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First things first. The box for "Cello" has some of the most bad-ass
cover art I've ever seen. It's sexy, bloody and instantly makes my
wonder how the hell a horror flick can revolve around a cello. Quite
honestly, I'm burning myself out when it comes to foreign horror.
They're quickly becoming my favorite sub-genre, but man, do I miss the
days when I didn't have to read or think so much. I'm actually becoming
smarter watching horror movies and that's scarier then the films
themselves. Moving on
"Cello" is about (what else?) a young cellist by
the name of Mi-ju (Sung Hyun-Ah), who holds herself responsible for
killing her best friend in a car accident. Fast-forward a few years
later and Mi-Ju's life is finally back-on-track, or at least close to
it. She has two beautiful children, a loving husband, a big house, a
decent teaching career and a small waistline. She's got it all - too
good to be true right? You bet your ass it is. Before you can fart out
last night's dinner, Mi-ju's world begins to fall apart. Her students
are constantly screwing with her, her sister's going crazy, terrible
nightmares plague her sleep and her oldest daughter is becoming a human
vegetable. Hey! - at least her waistline is stable. So is all this a
coincidence? Probably not. Is a bitter spirit from the past coming back
to seek revenge? Probably. What did she expect? Even in purgatory, the
chick is still removing pieces of windshield from her face. Hopefully
her tits didn't get hacked up too bad.
The opening of "Cello" embodies everything I love about Asian cinema.
We have a beautiful girl sitting in her bedroom playing the cello,
sliding the bow across the strings producing a beautiful melody. The
camera slowly moves around the room, changing the focus between the
foreground and background. Sounds peaceful right? Well, almost
immediately we cut to a woman in an emergency room covered in blood. We
see that she has been in some sort of accident and the doctors are
struggling to save her from her already-decided fate. These shots are
realistic and downright disturbing. It's funny; I can watch Jason
Voorhees hack through a bloody plethora of terror-filled teenagers, but
when the people are in a realistic situation, like a car accident, it's
far worse to watch. Oddly enough, it's also very beautiful in a morbid
sort of way. Asian films always seem to accomplish this and I'm very
drawn to that.
Because of the dark, eerie cover art I just assumed that "Cello" was
going to be a ninety-minute spook fest, very much in the tradition of
Ju-On and Ringu. Man, was I was wrong! Director Woo-cheol Lee chose to
focus more on story and character then the scares. (Uh-oh
half the audience.) At first this was disappointing to me but of course
like with most Asian cinema - when all is said and done, the story
development pays off in the end.
I was also surprised how non-atmospheric and bright "Cello" was. Most
Asian flicks require a heavy-duty flashlight for viewing but not
"Cello." A good portion of the film takes place during the day and if
it's after-dark, then the characters are inside in well-lit rooms. They
seem to be much 'brighter' than normal, too. We see them dressed in
bright colors, joke around, dance and laugh. Basically act like regular
people. This was such a refreshing change from the usual dark, gloomy
characters that populate most Asian films.
The only qualm I had was with the pacing. Like I said, when the end
credits started rolling I felt satisfied, but it was a slow ride at
times. I was going to rate this flick a little lower because of this,
but as I sat down to write the review I just kept thinking of several
key sequences that really impressed me, the final shot of the film
being one of them. I think with a higher scare factor "Cello" could
have been one of my favorites. I really enjoyed this one.
Overall, I think most people will like "Cello." It's the classic Asian
approach. You have a lot of story development, which can be slow at
times and of course, an ending that will no doubt spark conversation.
If you enjoy these types of films then you'll most definitely like this
one. If you don't, then you probably won't. If you're new to Asian
cinema, then I highly recommend you check out "Cello." It's a great
introduction to the genre.
Tags for Cello Full Movie
, Ho-bin Jeong
, Hyeon-a Seong
, Jin Woo
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