By: Addison Wylie
At TIFF ’12, a cold film named Krivina made its mark on the circuit. Directed by Igor Drljaca and produced by Albert Shin, Krivina was a film with a strong, silent lead. It tested my patience with meandering stretches, but halfheartedly won me back with a shocking twist I didn’t see coming.
Smashcut to present day and the roles have switched with In Her Place – Shin is now the writer/director and Drljaca is a co-executive producer.
Now, this is more like it! If Krivina showed audiences what sort of filmmaking Shin and Drljaca are interested in, In Her Place shows movie goers how their approach gains more momentum when the story and the characters are expressive.
Shin’s screenplay keeps matters vague with slivers of dialogue making all the difference. The story of a humble, slightly downtrodden wife (played remarkably by Yoon Da-kyung) collectively waiting to adopt a newborn has us hanging on with her through every wavering step. There’s a lot to pay attention to with the pregnant teen (played by Ahn Ji-hye) having the tendency to act out while her mother’s strict parenting pushes forward. The mother is skillfully played by Kil Hae-yeon.
Rarely do we feel the actors are playing up their emotions. Shin – like Drljaca – is a fan of letting each character “feel the moment”. Shin’s careful direction allows his cast to respectfully soak up every bit of it. The on-screen chemistry between everyone is spot-on too.
In Her Place starts dragging its feet when the tone becomes too sombre and the story evolves into something more psychological. But, up until those dry spells, In Her Place is a well made character study about how a seeming miracle can counter define another’s struggles.
In Her Place screens at TIFF on:
Saturday, September 6 at 2:00 p.m. @ TIFF Bell Lightbox
Tuesday, September 9 at 3:30 p.m. @ Scotiabank Theatre
For more information on the festival, visit the official TIFF webpage here.
Check out the Short Cuts Canada TIFF page here.
Buy tickets here.
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