Tuesday, August 20, 2013
In Between Days (2006)
Many would call "In Between Days"'s lack of action 'boring,' I found the uber-realistic feel of the film intriguing. This is a movie the filmmaker made because she wanted to make it, not because it would make a lot of money. I find that a refreshing concept. I am proud to be the audience for this movie.
Super-cute Aimie (Jiseon Kim) is a Korean immigrant caught in the transition between childhood and adulthood. Not a particularly avid student, quiet Aimie spends most of her time with her troubled guy friend, Tran (Taegu Andy Kan.)
Aimie and Tran are unsure if they want to take their relationship to the next level, and both play petty, childish games to make each other jealous. When Trans starts pressuring Aimie to do things she isn't on board with, and soon Aimie is stuck between catering to a immoral, manipulative young man, and losing a boy who is virtually her only friend.
In her spare time, Aimie makes recordings for her absent father, who still lives in Korea. These recordings, set against a blurry image of the city Aimie is learning to call home, are poetic and sad. Aimie's mom is dating again, a prospect Aimie is adverse to, and struggles with secret sadnesses and insecurities of her own.
I liked Jiseon Kim's performance as quiet, thoughtful Aimie, which seemed very natural and down-to-earth. Taegu Andy Kan backs her up nicely as Tran, who becomes gradually less likable as the film goes on. I see the film as a depiction of a co-dependent relationship- Tran wants Aimie's companionship, as does Aimie, but their conflicting interest keep driving them part.
Maybe they should separate from each other, especially as Tran's hobbies become more and more criminal, but up comes their uncertainty and loneliness, driving them together again. Aimie is a sweet but flawed character- you get the feeling she has the best interests at heart for everybody, but her youthful immaturity keeps getting in the way.
I started to get a little bored in the last thirty minutes, but I still think this is an interesting movie that should be viewed by people with an interest in truly independent cinema. It remains gently bleak and understatted throughout. Aimie will remind you of your teenage years, when you were hopefully trying to do the right thing, but getting caught in your childish hang-ups.