Tuesday, August 1, 2023

THE KILLING ROMANCE (2023) NYAFF 2023 Fantasia 2023

Famous actress marries a controlling billionaire after one of her movies tanks. Seven years later his controlling nature and refusal to let her restart her career fester she decides to try and kill him. Enlisting the a fan who lives next door she tries to make it a reality only to find it all go sideways.

Semi-musical comedy noir satire is something you will love or hate. According to the post screening Q&A the film was so divisive of audiences in Korea it ended up losing money. I can completely understand that since some bits of the film play better than others. Indeed just as the film pulls it all together  near the end, it almost instantly loses it’s way with a couple of WTF turns.

While I freely admit the film was over sold to me going in, I did like the film. I don’t think I would have been over the moon regardless because I found it so uneven.

Actually the problem with the film is that according to the Q&A this “light” semi musical comedy started out life as a very dark domestic violence tale that was so dark director Lee Won-suk didn’t think he could handle it as written and lightened it up. The problem is that the character of Jonathan, though played for laughs, is still one of the most vile screen villains and a number of turns really aren’t funny, especially when you consider this was supposed to be a serious film. (And while I found out it was supposed to be serious after the fact, I was still bothered by turns.)

My reservations aside the film is worth seeing, especially if you want a film that isn’t like anything else.

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