The eye of the storm, we begin in the calmness of its centre as turmoil broods in the peripheral, eventually veering our main character into the chaos awaiting. A Girl at my Door touches upon many social, psychosocial and phobia induced preconceptions. The results are an honest and terrifying understanding; that if you translate the “results” into any genuine reality based scenario, you question the amount of power one person could have if they knew how to actually use it.
So trying to be as vague as possible for the review here as to not give anything away (wish me luck…) Battling the internal and external – Young-Naam (Doona Bae) was a praised police detective that’s transferred to a small coastal village due to misconduct in service. She befriends a local outcast school girl (Do-Hee) who becomes dependent upon Young-Naam due to a tumultuous home life that grows in severity the more she becomes involved. A mother/daughter relationship begins to flourish and the chaos unravels as one would appropriately expect in a backward coastal town.
There’s a lot to be said about a film that takes its time to tackle so many issues and A Girl at my Door does this in spectacular fashion. Never rushed, believable within expectation of the story and always on point, this is an intelligent and thought provoking piece of cinema for those who are willing to think about the undertones it strives upon, like looking through a telescopic viewing glass into the past and understanding this is how things were back then. The macabre nature of things, the psychological categorising of cause and effect, all slow burning and brilliant, the beauty of knowing and expecting and still having the rug swept out from beneath your feet in tremendous sub textual fashion.
Tapering the line of professional boundary and mothering instinct; you really can watch this and ask what you would do in this situation – then, when you’ve put yourself there, and see everything unravel, that question magnifies in its complexity and severity. Rumour is a dangerous thing and the consequences even harsher. An intelligent accomplishment that remains humble and true to the story it set out to achieve. If only there were more like it out there…
Dir: July Jung
Scr: July Jung
Starring: Doona Bae, Sae-ron Kim, Sae-byeok Sang
Prd: Chang-dong Lee
DOP: Hyun Seok Kim
Music: Yeong-gyu Jang
Country: South Korea
Run time: 119 mins
A Girl At My Door is in cinemas from 18 September 2015.