Park Chan-wook: the director who lost his soul

That beauty is transcendent is known by anyone interested in philosophy. This means that it is difficult to define it. There are, however, certain frames, color combinations, mannerisms, and sunsets that are considered “beautiful” on film. Critics call it “preciousness.”

Some very pernicious cinema is made of this class of images, often sweet and perishable. like the movie wicked ties (available on Star+) from Park Chan-wooka work that is worth talking about for two reasons: because we are in May, the month of Cannes (and Park was a darling of the festival) and because wicked ties It is an example of how a great director can win the world, but lose his soul.

“Growing up is becoming free”, releases India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska). She says it with the perverse affectation that, at the time, she made famous Winona Ryder. This pearl introduces us to a script full of common places. India lost her father on her birthday. She now lives with her mother, played by Nicole Kidman in the role of Nicole Kidman, that is, a cold, calculating and masochistic woman who makes life miserable for everyone who crosses her path. So far, one imagines that the adaptation of beetlejuicehilarious movie Tim Burtonbut no, the gallant appears on the scene.

Dermot Mulroney plays Richard Stoker, India’s wicked uncle. As expected, there are scenes in which a veiled eroticism is mixed with explicit violence. Park Chan-wook struggles to get the script moving somewhere. Finally, one discovers that it is he who has stagnated.

Indeed, the South Korean director had a spectacular start with the film Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance from 2002, thriller very well filmed pigeon maker that kept us on the edge of our seats and also made us think. Buoyed by success, Park went the way of whomever he wishes to please, culminating in what is known among cult film enthusiasts as “The Revenge Trilogy.” One of them, old boy, from 2003, is a good example of cinema that perfectly blends beauty and depth. It was then that the sirens began to sing. The South Korean director received juicy proposals from the Californian studios and he set out to film a script that the producers imposed on him: wicked ties.

Here it is worth remembering another class of filmmakers, artists like Bergman or Fellini, Almodóvar or Angelopoulos who, despite having been courted by the studio system, never agreed to abandon cinematography as a sort of personal cure that necessarily keeps them tied down. to the land where they were born, the place of their childhood and youth. Like in a good gangster movie, Park Chan-wook gave in to temptation. And it must be really difficult to resist such assumptions, such glamour. Filming with Nicole Kidman, forcing Mia Wasikowska to dye her hair.

The result is this, wicked ties it is a work that paved the way that eventually led Park Chan-wook to television series. And it’s not that it’s wrong, everyone has the right to choose what they do with his talent. The only bad thing is that we, grateful spectators, are left with the feeling of having lost a great.

Today Park Chan-wook toasts with champagne at a restaurant on Rodeo Drive. There he tells the press that he pays “homage to Hitchcock”. What a pity. We lost an author who could have been immortal.

wicked ties

Park Chan-wook | United States | 2013

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