Sea to Sky | BC Spotlight
What if Lost in Translation had been reversed, and instead of projecting melancholia onto an orientalized background, our own backyard became the backdrop for someone else’s self-discovery? Lee Seung-Yup essays that question and more in The Darling, his consistently charming and frequently hilarious debut—which will appeal to anyone who values ingenuity over production value, but especially to cinephiles who perk up whenever Hong Sangsoo is mentioned.
Arriving on our shores under a shadow of mystery, Lee Sun-hwa (Jang Jieun) is a famed Korean actress who wanders Vancouver unbeknownst to those around her. Over the course of a mostly inconsequential summer, she explores our city from the pathways of Stanley Park to the zoo in Aldergrove, bumping into acquaintances, fortune tellers and other locals who help guide her along on this sprightly picaresque. Afflicted by debilitating anxiety, Sun-hwa is enlivened by her interactions with a brash waitress at a Korean barbecue spot. Though brief, this relationship evokes a dilemma that resounds in Sun-hwa’s mind: should she give in to the ways of tradition, or follow the inclinations of her heart?