Arguably the biggest appeal of the film is the Wes Anderson-like style of it all. Director Lee Won-Suk clearly has a love for the movies of the Texan director, with “Killing Romance” taking inspiration from Anderson’s use of elaborate practical sets, a vibrant color palette, narration, title cards, and symmetrical imagery. That said, this is not a mere homage or copy, but the work of a director who can take a source of inspiration and add his own spin to it, bringing a sense of absurdity to the story that makes “Killing Romance” a hilarious riot.
There are gags like a killer sauna and a deadly eating competition, a stampede of more ostriches than you could imagine, and did I mention the songs? “Killing Romance” may not be a full-on musical, but whenever we do get a musical number it is extremely catchy.
Lee Ha-nee is great as Yeo-rae, delivering an empathetic performance and conveying the character’s plight in a way that makes it extremely easy to root for her. But it is Lee Sun-kyun who steals every scene he’s in. The “Parasite” actor is just having one hell of a year, also delivering killing performances in “Sleep” and “Project Silence.” Lee plays Jonathan as a mustache-twirling (literally) cartoon villain with a penchant for shouting random English phrases. There is not a single redeeming quality about Jonathan, but it is impossible not to laugh along with this monster even as he does horrible things because Lee is just that over-the-top funny.
“Killing Romance” is a delightfully weird comedy that manages to touch on serious topics like domestic violence, while never losing sight of its comedic tone. With music, romance, drama, comedy, and thrills, “Killing Romance” is the full package.
/Film Rating: 8 out of 10