FFF 2019 – Review: GRANNY POETRY CLUB Is Cute But Straightforward

FIRST IMPRESSION

Granny Poetry Club may not have the most interesting premise, but it ends up being a cute, heartwarming, and easy-to-watch documentary.
Directing
Entertainment Value
Technical Merit

Granny Poetry Club is a new documentary film directed by Jae-Hwan Kim. The movie follows a group of Korean senior ladies who set out to learn the Korean language in their old age because they grew up in the Japanese rule of Korea in which the teaching of the Korean language was banned in schools. It played at the 2019 Florida Film Festival.

The story behind the film is definitely very interesting, as it ties into the political history of Korea, although the movie sadly never explores these aspects of the story. Instead, the film plays out more like a cute little fluff piece, which is fine, but not as interesting as it could have been. If you don’t think that watching elderly people learn Korean is interesting, then the movie won’t be very interesting to you.

That being said, the film does have quite a bit of humor. The “grannies” get into some humorous hijinks at times, and it is entertaining to watch them goof around. There is also some humor in the times in which we watch them take their classes. It is somewhat funny to see old women sitting in a classroom setting anyway, but the sense of humor they have about it adds even more.

In terms of emotion, the movie feels like it doesn’t hit the beats that it likely should. Had the film spent more time developing the characters’ relationships with their families, there would have been more resonance and the story would have connected much more with the audiences. As is, the story feels somewhat obscure and distant. Additionally, the movie should have developed each of them more individually, rather than as a group.

granny poetry club group

One part of the story that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense is the poetry. The story of the film is about the “grannies” learning Korean, but where does the poetry come in? Did they learn to write poetry as a part of their Korean classes? We never see that. Also, why are the translations in broken English? Did they learn English too? More explanation on this front would have been appreciated.

The pacing of the movie is solid enough, although it is unlikely to keep the interest of those who do not find joy in simply watching and learning about other cultures. There really isn’t that much going on in the film, apart from one portion later in the movie in which one of the “grannies” enters into a local singing competition. This is, by far, the most entertaining and exciting part of the film.

On a technical level, the movie is mostly impressive. The cinematography is very good, often taking advantage of some of the more picturesque Korean scenery to catch the eye. The use of extremely long shots in which the subjects are walking along in the background is effective and aesthetically appealing. Furthermore, the score is great, fueled by Eastern rhythms and melodies.

Overall, Granny Poetry Club was a solidly-made documentary for what it was, but it won’t be for everyone. It’s a cute little story that was turned into a cute little movie. If you are looking for anything else, you will be disappointed.

Granny Poetry Club played at the 2019 Florida Film Festival.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

Lovecraft Country: Season 1 Episode 7 Promo | HBO

On the next #LovecraftCountry. #HBO #JurneeSmollett #JonathanMajors Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 Official Site of Lovecraft Country on HBO: https://itsh.bo/lovecraft-country-series Stream on HBO Max: http://itsh.bo/hbo-max Get More HBO Official Site: https://itsh.bo/dotcom Twitter: https://twitter.com/hbo Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hbo Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hbo Lovecraft Country: Season 1 Episode 7 Promo | HBO

We Are Who We Are: Set Tour | HBO

Luca Guadagnino built a small city in four months. And then he named it after his favorite director. Jordan Seamón and Jack Dylan Grazer show us around the set of We Are Who We Are, Caitlin and Fraser’s home base. #HBO #WeAreWhoWeAre #JordanKristineSeamón #JackDylanGrazer #LucaGuadagnino Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 From Luca Guadagnino, the…

Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy – Earthrise | Teaser Trailer | Netflix

With the Allspark gone, Megatron is forced to confront the harsh reality that his Decepticons are trapped on a dying Cybertron. Meanwhile, lost in the darkest reaches of space, Optimus Prime and his team embark on a desperate mission, unexpectedly running into ... the spacefaring Mercenaries. Coming soon only on Netflix. SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix:…

Whose Vote Counts, Explained (Limited Series) | Official Trailer | Netflix

The right to vote is at the foundation of America's democracy. But not every vote is created equal. How does the system work, and can it be fixed? SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with 193 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature…

Black Narcissus | Official Trailer [HD] | FX

One night. A three-part event. Come to a place where time doesn’t exist. Black Narcissus premieres 11/23 on FX. Next day FX on Hulu. Subscribe now for more Black Narcissus clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX Black Narcissus is an FX limited series based on the best-selling novel by Rumer Godden. Mopu, Himalayas, 1934. A remote clifftop palace once…

Lovecraft Country: Sanctum VR | An American Dream

Welcome to Sanctum, a one-of-a-kind virtual reality experience that celebrates and complements Lovecraft Country. In “An American Dream,” the second of three events inspired by the world of the series, become a part of a live poetry performance inspired by the words of James Baldwin, adapted by Lovecraft Country writer Shannon Houston, and performed by…

Fargo | Installment 4: Hunt Teaser | FX

Don’t lose track. Fargo’s back with an all-new installment September 27th on FX. Next day FX on Hulu. Subscribe now for more Fargo clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX The fourth installment of Fargo is set in 1950 Kansas City, where two crime syndicates fighting for a piece of the American dream have struck an uneasy peace. Chris Rock…

Star Trek Day 2020 | Strange New Worlds Panel

Host Mica Burton talks with Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Executive Producers Akiva Goldsman and Henry Alonso Myers; stars Anson Mount (Christopher Pike), Rebecca Romijn (Number One), and Ethan Peck (Spock); and Co-Executive Producers/Writers Akela Cooper and Davy Perez. The group goes into detail about what Star Trek means to them, how Strange New Worlds…
Avatar
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here