Pisces

A highly controlled drama of obsessive love, "Pisces" is ultimately flawed by its own inability to get off the brakes, but remains a very promising debut by writer-director Kim Hyung-tae, who reportedly spent seven years prepping the movie.

With:
With: Lee Mi-yeon, Choe Woo-je, Yun Ji-hye, Park Kwang-jeong, Park Sun-cheon, Kwak Seung-nam, Lee Jae-kyeong.

A highly controlled drama of obsessive love, “Pisces” is ultimately flawed by its own inability to get off the brakes, but remains a very promising debut by writer-director Kim Hyung-tae, who reportedly spent seven years prepping the movie. Headlined by a luminous performance from looker Lee Mi-yeon (“Whispering Corridors,” “Harmonium in My Memory”), pic never lapses into either soupy melodrama or stalker thriller, touching on but never elucidating the essence of emotional desire. Specialized TV sales are possible.

Neat to the point of mania, Jung Ae-ryeon (Lee) takes over a video shop and soon falls for a customer, handsome singer-composer Yu Dong-seok (Choe Woo-je). A friendship slowly blooms, and she seems to accept the fact he has a girlfriend; very gradually, however, she starts to bug him, secretly arranging for a break to help his career and clandestinely visiting his apartment. Initially just picture-book pretty, Lee negotiates a transition to a harder-faced obsessive an hour in that’s remarkable, though pic is weakened by Choe’s blander perf as the singer and the lack of a suitably cathartic climax. Pristine lensing by Hwang Seo-shik is a big plus.

Pisces

South Korea

Production: A J&J release of a J1 Pro production. (International sales: Mirovision, Seoul.) Produced by Jo Yeong-ok. Directed, written by Kim Hyung-tae (Kim Hyeong-tae).

Crew: Camera (color), Hwang Seo-shik; editor, Park Gok-ji; music, Park Yong-jin, Shin Byeong-cheol; art director, Hong Jong-oh. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (market), Feb. 14, 2001. (Also in Mar Del Plata Festival, competing.) Running time: 100 MIN.

With: With: Lee Mi-yeon, Choe Woo-je, Yun Ji-hye, Park Kwang-jeong, Park Sun-cheon, Kwak Seung-nam, Lee Jae-kyeong.

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