Kim Jee-woon, well known for his Korean movies such as I Saw the Devil and A Bittersweet Life, has returned for his tenth feature film that takes us back in time to the 1970s where we get to experience the world of filmmaking in Korea from an interesting perspective.
This is once again another film that’s about filmmaking and unfortunately, most of the time they don’t offer any new insight into that world but Kim Jee-woon manages to take a new look into this type of genre by not only making it a comedy but focusing on how chaotic a film set can get when under horrible conditions.
Review: Kim Jee-woon’s 2023 Cobweb
Cobweb is about Director Kim Yeol who becomes obsessed with the idea to re-shoot the ending to his already completed film. Only having just two days to get it all reshot, chaos and turmoil ensue on the set when the actors and crew aren’t happy with the new ending, and the censorship authority gets involved.
This encapsulates everything about how terrible the filmmaking process can go when there’s little to no planning and when you’re going against the law to get your film done. At times the film showcases what’s taking place in Kim Yeol’s film and we get these moments in black and white, his film is all about infidelity, greed and violence which are all three things that blend into the events that are taking place behind the scenes.
The film starts off with the original ending of Kim Yeol’s film, we then see him wake up from a dream where he seems to have had an epiphany and has the urge to rewrite his film and reshoot it. It also seems at times that he isn’t truly doing this because it’s what he thinks is right but to prove to the critics and other people that he can write a good script. This film’s strong suit is within the satire and the humour, though this is a comedy, there isn’t a lot of it around and they tend to focus a lot on the issues which persist on the set.
The performances in this film were really amazing, playing the lead Kim Yeol was Song Kang-ho who is known for many outstanding Korean films including the Academy Award winner Parasite. He brings another amazing performance into this film, playing a director who so badly wants to get his vision out but all for the wrong reasons.
The ensemble cast in this film was really well put together was there are memorable roles even within the cast members who barely have any run time. The comedy, characters and cast are the three things really put well together for this film but sadly the film lacks in other factors. This film has an interesting plot going for it showing the horrible side of filmmaking that most cast and crew can easily deal with and it’s brave of them to show this side even if it’s in a comedic way.
The best thing about the humour is that it doesn’t just come from the script but the camera movements that are used, the line delivery from the actors and just the perfect comedic beats, it all comes together to make sure each joke lands, even if it seems like something you wouldn’t normally laugh at, you just end up doing so because of how well timed they are.
Cobweb’s weakest point is in its runtime, it overstays its welcome just a little too long and there are so many scenes that just feel unnecessary and end up making the film so bloated. When you think the film is coming to its end, it just continues going and sadly even though the final scene in itself was a good one, it’s one that would’ve been better without and I think I would’ve liked the film way more if they had just cut it out.
Cobweb is a very humorous film that tackles how the daunting thought of having a legacy can completely take over one’s self. Sadly it falls slightly short by having an over-bloated runtime that could’ve been cut short of 20 minutes. With amazing performances and some of the best use of comedy I’ve seen this year, Cobweb is still worth the watch even if it’s slightly too long.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5