Hae Young is a hopeless girl. She has tattoos all over her arms. She uses vulgar language, and is even violent. She is a terrible troublemaker. She does not have a mother and lives with her father, who runs a Chinese restaurant, and a younger sibling. One day, her father has a mysterious accident, which places her in a position of responsibility. She is now not only the head of the house and must look after her younger sibling, but also an investigator tasked with finding the truth about the accident, and a fighter standing against the ugly world. A detective tries to help her, but her life is far from being easy or organized. (Source: BIFF) ~~ Release dates: Oct 8, 2021 (Busan International Film Festival) || Apr 7, 2022 (Cinema) Edit Translation
- magyar / magyar nyelv
Cast & Credits
bulldozer girlThe title “The Girl on a Bulldozer” is one that generates a fair bit of curiosity regarding the feature’s content. Who is this girl and what is she doing on a bulldozer? The poster, which depicts a petite girl driving a massive bulldozer as loose soil clouds around it, hints at a possibly gritty, slightly action-y content. In his Busan Film Festival welcome message, director Park Ri-woong mentions that this is a revenge story, heightening expectations even further. Having seen the finished product now, I can safely say that this is one of the most wrongly marketed films this year. This is in no way a negative remark on the actual quality of the production, and to be completely fair, it does eventually deliver what it promises, but Park Ri-woong’s debut is more than a standard gritty thriller.
Go into “The Girl on a Bulldozer” expecting a gritty crime thriller and one is most likely to be disappointed. Yes, there are bulldozers, but the girl gets on one for a grand total of two times in the 113 minutes of its runtime. The grit as seen in the promotional poster is practically non-existent. Sure, the revenge as mentioned by the director in his welcome message is exacted, but it doesn’t happen until the final few minutes. Despite all of that, this narrative works first and foremost as an excellent character study. It of course helps that the events around her are fairly engaging to keep the story progressing, but Hae-young is such a well-written character that it is fascinating to see her go on her own internal journey as much as it is to see her try and solve this mystery. There is a lot of angst with her, towards authority, family, society and life in general.
Slowly, as the layers of her story are peeled, this anger converts into pain, a pain that is coming from taking on so much and going against so many at such a young age with so much stacked against her. The feature’s title too works in more than one ways. Besides the obvious, Hae-young is figuratively also going through life on a bulldozer, razing much in her wake. Her anger gets the better of her in most situations, affecting relationships. Her bullish ways and thoughtless actions often land her in irrevocable problems. Even her ultimate action, her revenge if you will, is a cry of desperation, born out of a helplessness to think up much else.
Such a complex character would’ve failed in less competent hands but in Kim Hye-yoon’s, it becomes highly compelling. She may be only four films old and this is her first leading role and thus the meatiest, but Kim brings much maturity to her performance. Despite Hae-young’s vulgarity spitting, tough exterior and fist fighting ways, Hye-yoon manages to play her very delicately, bringing this briefly evident naivety that flashes across her face now and then. This is further enchanting to watch when her anger changes, when she knows she may be way in over her head and when she finally lets it briefly break her. That particular moment is a tender one, shared with her young co-star. The adults around her are effectively cast, but it is ultimately Kim Hye-yoon’s performance that looms large over the feature and the one that lingers back in minds.
The cinematography stays true to the production’s indie roots and the sparsely used music has a few moments of impressiveness, but “The Girl on a Bulldozer” proves an effective debut from Park Ri-woong, thanks to a very well-written character and a compelling and constantly progressing story, all of which is anchored by a superb lead performance from Kim Hye-yoon. Both she and director Park are names to be on the lookout for..
Had Potential but Got Ruined by a Flimsy ScriptI have a love hate relationship with Goo Hye Young, I do like that she's persevering and doesn't give any two shits what other people think but sometimes she acts too rashly, I just want to go inside the movie and tell her character to think thoroughly about the things she's about to do, especially in the restaurant scene confronting a Chairman and giving the only evidence you have away I was just dumbfounded, What did she fucking expect? She could've made another copy of the recording but oh well. Throughout the whole movie, I want some sort of clarity with her character, thankfully she showed some of vulnerability in the last act of the film, and I did like the bulldozing scene. How the movie presented itself was quite messy and because of that some scenes were boring and the pacing was just off thankfully Kim Hye Yoon yet again did amazing acting wise, she never fails to impress me. The movie had so much potential to give a realistic approach about how people deal with debt and such but it was just messy and hard to follow with unlikable characters sprinkled in the mix.