Hansel gua Gretel
The Late Show
South Korea, 2008, 116 minutes
Fri, Apr 24 / 11:15 / Kabuki / HANS24K
Mon, Apr 27 / 3:15 / Kabuki / HANS27K
Thu, Apr 30 / 7:00 / ROXIE / HANS30R
Talents as varied as Angela Carter, Jean Cocteau, Walt Disney and Terry Gilliam have all mined the fertile ground of Grimm fairy tales to create memorable work. In Hansel and Gretel, director Yim Phil-Sung takes the familiar story and transforms it to offer an unsettling cautionary tale about what happens when kids get everything they want. It all begins when Lee Eun-Soo (Chun Jeong-Myoung) crashes his car and is rescued by a girl in a bright red cape. She brings him to her house in the woods, and introduces him to her two siblings and the overly cheerful parental figures residing there. Everything in the toy-laden home smacks of spoiled children and hyper-attentive parentsóbut the truth is a little more sinister than that. When Lee tries to return to his car, for example, he finds it impossible to find his way back to the road. His cell phone doesnít get a signal and canít make outgoing calls from the house. And the television plays without being plugged in. When the mother disappears and a strange new couple arrives, matters get even more disturbing. Twisting the fairytale to constantly disrupt viewer assumptions about heroes and villains, Yim cleverly riffs on the storyís conceits while commenting on kidsí expectations of their parents and vice versa. With eye-popping art direction, a trio of terrific child actors and a passel of disquieting moments, Hansel and Gretel is a Grimm delight.