K-Film Review: Cobweb, a tale spun of desire and obsession

Cobweb is a period dark comedy-drama film set in the 1970s about a director who desperately wanted to reshoot the ending of his recently finished film as he strongly believed that doing so would make his film a real masterpiece.

With his desire to create this masterpiece, he did everything he could to execute the vision that was often in his dreams amidst all the chaos in the filming set.

Song Kang Ho as Director Kim Yeol

Song Kang Ho, the award-winning lead actor in the film ‘Parasite’, plays the role of Director Kim with the desire to create a masterpiece by changing the ending of his latest film ‘Cobweb’ with the character Min Ja (played by Lim Soo Jung) becoming an empowered woman rather than someone who sacrificed herself for the family of her husband.

Tired of the criticisms of his works, Director Kim decided to fight for his desire and prove his skills to be recognized as himself, away from the shadow of his mentor Director Shin.

The cast of Cobweb: Lim Soo Jung, Oh Jung Se, Jeon Yeo Been, Krystal Jung, Park Jung Soo, Jang Young Nam

Director Kim discussed his ideas with President Baek (Jang Young Nam), the producer of his movie, and had problems with the approval of reshooting his film. He then talked to President Baek’s niece and a potential successor of the production company Mi Do (Jeon Yeo Been) and found an ally in her.

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Mi Do went to great lengths to help Director Kim as she fell in love with the revised script, also believing that it would become a masterpiece as Director Kim said. With her go signal, the team started to film secretly and started calling back the actors to reshoot the ending.

A representative from the Culture Ministry visiting and an actor heavily complaining about his role are only a couple of the problems they had to deal with during the filming.

Conflicts continue to arise on and off the camera, almost depicting the twists and turns of the film and reality.

President Baek furiously came back to the set halting the filming which made Director Kim discouraged. He only became enlightened when he “saw” Director Shin in his office and told him to believe in himself.

Feeling more confident, he continued filming and his team found a way to convince the chairman of the ministry who personally came to the filming set to approve the revised ending of his film.

Director Kim successfully completed his film with the masterpiece he envisioned, but with all the chaos and his realizations, he doesn’t look too happy about it…. (watch to find out why!)

Thoughts and conclusion

A comedy in its truest form, I loved that Cobweb really made the full-packed cinema burst out with laughter.

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It is a film that shows the process and difficulties of artists, filmmakers, and the industry.

A film-within-a-film, Cobweb is a great film to watch especially for filmmakers as it tackles the struggles of having those creative ideas in their minds and fighting for what they believe in, anticipating the conflicts and criticisms that would possibly arise along the way.

In the film, Director Kim was determined to do his ending scene with a “Plan séquence” or long take. It is a style back in the 1970s which means a long traveling shot of the actors moving around the set from the beginning to the end of the scene.

He wanted to do the scene in one take using one camera. In this, it is amazing to see how the actors and the film crew worked around the set to do the scene.

What I loved the most about this film though was the brilliant casting!

Song Ka Ho’s portrayal of Director Kim was undeniably top-notch showing the emotions of a struggling and frustrated director who couldn’t escape from the criticisms and comparisons from his mentor.

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I was in awe with Lim Soo Jung’s acting as the character of Min Ja, showing her range through the crazy storyline which required her to go all-out with strong emotions as the heroine of the film.

Oh Jung Se, Krystal Jung, and Jeon Yeo Been did an excellent job with their roles, providing the most much-needed comical parts in the film.

Yeo Been and Krystal’s rivalry as Mi Do and Yu Rim was so funny that every time these two were in the same scene, fun was already expected.

Park Jung Soo and Jang Young Nam were integral parts of the film, which balanced out the seriousness and humor of the story.

This film has a cameo that you all need to watch out for! A short cameo that had a huge impact on the movie which brought so many lessons in life.

Why ‘Cobweb’ is the title of the film? You really need to watch to find out why cobwebs and spiders are important references in this film.

But personally, I think, ‘Cobweb’ for this film also means being entangled with obsession and greed will always have consequences if you have no control over it.

Watch the trailer here:

Cobweb, rated R-16, is coming to Philippine cinemas on October 4, 2023, distributed by TBA Studios.

“What is so special about talent? Talent is believing in yourself.” – Director Shin

Photos courtesy of TBA Studios

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