This Charming Girl 여자, 정혜 (Yeoja, Jeong-hye) [2004] • South Korea

I sat for two hours loving this woman, and feeling sorry for her, hoping for her. That's what is supposed to happen when you watch a well-executed character study.

If you were to look up "boring art house film" in some film dictionary you might find the plot synopsis for This Charming Girl listed as the definition: The film follows Jung-hye’s quiet life and reveals the landscape of the character’s inner feelings.

Jung-hye has forged her own life out of simplicity and solitude as the result of some trauma earlier in her life. The film doesn't focus on what that trauma is or how Jung-hye may eventually resolve it. Instead, it focuses on the mundane life she has made for herself as a result. We watch her feed her cat, cook herself meals, go to a job at an uneventful workplace, go shopping for shoes. This is not an action movie. It's an extremely slow burn that leads to one very intense scene which involves a knife. It's an intense scene not because anything crazy happens but because we can see all of the repressed emotions inside this woman come boiling to the surface. And we can see this happening because Kim Ji-Su's performance is nothing short of phenomenal.

No use going into more detail about the events of the film. It's better to see them for yourself. If you like well-written, well-acted, meticulously directed character studies This Charming Girl is one of the best ones out there. Even though it is art house to the max, there isn't a pretentious moment in the film.

Director: Yoon-ki Lee
Starring: Jeong-min Hwang, Ji-su Kim, Mi-seong Kim

Love HK Film
Japan Times 


  1. I agree so much with your review. I think this is one of the best Korean films of last decade!

  2. I think I'll watch this again soon.