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Return To Seoul Blu-ray Review

“Return To Seoul” is an emotional character drama.

Having grown up with her adoptive parents in France, Freddie returns to her birthplace in South Korea for a 2 week trip. Freddie decides to reach out to the adoption agency to try and find her biological parents. Initially, she does not hear from her mother, but she winds up visiting her birth father and his family (which she finds uncomfortable). After that, the film takes multiple time jumps where we find Freddie returning to South Korea for various reasons and seeing how her life has changed, what her relationships are like with her biological parents, and how she struggles being apart of two very different cultures. 

Written and directed by Davy Chou, “Return To Seoul” is an absorbing psychological character drama/character study about identity, the past, cultures, personal growth and change. The movie never veers into melodrama territory nor does it ever feel overly sentimental. If anything, Chou challenges the viewer with a decidedly complex lead character in Freddie who is struggling to discover who she is. Maybe she’s looking for peace, maybe she’s looking for closure, maybe she’s looking for connections, but internally she is struggling after her first visit to South Korea which brought forth emotions she wasn’t prepared for. When she spirals, she drinks and pushes people away leaving her in an even worse state. 

“Return To Seoul” may not have the ending some viewers may desire, but it works in the context of the story. Throughout the story, we are seeing Freddie in various stages of her life and the film just happens to end with one such stage. It’s up to the viewer to ponder what’s next for her.

Speaking of Freddie, actress Ji-Min Park is a revelation here. From her dancing to her family interactions, Park can say so much without saying a word. Don’t be surprised if she starts popping up in more movies in the near future. 


Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p: Grade: B+

Audio Track: French/Korean 5.1 DTS-HD MA. Grade: B

Extras include Sony trailers and a “Return To Seoul” theatrical trailer.


May 16, 2023 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | ,

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