Film Review: Planet of Snail

   Planet of Snail
 is a documentary with a cold open. A tall man who is blind and deaf stands in a field trying to navigate a kite through a clouded sky whilst a woman of restricted height communicates to him through rhythmic tapping on the back of his hand, giving him instructions and encouragement through their silent communication. Whilst not the typical leading couple of a cinematic romance it soon becomes clear that they love each other with a pureness and tenderness most couples could not imagine.

   The two need each other for every day tasks and the changing of a light becomes a slow-moving but Herculean endeavor; Soon-ho is too small to reach the circular light and Young-chan can not see. Through team-work, she guides him with the touch of her hands, the bulb is painstakingly replaced and it is through such intimate and every day moments that Planet of Snail allows us to see into the lives of two remarkable people slowly enjoying their lives together. Whilst they have many difficulties, one of them is not experiencing happiness; together they have found joy and experience it every day of their lives just through existing side by side.

   As the film transpires with a  Herzogian awe of the peculiarities and wonder of the human soul, Yi Seug-jun's pleasant and kind film unfolds at the same tranquil pace as the lives of the films leads. Whilst a lesser director would have been tempted to ask for sympathy for the disabled protagonists, Yi recognises and shows us the true essence of Young-Chan and Soon-ho's story. And that is love.

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