Friday, June 27, 2014

Review: Dream (2008)

Dream (Review)
Kim Ki-duk/Joe Odagiri/2008
Where to Watch:
Netflix Streaming
Amazon Prime

"Dream probably would've worked much better as a short film."

Jin (Joe Odagiri) finds his dreams are connected to Ran's (Lee Na-young) sleepwalking...

Dream is a very interesting and unique concept. The story starts with Jin dreaming about following his ex-girlfriend's car until he causes a car accident. He awakens to find the accident actually occurred but a young woman, Ran, was caught driving without any recollection of the incident. So, they figure whatever Jin dreams, particularly about his former lover, Ran will do to her former lover. The problem is Jin still loves his ex-girlfriend, and Ran hates her ex-boyfriend; and, Jin can't seem to control his dreams. A very, very interesting story, but not very efficient or engaging. The ending is chilling and symbolic, but the buildup just wasn't there.

Like I said, and will likely repeat over the course of this review, Dream has a very interesting concept. But, the story was very light. The characters are interesting, but lack depth. And, it just never seems to sink in; there was no hook to keep me fully engaged. Furthermore, and this is odd for a Kim Ki-duk film, the story felt contrived; there were too many holes and plot contrivances in the film, and there are too many times where you'll ask the same question or question the characters. There were some moments where the film captivated me and had me thinking, but then it would slip into a repetitive sequence. That's not to say it's a bad film, I thought it was good, but it could've been so much more if it had only been fine-tuned.

The acting was great, though. Joe Odagiri is really good as the lead; a very genuine performance. Lee Na-young is also really good with a very emotional and honest performance. The acting feels very lively. The film is beautifully shot, too. The music was my favorite part of the film, aside from the interesting concept; a hypnotizing and beautiful score, a soundtrack I'd love to listen to on its own. Writer and director Kim Ki-duk crafts a technically beautiful film; however, the story just misses its mark.

Overall, Dream is a good film. The concept is very interesting and offers just enough to get you thinking. Kim Ki-duk's signature symbolism is a little less effective this time around, but it also helps create a thought-provoking story. However, the story itself is a little inefficient and ineffective, despite the chilling ending. Dream probably would've worked much better as a short film.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Some strong violence and blood, and sex.

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