Nowhere to Turn 여기보다 어딘가에 (Yeogiboda Eodingae) Somewhere Over Here [2007] • South Korea

This is a film that went nowhere beyond a couple festival screenings. There's nothing earth shattering about it but it's not bad. Typical slacker-with-dream storyline about a girl who wants to go abroad and study music. What drew my attention to it was the lead actress Su-yeon Cha.

Cha made three films in 2007: Beautiful, For Eternal Hearts, and Nowhere to Turn. I had seen Beautiful, a film about a woman whose life is hell because of her incredible beauty. That's quite a role to fill. Cha is attractive in a sleepy, natural sort of way, but not typical of today's Korean starlets. Her performance in Beautiful showed promise, exuding poise and confidence, but the film was so scrambled script-wise it was hard to make much of her acting ability. Then I saw For Eternal Hearts, a supernatural thriller, and Cha performed reasonably well in a supporting role, so I took a chance on this one.

Nowhere to Turn follows Su-yeon (that's also her character's name) as she tries to earn enough money to go to England and study music. She has no support from her parents so she runs away from home in protest. She ends up at the flat of a male friend who has a big crush on her but she keeps the relationship platonic. She tries giving piano lessons to earn money but doesn't have the patience. She meets a successful musician and thinks he might be able to help her but all he wants to do is sleep with her. She returns to the puppy dog boyfriend and does something creepy. She discovers another woman is interested in her friend so she tells the woman that he has AIDS. One thing leads to another and she and her boy friend form a musical duo to perform in a contest that offers a cash prize big enough to send her to England. Bummer she didn't sleep with that other musician guy, as he turns up as one of the judges for the contest.

Cha's performance in the film is OK but, as mentioned she has a sleepy sort of beauty, and judging from this film she appears to also have a sleepy sort of acting style. Her role as a drifter we are supposed to root for requires a little more spunk than she brings to it. She does do a very good job of fitting in as a member of the local indie music scene, so there's that going for her. She seems quirky hip, if a little low-key.

All in all there's not a lot to recommend about Nowhere to Turn. It's not a bad film but it doesn't offer much that's new and the performances are only adequate. I liked it a bit more than I think most people will because I find Cha to be an intriguing young actress and I like films about people pursuing a musical dream. It's worth a rental if either of those things appeal to you.

Director: Seung-yeong Lee
Starring: Su-yeon Cha, Ha-joon Yoo, Jun-suk Bang, Oei Lee, Won-sang Park




  1. I really liked the goofiness of the main character and the posters for this fim. Other than that it's just mediocre. Not bad, but not too good either.

  2. Haha! Yeah, good posters. I had a hard time deciding which one to use in the post. I have a soft spot for CHA Su-yeon. I'm surprised you've seen this movie. I'm surprised I've seen it. It didn't seem to make a ripple any where. Do you live in Korea?

  3. I have the other one in my room actually. Actually I have seen about every Korean arthouse movie released in the last 10 years. As I said, I have seen almost every film on your lovely site. I did miss a few Japanese movies, and a few Chinese, but I can tell you that I have seen most films your blog contains. It's just that I don't write comments under every film I have seen, since I agree with you most of the time xD

    As for who I am: I am a student who happens to live in Belgium and who just loves to watch East-Asian cinema.

  4. I think the other poster is a better poster, I just like the way this one captures CHA Su-yeon's unique beauty.

    Thanks for your comments, and thanks especially for calling me on a few of my questionable reviews.

  5. Hello

    I've read your interesting article. Thank you.

    Maybe, I think the bad subtitles.

    and, do have cultural differences.

    However, most agree.

    I have made this movie.

    In fact, my name is Lee, Se'u'ng young

    And... Give me a half of the star, please. :)

    Just kidding.

  6. I don't know what to think. That comment above came from South Korea.

    In fairness to the director, this film is better than MOST of what gets a release, but perhaps only average compared to the minority of outstanding films reviewed on this site.

    I would happily watch this film again. There was nothing offensive or silly about it. The subtitles seemed reasonably good. Maybe a sentence or two on cultural perspective would increase my understanding and enjoyment.

    Thanks for stopping by ....