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Plastic Tree

RG Prince Films makes an interesting but flawed second foray into feature production with "Plastic Tree." Triangular light drama, centered on a young couple whose relationship is fractured by a hunky interloper, is a smoothly helmed item that starts well but doesn't know what to do with its characters. Mild biz looks likely in Asian territories.

Best known as an animation studio (the recent “Belleville Rendez-Vous”), Seoul and Paris-based outfit RG Prince Films makes an interesting but flawed second foray into feature production with “Plastic Tree.” Triangular light drama, centered on a young couple whose relationship is fractured by a hunky interloper, is a smoothly helmed item that starts well but doesn’t know what to do with its characters in the second half. Mild biz looks likely in Asian territories.

Weon-yeong (Jo Eun-suk), who works as a motorcycle delivery girl, and Su (Kim In-gweon), a barber, live a quiet existence in a seaside house near Busan. He’s impotent, but she seems happy to be sexually serviced by him in other ways. Enter macho drifter Byeong-ho (Kim Jeong-hyeon), Su’s childhood friend, who soon starts getting it on more conventionally with Weon-yeong and awakens a rebel in the compliant young woman. Three leads blend well, but script fails to dramatically develop the menace inherent in the basic plan, opting for some rather woolly psychology in the third act. Wintry location, with its hard, bright light, is nicely caught by Jo Dong-gwan’s lensing. Francis Lai’s score is bland.

Plastic Tree

South Korea-France-Germany

  • Production: A Sinibro release of a Regis Ghezelbash/Peter Voelkle presentation of an RG Prince Films production. (International sales: RG Prince, Seoul/Paris.) Produced by Regis Ghezelbash. Directed by Eo Il-seon. Screenplay, Kim Seong-shil.
  • Crew: Camera (color), Jo Dong-gwan; editor, Gyeong Min-ho; music, Francis Lai; production designer, Lim Hyeon-pyo; art director, Kim Da-weon; costume designer, Choi Jin-yeong. Reviewed on videocassette, London, Aug. 3, 2003. (In Puchon Intl. Fantastic Film Festival -- Industry Screenings.) Korean dialogue. Running time: 103 MIN.
  • With: <b>With:</b> Jo Eun-suk, Kim Jeong-hyeon, Kim In-gweon, Woo Nong-shik, Lee Hyeon-ji, Cha Yeong-ok.