Two good lead perfs are the main reason for checking out “Maundy Thursday,” a well-written meller about lack of faith that turns Christian-preachy in its third act. Third feature by director Song Hae-seng, who attracted attention with “Failan” but then lost it with big-budget biopic “Rikidozan,” looks like specialized fest fare at best. Locally, business has been brisk, with 2.3 million admissions ($14 million) since opening mid-September.
Young college professor Yu-jeong (Lee Na-yeong) attempts suicide, alienating her further from her highly religious family. However, she does spend time with her aunt, Sister Monica (Yun Ye-jeong), a Catholic nun at a prison.
Yu-jeong becomes intrigued by one of Monica’s charges, death-row prisoner Yun-su (Gang Dong-weon), who shares a similar death wish and rejection of Christian compassion. The two slowly get to know each other, and by the time he goes to the gallows (shown in some detail) Yun-su accepts the love of God.
Lee is very good as the burned-out prof and shows good chemistry with Gang as the taciturn, angry, onetime street kid. But most involving bits of the smoothly-packaged pic (literally, “Our Happy Time”) are all in the first half.