Synopsis: This zombie melodrama is Mu-Young’s film school opus. An eternal senior, he knows everything about cinema but nothing about actual filmmaking. Critical of everyone else, he heckles the famous indie director Ik-June Yang at a campus screening and somehow receives film funding. His dream of working with his love-interest Ah-Young becomes a nightmare. Everything that can go wrong does. Barely surviving a disastrous shoot, Mu-Young learns making a movie is like love, you can’t do it alone. Let Me Out is a tribute to guerrilla, indie, amateur, low-budget cineastes struggling to create. It is hope.
Release Date: August 16, 2013 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Comedy, Drama
Every school has a student who thinks he knows everything, argues with professors, and criticizes everyone else’s work. Mu-young is the proverbial film snob whose pretension knows no bounds until he discovers the difference between pontificating about cinema and actually making a movie. Guaranteed to appeal to the movie critic in everyone, the film gets off to a rolling start establishing student Mu-young as the Pollack-quoting, anti-digital film purist whose leeway within the department is rapidly dwindling. Forced to put theory into practice, Mu-young must direct his first film, and his harrowing experiences will resonate with anyone who has attempted to translate their passion for film to the screen.
The ensemble of Mu-young’s crew features his best friend and producer Yong-woon (Han Geun-sup), the sweet but insecure leading lady Ah-young (Park Hee-von), famed Korean director Hong Sang-soo’s former cameraman Young-noh (Lee Hyuck), hysterical supporting actress Sun-hye (Jessica Choi), perfectionist sound recorder “Sound-Park,” and eternal senior Pae-in (Kim ki-bum), an obsessive editor who has yet to finish cutting his senior film. The group’s antics and commitment to collaboration pay tribute to the spirit of micro-budget indie filmmaking. It is clear from the beginning that, without the enthusiasm of his crew members and an ultra-dedicated trio of zombie extras, Mu-young’s senior film project would be a disaster.
Co-directors Chang-lae Kim and Jae Soh’s script perfectly captures the conflicting emotions of debilitating anxiety and sheer exhilaration that come with filmmaking. From the classroom to the film set, Mu-young transforms from an arrogant know-it-all to a nervous, stressed director struggling with a deadline. Endless obstacles plague Mu-young’s shoot, and just as one is resolved, another, even more destructive, obstacle halts production. Although the film spends little time on supporting players motivations and characterization, its central focus remains Mu-young; and Kim and Soh spare no effort in exploring Mu-young’s personality and personal journey in filmmaking. At the outset, distinguishing movies from reality is a struggle for Mu-young. His expectations never match reality – in school, filmmaking, or relationships. Frustration and disappointment in the shoot change his behavior very convincingly from an intolerably pretentious student to a humble and sympathetic artist that his professor and peers, as well as the audience, can respect. In the end, the outspoken critic becomes soft-spoken and introspective.
There’s a definite appeal to Let Me Out‘s premise of an upstart student becoming a first-time filmmaker. For any who have attempted filmmaking or merely imagined it, Mu-young’s unexpected and mounting challenges are endearing and recall personal experiences no less demoralizing.
It’s easy to forget, but Let Me Out is also part zombie movie. As such, it gets a lot of its laughs from juxtaposing the comedy of Mu-young’s inexperience and the gory horror of his zombie melodrama. Mu-young’s film is, to say the least, a comic disaster. Antics on the set offer endless sight-gags and plenty of jokes about bad acting, meticulous directors and cinematographers. The undeniable scene-stealer, however, is supporting actress Sun-hye who brings all the drama of a diva star to the tiny set of a student film. Her non-stop histrionics over lines and her ex-boyfriend’s dog only become increasingly irrational as the film goes on. Nothing in Let Me Out is groundbreaking, but it gets plenty of mileage out of the trials and tribulations of a first-time director.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Chang-lae Kim
- Screenwriter(s): Chang-lae KimJae Soh
- Cast: Jessica ChoiHyeon-sang Kwon (Mu-Young) Geunsup HanMyung-se LeeHee-bon ParkWoo Young Yum
- Editor(s): Jin-hwa Um
- Cinematographer: Sung Hoon Kim
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score:
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA