a beautiful and perfect film this is! Take Care of My Cat opens
with a group of five young friends celebrating their graduation.
Within a moment we are taken out of this joyful celebration
of youth and into the world of early adulthood. A world that
grows far more complex and ultimately begins to divide friendship.
Take Care of My Cat is an emotionally captivating film that
takes on many layers despite being made with a master touch
of simplicity. What could have been forceful or melodrama, becomes
something beautiful and natural through the minimalist approach
by Korean filmmaker Jeong Jae-eun, in his debut feature film.
The emotions, expressions, and layers of the film are not explained,
but rather they speak for themselves in a way that recalls the
mastery of Yasujiro Ozu. The film is simplistic in that it does
not rely on plot, yet there is a complexly structured depth
to the film that allows the viewer to reflect upon and appreciate
afterwards. We understand these characters experiences and we
share in their humanity. The performances by the five women
are each excellent, but it is Bae Doo-Na that is especially
great. As Tae-hee, Bae finds herself alone and alienated from
love and from family, always drifting into private thought.
It is her friends that give her the connection and support she
needs and Tae-hee struggles to reunite two of the friends that
are drifting from each other (Hae-joo, an ambitious career-woman
whos moved to Seoul and Ji-young, a depressed orphan living
in a broken down shack with her grandparents). Within the lives
of these five woman is the cat Tee Tee who was found in an alley
by Ji-young. Tee Tee moves through the hands of each character,
becoming a reflection of their lives. Another minimalist expression
of the film is the recurring use of cell phones and text messages,
which serve to attempt to connect the friendship as it slowly
drifts further apart. The cinematography of Take Care of My
Cat is extraordinary, specifically in the way (without being
forcefully pretty) it captures beauty and sadness
in the most authentic manner. Take Care of My Cat is just a
lovely film. I can not praise it enough except to say it is
perfect and one of my favorite films!