K-MovieRabbit and Lizard

Rabbit and Lizard ~ Review

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“You’re always there when i am in pain.
And i don’t even know you.”

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Rabbit and Lizard isn’t an ordinary movie and definitely not one you’ll watch to amuse yourself or just for the sake of watching something while relaxing. If you’re a fan of Jang Hyuk or Sung Yu Ri is a big plus itself, but the key which unlocks the door to enjoying this ride is no other than being in the right mood for a slow-paced and artistic movie based on ambiance and interlocked characters.

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Having been adopted abroad and after 23 years of living in the US, May or Lee Won Sun (Sung Yu Ri) managed to return to Korea in order to find out about her past and uncover the mystery that lives along with her as a lizard-resembling scar on her shoulder. Once she gets off the airport she meets a taxi driver, Eun Seol (Jang Hyuk), whose days are numbered due to a rare case of cardiac arrhythmia which prevents his heart from beating for a few seconds. It could be fatal anytime and he keeps living day by day in search of his red rabbit. Under circumstances, Won Sun and Eun Seol keep finding one another in a wide variety of crossroads until one day they start walking upon an intertwined pathway.

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Rabbit and Lizard adheres to a minimalist approach and through its seemingly simplistic flow it manages to add color and meaning to its demanding palette. It’s all about a certain ambiance upon which everything is being structured in slow pace as it depicts the daily schedules of two people solely and through interactions. Rabbit and Lizard was never meant to overrun one with intensity or an unnecessarily exaggerating visualization of a character’s internal world.

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Rabbit and Lizard’s very soul and essence keeps shining through silence as we secretly witness two characters’ concerns to an extent that will neither overburden nor leave us in the dark. As a movie, it maintains a golden balance on what should be told and what shouldn’t while everything turns to life before our very eyes through a limited use of camera angles while emphasizing on a surrounding atmosphere-evoking cinematography.

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The cinematography is as natural as it can get during daytime, but when night falls it gets to unfold its very own magic through a dim yet warm sense of lighting or through the absence of it. Rabbit and Lizard is like a twofold yet related personal documentary on the road as it doesn’t focus on the same place for too long . On the contrary, it’s almost always on the run while still taking its time to unfold and it gives you the impression as if you were closely following its two figures from their starting point to their vague yet intriguing destination with all the layovers in between.

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The soundtrack pieces that appear from time to time are simplistic, but they are emotionally charged in their own soothing way as they underline the scene’s current atmosphere and the way it is related to a character’s internal world. Setting aside the overall ambiance, the acting factor was crucial for Rabbit and Lizard since it could turn it into an indifferent and eventually dry movie, but that’s not the case here.

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Jang Hyuk would give voice to a hilarious line even if the whole world was collapsing and that’s what he does in Rabbit and Lizard. There’s nothing humorous throughout the movie’s flow, but a few of his lines manage to brighten the overall mood even if it lasts just for a few seconds. His presentation of a casual figure at the verge of dying through Eun Seol’s weaknesses, problems and concerns through a simplistic yet meaningful prism is what makes Jang Hyuk shine effortlessly by simply being natural and human.

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Jang Hyuk’s other half in Rabbit and Lizard, Sung Yu Ri, was equally moving in Lee Won Sun’s presentation. Her silence was as loud as her thoughts which were either being presented in a narrative tone or through her emotional world which was being carved upon her seemingly neutral but deeply meaningful face. Sung Yu Ri’s attempts to color her character’s grey horizon were representative of everything Lee Won Sun preserved.

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Without being verbose or poetic, Rabbit and Lizard is the subtle yet meaningful journey of two broken figures inside their personal grey zones which occasionally darken or humbly vibrate in the crossroads of life.

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Kwon Sang Seung

Kwon Sang Seung

elles viennent
autres et pareilles
avec chacune c'est autre et c'est pareille
avec chacune l'absence d'amour est autre
avec chacune l'absence d'amour est pareille
-Samuel Beckett-

7 Comments

  1. September 28, 2015 at 12:20 am — Reply

    Reblogged this on Stuck on Hyuk and commented:
    A great review of Rabbit and Lizzard by Kwon from the blog Dramajjang.

  2. September 28, 2015 at 4:32 pm — Reply

    It’s been a few years since I saw this, but I often think about it. Jang Hyuk in particular for me, was a standout. I fell in love with Eun Seol and wished I was the one to give him that comforting hug in the night during one of his terrifying heart jumps. Perhaps I wasn’t quite in the right mood, and because I watched through a “fangirl” lens as a then new fan of Jang Hyuk, but I wasn’t moved and felt more irritated by Sung Yu Ri’s character. I understood her problems, but the constant nonchalant silence got to me. I would’ve preferred more character interaction. Perhaps a sweeter romance. But that’s the drama lover in me. But then it would be a different type of movie. It was probably the writer/director’s intention to create this Omnipresent feeling of dead air, gloom and doom. Eun Seol was the “Chatty Cathy” and in real life those situations are so awkward for me. I’m introverted, but if there’s dead silence in the room, I feel the need to make conversation, and then I feel like a fool if I have to keep talking with no response. 😁😶

    Your review makes me want to see it again with a deeper lens on all the characters. 😊

    • Maina
      September 28, 2015 at 7:13 pm — Reply

      I remember well of this movie.
      All the same for meeeeeeee ! yes yes es! your english is better than mine Lady G… 🙂
      And I am going to watch it again this evening again! And and and… I felt so in love with Jang Hyuk like the candle melting in the wind… ARGH!!!! 😀
      Maina

      • October 5, 2015 at 6:55 pm — Reply

        Did you re-watch it? 😀 Jang Hyuk was really great in this movie, his character was definitely an intriguing one and his acting was representative!! Hahaha, i think i heard that “ARGH!!!!” from the distance! XD

    • October 5, 2015 at 6:52 pm — Reply

      You either weren’t in the right mood or this movie wasn’t made for your taste, it’s one of these movies! But i really do hope in case you re-watch it you will find it more appealing to your eyes! Sung Yu Ri’s character was the silent one in a foreign environment in search of answers while Eun Seol was the more talkative dude with his own problems. I think they were a strong combo and the way their lives were connected. But yes, more romance would indicate a different type of movie with a more drama-oriented vibes!
      “I’m introverted, but if there’s dead silence in the room, I feel the need to make conversation, and then I feel like a fool if I have to keep talking with no response.” Hahaha, same here! XD It’s one of these awkward moments you can’t hold back because it’s already being awkward! XD

      • Maina
        October 6, 2015 at 4:12 pm — Reply

        Hahaha… are you like Eun-Seol? 😀
        Yes Sang-Seung, I re-watch it because of you dear chingu and I have LOVED it like the first time (and I even made a little review for a website) ! yes Jang Hyuk is in one of his best character ever I think ! And like the first time I love that kind of character that cling and never let-go even if a freezing distance is establish between Eun-Seol and May, if you understand. … This movie is really BEAUTIFUL, thaht kind of movie that you can’t forget et have pleasure to watch it again and again, and I am glad that you wrote something about it, really 🙂

        • October 6, 2015 at 4:39 pm — Reply

          Wow, great! I am so glad you re-watched it and it’s awesome that you unveiled your thoughts on a review too!!! 😀 Yup, there was a freezing distance between them especially on May’s behalf since Eun Seol was a more social character than her! He even made a joke about her name saying something about December as opposed to may if i remember correctly! XD Thank you so much for your words for one more time!! 🙂

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