“Daisy” – Available for streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime
Few movies can accomplish the delicate balance that “Daisy” achieves between action and romance. This cross-genre appeal, which Hollywood tries to fake with every action flick, is sincere in its integrity, thanks to the elegance of its storytelling.
Like the inside jokes that only good novels can pull off, the movie successfully references itself, using small details, such as gifts and token gestures. Also, like a novel, it relies on sporadic narration, which gets into the head of the characters, letting us hear their reactions in real time.
This style of narration is difficult to execute without becoming melodramatic, but it succeeds thanks to the idiosyncratic nature of the three main characters. Of course, the flowy, poetic sonority of the Korean language does not hurt either. Jung Woo-Sung’s crispy voice, in particular, makes the most mundane words sound like the delicate, sustained notes of the classical music his character enjoys.
This is certainly a film for the appreciators of international culture: The director and production team are from Hong Kong, the cast and language are from Korea, and the backdrop is set in the Netherlands’ flowered countryside and Amsterdam’s open plazas.
Above all, the story is well-timed. It knows when to pull the right strings and when to pull the wrong triggers. It does not indulge in jumping around with flashbacks for the sake of appearing sophisticated, but rather uses flashbacks and retellings with different angles in order to better tell the story – the way a painter must sketch the entire canvas before filling in the details.