7.2/10
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Right Now, Wrong Then (2015)

Ji-geum-eun-mat-go-geu-ddae-neun-teul-li-da (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 24 September 2015 (South Korea)
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A married film director falls for a young painter - twice.

Director:

Sang-soo Hong

Writer:

Sang-soo Hong
13 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Jae-yeong Jeong ... Ham Cheon-soo
Min-hee Kim ... Yoon Hee-jeong
Yuh Jung Youn ... Duk-soo Kang (as Yeo-jeong Yoon)
Ju-bong Gi Ju-bong Gi ... Won-ho Kim
Hwa-Jeong Choi Hwa-Jeong Choi ... Soo-young Bang
Joon-Sang Yoo ... Seong-gook Ahn
Young-hwa Seo Young-hwa Seo ... Yeong-sil Joo
Ko Asung ... Bo-ra Yeom (as Ah-sung Ko)
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Storyline

Quite by accident, a film director arrives in town a day early. With time to kill before his lecture the next day, he stops by a restored, old palace and meets a fledgling artist. She's never seen any of his films, but knows he's famous. They talk. And together, they go to her workshop to look at her paintings, have Sushi and Soju. More conversation follows, and drinks, and then an awkward get-together with friends where all sorts of secrets are revealed. All the while, they may or may not be falling for each other. Then, quite unexpectedly, we begin again, but now things appear somewhat different.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

South Korea

Language:

Korean

Release Date:

24 September 2015 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

Right Now, Wrong Then See more »

Filming Locations:

South Korea

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,291, 26 June 2016

Gross USA:

$24,470

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$680,728
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Jeonwonsa Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In Spain was only released in 8 theaters / Widest release: 10 theaters. The film was only projected in subtitled version. See more »

Quotes

Ham Cheon-soo: Try to discover something every second of every day, from everything around you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Title card of the film is seen twice. In the first place, it reads as 'Right Then, Wrong Now'; and in the second (an hour into the film) as 'Right Now, Wrong Then'. See more »

Connections

Features Hill of Freedom (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Heartfelt experiment.
27 October 2015 | by Sergeant_TibbsSee all my reviews

Right Now, Wrong Then is a film of two distinct halves. In 2 days of the life of a filmmaker, Ham Cheon-soo, in town a day early for a screening of his latest work at a local film festival. He meets a younger woman, Yoon Hee-Jeong, and immediately falls for her. She's an artist, and he views and comments on her work, then they go out to dinner where they drunkenly bear their souls. It results in an invitation to a friend's small party where a revelation embarrasses Ham to the point where they part ways on a sour note. He attends his film to a small crowd, conducts a hungover Q&A, and retires, walking away from the town for good. Roll title card "Right Now" rather than "Right Then." The film literally repeats from the beginning, erasing the first half. Like Groundhog Day but only a once-over, we get every scene again but from a slightly different wishful approach.

This second time the couple are honest, unlike the first time where Ham tries too hard to impress and Yoon retreats. Again, they fall in love, but given Ham admits to already being married, their feelings are mutual and emotional without being sexual. He may embarrass himself once more at the aforementioned dinner, but it does not result in a cruel parting, instead drawing them closer. It's a quaint experiment given the relaxed tone. The first half on its own is not a movie, and neither is the second. They're co-dependent to give the narrative meaning, but it's far from cinematic in tone. It's a filmmaker's revisionism of what could have been a perfect evening had the characters acted suitably. It's honest, rather than romantic – though the chemistry still bubbles in the air – and it's utterly bittersweet, in a similar vein to Before Sunrise, but strictly not Before Sunset.

It's my first film from Korean director Hong Sang-soo and ostensibly from his fans and critics, Right Now Wrong Then is firmly his style – including the Woody Allen-esque romance between an older creative similar to the director himself, and a pretty younger woman. The atmosphere is very modest with simple photography, though Sang-soo does punctuate some scenes with careful zooms. It's very easy-going filmmaking, and its concept makes the second half easier to watch because you know exactly where it's heading as it retraces steps while you have a sharp eye out for the subtle changes that make all the differences, but it doesn't beg you to keep an eye on every detail. Those differences aren't grandstanding though the narrative is clearly motivated by them. Sometimes a scene will repeat its approach entirely despite the previous scene being radically revised. It's trying to be very nuanced rather than having a 'sliding doors/butterfly effect' where causality makes the universe shift places.

Instead, the outcome isn't much different but the overall feeling is utterly converted. It's all down to the performances of its two leads, Jeong Jae-Yeong and Kim Min-Hee, to create that tone with their chemistry, who were most likely shooting both halves back to back, location by location. In both halves, Ham is still a jerk with a kind of irritating laugh, but all the characters are deeply human even if Sang-soo doesn't peel back their layers every time. There's a big heart buried in its very slight execution. However, Right Now Wrong Then is not necessarily about how honesty is a better policy – though Ham's harsh analysis of Hee-Jeong's art in the second half remains a sting that takes a long time to settle – but it's about how it's possible to love again. In this case, love doesn't have to be a complete turbulous affair, but it can still be a fulfilling and life-affirming night if approached accordingly.

8/10


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