LKFF 2019 - Scattered Night Review
The delicate balance required for the various elements of a film to work and achieve the expected result is inexplicable. Some films, independently from how badly they’re made and the lack of message they try to convey, weirdly end up striking a chord with spectators. Others, despite their clear qualities, just don’t work, and sadly, that's the case of Scattered Night.
When Su-min (Moon Seungah) and her brother Jin-ho (Choi Joonwoo) are told by their parents that they will soon divorce, they are given an impossible choice. Each can only live with one parent. They must decide for themselves who they would prefer. Resolutely optimistic, Sumin attempts to convince her parents to go on a family trip, believing that if they can put the pressure of work aside for just one weekend, they will see a future together and call off the divorce.
Scattered Night arguably displays some valuable qualities throughout its perfectly adequate 81min duration; first time directors Kim Sol and Lee Jihyoung know what story they want to tell (Su-min’s positive perspective collides with the unfathomable complexities, confusion and cruelties of the adult world) or how they want to tell it (simple up and close filming sticking to the film’s main protagonist, most specifically Su-min). They are also greatly helped by an impressive cast led by the omnipresent Moon Seungah, on whom the purpose of the film greatly relies on.
Yet, all these enticing elements never really seem to function together to their effect leading to a frustrating feeling of ennui, maybe due to a lack of interest in the story itself or a filming which quickly becomes tedious… Even the interestingly poetic ending, doesn’t manage to overcome this frustration, when the lights come back after the projection.