This Charming Girl’s cat

This Charming Girl

NB: Not the actual cat from the film

Hello everyone! Is it just us or has this week been the longest week ever, even though it was only a 4 day working week? But it is finally Friday! And we’ve got a bit of a silly post for you guys. Ok, it’s actually not that silly, we personally think it’s mind blowingly genius.

Yesterday we took part in the group interview with Mr Lee Yoon Ki, the KCC’s ‘Director of the Month’. It is such an honour to be able to take part in these interviews and it’s always very interesting. It’s brilliant to be given a chance to talk to directors about their films and pick at their brains (metaphorically). I’m sure we’ve all done that course work about a film in GSCE English. Mine was about the ‘Truman Show’ and it was so fun analysing all the camera angles, finding hidden meaning in each shot, coming up with different interpretations. This is our 6th Director interview and we’ve started noticing a pattern. We have come to the conclusion that sometimes, things just happen. Many a times we have asked a Director why this happen/he uses this/he decided to show this, thinking there must be some deep hidden social message hidden amongst the use of this specific camera angle/dialogue/shot. And we’ve been through enough awkward moments to come to the conclusion that sometimes, great things just happen.

We came to this great epiphany when someone at yesterday’s interview asked about the significance of the cat in ‘Charming Girl’. We had a rainbow lightbulb moment as we thought, OMG! The cat! There are so many significant meanings to the cat! As our mind go into a coffee fueled overdrive coming up with all these theories and interpretations, the Director answers simply: he likes cats. There is no specific significant meaning to the cat, in fact he owns two male cats and he may have been subconsciously effected by that, but the cat was not put in for a specifically significant symbolic reason.

What we think happened is that Mr Lee Yoon Ki does not realise his own personal awesomeness. Therefore we thought we would help you by giving you our own mind blowingly awesome theory of the significance of the cat.

***Please note the rest of this post will contain major spoiler for This Charming Girl***

Charming Girl is a film about a lady who lives a mundane life. She is a very quiet person and stares a lot. She is not a social outcast, she goes through all the routine things of having lunch with colleagues and after work drinks, but when she is alone, she sits around and stares a lot. She is docile and a lot of the film just shows her sitting around, but she is so captivating and as the film progresses, you discover there is something about this “Charming” girl.

Charming girl cat 3Lets talk about the cat, because cats are awesome. Fun Fact: South Korea has Cat Cafes! How does the cat come into the film? One day, when Charming girl was walking around, she comes across her neighbour walking a dog, this intrigues her and she spontaneously goes and adopts a cat. From this, we figured that the cat was a way for Charming Girl to try and reach out towards a more normal life. But as she brings the cat home, the cat hides underneath the sofa; we as a viewer do not even get a chance to see the cat. This is quite symbolic (to us) as it signifies normality rejecting Charming girl, or to put it less harshly, maybe a incompatibility between Charming girl and normal society. Charming girl does as the cat shelter instructed and feeds the cat the food she was given, but the cat does not respond and Charming girl continues with her mundane routine life. But then, she decides to try and feed the little cat something else and after an encounter with her aggressive neighbour and a lunch with her soon to marry ex, something changes in Charming Girl.
Charming girl cat 2

The film continues with Charming girl being spurred on to attempt to be more vocal and reach out to more people. She comes out of her shell, asks a man on a date, talks to a stranger. Just like the cat, we see her change her “diet” and move away from routine. We start to feel more towards her and learn about this horrible dark secret through powerfully strong flashbacks. After a night of soul searching and discovery for her as well as the audience, she returns home and just like that, the cat also decides to come out and respond to Charming girl.

Charming girl cat

We see a loving moment with the cat sleeping on her belly and as the cat warms up to her, we feel that maybe she herself is warming up towards society. The cat to us becomes a symbol of normality. But as she goes on with her life with the cat, are we sure that she is at peace? As we’re greeted with more flashbacks we learn just that little bit more about this Charming girl and before you know it, she’s taking the cat out and abandoning the cat in a nearby grass patch. Is she giving up on society?

As she abandons the cat she apologises and leaves. We see her head off to find her uncle and as the two have a intense and awkward encounter, we soon realise that the uncle was the perpetrator in her deep dark secret. We watch and witness the most still yet intense couple of minutes in movie history and watch as she reaches into her bag for the knife. Has she gone mad? Yes, we think she has. The abandonment of the cat portrays the idea of Charming girl rejecting normality which has finally opened up to her. She apologises and heads off to kill her uncle; shes abandoned normality, or sanity in this case.

But she doesn’t go through with it and instead runs back to the cat. Charming girl has realised that this is not the way to go and she does indeed want to just be normal. And as with many of Lee Yoon Ki’s films, we get an inconclusive ending. Does she find the cat? Does she go out on a date with this guy? Yeah, we forgot to mention, this man whom she asks on a date but stands her up comes back to apologise, but we didn’t mention him as he is not as significant as the cat. Or maybe he replaces the cat?! And represents a much bigger gesture from society and the universe that we love Charming girl and we want her to have a happy ending.

Good star

And so we just did a whole post about a cat. Not just any cat, This Charming Girl’s cat. What do you think? This is all too mind blowingly deep to just be coincidence right? We hope you enjoyed our analysis of the cat, please do take it light-heartedly  Think of it as an out of the box film review. This is an arty film, it’s not for everyone. But this film is definitely worth a watch, it is very beautifully shot and as you look closely you realise just how brilliant Lee Yoon Ki is. You will also see some absolutely captivating acting which relies on the actors to fully embody the characters. So get yourself in the mood and give This Charming Girl a chance and embrace life, and cats.


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