It’s TIFF again! A few of my girlfriends and I attended some movie screenings last year and hoped to start making it a tradition between us. Tuesday TIFF Tradition! This year, Hellen and I were particularly interested in seeing Rosewater, but it sold out too quickly for us. Instead, Hellen got us tickets to see Haemoo (English translation: Sea Fog), a South Korean film based on true events. This would mark its international premiere.
The ragtag crew of a fishing boat takes on a dangerous commission to smuggle a group of illegal immigrants from China to Korea, in this tense high-seas adventure co-scripted by South Korean genre-movie guru Bong Joon-ho (The Host, Snowpiercer).
Like last year’s Cold Eyes experience, this was a gala presentation at Roy Thomson Hall. Hellen, Joyce, Victoria, and I met in line at 5:30pm, an hour before the start of the screening, to try and get decent seats on the balcony. Tickets were $31.25 for those of us 25 or under. We were all already really hungry and got two bags of popcorn to share between the four of us for $11.
The introduction to the movie was pretty brief with a few words from TIFF Artistic Director, Cameron Bailey; the movie director, Shim Sung-Bo; and the lead actress, Han Ye-Ri. Joyce and Victoria (and I’m sure many others) were disappointed that pop-star/actor Yoo-Chun was not in attendance, haha.
The movie was just over two hours long. It started a little slow for me, but was fully captivating after that. The turn of events and spiraling descent of the characters were really well portrayed. Definitely some great cinematic moments throughout the film and I especially liked a lot of the scenes towards the end. It’s not a movie I think I’d want to see again so soon just because it gets pretty intense and very emotionally draining. Hellen and I really enjoyed it though! Joyce and Victoria both thought it was a well-made film but just weren’t into its darker themes and aspects.
Following the end of the movie, we applauded the cast and crew on the mezzanine level of the hall. We left and jokingly entertained the idea of lining up for rush tickets for another movie. Ultimately, hunger and good sense won over and we walked to Beerbistro for a delicious dinner.