Go to contents

Symbols and Underlying Plot....Puzzling Mystery

Posted August. 07, 2003 22:00,   


Movie `The Table for Four` is an emotional mystery, according to the production company. The audience, however, remains still puzzled after watching the movie to the end. The movie itself, as well as the story, is a mystery. Being too mysterious can harm the movie in its entirety.

Interior designer Jung-won (Park Shin-yang) will soon become a bridegroom. Then one day, he sees ghosts of dead children in a subway car. And Yeon (Jun Ji-hyun), a woman suffering from sleeping sickness, which refers to sleeping syndrome occurred when the body becomes too fragile to stay awake, appears before Jung-won. After learning that Yeon also sees sprits of dead people, he approaches her to solve the secret of the mysterious images. Yeon has lost her child and she is now capable of seeing forgotten past of people.

The movie is filled with too many symbols and underlying plots from the beginning - the table for four, ghosts of dead children lingering at the table, Jung-won`s dream of seeing a finger of a child killed by a street cleaning car and images of spiraling drawings. The audience then becomes curious about what will happen as the story unfolds.

For more than an hour, however, the audience hardly sees any clue for the mystery. Instead, they repeatedly see Jung-won following Yeon asking her to help him. The circumstances and symbols remain ambiguous. There are too many scenes that make the audience ask `why?,` so when the mystery is solved, it is rather disappointing.

If the audience is looking for an intellectual thriller well knitted with symbols and underlying plots, they will likely find this movie disappointing.

Jun Ji-hyun is too blank and poor with her lines to play a role of a mysterious woman who has suffered too much. Even when she breaks into tears and sobs, the audience cannot feel her sorrow. New face Lee Su-yeon wrote the scenario and directed the movie. For age 15 or over, Released on August 8.

Hee-Kyung Kim susanna@donga.com