January 26, 2017 -- This film is actually two different versions of the same story, one slightly more agreeable than the other, about a romantic encounter between two people, both artists, over a two day period in Korea. It reminded me a little of Woody Allen's film about two similar stories, “Melinda and Melinda.”
The film opens with the title page of “Right Then, Wrong Now.” The story runs to its conclusion, then starts over again with a new title page which reads (in English) “Right Now, Wrong Then.” The story then starts with the same initial events as the first version of the story, but this time the romantic encounter unfolds differently. The title of the film is odd. The original title in Korean is Ji-geum-eun-mat-go-geu-ddae-neun-teul-li-da, which I suspect makes more sense.
In the first story, a film director, Ham Cheon-soo (played by Jae-yeong Jeong of “Battle Ground 625”) is wandering in Suwon, a city he has traveled to for a film festival where one of his films will be shown the next day. He happens to meet Yoon Hee-jeong (Min-hee Kim of “The Handmaiden”) a pretty painter, and former model, who he picks up. They spend several romantic hours together.
After Yoon views Ham's paintings, the two eat and get drunk together, ending up at a party, where one of Yoon's friends, a fan of Ham's movies, tells Yoon that Ham is married and is known as a womanizer, something he had neglected to mention. She also tells Yoon that his comments about her paintings are just recycled comments he often uses describing his own films. Ham is hurt by this and becomes angry with the less-than-honest Yoon.
In the second film, the two people meet as before, but this time Yoon is honest with Ham, to the point of criticizing her paintings. Getting drunk together, Yoon tells Ham he loves her, but also tells her he is married with children. He is very candid with Yoon, but also extremely emotional, crying when he says he loves her. He lays bare his feelings.
The two end up at the same party, where Yoon does something very scandalous and embarrassing in front of Ham's friends when Ham is not in the room. The two meet again the next day as Ham attends Yoon's film showing at the film festival. Their relationship is friendly and bittersweet, but it is based on honesty. There is some talk between the two about what might have been if the two had met years earlier. This is probably related to the title of the film.
This is a somewhat low-key film which unfolds in a leisurely manner. It is a bit slow moving. There are quite a few static camera shots. It seems a bit hard to accept that Yoon is the same man in both stories because he behaves so differently. It is a fairly effective exploration of the nature of a modern encounter between a married man and an unmarried woman. This film rates a C+. This is a 2015 film that got very little U.S. distribution until 2016.
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