Sunday, 7 September 2014

KOFFIA MOVIE REVIEW: MISS GRANNY (SUSANGHAN GEUNYEO)




4/5

74 year old Oh Mal-soon  is  not a very nice person. She is stingy and stubborn, she constantly fights with fellow seniors and ignores the love stricken friend, who had been in love with her since they were teens. To top it all she bullies her daughter in law so badly the poor woman ends up in hospital. I seems everyone had enough of this tyrant granny, so she is bound for the old people's home. This is when Oh Mal-Soon magically transforms into her 20 year old self. Also it comes as a surprise, the elderly lady finds this second youth tailor made for her. Quickly joining her grand son's rock band she takes it to the top of music charts. But even given a second chance, would she live the life any different?

MISS GRANNY (direct translation is A SUSPICIOUS GIRL) is number 13 in all time highest grossing films on South Korea, but does it work for a western viewer? The film is an enjoyable run, but most jokes and gimmicks fall on deaf ear because of their distinctively Korean nature. You also have to be able to enjoy Korean pop music, for MISS GRANNY has plenty of songs and they cover a significant amount of movie running time. Ticking off just over two hours the film never feel like dragging along, however from the western standard for comedies it could have been 20 minutes shorter.

The plot of MISS GRANNY is easy to relate to and this  must be the key of its success (Chinese remake is already in production).  The story however is a little one sided. It would be nice to discover how challenging youth could be in modern Korea and not just a song and dance. On the other hand it may be credible that our elderly heroine had become successful so quickly. Being 70 years old she has no fear of inexperienced and it is fear of failure that usually holds us back. Also for a comedy MISS GRANNY has plenty of genuinely sad moments it is a lighthearted entertainment that makes you feel a little bit better about yourself and the world around you.

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