AU ABROAD

Hello Asia! KOFFIA 2015 Film Review: Clearer Than You Think (생각보다 맑은) (South Korea, 2015)

The struggles that come hand in hand with the road to fulfilling one's dreams are explored in the most clever, humorous and bittersweet ways through this omnibus animation by director Han Ji-Won.

Clearer Than You Think tells four different stories based on the real life experiences of director Han Ji-Won and the people around her. The film captures the good and the bad, from the nerves and giddiness of falling in love to the harsh realities of a world that encourages children to dream while simultaneously crushing their every attempt.

While it's always a pleasure to sit back and delve into the world of animation, admiring the variety of art styles and the way the voice actors manage to bring a drawing to life, the true beauty of this film is with how much it leaves you. The topics vary: our first two films in the omnibus explore the complexities of love in very different though equally humorous ways; the third film takes a look at the challenges of dreaming big in a society which tells you that becoming an adult is a strict and definite process in which dreams hold no part; and our fourth and final film in the omnibus presents us with a world of companionship and adventure.

As the stories are largely inspired by real experiences, they're widely relatable even to an overseas audience. In a similar way, if you can relate to any of the films, you may walk out feeling inspired or perhaps reflective - did you do everything you wanted to do? Did something stop you? More importantly, did you let it stop you? The film is generous in providing food for thought, seasoned with a pinch of good-hearted humour.

The future may at times seem dark and uncertain, and this film is by no means trying to suggest otherwise. The future is not clear, almost not at all - but it's clearer than you think.

Review Score: FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Running Time: 77 minutes (w/English Subtitles)

Clearer Than You Think screens at KOFFIA in Melbourne on the 6th of September.

Visit www.koffia.com.au for more information.