Saturday, 7 March 2015

REVIEW - CART (BOO JI YOUNG)


In any conflict between human beings, there are at least two legitimate sides to the story. Crucial to reaching agreement or understanding with any particular movement in such conflict is identifying the root cause of their fight, that fundamental thing that they're attempting to obtain or to defend. Boo Ji Young has no meagre task ahead of her in delineating the origin of the impassioned plight of a band of supermarket workers unjustly laid off due to budget cuts - this origin is the defence of their dignity, best communicated through earnest determination, the likes of which these employees demonstrated in their strike. Boo assembles an ensemble of sensitive character actors and displays a genuine affinity for the objectives of this new union of mistreated blue collar workers, and produces a powerful film that is as impassioned as the struggle it depicts. That's how you bring an audience around, immediately, to understanding what these women fought for: honest appreciation. And that's how you make this fight so indelible for said audience: committed performances and astute scripting. Only the obnoxious, saccharine musical score lets the side down, resorting to sensationalism to enhance the emotive content of an already emotional film; it doesn't enhance, it smothers. Boo is a highly perceptive filmmaker, however, with an eye for inventive compositions (that nasty final image aside) that don't overwhelm her focus, rather they illuminate subtextual and psychological features that more prosaic shots might have passed over. That focus, the essential focus of Cart, is the people at its core, unique in their individual selves but united in their dignity.