Given the sole fact that this is a South Korean movie was more than sufficient to make me want to sit down and watch it. And so I did, without knowing what the movie was about, or whom was in it.
From the title and the movie's cover/poster, I must admit that I had expected to be in for a horror movie. Which it turned out not to be. "After My Death" (aka "Joi manheun sonyeo") was a rather slow-paced drama.
While the storyline was pretty interesting and well-told, the movie was just dragging on and at 2 hours long it felt like you got nowhere really. And truth be told, then it felt like you were sitting through a 4 hour long movie. Yes, the pacing of the movie was that tedious and slow.
That being said, what carried the movie was its storyline and the really great acting performances of the cast, especially Yeo-bin Jeon, playing Yeong-hee.
There were some pretty nice and interesting elements to the storyline, which I felt that director and writer Ui-Seok Kim barely skimmed, which was a shame because there was so much untapped potential for a very intense and captivating movie here. Sure, it was enjoyable and watchable, but it just felt a bit too hasted and shallow at certain points throughout the prolonged 2 hours running time.
While "After My Death" is not a particularly outstanding or memorable movie addition to the South Korean cinema, it does have enough contents to make it watchable at least once.
Reviewed by ewjun9 / 10
No one cares about me, before my death.
After Kyeong-Min's suicide, every single person in the film picks on a peer student ; so that they could free the burden. The chosen target was her former-best friend Young-Hee (The movie indicates that they might have been more than just "friends"). Detective accuses Young-Hee as detective found a murder weapon on her hand . Disbelief on Young-Hee is shown everywhere even when she is beaten up by peer student; not a single person including her dad or her teacher defends her.
Then, everything turns around after failed suicide attempt of Young-Hee.
Ever since then, people consider Young-Hee as a best friend and martyr at the same time, trying to comfort her. The peer student who beat Young-Hee up suddenly found another victim to pick on, forcing her to make fake statement on teacher, due to the fact that the teacher didn't help Young-Hee out.
Throughout the film, we can see how easy 'revenge' or 'lynch' escalates especially when people don't want to accept the responsibilities.
The part I didn't like in this film was kiss scene between two girls. I don't have anything against homosexuality in film, nor kiss scene between two high school students. However, the scene itself didn't blend in ( maybe, the director was trying to show there could have been something more than a friendship)
Reviewed by Madcookie173 / 10
Show, don't tell
I tend to like slow paced movies, especially if they have a point to make and evoke a feeling in you that haunts your thought for days after viewing. Sadly "After my death" is no such film.
Everything in the movie from start to finish is told to the viewer rather than shown. Kyeong-Min killed herself. Why? Do we see her unhappy, neglected by her mom, bullied by her peers? No, not really but we are told that this is a fact, so it makes it true.
Young-Hee is portrayed as taking the death of "her friend" rather bad, but we are never shown that they were actually friends. A point is made about a blossoming lesbian romance between the two but that is unexplored, has no particular relevance to the plot and like most things in this movie it is just out there because why not.
Portrayals of everyone and everything in the movie (except maybe the school director and the police) is fundamentally unrealistic. Young-hee keeps telling everyone how she had planned to kill herself for so long and is very determined to do this but when she does she tries to do it basically in front of everyone and is immediately saved. There is an attempt to make a point about a very dangerous message that "People care about you after you die" so her classmates start liking her and protecting her after her attempt, but one - that is not actually true as they start to do this after Kyeong-Min's suicide note is found which exonerates her, not because Young-hee's attempt and two - if people didn't care before you died, no one will care after you died.
The portrayal of the class bully is also unrealistic and problematic in and of itself. She isn't shown picking on anyone that "didn't deserve it", therefore it's difficult to write off her behavior as "she's just looking for a reason to pick on someone". Instead she's shown almost as a "good guy", taking action against those she deems responsible for a "fellow" student's attempted/death(Young-Hee->Young-Hee's friend->Kyeong-Min's teacher). It may be a shocker to some but in real life bullies are the complete opposite.
The movie ends with another "tell, don't show" moment where Young-Hee tells her classmates she only came back to school so she would publicly kill herself, but instead she's just shown going in a dark alleyway and the movie cuts to black.
Final conclusion: It may sound harsh but this movie is a 2 hour long example of how you should NOT make a movie.