Existential despair makes the journey from South Korea to Nepal in the arty road movie “Himalaya, Where the Wind Dwells.” Using Choi Min-sik (“Oldboy”) to channel Albert Camus for moody poses in the Himalayan foothills, helmer Jeon-Soo-il (“The Bird Who Stops in the Air”) has technically improved, but unfortunately, his fascination with dullness is still paramount; accordingly, commercial potential is limited. Fests seeking dry cross-cultural collisions may want to look.
Fired from his job, divorced Korean office worker Choi (Choi) is enlisted to help his factory-owning brother with a dilemma involving an unseen Nepalese employee named Dorgy. Without explanation, pic jumps into a Kathmandu taxi, with Choi making his way to the isolated township of Jharkot. Greeted by Dorgy’s wife and son and using the boy’s English as lingua franca, Choi moves in with the family as the obtuse script applies mild Jarmuschian humor. Nepalese thesping is rough, but Choi is typically impressive. Limited English ability of all thesps means even native speakers would benefit from subtitles. Virtually monosyllabic script is occasionally augmented by somber Charles Mingus-like double bass; lensing is crisp throughout.