Return to Seoul’: Film Review | Cannes 2022

Frédérique Benoît, aka Freddie, is a character who holds everyone at arm’s length, including the audience.

She’s unreasonably self-impressed, condescending and often flat-out cruel.

There are signs of sincere searching amid all the acting out,

but every step forward seems to be followed by several slides back.

That the story of someone so off-putting climaxes in a moment as profound

and moving as the penultimate scene of Return to Seoul speaks

the subtle power of writer-director Davy Chou’s storytelling and the portrayal

Park Ji-Min, a visual artist making a strong impression in her first screen role.

Chou’s two previous feature-length films are the Cambodia-set documentary Golden Slumbers and the narrative feature Diamond Island,