Review Miss Granny (2014)

Discussion in 'Cinema: International' started by divemaster13, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. divemaster13

    divemaster13 Member: Rank 4

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    I was just going to post a paragraph in the "recently seen" thread, but I kept writing and writing and, well, it ended up full-length. So here you go.

    Miss Granny
    (2014)
    Directed by Dong-hyuk Hwang
    Starring Mun-hee Na, Eun-kyung Shim, and Jinyoung Jung
    In Korean with English subtitles
    125 minutes
    Film: 3.5 stars out of 5



    Old Granny is crass and gets into everyone's business. She's not mean; she just doesn't take a lot of guff from anyone. She lives with her son's family which consists of the son (salaryman), wife, a surly teen daughter, and a nice but emo/goth 20-something son who heads a sucky Korean metal band. Granny pretty much drives everyone crazy, especially her daughter-in-law, who has stress-related illness due to granny constantly criticizing her parenting and wifing skills. She does get along well with the band-playing grandson, who has a good heart toward her and she, in return, dotes on him.

    One day, she realizes that the family resents her meddling and she wanders around town feeling low. As happens in movies like this, a mysterious encounter transposes her into a 20-year-old's body. Oh, she's still granny in heart and mind, but now with the appearance of a really cute chick. Among other things, she is able to tap into her long-abandoned singing talent and becomes the lead singer of her grandson's sucky metal band, turning it into an "old traditional standards" band (b/c those are the only songs she knows) and leading them to K-pop stardom. The grandson, of course, does not realize this new girl is his grandmother.

    Ok. so is this movie good? Well...yes! It is very cute and I laughed, and there were poignant moments dealing with how families and society deal with aging folks. Much of the humor derives from the now young girl still having the mannerisms and speech patterns of an old granny. I'm sure it's funnier to Korean language speakers who would better get the humor rather than having to read subtitles, but I still got most of it. Think as if the hot new chick in town spoke like "Granny" from the Beverly Hillbillies. "You gonna set to eat them thar apples, sonny-boy?" Etc.

    That by itself would not be enough to carry a 2-hour movie. A fish-out-of-water story can only go so far. What really sells the movie is the performance of the girl, played by Eun-kyung SHIM (also known from Sunny and Train to Busan). She's nothing short of remarkable. Especially the scenes of her singing. I'm not sure if that is her or if she is dubbed, but every scene dealing with her and the band, and her performances and the comedy/drama evolving out of that is gold. There was also the expected subplots of crushes, misunderstandings, and people becoming suspicious of this young girl who just shows up and seems to resemble (or know a lot about) the missing old granny. These are cute, and handled well enough.

    However, I need to note that it takes way too long to get to that point. We get 20-30 minutes of old granny doing her thing in the family, at the neighbors, in the cafe, around town, etc., before her transformation. Sure, I get that the movie needs to establish the character and the relationships, but 5 or 6 minutes of that would have been enough. I got pretty tired of seeing old granny do her shtick that I had serious doubts about the movie and was not optimistic. But all that was forgotten (and forgiven), once Eun-kyung SHIM showed up.

    This is not a rush out and watch "must-see" movie, but it is quite good to pass a couple of hours if you come across it, or want to see a young actress really nail a role.

    Interesting note: the director (Hwang) also made Silenced (the film about the deaf kids being abused). Talk about hitting both ends of the spectrum!

    The DVD I watched was a R3 Hong Kong cheapie, with no bonus features. However, the subtitles did a good job (as much as possible) conveying the lingual and cultural discontinuity between the generations.
     
    #1 divemaster13, Apr 3, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
  2. clayton-12

    clayton-12 Member: Rank 3

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    I watched this a few years ago, and you've hit the nail on the head about the first 20 minutes or so. I really quite like Na Moon-hee, and picked the film specifically because of her, but jeez she/her character grated here - it wasn't until she was out of the picture that things really took off.

    It seems that every other year there's a new remake of this one coming out, so in a way I guess it's achieved a kind of classic status.
     
  3. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    Sounds good. I'll watch this later in the afternoon. I'll be back.
     
  4. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    Started watching it (I'm still on the first few minutes) but I just need to get this off my chest. I know Koreans are very frank, straightforward, no-holds-barred folks but for a mother-in-law to tell her daughter-in-law "You just sit around whole day while waiting for the money your husband feeds you" is quite................................

    Edit: So casually, I mean.
     
    #4 plsletitrain, Apr 3, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
  5. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    Just finished watching this and I agree, its a cute funny film, with Shim Eun-kyung nailing the role. She gave justice to her role quite well, and I think a lot of it has to do with her smiling eyes. Her eyes scream innocence, naivete, and frankness.

    I'm quite on the opposite as regards the first 20 minutes about Granny's everyday life. I enjoyed it very much, as the actress also nailed her role. It was very enjoyable, and could totally "relate to" type of scenarios.

    The actor who played the grandson, Jin Young, was the rival of Park Bo-Gum's in the K-drama Moonlight Drawn By Clouds. I thought he was just a member of a K-pop boyband and it was Moonlight which was his first break. Didn't know he had a big act on Miss Granny. He looks very feminine, but he's a charmer.

    There's a Philippine remake of this on the works, but I've grown quite cynical towards it (it will star someone I really don't have much interest to) so I think I'll give that one a pass.

    An enjoyable film overall.
     
  6. sitenoise

    sitenoise Member: Rank 5

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    Maybe I'll give this one a go as a sort of antidote to the bleak-ass Chinese film I just watched.
     
  7. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    There's food-acting here. I don't know if it qualifies your bad food-acting, though.
     
  8. sitenoise

    sitenoise Member: Rank 5

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    Food Acting? I don't fault the food. lol1.gif It's the people who bad eating-act it.
     
  9. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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