovers a cat hanged to death in a park in the middle of the night. His wife and son barely make ends meet. A death in the family will drag them out of their lives and busy them with arrangements and distribution of wealth and state amongst relatives. All the while they have to deal with grief, anxiety and depression. The film depicts their interactions in a quiet struggle as they process their feelings throughout.
This is not a movie for everyone and not a movie you can watch at any point. There’s some of a slice of life feeling as we follow this family that must face tragedy and somehow keep moving. It’s a very slow burn film with touches of existential dread. I found that the way we follow them through their days builds an empathy by recognizing the everyday routine as well as the quiet patient times between events. You can be in the mood to watch it or not, so it’s a luck of the draw that I stuck with it.
Strongly recommended for audiences open to slow burn contemplation. The experience might not be your cup of tea until you’re willing to let it simmer and patiently wait. It’s not really about a payback at the end but an empathy sentiment for experiencing grief and moving on with your day. Worth a watch if you are in the mood, otherwise you might want to wait until you’re warmed up to it.
That will do for now.