Samaritan Girl is a provactive little film from South Korea. The director, Kim Ki-Duk, has been said to be a filmmaker to watch. The plot surrounds the plight of two teenage girls, Jae-young (played by Min-jeong Seo) and Yoe-Jin (played by Ji-min Kwak). These two friends have dreams of going to Europe. The only problem: they need money. What’s the solution: the oldest profession. Jae-Young becomes the prostitute and Yoe-jin is the pimp. Sounds a little twisted. Well…tragedy strikes. And Yoe-Jin devo…es herself to the men Jae-young slept with. You-Jin’s father, a detective (played by Eol Lee), finds out about his daughter’s secret life, thus going on a revenge mission. Ki-Duk’s visual style is simple, but haunting. The narrative seems a bit far fetched, but works on a symbolic level.
You can listen to this film in Korean Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, DTS, or a 2.0 track. There are optional English and Spanish subtitles. There are not a lot of directional effects. This is a straight ahead, simple track, with its emphasis being on the front speakers. Some ambience and the affecting piano score can be heard on the rear speakers. Dialogue comes through fairly clearly. There is a definite “full sound” to this mix, albeit front heavy.
Ki-Duk’s lyrical compositions are presented nicely on this anamorphic 1.78:1 Widescreen transfer. Slight shimmering, edge enhancement, and grain is evident thoughout, however. Colors are vibrant, but muted (I think this was intentional). This video transfer has a distinct “visual feel”. It has character.
Only a photo gallery and trailers for a few other Tartan features. Nary a trailer for this film though. Odd.
If you’re interested in the “new Asian cinema”, then Samaritan Girl is definitely worth checking out. The subject matter is quite sordid, but the handling of it is quite original. The audio and video give the film a quality presentation. Extras are lacking, however. But if you’re in the mood for something different, Kim Ki-Duk’s new feature should definitely fit the bill.
Special Features List
- Photo Gallery