Right from the beginning, this film wraps the viewer in beauty with conflict. Korean film director Lee Chang-Dong tells a beautiful story about an elderly woman who is beginning to suffer from Alzheimer's in his latest film "Poetry". Though aging, she is full of life and energy, and as words begin to escape her memory she decides to take a poetry class. Around the same time, the dead body of a middle school girl washes up in the river, and the story that connects these two distant lives feels real in this often cruel world that we share.
Very rarely do films capture age this accurately, and the result is a mesmerizing film with soul and passion.
The screenplay, written by the director, truly gives the lead actress the ability to flow into the role, and as a result, everything that she says and does feels true and honest. There are several moments of joy and happiness, and many moments of sorrow and loss, but thanks to great writing, the film feels balanced and whole.
Everything about this film, regardless of its South Korean setting, feels so tangible and relatable, and that's truly the mark of a great film.
"Poetry" doesn't answer everything, but it leaves a lasting impact and is an easy film to feel connected to as we all will eventually age. Truly a must-see.
My ranking: 5/5 stars