Thursday, 5 November 2015

C'est Si Bon

I heard about this Korean film back in July and, since then, I have been repeatedly visiting its page on Asiatorrents, hoping that the English subs would be there. In the meantime, I’d have the first twenty minutes on in the background, just to enjoy the songs.

When, after four months of trying, the subtitles finally arrived, it almost didn’t register and I was about to click away, thinking “Maybe next time” before I realized that I was looking at it.

Was it worth the wait? Well, it is certainly a sweet film. The music and the period details give it a charm that’s hard to ignore.

It tells a fictional version of the start of a famous folk duo Twin Folio.

They were formed of two singers who were popular at a local live music club C’est Si Bon. The film invents a third member who left the band before they became famous, and he becomes the main character as he falls in love with another performer at the club.

Since the film starts in the present day before returning to the late 1960s, the viewer is given a good idea that all the hopes and dreams of youth do not run smoothly. In fact, halfway through the film, I wanted to stop watching just so it had a happy ending.

But it didn’t. It was a lovely, touching film full of great performances. It gets a bit soap-opera-ish towards the end, complete with a tear-jerking scene in an airport, but by that time I was fully invested in the characters and was willing to let this cliche slide.

Perhaps it works best as an introduction to the kind of music that was popular in the sixties and seventies, long before K-pop was even thought possible. Certainly, for someone like me whose knowledge of Korean culture only goes back eight years (not counting the occasional film) this has been as much an education as entertainment.

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